How Does Email Marketing Improve B2B Lead Generation?
Lead generation is top-of-mind for pretty much every marketer out there. It’s also one of their biggest challenges. In fact, 61% of B2B marketers believe that generating traffic and high-quality leads are their biggest challenges. Fortunately, email marketing can serve to solve these problems.
Aside from being one of the oldest methods for B2B digital marketing, to this day, email remains one of the most commonly used. When it comes to B2B lead generation, the three most commonly used strategies are email marketing, event marketing, and content marketing – in that order.
B2B email marketing campaigns aren’t used just to generate leads. Email campaigns can easily find their utility throughout the entire sales lead process. You can use them to onboard and welcome a new customer, nurture leads before and after a purchase, manage abandoned carts, re-engage with cold leads, and more. They can also be used in combination with your social media, content, and other forms of inbound marketing.
When implemented correctly, it has the potential to generate a massive 4,000% ROI. Nevertheless, the B2B landscape is never static. New technological trends and shifting buyer preferences make it next to impossible for companies to find the perfect email marketing campaign and stick to it long-term. What’s more, when it comes to lead generation, not every marketer knows how to use email marketing to its fullest potential.
Here are several techniques that will help you to improve your lead gen efforts with B2B email marketing.
Marketing automation in the 21st century B2B environment is no longer seen as a luxury but as a necessity. There are plenty of functional marketing platforms out there that can automate many of the activities marketers would have otherwise had to do manually. These include things like data entry, writing emails, scheduling meetings, qualifying leads, etc.
Some marketing automation platforms will also collect data from your email list via their interactions. Every time people visit your website, read your emails, comment on your social networks, download content, fill forms, etc., the automation platform will capture that information. With it, you will get a complete view of your leads, which you can use to generate personalized messages.
Every other interaction going forward will be custom made for that particular individual, providing them with dynamic content based on up-to-date customer data. The main advantage here is that everything is done automatically, saving time and delivering relevant content.
Make Use Of Your Other Content and Marketing Assets
An email marketing campaign will never perform at peak efficiency on its own. First, you will need to combine it with your other lead generation initiatives, be it social media, content marketing, SEO, event marketing, retargeting, or digital advertising. Second, you will want to use your content assets in your email campaigns.
Wherever appropriate, you can attach customer testimonials. At other times, downloadable content in the form of white papers, eBooks, or case studies will work to generate qualified leads. Likewise, you can extend them an invitation to an upcoming webinar or an event you’re hosting in their area. Providing your target audience with valuable content is what inbound marketing is all about, and it will work to increase your credibility and trustworthiness with otehr business owners.
One thing to always keep in mind is that most of today’s decision-makers will read their emails on their smartphones. Only on occasion will people sit down at their desks, open their PCs or laptops, and dedicate that time to email reading. As such, you will need to ensure that your emails are mobile-friendly. A whopping 71% of recipients will immediately close or delete an email if it has any display issues. Click To Tweet
Everything from the email template you choose to use, the attachments, and the email copy, itself, must be formatted for mobile use. Make sure that this will also be carried through to your landing pages as well. There’s no point in having a well-crafted email if your leads will be let down by your website’s formatting if they click thru.
Using tools like Litmus and Email On Acid for previewing your emails on mobile devices and checking them against various email clients will help ensure that what you send out is mobile-friendly
Mind Your KPIs
A constant and vigilant analysis is what makes or breaks a B2B email marketing strategy. Granted, you may have a certain degree of success without it, but you’ll never know why, which makes future success harder to replicate.To the same point, if performance is poor, you’ll never know why your strategy isn’t working or what could be working better. You will need to either improve on what’s not performing or replace it altogether.
The most efficient way of doing this is by paying attention to your email marketing key performance indicators (KPIs). Depending on your goals, these may include several of the following:
- Delivery rate
- Open rate
- Click-thru rate
- Landing page hits and conversions
- Response rates
- Bounce rates
- Unsubscribe rates
- Leads generated
- Leads converted
- Leads qualified
Any example of how to analyze trends using these KPIs is if, for instance, the delivery rate is high, but the open rate is low, chances are there’s a problem with your subject lines. If the open rate is high, but your click-through rate is low, there may be a problem with the copy (maybe a lack of mobile-friendliness).
By putting together a solid email marketing strategy centered around your goals and matching KPIs, you will ensure a steady stream of leads entering your sales funnel. But don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that, once set up, it will work perfectly ad infinitum. As we said, constant analysis is key.
In addition to analysis, you will also need to conduct regular testing on your B2B email marketing campaign. There are different types and methods for testing your email marketing campaign, but most of them will revolve around the A/B Testing method.
For those of us who don’t know, A/B testing is a technique where you compare two versions of the same element of your email campaign to see which one works best with your target audience. This can include everything from email templates and subject lines to email copies, CTA buttons, images, and so on. Basically, you send a group of people an email with element A, then send another group an email with element B, and see which one produces better results.
Just make sure that you’re only testing one variable at a time, be it the copy, subject line, etc. Otherwise, you won’t know which element in the email made the difference.
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