10 Steps for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your E-mail Marketing Strategy

Attracting prospects and converting leads is getting continually more complex to do and so an email marketing strategy is key.  Prospective buyers today are in more control of their buying process.  Information is abundant, available from many channels and it is easy for people to tune out unwanted marketing messages. Whenever anyone discusses B2B lead nurturing, an email marketing strategy is inevitably the first method mentioned. Even in the modern environment of overwhelmed consumers with short attention spans looking for personalized, relevant communication, e-mail is still highly effective for building relationships and acquiring new customers.

Email Marketing Strategy

10 Steps for Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your E-mail Campaigns

Whenever anyone discusses B2B lead nurturing, an email marketing strategy is inevitably the first method mentioned. Even though this tactic is the oldest online marketing channel, it’s still highly effective for building relationships and acquiring new customers. However, it can be difficult to create the right kind of emails to drive results. Here are 10 simple steps to improve your email campaigns:

1. Cater to your target audience

When email marketing first rose to fame, many companies sent blanket messages to their entire databases. However, the B2B industry is becoming more data driven, and customers expect more. Your business may cater to more than one customer segment, so it’s important to target these groups with the right communications to increase effectiveness. Some contacts may request to not receive promotional messages, and this should always be honored to guard against customers unsubscribing. Email addresses should be segmented by lead source, location and other demographic information. Segmentation can also be taken a step further by being cognizant of the different stages of the buyer’s journey.

2. Send purposeful messages

Another way to target specific customer segments is to only send emails when you have a point. Marketing messages should align with an important step in the sales process. If your emails are overly promotional and only contain company news, potential customers will quickly lose interest. All emails should provide value to recipients and encourage them to take additional steps to facilitate movement through the revenue funnel.

3. Include a specific call to action

While some think multiple calls to action increase email effectiveness, including only one can drive results. Econsultancy cited a case study from Whirlpool, which found that using one CTA increased click-thru rates by 42 percent. There shouldn’t be any ambiguity about the next step for readers. Your CTA should direct recipients to a related landing page. Another important consideration for an email marketing strategy is the placement. Because so many people read emails from their mobile devices, placing the CTA at the bottom of the email may not have the result you intended if people accidentally tap the unsubscribe link.

4. Don’t ignore content marketing

Content marketing is playing a bigger role in B2B buyers’ decisions, and email is a prime opportunity to deliver new or engaging information to prospects. The first step is writing an intriguing headline so recipients will open your message. Then include interesting statistics or other information in the body to educate potential customers.

5. Always test messages

Email is a highly versatile marketing medium, but this means there are a number of things that can go wrong. As mobile gains popularity, people are less tolerant of emails that don’t load immediately or do not display properly on their devices. It’s important to conduct A/B or split testing on the mobile, HTML and text versions of your emails for the best results.

6. Start tracking

Measurement is crucial for improving campaigns. You can’t make adjustments if you don’t know where the issues are. Basic analytic measurements, such as open rates and click-thrus, can provide an indication of how effective your campaigns are. If there are issues, you can make improvements for the future.

7. Choose the right metrics

The world of big data can be overwhelming. It’s important to select the most relevant metrics to assess your campaign performance and create benchmarks. Gathering data from specific metrics can help your marketing team create more effective messages and campaigns in the future.

8. Timing matters

B2B buyers tend to open marketing messages on weekday afternoons. You aren’t likely to reach busy professionals if you schedule emails to go out on weekends.  If you have a big list, it may be a good idea to stagger deliveries.

9. Use data in an actionable way

With analytics, you have real-time information about prospect activities. If customers convert, you can get in touch with them sooner. In addition, this information can help you generate more accurate lead scores. This is a helpful tool for sales teams because it allows representatives to prioritize the hottest leads and tells them which prospects need nurturing before they convert. You can also use this information to create more accurate buyer personas, which can help you refine your marketing efforts.

10. Implement an integrated marketing environment

An integrated marketing platform can automatically perform a number of these steps for you, including sending emails on a schedule and collecting data on defined metrics. This technology makes it easier to establish goals and pull reports, helping your sales team improve their strategies. Better visibility into your company’s sales and marketing data makes it easier to know what the next step should be. An integrated marketing environment also provides real-time updates when leads take defined actions, which can help sales reps take advantage of more sales opportunities.