How to Craft a B2B Email Marketing Strategy That Works
Email marketing is one of the main cornerstones of several B2B marketers’ strategies. However, there is definitely a wrong and a right way to do email, especially in the age of email overload, which we as business professionals have been feeling for several years already. After all 91% on consumers open email every day, according to ExactTarget via HubSpot.
However, when done right, email marketing can have great open and click-through rates, as well as a guaranteed sales generator for your business. Position2 states that the average email ROI for B2B marketers is a respectable 127%. No matter the industry, following basic guidelines about emails that have great design, timing, and content are going to succeed better than your spam-like competitors.
Design and Quality Assurance Matters
We are in the age of the digital renaissance, and great design matters more now than ever before. Because most users spend multiple hours per day on their computers and the internet, good design often equals a trustworthy company, even if viewers are making that judgement subconsciously. If a company’s email has formatting issues, their links don’t work, or images don’t load correctly, most users will simply delete the email, especially while they are trying to sift through their work email.
In addition, designing for mobile email is becoming key for any industry. ExactTarget reports that 66% of all gmail email opens happen in a mobile browser. Investing in experienced designers who know how to design emails responsively that are optimized for the user’s screen (whether it is mobile or desktop) are key toward crafting B2B marketing campaigns that work.
Speaking of hiring great designers, it is important to allow your email marketers some measure of creativity, no matter what industry you are in. While some industries do have regulations on advertising and marketing materials, working inside available parameters while being as creative as possible can help increase your B2B email campaigns’ success.
To many, a “creative” marketing strategy also means not professional, but that simply isn’t the case. Creative innovation and B2B marketing can go hand-in-hand. As the designer and marketing team get to know the ins and outs of the industry and what appeals to their target audience, they can utilize their creativity to make email offers hard to ignore.
First, do NOT email your mailing lists every day. This makes your market overlay saturated and your emails will get flagged as spam on a regular basis, and your click-through rates will continue to decrease. In the age of email overload, in some industries, even once per week can seem like it is too much. Focus on creating high-quality emails that have irresistible offers that are too good to pass up whenever they come around sparingly, instead of lower value offers or coupons that are there every time the recipient opens their inbox.
When you decide on the frequency of emails that generates the highest open and click-through rates with the highest percentage of offer redemption, there’s another aspect of email campaigns that need to be researched: time sent. MailChimp shared a few summaries of their users’ send data and concluded that emails that are sent between 12-4pm on Wednesday and Thursday usually have the highest open rate.
Use these parameters but also experiment to see what gets the best results for your industry and campaigns.
Engagement and Data Analysis Response Matters
Sending an email is only half the battle of a successful campaign. Handing what comes afterward should still be at top-of-mind.
Monitoring the data to determine the best content, call-to-action, coupons or offers, scheduling times, and more can help further improve your email marketing strategy. For example, when it comes to coupons or offers, some audiences respond better to percentage-based offers (“Get 40% off our latest tool until Tuesday”), while others do better with a set monetary discount (“We are offering $1500 off an annual subscription to our tool for a limited time”). Of course, the copy of each offer also matters and should be tested.
In addition to examining and making changes based on data analysis, user engagement should also be looked at. If users respond with questions, these should be answered quickly, or if users unsubscribe in significant numbers after a campaign is sent out, then that campaign should be evaluated closely to determine what could have caused the unsubscribes– for instance, content, graphics, broken links, and frequency of emails could all be contributing factors.
No matter your industry, B2B email campaigns can be innovative, engaging, and even fun. Utilizing designer and employee creativity to make campaigns the best they can be will ensure better results, often with less emails sent.
Photo Credit: Tim Morgan via photopin cc
About Kelsey Jones
Kelsey Jones is a writer and search/social media marketing consultant as MoxieDot and Managing Editor of Search Engine Journal. She enjoys writing and consuming all kinds of content, both in digital and tattered paperback form. Connect with Kelsey on Twitter @wonderwall7.