09 Jan B2B Email Marketing 4 tips for 2015
While some view b2b email marketing as old fashion, email marketing remains a stable marketing tool with solid conversion rates. According to a March 2011 study by research firm Econsultancy, “Email continues to be a vital component of the marketing mix and the vast majority of companies (72%) rate email as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ in terms of ROI.”
Strongview recently release a report on the State of Marketing in 2015. They state this:
The results are also encouraging for email marketing’s long march to one-to-one marketing. The top targets for increased email marketing investment are triggered and lifecycle marketing messages. This emphasis on automated messaging over batch mailings is a welcome development, as marketers clearly are looking at new and expanded data sources to trigger messages based on multiple data streams.
Despite the high ROI of email, in order for marketers to effectively leverage the channel and foster brand loyalty, they need to shift to more continuous messaging based on how their customers are interacting with them across channels. This survey shows that marketers are putting more dollars behind this shift, but that barriers still exist – as evidenced by the top challenges being accessing and leveraging customer data, as well as coordinating across channels.
Click on the image below for a high resolution version of the StrongView infographic.
B2B (business to business) email marketing doesn’t get nearly the attention as big consumer email programs but it where a lot of innovation is taking place.
4 tips for B2B email marketing in 2015
Getting Started with B2B Email Marketing
If you’re delving into B2B email marketing, you should first determine how you’ll send messages, track responses, and keep up with unsubscribers. You may also need to choose an email service provider (ESP) or marketing automation vendor. Your choice will depend on your budget, feature requirements, and the number of contacts in your database (and don’t forget to allow for database growth).
Email service providers offer a solid solution for basic, mass volume email campaigns. Marketing automation vendors such as Eloqua offer a broader set of features for targeted, 1-to-1 communications. These features make it easy to personalize, automate, engage sales with, and report on your email campaigns – ultimately increasing their effectiveness.
Here are some of the differences between what typical email service providers and marketing automation vendors have to offer:
Email Services offer: Marketing Automation offers:
- Batch and blast (priced on email send volume)
- Web forms and landing pages – generally require IT support
- Reports on opens and clickthroughs
- Limited automation
- Limited or no integration with CRM
- No sales tools
- Target recipients based on interests, behavior, and stage in the sales cycle
- Templated or custom forms and landing pages, with no coding or IT involvement required
- Report on opens and clicks, movement through to sales, and revenue generated
- Templated or customized single and multi-touch lead nurturing campaigns
- One-click integration with CRM and sales force automation tools
- Tools to enable marketing and sales alignment
- Designing for Today’s Devices. It’s not just what you send, and it’s not just who you send it to – it’s how you design it. As more and more B2B andB2C prospects adopt mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, best practices for email design are evolving rapidly. That means you should design your messages using basic HTML elements that will adapt easily to widely diverse email clients, which may or may not display the images in your design.When you’re designing emails, remember to:
- Keep CSS styles simple and inline.
- Use tables if you have to, not CSS divs.
- Use the top 150 pixels of any email to showcase your call to action. Why? Because most modern email clients offer a preview of new messages.
And when you’re designing specifically for mobile devices:
- Make sure your main messages are in the email text – not just in images.
- The first line of your email should be a plain text offer with a link to a landing page that works equally well for web and mobile browsers.
- Keep your HTML fluid and flexible – use a grid system.
- Always include ALT text for images, and keep this text short.
Make the Landing Page Strategic. Ah, the landing page. Quite often it should be viewed as the no man’s land of digital marketing. Many digital agencies let their rookie designer cut their teeth on their brand’s dime. However, this approach can often make or break your email campaign and sometimes your B2B email marketing program.
Landing pages are wonderful vehicles when designed appropriately. They should be the continuation of the email’s purpose and should offer value in exchange for a more specific relationship/sales opportunity. For example, tease the brand new and exclusive white paper in the email and give it away on a well-designed and user friendly landing page where more profile data might be acquired or even better a sales call might be arranged.
- Use segmentation and personalization. One head of marketing recently told me she considers her email program a precision marketing platform and that is what B2B email marketing is when properly executed. Dynamic campaigns that customize the content based on a user’s profile dynamically sent from a local sales rep (with the headshot varying based on each subscriber’s profile) help bridge the gap of what I often hear many B2B email marketing campaigns complain of – being cold, too corporate, and bland.