Emails That Get Results: Four Strategies for Success

Oct 01, 2018

Article ImageEmail marketing has been an essential component of the B2B marketer’s toolkit for nearly two decades now–and with good reason. Not long ago, email was viewed as a game changer for business, a disruptor in a marketing environment long dominated by print, direct mail and trade shows. Much has changed over the past twenty years, but email endures as a reliable tool to help promote and grow your business.

Today, in a media landscape that moves at the speed of light, email remains effective as a marketing channel. It is consumed on multiple devices, provides virtually unlimited opportunities to target your message, and is highly measurable.

As email has grown to maturity, so has the need for B2B marketers to mature as well. Continuing to use email as you always have is not going to get you the results you’ve come to expect. You need to continually examine, refine, and evaluate your strategies and campaigns to achieve maximum value for your efforts.

While this task may sound daunting, it doesn’t have to be. By getting back to the basics of email marketing, you can bring a new level of sophistication to your program. Here are four simple steps to take that can have an immediate impact.

  1. Focus on your audience. All too frequently, we approach email with the mindset of, “How will this help us achieve our goals?” without considering, “How does this meet the needs of my audience?” Our prospects and customers are inundated with more email than ever before. Each touchpoint you send is competing with tens or hundreds of communications from others, all vying for the limited time and attention your audience has available. Do you give them a reason to open your message? With every communication you craft, put yourself in your recipient’s shoes and ask yourself what would they value most from you. Moreover, keep in mind that your audience is diverse; they have unique interests, responsibilities, and needs. Segment your lists appropriately.

  1. Let go of inactive users. When it comes to email marketing, more isn’t always more. While large, extensive mailing lists may sound impressive, the real test of a healthy list is an engaged list. By reviewing your lists regularly and removing subscribers who have not engaged over a defined period of time, you ensure that you are focusing your email efforts on those who are finding value in your communications. So how long do you keep an inactive subscriber on your list? The answer varies from company to company. When defining this for your organization, you will want to consider things such as the length of your buy cycle, how engaged a recipient has been with previous mailings, what they subscribed to receive, and more. Before removing them from your list, you may also want to consider reaching out one last time to let them know that you will be unsubscribing them and giving them a chance to re-engage with you.

  1. Understand your data. A successful email campaign is comprised of multiple moving parts. Everything from the message, the offer, the design, the subject line, the recipient list, to the deployment schedule can impact results. When forging a path for an email strategy, it’s critical to have a deep, complete understanding of the performance of your campaigns–both holistically and at the individual component level–to make every touchpoint count. Compile your data (most marketing automation programs can report on the basics) and dive into the metrics to gain a deep understanding of it reveals about your campaigns. By understanding this data, you can make informed decisions on how to adjust your programs to maximize their effectiveness.

  1. Establish – and measure – KPIs. What do you want to accomplish with your email program? Defining your goals brings focus to your email marketing activities. Objectives can vary based on your audience. For example, many B2B marketers place existing customers into a nurturing track designed to gain repeat or upsell business, while the focus for prospects may be on developing brand awareness, establishing a thought leadership position, or generating demand. When establishing the KPIs for your email marketing program, you will want to define measurable goals for your efforts. This will allow you to track success more effectively.

Email is one of the most popular marketing tactics in the B2B space, and its popularity shows no sign of waning. Inboxes are becoming more crowded, and the attention span of your target audience narrows as a result. Now is the time to develop and implement strategies that will maximize the effectiveness of this channel, and the success of your marketing efforts.

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