Email marketing is the most crucial part of any integrated B2B digital marketing strategy. It is a remarkably good channel to acquire, nurture, and convert leads consistently. B2B strategies are more complex due to the involvement of formal discussions regarding products and services directly consumed for economic activities. Still, it is worth all your efforts as it brings in an ROI of $42 per every dollar invested. We have tried to make things simple for you and brought you an 11 step guide for B2B email marketing:
Build An Organic Email List
Building a hygienic email list is the first step in approaching a marketing strategy. Many people choose to purchase email lists to make instant money. However, that is not the right way to go about it. You should filter your contacts from the CSV files generated by your CRM, eCommerce platform, and past transactions. To add new contacts, you can use resourceful gated contacts that turn into lead magnets. Its examples include original research articles, whitepapers, e-books, newsletters, podcasts, or audio/video files that your target audience finds relevant. You can also make subscribing easier through social media campaigns and ensuring a no-spam policy upfront to build an organic list.
Furthermore, you should use a double opt-in method when the subscriber signs up to make sure that all your subscribers are genuinely interested in hearing from you.
Segment Your Subscribers
Customer segmentation helps you target the most relevant contacts from your lists. You can use automation tools to segment your subscribers based on:
- Job Roles In Current Organizations
- Purchase History
- Billing History
- Current Position In Sales Funnel
- Engagement Metrics
- Insights From Social Media Analytics
Tailoring your emailers to meet their interests improves your odds of converting leads into sales. It is a known fact that creating well-segmented subscriber lists is a cumbersome task so automating it is the only smart way around.
Personalize Every Email You Send
Naturally, the next step is to develop a personalized copy for your segmented contacts. Personalized, segmented, and targeted messages generate more than half (58%) of the total revenue while they generate 6 times higher transaction rates. You have to handle B2B emails in a completely new manner since tickling emotions is not an option here. You should tailor fit the copy to meet the demands and expectations of decision-makers from all hierarchical levels.
Try to provide appropriate data-driven reasons to encourage them to make purchases and tell them how your product/service can shred off their liabilities while helping them earn more money. For instance, most of your messages are read by employees who aren’t actually going to take the decision. You have to consider all such points while personalizing your copies
In light of the technological advancements, you can also take help of lead scoring models and AI tools like predictive analytics to build hyper-personalized emails.
Craft Compelling Subject Lines With An Elaborative Preheader Text
Personalized subject lines contribute to 62% of opens. Make it a point to write compelling subject lines that contain crucial information regarding your email’s purpose. The following infographic illustrates open rates against the subject line contents:
You can use any of the above-mentioned content for increasing the credibility of your subject line. But, preheader texts can be a great addition to your arsenal provided that they peep right below your subject line. Include 30-50 character long preheader text which shows the major highlights to help your recipients click through your message.
Harness The Power Of Storytelling In Your Copy And Landing Page
Treat your email template like a storyboard to enrich your reader’s journey. Put down enticing, irresistible, and persuasive openings to make your audience read further. Once you build a strong opening plot, set the expectations straight and introduce your explosive solution to combat your user’s problems. Help them envision themselves as protagonists and play their sidekicks throughout the email body.
Keep the CTA poised as a purpose-oriented and instantly actionable way to solve their problems. The inclusion of storytelling in your copy and landing page is a great way of curating the customer journey without sounding pushy. Have a look at this email and landing page pair from Campaign Monitor to understand this concept:
Moo sets another great example of storytelling in emails.
While their email displays an animated pop-up toaster, the landing page takes the story forward by featuring a toast with the grill marks of 15% off.
Use Engaging Visuals To Support The Text
Captivating images can cut through the clutter and deliver more than what a thousand words would have. Strong visuals create a lot of traction while relieving you of writing down a major section of your copy. I recommend using visuals to complement your text and help shape the reader’s journey in a better, more engaging manner. Have a look at this email copy from Salesforce and try doing something similar with your next email template design:
If you lack the resources to convert your engaging visuals into pixel-perfect email templates, you can always outsource the work. All you have to do is share your design and the experts will convert your PSD to HTML email.
Experiment With Your CTA
As a rule of thumb, your entire copy revolves around the Call To Action– your primary aim to send the message. So, getting creative with your CTA is a must and you should invest in bringing up innovative CTAs by experimenting. Instead of writing boring, cliched “Click Here” on your button, you can build eye-catching CTA buttons like Litmus did here (Dark Mode, engage!):
Alternatively, you can innovate with the CTA button by using the “Hover” effect like Moo does.
In the business email template below, when the recipients will hover over the CTA, it will get highlighted, prompting them to take action.
Take Help Of A/B Split Testing To Determine What Works For Your Brand
Defining A B2B strategy is not easy since every organization serves its clientele based on their unique vision. Clients too want to associate with providers with relevant ideas and approaches. Thus, using A/B Split Testing is a great hack to unravel the likes and dislikes of your customers. It helps you analyze which subject lines, images, CTAs, tone, and sign-offs earn you the most conversion rates by analyzing a control group. With the help of these insights, you can easily find out what works the best for your brand and implement it across your marketing campaign.
Here’s an example that explains it.
Swiggy sent out two emails with the same visuals and copy to test which subject line works better. It would even let them know whether the subscribers resonate with emojis in subject lines or not.
Monitor The Metrics Regularly
In B2B email marketing, metrics play a vital role in assimilating your efforts. Therefore, make sure that you regularly go through all the crucial metrics like open rate, click-through rate (CTR), spam rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate conversion rate, and sharing rate. I also advise analyzing them against location, company size, billing amounts, and market share to learn about the correlation between all of them.
Optimize Your Email Campaigns According To The Analytics
Measuring the performance of your email campaigns is a critical step in executing an effective email marketing strategy. Monitor the open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, and spam complaints. If there is a sudden dip in the open rate and click-through rate, you must optimize your subject lines and email copy while ensuring that the readers find it interesting and relevant at the same time. Also, make sure that your email list has valid email addresses to curb the bounce rate. Prune your email list at regular intervals to maintain a clean and engaged email list.
Use The Correct Tools For List Building, Email Creation, Email Testing, And Analytics
Getting started will require you to find the correct tool for all your needs starting from lead acquisition to analytics. These tools are better known as Email Service Providers (ESPs.) They enable managing each and every aspect of email marketing like building responsive HTML email templates, testing, embedding links, designing, and customized layouts. You can choose among Mailchimp templates, Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and other ESPs after weighing your needs against the pricing. For testing your emails, you might have to use some additional tools like Litmus or Email on Acid to ensure flawless rendering of your emails.
Over To You
To suit our broad audience, I have included most of the actionable and measurable tips. Start applying them in the above-mentioned sequence and don’t get discouraged if you fail to hit the bull’s eye in the first shot. This guide is designed as an evolving game plan so you can tweak your strategy as you learn more about the impact of your email marketing efforts. I hope that you find this 11 step B2B email marketing guide useful for your future ventures.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion and Salesforce email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.