Email’s viability as a marketing channel for connecting with prospective customers and spreading brand awareness across a wide user pool continues to grow. As the number of active email users changes, so do the trends, strategies and opinions surrounding B2B email marketing. To help your marketing team improve email marketing efforts and achieve results, we have highlighted four tactics to focus on moving forward.
Implement Personalization: Lists, Content and More
81% of people want brands to get to know them and approach their marketing with personalization. As the expectation of personalized marketing experiences grows, B2B marketers must pivot to succeed. The content shared with email subscribers and audiences should cater to your target audience’s unique interests and provide them with value. What is the optimal way to implement personalization? Here are a few things to consider to make a solid personalized experience.
- List Segmentation: Sending targeted emails to list segments can bring a nearly 30% increase in revenue to organizations. When you can segment lists based on certain characteristics, it provides the opportunity for personalization. For example, if you have a field called “Industry”, it is simple to create a list segmented by industry. This way, you can target everyone in a specific industry. If the corporate finance industry is one of those industries, offer them content that has the topic of corporate finance. When segmenting your lists, think about key contact or lead fields that are important to you. Some to consider are job title, industry, company size and location.
- Content: As mentioned above, content can be created to address needs in specific industries, roles and more. The list segments that are created can help guide the content creation process. For example, if you have five industry options, create content for each industry. Use an asset that you have and add an industry spin to it.
- Trends: Trends are one thing that constantly changes. New trends emerge, some phase out and others remain consistent. Discussing these trends in emails shows your audience you are on top of the news and informs them of what to look out for. In simple terms, you are establishing yourself as a thought leader, which yields many benefits.
Focus on Simple Yet Engaging Formatting
Email formatting is a hot topic in the B2B marketing community. As spam filters become more sophisticated and used by companies, email templates not formatted correctly get marked as spam. 61% of people use spam filters and that percentage only continues to increase. Even if you think your email is spam-free, the spam filter might think otherwise. It is a tricky game to navigate, but we have a few insights to help you out.
- Avoid spam-like words in the subject line: Many words trigger the email spam filter. Avoid using these in your subject line. Some of these words include “promise you” or “can’t live without”. Anything that sounds like it could be untrue.
- Do not send attachments. Attachments in an email are a big no. Any special offer, coupon or file that you want to share should be done via your website or a button. Attaching a file will almost automatically put your email in the junk inbox.
- Be mindful of the text-to-image ratio. Mailchimp advises there is 80% text and 20% images in an email. Spam filters like to flag emails that use a lot of images, so keep them to a minimum when possible.
- Follow the laws. You must include your physical mailing address on every email campaign. Most email platforms have you set this up and automatically place it on every email sent, but if it is not included, do not be surprised if your email is flagged as spam.
Test Different Email Components to Understand Audience Preferences
Understanding and catering to your target audience is one of the most important elements of marketing. It extends into every realm of marketing activity that your team executes, including email. You should have a basic understanding of your audience when it comes to their pain points and persona characteristics, but it is not as easy to understand their preferences for emails. One way to find out what they engage with most is to conduct email testing. Here are a few email elements to test.
- Subject Lines: It is the first thing your reader sees when looking at the email in your inbox! Make it something they will want to open. Consider testing subject line length, emoji, brackets and more.
- Send Time: What time of the day is your email audience most engaged? Is it 7 am? Is it 3:30 pm? While there are some email-sending time best practices, it is up to you to narrow the time or time frame they most engage with your email sends. Start with one of the most common send times, 11 am. Then, do an A/B test at a time in the afternoon. Whichever performs better, keep that time for the next test and alter the “B” send time. Keep going until there is solid evidence one time performs best over others.
- Images: Visuals are a great supplement to an email, but not all audiences react the same way. Including a thumbnail, a portion of a chart or a general illustration are all solid options. Use an email with an image and test against the same email without the image.
Automate Emails for Efficiency
One of the most overlooked email marketing components is automation. Automated emails generate 320% more revenue than non-automated emails. This might incline you to start automating every email, but it is important to think about what emails make sense to automate that save you time. Here are a few instances of automating emails, leaving your team to focus on high-value tasks.
- Welcome Emails. A welcome email can be sent when someone buys a product, registers for a newsletter or downloads an asset from your website. Automating these keeps your audience engaged and saves you time from sending manual follow-up emails after every action is taken.
- Survey Emails. Whether you are looking to gather feedback on a product this individual may have purchased or understand their needs better, automated survey emails are perfect for collecting valuable customer information.
- Recommendation Emails. With a record of what leads download and interact with, you can automate emails that provide additional recommendations based on their engagement. This shows your audience the breadth of content you have and adds a personalized touch.
Setting yourself up to achieve positive email marketing results starts with these four key strategies. While these tips are an important baseline for email marketing strategies, it is instrumental to consider your data and target audience characteristics to guide the best email marketing decisions.
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