B2B Email Marketing Best Practices for 2019

Email Marketing

“For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment.” –  Experian

Over 87% of B2B marketers are using email. Why? Because it works. A 2018 Content Marketing Institute survey revealed that 79% of B2B marketers credited email as the most effective distribution channel for their demand generation efforts.

For B2B companies, it is extremely important to communicate regularly with current and prospective clients. B2B email marketing is a great way of doing this by sharing valuable content with your audience. No other communications channel speaks directly between a brand and a consumer like email does, so with the right B2B email marketing strategy in place, you can increase engagement, leads, conversions, and ultimately profit.

However, with so many B2B companies now embarking on an email marketing strategy, it’s more important than ever to stand out amongst all the other emails that are flooding into the inboxes of your prospects and clients. One of the best ways to do this is to ensure your business is adapting with your client’s changing expectations as a result of innovations in technology. Email marketing has gotten more sophisticated over the past few decades, and your email marketing strategy should follow suit.

The following are some of the key things that you can do with your B2B email marketing strategy to ensure your campaign succeeds in engaging your audience and moving them through the stages of the buying funnel to sale.

Define Appropriate Goals and Objectives

Before you start your B2B email marketing campaign it is important to define measurable goals and objectives, which should align with your overall company objectives. Ensure that these objectives are specific and measurable. For example, don’t define your email marketing goal as ‘generating sales’. This is too broad and will be difficult to analyse how successful the campaign has been for your company. Instead, set a goal like ‘generate 20% more leads and 30% more phone contacts within six weeks’. As this is more specific, it is more measurable and easier to compare your performance with your expected results.

In order to ensure that your email campaign is meeting the set goals and objectives, it is vital that you have processes in place to be able to measure them. As well as being able to monitor open rate, click through rate and unsubscribes from your email provider, it is extremely useful to ensure Google Analytics is set up with conversion goals so that you can track how your email recipients interact with your site after they’ve clicked your email. This will give your business valuable insight into whether or not your email campaign is useful for generating leads, conversions and ROI – and how it compares to other digital channels.

Use Email to Move Prospects Through the Funnel

Your B2B email marketing strategy should be considered in the same way as your content marketing strategy. When you are creating your campaigns, it’s important to remember that not everyone who subscribes to your email list is at the bottom of the sales funnel and ready to buy.

It’s important to create email content that speaks to the subscribers in the middle or even towards the top of the funnel with valuable information that addresses their motivations and overcomes their objections to move them through to sale. This can be done by demonstrating thought leadership. By using your emails and the content within them to convince people that you’re an expert in your niche, they’re more likely to choose your business’ products or services when they decide to act.

Another way to build customer trust in your brand and as such, move them through the buying funnel, is to include an endorsement in your email. This is particularly useful if the endorsement is from someone who is recognised by your audience.

Use Email to Cross-Sell Services

Email marketing is a powerful tool for cross-selling your services. Online retail giant Amazon uses email marketing to achieve up-selling and cross-selling conversions of more than 60%. While Amazon may not be a B2B company, the stats speak for themselves and cross-selling through email is just as effective for B2B companies. The best way to start cross-selling to your lists is to segment your users into groups of people who currently use only one of your products or services. You can then create a series of emails promoting your other services that they are not using, but that compliment the ones that they are.

Segment Your List Based on User Engagement

Personalised emails deliver 6X higher transaction rates, yet 70% of brands fail to use them. Personalisation is the key to effectively segmenting your B2B email marketing campaign. If you’re not segmenting your list, you’re missing opportunities for leads and conversions.

An effective way to start with segmenting your list is based on how interested people are in your brand. Your lists could range from prospects, to warm leads, customers and loyal customers. The content in your email would then be targeted to each segment. For example, you could showcase your business and how it can add value to non-customers who have subscribed to your email list to lead them further down the sales funnel. Your best customers, on the other hand, could receive an email campaign running a promotion that offers them a loyalty discount or other incentive for referrals in order to turn them into brand advocates.

Choose the Right Time to Send

Without proper timing, your email campaign may miss out on valuable opportunities, and its messages will resonate less with recipients. That’s why it’s vital to find the right time to send out your email communications to your audience.

There’s no set rule as to what to the perfect time to send your campaign will be, as this will depend on the characteristics and behaviours of your target market. According to a number of email studies, open rates and click through rates are highest on a Tuesday and the best time to send emails is around 10 am or 11 am. While this is very useful information, it’s important to do your own research as your business may not fit into that pattern. Split testing can help you determine the most effective day of the week and hour of the day for your campaigns.

Another consideration that will affect the best time for your business to send emails is the frequency in which you send them. If you send a lot of emails, you’re likely to see a lower click through rate across the campaign, regardless of the time and day you send them.

Keep Your Content Concise

If you’re seeing high open rates but low click through rates in your email, it’s likely because there is too much information in them. People get hundreds of emails a day and often read them on the go. As such, it’s important to ensure your message is short and to the point.

In order to ensure your email is concise, ask yourself what action you want the reader to take and ensure you only include information in the email that encourages the reader to take that action.

Once you’ve identified exactly what you want to say, ensure your email is presented in a way that is easy for the reader to consume. If they glance at the email and see a lot of text, they are likely to delete before they even read it. As such, email content should be concise, with the most important information at the top. Text should be scannable and written in short sentences and paragraphs, making use of bullet-pointed lists where appropriate.

The following are the three components every email should have:

  • Image: Choose an image that is related to the topic of your email
  • Headline: Make sure your headline grabs the reader’s attention
  • CTA: Make sure your call to action is clear and stands out

Use Your Name in the Email

B2B purchases are often based on the relationship that one company has with another. With any email campaign, it’s important to ensure it is personal. An email should never be sent from a generic email address like noreply@B2Bbusiness.com.au.

These emails are not only more likely to end up in the recipient’s spam folder but even if they make it into the inbox, they probably won’t get a high open rate. This is because the “from” address is one of the first things that someone sees when they look at their inbox so it’s important that they see a real person’s name. Even if you are in a big company, this can add a human face to the business.

Ensure Your Email Design is Mobile Responsive

Emails are now opened more on mobile than desktop, and if your email doesn’t display correctly on a mobile device, it may be deleted within three seconds. This means that ensuring your newsletter displays well on mobile devices is just as important, if not more important, as ensuring it can be read in traditional email providers like Outlook and Gmail. If your email does not display well on mobile, you risk alienating the majority of your audience and as such, can expect significantly lower click through rates.

For more information on B2B email marketing, get in touch with our Melbourne Marketing Consultants today. Our specialists have significant experience in running a full range of B2B digital marketing campaigns.