Five Practical Ways to Improve Performance With Email Marketing
Over the last few years, email has presented some challenges for marketers, such as competing for attention in flooded inboxes and having legitimate emails caught in spam filters. But the fact remains: in business-to-business, email still works.
Marketing experts know that business-to-business email is one of the most effective ways to market to and communicate with customers and prospects. Few marketing tactics offer the speed, low cost and measurability of email. With these benefits, it’s important to make the most out of your email marketing efforts.
Here are five practical tips to help you achieve continued success as an email marketer.
1. Manage Your List
In real estate, the adage is location, location, location. In email marketing, it’s your list. An accurate and targeted email list will increase response rates and return on investment.
The most important part of list management is making sure the people on your list want to hear from you. Allow prospects and clients to opt-in to your email list.
Segmenting your list can help you craft more targeted messages for each group. A simple segmentation tactic is to divide your list between customers and prospects. You can also segment according to product interest area, customer type or industry.
2. Be Relevant
Nothing can sink an email marketing initiative faster than sending information that your recipients don’t care about. It only takes one irrelevant email to cause all future emails to be ignored or to have your audience opt-out.
Develop white papers, executive briefs, Webinars, data sheets and such to capture interest. Often, you can develop material for one audience and re-purpose it for another audience by changing some of the terms and language.
3. Deliver on Your Promises
When you offer people the opportunity to sign up for your email communications, let them know how often they will hear from you. Is it weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?
There is no right or wrong answer to the email frequency question, but there is a right and wrong way to handle the expectations of customers and prospects. If you promise to publish a monthly e-newsletter, then keep that promise. If you say you will send a quarterly e-newsletter and occasional updates containing important information, then do so.
4. Use Email to Generate Leads and Sales
Email is a great way to gauge interest and generate leads. Use it to showcase your products and services to a relevant audience. Even if you don’t have new products or services to promote, you may consider sharing new or interesting applications for your existing products. Make sure that you are including calls-to-action.
You can also use email to offer an important white paper or to promote an upcoming Webinar or other event. Link recipients of your email to landing pages on your Web site where they can register for the event or access the white paper. This way, you capture names of those interested in a particular topic and, depending on how your organization is set up, can pass the information on to your sales team or use it to further target your marketing efforts.
5. Look Beyond Your Own List
There are many potential customers out there who may be difficult for you to reach, yet are good candidates for your products and services.
For example, try reaching them by advertising in e-newsletters of respected third parties in your industry. It’s a great way to gain visibility in new markets or with hard-to-reach prospects and decision makers.
Seek a reputable and proven e-newsletter partner, one with a large circulation of opt-in readers, a demographic profile of its audience that you can compare to your own target audience, strong open rates, and flexible advertising options such as using images, different placements in the e-newsletter, multiple linking options and reporting on statistics.
When properly executed, email campaigns can be one of your most valuable marketing strategies and an integral part of your marketing mix. Take advantage of these tips to ensure you’re using email marketing to the best of its potential.