Email marketing may appear outdated to some businesses, with the advent of newer digital marketing methods. However, it continues to remain relevant and perhaps even more effective than other forms of marketing. Many businesses around the world are using email marketing to connect with potential clients, create new leads, and strengthen customer relationships.
The Effectiveness of Email Marketing for B2B Businesses
The adoption rate of email marketing in B2B businesses is around 88%, according to a study conducted by Circle Research. The same study also investigated the effectiveness of using email marketing for these businesses and found that around 42% of respondents said it was a very effective channel for generating new leads for their business.
Another study has found that approximately 41% of its respondents thought email marketing provided either an excellent or a good return on their investment.
Although companies are now seen focusing more on modern marketing channels such as social media or content promotion, studies continue to show email marketing as an effective lead generation tool, especially for B2B businesses.
There are many reasons B2B businesses love email marketing.
It’s easier to segment your audience with email marketing. B2B businesses combine similar businesses into segments and tailor email communication for each segment with personalized information. This strategy works great in lead generation and helps businesses indulge clients through the sales funnel.
Email is among the most preferred modes of communication by businesses around the world. Most business communication happens via email. It is a two-way communication channel that allows both parties to respond at their convenience, making it very convenient and friendly. Instead of cold calling clients and disturbing them, sending an email is preferred.
The investment required in email marketing is extremely low, while the return is quite high. In a B2B setting, email communication is proven to be among the most effective marketing channels. Hence, companies with limited marketing budgets prefer email marketing as it requires minimal investment.
Measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is crucial, as it highlights the weak points of the campaign that must be improved for better results. This is easy to do with email marketing. You can easily discover open rates, click-through rates, content engagement, and delivery rates for all email communication.
These performance indicators help businesses identify the stage of each customer’s journey in the sales funnel and can be used to improve customer engagement.
Easy to Read on Mobile
An interesting email that is mobile-friendly goes a long way in developing strong B2B relationships. Businesses ensure their email communication is easily accessible on mobile phones and delivers good value to the reader.
Email Marketing Best Practices for B2B Businesses
The success of your email marketing efforts lies in following some established best practices that make this channel highly effective at expanding your business.
Make It Valuable
It is simple to execute email marketing in a B2C business environment, as the goal can be achieved by promoting new products, offering coupons, or updating customers with new deals or promotions. But, in a B2B setting, the products or services you offer are usually less dynamic, more intangible, and highly specialized.
Try adding value to existing and potential customers without pushing new products, deals, or promotions. Instead of informing your customers about your offerings, show them your capacity to add value to their business.
This can be done by sending emails containing valuable information that your customers may use to benefit their business. For example, you may send tips, ideas, educational material, industry insights, organization tips, productivity guidelines, or how-to articles pertaining to their industry.
There is no established rule when it comes to the most effective time of sending out an email in a B2B business environment. Your customers may prefer to receive emails from you on any day and time of the week, so you must experiment.
Try sending out emails on different days and times each week and isolate the instances when you received the most response. This exercise should help you identify the best time you should send out emails to your clients. You can also develop a strategy whereby you send out emails to each individual client when they are most likely to respond. Such an individual email sending approach is possible by automating your email marketing channel.
Personalize All Communication
Even in a B2C setting, businesses are now personalizing their email communication now that intelligent email platforms allow them to personalize email messages on a mass scale with just a click of a button.
In a B2B setting, it is extremely important that you personalize all email communication, as your goal is to establish a long-term relationship with a few high-profile clients. According to a study, personalized emails can improve your clickthrough rate by almost 14% and elevate conversion rates by approximately 10%.
If you have a large customer base, you can try segmenting your email audience as well. This segmentation can be done based upon any set of variables. The goal is to send out an email that connects with the recipient on a deeper level.
Personalized emails show your audience that you care about their interest in your business and invites them to establish a stronger relationship with your business.
A more targeted approach can be implemented through a drip email marketing campaign. Take your customers through the sales funnel with the drip campaign approach by pre-defining email communication. This can be done by scheduling all email communication in advance and sending messages at specific times.
This gives your customer the impression that you care about them and are invested in their well-being.
Create Effective Landing Pages
If you know the basics of email marketing, then all of your emails probably contain a link redirecting viewers to a page on your website. Many marketers make the mistake of taking email subscribers to the homepage every time, but this approach is not very effective.
Instead of sending email recipients to your homepage, it is better to create specific landing pages that relate to the content being discussed in your email. These pages should offer more information but, more importantly, connect with other pages on your website. The goal is to convert your audience, and the more you immerse them in your website, the more likely they are willing to convert.
You must understand that a growing proportion of your email audience is viewing your communications on their mobile device. All of your email marketing communication must be optimized for remote devices such as mobile phones and tablets. This means your audience should not have to pinch and zoom in to comfortably view your message.
A pre-defined template that can automatically resize your messages to fit any screen is a great investment. You can create a responsive template like this yourself or use any software application to quickly do it for you.
Your website should also be mobile-friendly. If the message recipient has opened your email on a mobile device and clicked on the given link, they should be taken to a website that is optimized for mobile phones and is easily viewable. Any discomfort in viewing your content on mobile devices can portray a very negative image of your business. Interestingly, SMS marketing has a 98% open rate, instead the following ratio for email marketing is only 20%.
It might seem like a daunting task to generate leads via email in a B2B business environment. However, email channels offer great potential when it comes to establishing new business relationships.
In addition to graphical emails, you may try sending out plain text emails to your email audience. Some people, especially within the B2B industry, pay more attention to plain text emails as these usually come from important, personal sources and contain direct communication.
Plain text emails are usually used as part of a direct conversation in a business setting. So, when you send out plain text emails, your audience perceives it as a personal message. Hence, this can improve your chances of receiving a response. Try keeping the tone of your message professional and business-appropriate, and you are good to go.
Also, manage your expectations with respect to the effectiveness of email marketing. Investing too many resources, including time, into email marketing efforts may not reap the expected rewards. The channel has its limitations and having a simple email marketing strategy to start out with is best.
What Information Do Your Customers Want?
There are three crucial customer questions you may aim to answer in your emails:
1. What problems are your customers facing?
Think about educating your customers about the problems they are facing and help them understand its depth. You want to establish authority and thought leadership here, making your customer believe that you know more about their problems than they do. Consider sharing trends, industry benchmarks, how-to guides, or case studies.
2. How can they fix such problems?
Try offering solutions that your business provides, or any of your products that can effectively resolve the problems being faced by your customers. You may offer a readiness assessment at this point, or a solutions comparison to help your customers choose the most suitable solution for themselves.
3. Are you a good match for their business?
If your customers are not sure whether you are the right business partner for them, help them make this decision by disclosing the credentials of your business, your pricing structure, sharing customer testimonials, a guide on how they can subscribe to your services, the ROI of engaging in business with you, and what they should expect from working with you.
To conclude, we’d like to introduce some facts which prove that you should utilize email marketing no matter what.
In 2019 alone 296 billion emails are sent and received worldwide. Although new means of communication have appeared, the following figure will be 347 billion in 2022.
The ROI that you can earn from email marketing is unexpectedly high. For every $1 you spend on advertising, you can get $42 in return on average.
Welcome emails have the highest open rate, 82%. So, in order to begin a successful email campaign, just include a wonderful welcome email in your advertising campaign.