Email Marketing for B2B Lead Generation
Email marketing is one of the most fruitful methods of generating B2B leads. When reaching prospective clients, what could be better than beaming your message directly to their desks – or even into the palms of their hands?
Here, we will walk you through the principles of building a top-notch email marketing strategy that will grow your sales while building brand awareness.
1. B2B Mailing Lists
The first rule of email marketing is this:
Do not spam!
The second rule of email marketing:
Reread the first rule.
Not only is spamming illegal in many jurisdictions, it has little value anyway – and can ruin your brand if you end up saddled with a reputation for it.
Instead, you want to contact only those businesses that are likely to be interested in you and your product.
The solution: opt-in, B2B mailing lists.
The basics are simple: somewhere on your website, blog, or social media post, you prompt the prospective client to lend you their email address, which you then add to one of your B2B mailing lists.
Should you partner with a lead researcher or email database provider, they can talk you through the steps of building your B2B mailing lists.
2. Customize your Approach
Legendary marketing pioneer John Wanamaker is supposed to have said:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
There is no excuse for this in the twenty-first century. Gone are the days when you would throw out a standard advertisement in a newspaper before praying for someone to respond.
Every B2B marketer now has oodles of data available to them in the connected, online world, allowing them to pinpoint their marketing campaigns with exceptional accuracy.
Remember also that the popularity of email is a double-edged sword: you know that the recipient will look at their inbox every day – but your email could easily be buried.
So while emailing dozens of prospects from a standard template could save you a lot of time, the client could see only an inundation of junk.
In sum: you have to stand out if you want your email to be read.
How do you customize your approach?
Gaining a better understanding of your potential clients enhances your ability to segment your leads. From this, you can deploy an approach particular to each segment, focused on the particular type of client.
Some criteria for segmenting the leads will be quite general. For instance, prospects who have only just visited your website will require gentle, introductory material; blasting them with a sales pitch would only turn them away.
Other criteria may be more specific to the individual prospect. For instance, through data enrichment or sales lead research, you may have discovered potential clients with preoccupations specific to their geographical location. If so, your email database provider could compose an email marketing campaign tailored toward those priorities.
This is the reason, incidentally, why we have been referring to B2B mailing lists – plural. You should maintain multiple lists with neatly segmented prospects.
Handy Tip: To help you configure your message to each segment, spend some time choosing utterly random topics: football, the recent weather, commuting, or anything at all.
Next, practice writing a few paragraphs that open with one of those topics, but end on something related to your product, service, or business. After a few attempts, you will be surprised at what you can do – regardless of how disconnected something may seem from your business!
Once you master this technique, you can turn towards initiating each conversation with a subject important to the client. By guiding them this way toward your product or service, responses to your marketing campaign could skyrocket.
3. Master the Basics of Effective Email Communication
Use a Personal Email ID
Emails from “Sales”, “Customer Service” or – the worst – “No Reply” feel automated and impersonal. Your recipient should feel as though they are being addressed as an individual by another human being.
Ideally, however, your email address should contain your brand name as well. The ideal format is:
firstname.lastname@company (.com, .org, etc.)
You need to seed in the recipient’s mind where you are from, helping to spread brand awareness.
Compose Enticing Subjects Lines
The aim of the subject should be to peak the reader’s curiosity.
At the same time, however, you should avoid sounding like obvious clickbait. In particular, experienced business folk will be immune to anything that smacks of a silver bullet or of promises that sound too good to be true.
The sweet spot is to instill within them the feeling that, by leaving your email unread, they would miss out on something vital.
Stay Short and Incisive
Four or five concise paragraphs at the most is best. Unless you have reasons to design it as such, an email is not a long newsletter. You want your readers to absorb all of the information within a few sips of their morning coffee.
The language you use should be simple and clear, but professional. You should approach your readers as intelligent adults, but they are likely to read their emails quickly; you don’t want them tripping over your sentences.
The content and design should be linear, and straightforward. Images are always helpful, but there should be no distractions on the page between the start and finish of your message.
Remember Cellphones and Tablets
Many emails today is read on a handheld device rather than on a desktop computer. Thus, not only should the layout itself be mobile-friendly, but this is another reason why your content should be short and to the point.
Tip: try to imagine your email being read while the client is waiting for a metro train or bus.
Conclude with a Prompt
The ultimate purpose of email marketing is to open up a dialogue that could lead to a sales relationship. As such, your email cannot be a dead end – it must serve as the introduction, or gateway, to further action.
Thus, each email should end with a prompt to take the client to another stage. This could be an invitation to download an eBook, or newsletter or to attend a special event. Additionally, you can ask them to offer feedback.
Wrapping it All Up
Perfecting your email marketing campaign will take practice, patience, and a lot of testing – plus you always need to stay on top of knowing everything you can about your prospects.
However, by following the advice in this article, you have already taken your first step on the path to email marketing success – a big win for your brand and for your bottom line.
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