Business to Business (B2B) Email Marketing
Email marketing should be an essential part of any B2B marketing strategy. An effective email marketing campaign helps build relationships, improve your return on investment and help you obtain critical data to improve future campaigns. From my experience speaking to many B2B companies throughout the UK many are either not implementing any sort of email campaign strategy or they are not seeing a strong enough return that a business to business email marketing campaign should bring.
So Where Do You Start?
Successful business to business email marketing campaigns know their audience, unlike B2C companies the B2B sales process can be long which means that one email playing on the consumers emotion to buy the product quickly isn’t going to work here. Of course this is a big subject, companies can hire teams of people to get it right, read through my six steps as a great starting point into the world of successful Business to Business email marketing.
1) Define Your Goals
Before embarking on any campaign it’s important to have clearly defined goals.
What do you want out of this B2B email campaign?
Is it more leads? Is it higher quality leads? Is it to build your brand awareness?
It’s much easier to achieve results if you know what you want from the campaign.
Setting a clear objective for your email marketing campaign will drive the direction of your email strategy. Once defined you will be able to create purposeful emails to help achieve your goals.
2) Build Lists
A carefully developed list of emails developed gradually will provide you with an improved Click through Rate over time.
A lot of companies build lists based off new and old clients and ultimately clients who have shown an interest in who you are and what you do. Ultimately, the lists you will build will be specific to your business or industry, and will be designed toward a pre-determined objective.
Your first lists do not have to contain millions of contacts, a small list made up of targeted prospects can be much more effective than a large list made up of contacts that ignore you. Indeed starting off small can help you to fine tune ideas to improve your click through rate. And fine tune what type of content, images, links etc work best with your campaigns.
3) Segment Your Lists
Not everyone single contact on your email marketing list will need to hear the same message, see the same email. Personalisation (as much as possible) is key to an effective business to business (B2B) email marketing campaign. When you group your list into various types of buyers i.e owners, managers, prospects that have clicked on to your website, prospects that have downloaded a white paper etc. etc.
Your email can then just be sent to that specific group sharing a relevant message effectively and once automated can free up your sales or/and marketing team to follow leads. Which brings me to my next point…….
4) Automate Your Marketing
Marketing automation refers to technology and software that allows a company to market more effectively online by 'automating' the process—letting a computer program take care of it.
In the context of email marketing, this generally refers to a software program that can help refine campaigns, manage your lists and determine which emails to send out to which person.
This allows you to communicate with your prospects or current client list regularly and efficiently.
Email marketing automation not only helps to improve your campaigns, but it removes much of the task based work involved in managing an email campaign. One of the greatest benefits to specifically a B2B company is that automated email plans will continue to work over time, whether that be days, weeks or even months.
5) Keep in touch with your current clients
Email marketing campaigns can not only help build relationships from scratch but build stronger relationships and increase loyalty. A loyal client is a client for life and is one of those rare finds that can take your business to the next level and keep it there. By checking in every now and then your clients are feeling part of your business relationship as well as keeping the lines of communication open for any feedback, questions etc.
6) After Sales Service with a smile (emoji of course!)
The business to business companies that succeed where others may fail are those that incorporate effective after sales strategies in their email campaigns. Not just selling a product then leave it to their customer to figure it out or provide a service and then run.
Part of your business to business email marketing campaign should be dedicated on ‘follow- up’ providing them with enough information to know that next time they need something your company provides it is you they go to.
1) Have I got clear defined goals?
2) Have I created a targeted list that I can use to test and measure?
3) Is my email content customised ensuring the messages are tailored to the recipient?
4) Have I implemented automation?
5) How often am I checking in with my current clients?
6) Have I employed a series of after sales/service emails?
Have Your Say!
How do you approach B2B email marketing? Or are you on the receiving end of an email campaign?
What makes you act? What makes you reach for delete?