Email marketing can be an extremely powerful and effective tool
There are 2 key reasons for this:
Firstly, B2B marketing is so often about relationship building, nurturing an enquiry into a lead and nurturing that lead into sale and ultimately a satisfied client/customer and advocate. Email marketing is the perfect channel for relationship marketing, allowing you to send 1-2-1 personalised and highly targeted messages to specific groups.
for B2B marketers.
Secondly, B2B lead generation and conversion requires follow-up - whether by email, mail, a sales call or a visit. Only email marketing offers the level of trackability that enables you to follow up recipients on an individual level, based on their actions following your email.
How to initiate the relationship
Step 1 of the process is where some B2B campaigns fall down. Using an email campaign to inform prospects of a product, service or offer and then invite enquiries or orders is a common approach. But this approach doesn't begin to build a relationship with the prospects you are targeting
Taking a different approach to the offer, message and content can reap far greater rewards, further down your pipeline. The most compelling emails from B2B marketers usually contain free downloads, reports, guides or any information that can make the working day of your target customer easier or more fruitful.
As a mantra, I advise marketers to make sure their email content and design clearly answers these three critical questions for recipients:
- Who is it from?
- What’s in it for them?
- What do they do next
Who is it from?
Research has shown that recipients of B2B emails are more likely to open emails where the 'friendly from' name is an individual, rather than a company name. Test this rule with your own database, and ensure you send from a branded 'from address' e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about 'sent from' addresses here.
What’s in it for them and what do they do next?
Answering the last 2 questions will drive your offer, your subject line, your headline, your subheadings and your calls to action.
Look for ways to use your internal expertise, experience and existing resources to offer something of value for your prospects to claim and give you their contact details in return.
For example... you could use the expertise in your business to put together a whitepaper on all you know about writing a great B2B marketing plan, and add it as a downloadable guide on your website.
Then use dotMailer’s Contact Form wizard to create a web form that will capture downloaders’ details and add them automatically to an address book in dotMailer. (When recipients download your white paper, send them a triggered follow-up email through dotMailer.) For more on this subject check out the dotDigital Blog.
Now put a headline at the top of your email: ‘How to halve the time it takes to write a twice as effective B2B marketing plan’
Use your opening paragraph to tell them what the offer is, how it will benefit them and insert a text and a graphical ‘download this free guide now’ link, through to your web form - right there, above the fold.
Bullet out the key benefits that your clients get from using your services and each of the pain points you solve. Show some testimonials and client logos to establish your credibility. Then make the offer again and invite them once again to download your free whitepaper now.
What do you next
Now you have begun to use email marketing highly effectively to build an opted-in database of prospects who are interested and engaged in what you can offer, the next steps are to begin to nurture that database.
Once again, email marketing can play a highly effective role here. Use dotMailer Enterprise to set up triggered emails sent automatically to any recipients who take up your free offer, offering them more added value and guidance. Send further time-line triggered emails to continue 'warming' your prospects and nurturing the relationship.
Next you can begin to introduce your full channel marketing strategy to follow up these opted-in prospects and convert them into a sales pipeline, whether via mail, telesales or field sales. dotMailer's reporting suite lets you easily select groups of prospects right down to contact level, based on the emails they opened and/or links they clicked.
Once won, keep them warm
Remember, customers/clients can become advocates and referrers of your business if you continue to build and nurture the relationship after you have won their custom and delivered your product/service. Email marketing is once again a critical tool for helping to develop and enrich the relationship. Use regular or triggered emails to keep adding value and offering benefits to your clients, asking them what they need, and presenting them with opportunities and incentives to spread the good word about your brand and refer you to other prospects.
For B2B marketers email is one channel to engage with prospects and customers once they've subscribed but one of the best ways to increase the traffic to your site is through search engine optimisation. The dotDoctor recommends this coupled with dotDigital Group's Lead Vision tool which let's you know who's been on your site. You can get a free trial and find out more about Lead Vision here.