Want to know the secret to getting more subscribers, higher open rates, better click throughs, and higher conversions from your B2B email marketing?
I know what some of you may be thinking. Email marketing? Isn’t that a little old school for 2017? Wrong.
Email is extremely powerful when done right. A recent study by Campaign Monitor showed that delivers a 3800% ROI and $38 for every $1 invested in email marketing. In fact, studies across the board show similar figures, like this one from TruConversion.
And if you took a look at my last article, you probably already know that marketers have caught onto this…
Unfortunately most businesses are doing it wrong!
Hint: shooting a generic monthly newsletters to a dwindling list might do more damage than good, which is why I’m about to share 5 critical B2B email marketing strategies (and the tools that help you use them).
Before I get started, let’s go over some of the email marketing don’ts I’ve been seeing in the B2B space:
B2B Email Marketing Don’ts:
- Call your newsletter a newsletter. In fact, don’t even use the word. Readers avoid it like the plague. Using the word anywhere in your subject line can result in an 18.7% open rate decrease.
- Buy your list. You only want the most relevant people to receive your content, because this is ultimately about making sales. A large (or outdated) list is worse than a shorter, more relevant one. You will be penalized if enough people unsubscribe at once or mark your emails as spam.
- Design your template yourself, unless you’re a designer, or unless you’re using one of the out-of-the-box templates from your email service provider.
- Blast your emails and think you’re done. As with all things, you should try figuring out whether your emails are effective before wasting your time on creating more.
B2B Email Marketing Tips to Increase Your ROI
1. Keep a Clean, Up-to-Date Email List
List building should be your number one goal when it comes to email marketing, so it’s the first I’ll tackle. It can be hard to hear this, since conventional logic would have us believe that the more emails, the better, right? Wrong.
It’s more important and effective to have a highly targeted but smaller highly engaged list than a larger list of less targeted and thus less engaged subscribers and you’ll want to do this with an exceptional sign-up strategy:
- a series of good lead magnets
- social media with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and/or Youtube are preferred for B2B marketing
- and all-around good content on your site and social media channels
There are literally hundreds of ways to build and grow your email list and thus way to many to mention so here is a link to “25 Simple Ways to Grow Your Email List” to help you get started.
Remember, the end goal is attract the right people to you and email is the perfect tool for it.
If this point still makes you nervous and you’re worried about losing potential sales along the way, keep reading. I’m about to discuss some strategies you can use to recover lost or disinterested fans, rather than removing them from your lists altogether.
2. Segment Your Audience for a Personal Touch
You shouldn’t be adding all of your sign-ups to the same list. In fact, the more you can divide them up by unique interests, the better. This is called segmenting, and it results in an average of 100.95% more clicks for your business.
Remember that your contacts are interested in different facets of your business. Chances are, marketing messages tailored to their interests will help you make more sales. There are an infinite number of ways you can segment your emails – based on what service pages your subscribers signed up from, where they’re located, what lead magnets they opted-in from, and whatever else you’re willing to create unique emails for.
This doesn’t just apply for new subscribers, either. If you already have a healthy list to work with, you can and should still segment your audience. You can create unique tags for users that never open your emails, users that frequently do, users that follow you on social media channels (even specific channels), or users in a particular location. This is an essential prerequisite to the next step, which is designed to take your segmenting to the next level.
3. Save Yourself the Trouble, Automate Your Campaigns
A drip campaign is an email series that uses triggers to determine what email gets delivered next. It’s an incredibly simple way to automate your campaigns, ranging in complexity from simple welcome emails to full-scale systems triggered by abandoned shopping cart items, user inactivity, and more. With over 75% of email marketing dollars earned through triggered emails, it’s no wonder giants like Amazon have adopted and leveraged the strategy to dramatically increase their ROI.
Having a good email drip campaign can keep your lists fresh, recover forgotten customers, and remind people that your company still wants their attention. The best thing about a great email drip is that it’s totally automated, which makes it easy to ‘set and forget’ as it propels subscribers deeper into the sales funnel.
This ‘set it and forget it’ email marketing was huge in 2016, and I’m projecting it will get even bigger as more companies jump on the bandwagon and refine their automated campaigns.
Some tools you can use for designing and sending automated email drip-campaigns:
- ConvertKit (This who I use for my B2B email marketing. Message me on Twitter at @askdennisbrown and I’ll share why I switched from Aweber after over 7 years)
4. Quality Content is the Key
Your content is an obvious selling point, but business owners all too often forget these essential points:
- A Killer Subject Line:
Like I mentioned before, a few wrong words in your headlined can make all of that time spent making a great email a complete waste. Making them enticing or interesting helps. Better still, personalizing your subject lines can result in a 37% increase in open rate.
Here are 2 great articles you should read that have helped me to dramatically improve my headlines and thus email open rates.
– 17 Tips & Best Practices for Writing Catchy Email Subject Lines
– 101 Best Email Subject Lines of 2016
- Deliver What You Promise:
Your amazing headline should reflect the contents of your email. That being said, you’ll still want to tease your audience into clicking through for more.
- Keep Your Design Simple (And Mobile Friendly):
There’s no need to overwhelm your users. They probably have a lot of other emails to check out, so don’t underestimate the value of adding photos, animated gifs and/or video content in your emails.
The right structure varies from company to company, but most emails should have at least: a headline, the aforementioned ‘teaser’, an image, and a button/link. Make sure you’re testing your email templates for mobile-responsiveness, and that they look attractive on different email platforms (Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.).
5. Analytics & Testing
Analyzing your results is what ties it all together. Check your email analytics to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Even something as simple as emojis in your subject line can help you optimize your campaigns over time.
The 6 B2B email marketing metrics you should be looking out for include:
- Click-Through Rate: The % of recipients who clicked on a link in your email.
- Conversion Rate: The % of people who completed an action on your landing page (like buying a white paper or signing up for a free checklist).
- Bounce Rate: The % of emails on your list that didn’t allow your mail to go through.
- List-Growth Rate: The % growth of your list over a given amount of time
- Email Sharing: The number of emails that get shared by your subscribers
- Overall ROI: The total revenue from your email marketing efforts divided by the total amount spent.
These metrics, of course, ultimately depend on your goals. Here’s what other marketers had to say about email KPI’s in a recent survey from Ascend2.
Most email marketing service providers will give you information about your bounce rates, open rates, and more. I recently migrated over to ConvertKit and highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about email marketing.
With these B2B email marketing tips you’ll be on your way to stronger, better-converting emails. Once you have the system in place, you’ll have a time-saving workflow that you can grow, automate, and profit from.
“Stop the madness. There’s a better way!”
LinkedIn Marketing & Social Selling Consultant, Trainer, Speaker
P.S. Don’t forget to connect with me on LinkedIn > www.linkedin.com/in/askdennisbrown
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