Email Marketing Best Practices for B2B

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Is Email Marketing Dead?

Consider these stats and you will find your answer. According to this Hubspot study:

  1. Active email accounts are expected to grow to reach 5.6 billion by 2019!
  2. About 51% marketers feel that maintaining a high quality of contacts is imperative to a successful email marketing campaign.
  3. ROI– for every $1 spent on email marketing an average return of $32 can be expected.
  4. 80% of SMB’s rely almost entirely on emails as a means of customer acquisition and 80% for retention.

These stats should now be able to convince you that email marketing is not dead! It is, however, evolving drastically and constantly adapting as it should. Email marketing is not only alive and kicking, but B2B marketers reportedly find that email marketing is their most effective marketing tool.

Our goal as marketers is to inspire B2B marketers is to do it right and leverage the advantage of email marketing. Emails are an excellent direct one to one communication, and we aim to help you leverage this tool to the best of your ability.

Every single B2B organization should have email marketing as their strategy and our aim here today is to take you on a journey involving a step by step guide to get your marketing campaign right by following the below mentioned best practices.

1. Include The Right KPI’s

Using the wrong KPI’s can also derail your email campaign and render them ineffective. The email marketing KPI’s that B2B organization need to focus on are clicks, conversions, and engagement.

Some marketers place much emphasis on open rates. However, I find that emphasizing that details the analysis. You can get many open rates but no clicks. If so then you are not close to achieving your goal. Clicks and more importantly conversions are critical.

To ensure high conversions, we also need to work retroactively and focus on the landing experience. Because here, email is the driver but the ultimate goal is conversion. If the subscriber clicks and engages with the email copy but the landing page experience is poor, then we would fail to achieve the primary purpose: getting users to convert!

Engagement is another important metric that most marketers ignore. The length of time taken by an average customer to disengage is very important. Are our subscribers engaged and for how long? If they are not then we need to go back to the drawing board and ask ourselves, what can we do differently as marketers to make the email copy more compelling?


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2. Segmentation

email segmentation

Customers do not mind being targeted by email as long it is relevant and tailored to suit their needs. Segmentation is the process of dividing your subscriber list into more specific groups based on certain similar characteristics, for example, segregating them by demographic, geographic factors and the like.

There are two critical tenants of segmentation:

  1. Buyer Personas: A buyer persona is the semi-fictional representation of your ideal target market. To build these, you must understand the demographics, psychographics and main pain points that your target market feels to truly understand and fully communicate to whom your solution/service is tailored to suit.A thorough understanding of your buyer persona would also further help you segment your audiences better.
  2. Building lists: It’s is generally considered the standard good practice to maintain a separate opt-in list of those subscribers that have consented to receive additional offers from you such as white papers, infographics, newsletters and the like.

Opt-ins ensure you are not sending too many emails to your target audience and trigger unsubscribes. A HubSpot statistics show us that 78% of email subscribers will opt-out or unsubscribe when sent too many emails from a brand.

According to a study by Digital Marketing Association segmented and targeted audience accounts for 58% of email generated ROI.

3. Email Automation

email automation

Choose an ESP provider that provides email automation. Automation tools allow you to communicate with your subscribers/prospective subscribes in a time efficient manner. Using automated email is an excellent strategy to nurture your prospects. Email automation also allows for personalization of your email copy.

Automating emails also helps you reduce your staffing costs. After a few months of building automated campaigns, you would be able to send out thousands of personalized emails on an autopilot!

Finally, email automation also helps organizations recognize severe bottlenecks in the processes and helps make people more accountable and transparent.

4.  A/B Testing

A/B testing, also known as split testing is a strategy used to ascertain which one of the email copy created (Version A or B) would be most effective in encouraging more clicks and engagement. While conducting an A/B test you set up two versions of a single campaign and sent them to a small fraction of your subscriber list.

A portion of the sample receives Email copy A and the rest receive email copy B. Other ways to A/B test can also be sending emails are various times or days. Testable elements include the subject line, first line of the email copy, personalizing your subject line, longer vs. shorter emails, varying your calls to action and lastly varying the number of links to click within the email copy.

