Email is one of the most cost-effective B2B marketing tactics. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the average ROI is 40:1. According to a study by Message Systems, 63% of marketers cite email as the channel that offers the best ROI.
Email marketing’s strength is in building and nurturing relationships. It helps build brand awareness and trust, boost lead generation and increase social interaction. Email marketing drives sales, builds customer loyalty, and helps educate and upsell customers.
And with developments in marketing software and big data, email marketing continues to get more sophisticated and effective.
The downside is that email marketing can at times seem overwhelming. There’s a lot to keep up with for B2B marketers who want to maximize their email efforts.
Silverpop, offers an excellent ebook on email marketing, “Almost Everything You Wanted to Know About Email Marketing.” But it’s 148 pages!
With so much to know about smart email marketing, it’s easy to get lost in all the tactical details. And when that happens, the more obvious strategic issues get overlooked. And that can spell doom for even the most technically sound email campaigns.
For success, the two most important email marketing concepts to keep in mind are pretty simple:
1. Don't use email to only sell. The popular term for that is spam. We’ve all seen it and it’s one of the fastest ways to boost your email list unsubscribes.
In the B2B world, it’s usually something to get you to engage with the sales people as quickly as possible. Examples include product demos, free consultations, price/item announcements, free shipping, etc. If that’s the only message being sent, your email subscription list will trend down AND you’ll be training your prospects (and customers) to only buy when there is a “deal.”
2. Earn the attention of email subscribers. Don’t assume that because they became your email subscribers that they will stay that way. Every email your subscribers receive needs to have some value. You want your subscribers to look forward to getting your email, not dread another sales pitch.
Examples of value include links to a research report, an educational or entertaining video (or both!), a webinar or an infographic. You can and should include a sales-related call to action, but put it below the more interesting content.
Jay Baer reminds that “The difference between Selling and Helping is just two letters.” So before planning or sending any email campaigns, ask if you’re annoying the recipient or helping them.
What do you think makes or breaks an email campaign?