B2B email marketing doesn’t have to be tedious.
Email is a crucial part of any marketing strategy – but for a lot of marketers, it’s the most challenging part of their lead generation efforts. The goal is to nurture leads, and turn them into loyal customers, but most of us suspect that we could be doing a whole lot more to improve our ROI.
Open rates stagnate, witty subject lines fall flat, and we’re wondering what we’re doing wrong.
While lead nurture campaigns are used in both B2C and B2B, they’re anything but similar. The B2B sales cycle, and how a lead progresses from top of funnel to conversion are radically different.
We recognize this is a challenge for a lot of folks – and happily, it’s something we spend a lot of time thinking about and working to fix. At LeadCrunch, we specialize in delivering high quality leads that are primed to get to yes faster. And through Infocrunch, we’ve sent hundreds of thousands of emails for clients like IBM, Lockheed Martin and Looker, so we’ve got experience in what works for a great email marketing campaign – and what falls flat.
If you’re struggling to convert leads and keep your Sales team busy (and happy!), don’t be discouraged. We got you. Read on for our learned-from-experience tips on sending a winning drip campaign to drum up valuable interest in your products and services pronto.
Knowing Your Target Audience
How well do you know your target market?
A lot of marketers are surprised to learn that 3/4 of today’s B2B buyers are Millennials. This is a key piece of information to know right out of the gate because it provides valuable context for buyers’ expectations, lifestyle and the type of messaging they’ll engage with. (Not sure how to speak Millennial? View this post on how to message to Zers.)
Revisit your buyer personas before your next email campaign. With so many other marketing to-do’s, it’s easy for buyer personas to become stale – but it’s really important to revisit them at least every 6 months so you get the most out of the exercise of creating them in the first place.
Gather as much data as you can – including social media engagement, insights from marketing automation software and common questions fielded by your Sales team. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to create a lead nurturing email that resonates.
Personalized Emails Deliver Better Results
There’s more to investing in a data system than just knowing your audience. You also need to personalize the messages you send them. That way you can offer them the right data, insights, tips, tricks, and of course, products when they want them most.
We’ve said it in the past, but we’ll repeat it: Your buyers are comparing their experience with your company with their own personal consumer shopping experiences. Think about the marketing emails that you click on for your and your family’s needs.
Many are highly targeted. Most reference your name, and at least the general area you live in. Many more take into account previous products you’ve bought. Some may even be triggered by your Internet activity.
Don’t let the time you’ve already invested in B2B targeting go to waste – use the information you’ve gathered to deliver personalized email messages. Spray-and-pray is not going to generate the results you’re looking for. Your prospects want to talk to you – but if you’re not listening, they’ll find someone who is.
Emails Should Be Short and Sweet
Now that we’ve convinced you that you need data and personalization, let’s take this conversation back to your gut. What’s your first reaction when you open an email that’s more than three paragraphs long? What about one that is longer than the length of your screen? Does it make you want to read it?
More than likely, the best case scenario is that you close the email out and reserve it mentally for when you have “more time.” Realistically, you likely forget about it.
Short emails convert better – for the simple fact that they get read. If you have a lot to share, craft a few ‘teaser’ sentences to entice them and include a link for them to learn more. They won’t be overwhelmed by lots of text they don’t have time to read, and you’ll drive additional traffic to your website.
Use a Clear Call to Action
What’s the goal of each email? Do you want the prospect to sign up for an upcoming webinar? Check out a new product line? Download an ebook or case study? Be clear about what you want them to do after reading your email.
To make sure that your prospect heeds your call to action (CTA), include the link or a CTA above the fold, i.e. visible without scrolling. Typically, people skim through emails to quickly check ‘what’s in it for them’ – so make your offer clear, and don’t bury it under a lot of content.
Email Nurturing That’s Better, Not Perfect
When overhauling any sort of marketing campaign, it’s tempting to expect absolutely stellar results – and to feel disappointed if it doesn’t deliver a 100% ROI. Hard truth? No campaign will ever be 100% successful, but it can be better than the preceding campaign.
And you see what works, and you build from that. Repeat.
Before you know it, you’ll have an email nurturing campaign that delivers solid conversion rates, and loyal customers for years to come.