How to make your B2B email marketing campaign a successful one
According to HubSpot, there are more than 1 billion active Gmail users, and the total number of email accounts is expected to exceed 5.6 billion in 2019. Quite impressive, huh? Add to that the fact that 86% of professionals prefer email over other channels for business communication, and that 71% of B2B marketers reported email as their most potent distribution channel for finding new customers and business partners.
However, some marketers achieve really high open rates and conversions, others get good open rates only, while others get none. Whether you are exploiting email at full as part of your marketing strategy or not, you should definitely make some effort and dig into the latest trends and features. This will help you to increase both open and conversion rates and delight all — marketing, sales, and executive departments. Here I’ve decided to briefly present a few tips to make your campaign a successful one.
Know your audience
Regardless of how many years or days you are running your company, you most probably know who your business partners should be. However, chances are high that you’ll discover a lot more when you start to follow and dig deeper into your partners’ profiles. Thus, you’ll know a lot better what kind of messages and information you should send to your target audience.
Yet, there are a few things you should consider when drafting your messages, and I’ve decided to include them in these tips to make your B2B email marketing campaign a successful one:
- Information — the message delivered via email content should be of high value for the target. In the same time it should promote, in a very hidden way, your company as an expert in the field, and it should convey the feel that your expertise allows you to understand exactly what your target needs and how well you can satisfy that need.
- Time — there is a huge difference in the buying cycle for B2B and B2C. In the second case, purchase decisions are most often taken immediately or as the result of an impulse. For B2B, a lot more time is required to decide and close the deal. And the bigger the target company, the longer it may take to get an answer, as more than one person is involved. In the end, transaction negotiation and deal closure may take months of correspondence. Do not get discouraged if you don’t receive immediate response or feedback to your email campaign.
- Emotions — no matter how professional you and your target are, subjectivity will always be there. Even for B2B, purchasing behavior may depend on various emotions that your emails may trigger in those who you deliver them to. If you manage to prove the value of the offer to your target while also adding emotional touches to your message, you may get a higher probability to close the deal.
- Recurrence — if you start to cannonade your target companies with emails, all you will end up with is getting in their spam folder regardless of how much value you can really bring to their business. Respect your targets’ time. Find the optimal frequency to hit their inboxes not too often to appear annoying and useless, but not too singular to be forgotten about.
Build email lists
As soon as you make sure you know who your ideal B2B customers are, it would be much easier to find lookalikes. However, a new question arises here: what would be the optimal way to spend the least time on searching for companies that would be the perfect target for you? Can you really allocate days and months of your human resources’ time to find exactly what you need, especially when researching a foreign market? Well, there is a truly fast and easy solution that anyone can apply. Business intelligence platforms are basically company directories that usually contain information about millions of businesses from all around the world. When you are dealing with a high-quality company database, you get access to advanced segmentation tools that allow you to easily select the criteria that are most interesting particularly to your business. Once selected, you instantly get lists of companies that fit your requirements perfectly, as well as the profiles thereof.
Even if you do not have the full profile of your B2B clients, and you are not ready to accurately identify all the features that your business partners have in common, company directories are here to help. You can upload the data and emails you have to a business intelligence platform, and you’ll get their full profiles, including at least several years of financial history, digital insights, group structure and even credit risk and know-your-customer checks. With all that information at hand, you’ll easily be able to identify common features of your existing business partners, and further use the company database to find other potential targets with the identified criteria.
The best part of it all is that you can simply get all the contact information of these companies, and even upload it in your preferred CRM, if integration is possible. Thus you end up with comprehensive email lists comprising your current as well as potential business partners.
Plan your workflow and build smart templates
You should plan your email workflow as thoroughly as you craft your business’ marketing strategy. Not only should you be ready for various outcome scenarios for the emails you’ve delivered, but also the templates for all these stages. To make your templates and email campaigns even smarter, don’t forget to use automation tools to both save your time spent on sending out these emails while keeping a certain degree of personalisation to them and be able to track the results of the campaigns. The insights you get will help you adjust your workflow and strategy to further increase the efficiency of your B2B email marketing campaign.
Do your best when creating subject lines
It is no secret that the headline can be crucial for any message, be it a blog article or email. When speaking about B2B email marketing campaigns, subject lines gain a lot more importance. First of all, you should consider that transactional emails have an 8x open rate as compared to marketing emails (according to Sleeknote). Also considering that researches had shown that the optimal length of an email subject line is 41 to 50 characters, and that more than a third of business professionals open their emails on a mobile device, you should consider making a short subject line that would immediately underline the most important part of your campaign’s message. Crafting the subject line is totally worthy the time and effort. Make sure you give it a good thought and you’ll rejoice at the increased email open rates.
Many pieces of research have shown that the more personal an email feels, the higher the chances that the target will convert. It is not too hard to personalise email marketing campaigns designed for your existing business partners. The same goal may somewhat be achieved with prospects, those who you are willing to contact for the first time, and who you do not really know yet. For that, you should try out the account-based marketing approach and personalise your emails to groups of accounts, or even individual accounts, and draft your message accordingly.
Clear and personalised calls to action are also a must for a successful B2B email marketing campaign. No matter how much value you are able to deliver and how personal the message is, it may all end up in your target’s wasted time as he or she will just be glad for you and will not know what your expectations are. After presenting your ideas and points, make as clear as possible what exactly you’d like your targets to do — book a demo, subscribe to a free trial, sign up for your newsletter and any other goal you may have in mind for your B2B email marketing campaign.
Make sure you also personalise your emails by device. According to Campaign Monitor, emails that are not designed as mobile-friendly and that display incorrectly on mobile are likely to be deleted in not more than three seconds. Don’t let unresponsive email templates result in lost business opportunities. With the plethora of tools available, it is not hard any more to design a nice and mobile-friendly email template.
No matter what it may seem, the above steps and hints are just the beginning of a successful email campaign, as no work is valuable unless it delivers results, and you should track them all. Moreover, if your audience is large enough (which is relative, depending on your product, goal, price and many other factors) you should also run tests using different subject lines, images, layouts and so on, to understand what works best for the given goal and what does not work at all.
These are just a few basic but truly important tips for a successful B2B email marketing campaign. Considering them may transform each of your emails into the essentials of your high-touch marketing tactics, and will definitely make your emails stand out among the noise of your targets’ inbox.