5. Choose the Right Time

Studies have suggested there are few days in a week where the response rates for email are more than the others. According to market trends, Tuesday is a winner and Wednesday is a close second.

However, for B2B buyers, using additional data to validate when your emails might get more opens and clicks are necessary. Additionally, split testing as stated earlier would also help gain more insight into when the best time for your business to send emails.

Finally, another crucial point to email campaign that most seem to miss or don’t place enough emphasis on is not just the right time to send, but also recognizing what stage of the customer journey the receipt happens to be in to trigger the follow-up email which should be no longer than 2-3 days after the first one.

Autoresponders should be used to nurture your leads. This offers them value straight away and encourages them to make swift decisions as opposed to a one-off broadcast message.

6. Mobile Friendly

Mobile Friendly

HubSpot study shows us that mobile accounts for 50% of all email open-rates. Making sure your email is mobile friendly is of the highest priority. Don’t expect your audience to pinch and zoom! They will delete your email if it is not mobile friendly.

Mobile use offers plenty a chance for you to reach your audience. A study found that an average person spends 4.7 hours on mobile daily!

According to a study by MailChimp, found that there is a 15% increase in CTR when the email copy is mobile responsive.

Lastly, mobile-friendly email campaigns increase opt-in rates. Have increased opt-in rates allowed B2B marketers to not only increase email capture rates but other details like mobile numbers and psychographic factors such as interests or professional information such as position maintained in an organization.

7. Calls To Action

call to action (CTA)

Calls-to-action is an effective means to encourage your prospects to take the next step usually taking them to a landing page or another piece of content. Despite being an effective tool, when used ineffectively/incorrectly it could be detrimental. When too many are used in an email copy, it is distracting to the user leading to failure in the one goal that we seek to achieve, convert.

A good best practice for calls-to-action would be to include one, important call to action that would deliver the most value to the prospect.

8. Content Offers and Email Copy

When it comes to crafting a good email copy, standard practice for good copywriting applies. Make the content scannable. Have headings, sub-headings and bullet points and chunk longer paragraphs. You have understood your prospects are busy and have a lot of priorities in life just like you.

Ensure you offer good, clear and sticky content that naturally encourages them to click and engage.

Effective B2B email copy must keep the messaging on point. Keep the focus of email copywriting on your recipients, not you. Do not provide the necessary information about you and your company that the recipient is not yet ready to receive. The recipients are more interested in how your product/service can help your their problem or pain point. Keeping their needs in mind and being helpful is your best bet.

Your email copy should convey the benefits not the features of the product. Communicate in the best way possible, ‘what’s in it for them.’. Like blogs, use SEO to optimize your content as well as to boost both the email copy as well as boost the success of your website.

As a side note for email copy, don’t use large images that make it difficult or delay the load times of the email copy. Similar to a website, the load time of the images and email copy is essential to a successful campaign.

Finally, another important but neglected email copy best practice is to include the entire URL (the exact destination). This inspires confidence and trust in the link you are asking your prospect to click and not just a generic “click here” button.

In so doing you’ll communicate to your prospects that your links are not untrustworthy or spammy click bait.

Conclusion

As a smart marketer, you are already using multiple channels to communicate your message using great content. However, also know the value of a good email campaign to nurture your leads through their customer journey all the while keeping in mind the importance of being mobile friendly and finding the right ESP provider that offers automation allowing you to be more agile and transparent.

A successful email campaign also involves targeted messaging through segmentation and sending the right message to the right target market at the right time! Lastly A/B test your email copies and use the relevant metrics to evaluate the performance of your emails.

Jumpfactor is a full-service Digital Marketing service provider. Learn more about how you can help your email marketing campaign with us. Book a free 30-minute consultation to get your marketing game plan.

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2019-02-26T18:03:05+00:00Email Marketing|Comments Off on Email Marketing Best Practices for B2B

About the Author:

Zamir is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience of providing expert inbound digital marketing advice to a variety of B2B clients. He has orchestrated the digital success of several organizations, with some clients getting 7000% ROI as a result. As a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Zamir also has over a decade of experience mentoring young entrepreneurs. As for his keys to success? Zamir credits everything to meditation and focus.
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