New marketing communication channels have grown exponentially over the last decade. However, the boom in channels from social media to mobile apps hasn’t diminished the power of the reliable, old email, particularly in B2B. After all, there are more than 929 million business email accounts worldwide, and companies send an average of more than 1 billion emails every day. Meanwhile, 28.7% of marketing-related email in the manufacturing and distribution industry is opened by its recipients, the highest of any field. Perhaps most importantly, Experian estimates that email marketing brings a $44.25 return on every $1 invested. Simply put, email remains one of your most powerful, cost effective tools to generate leads, build a dialogue with prospective customers, and strengthen brand loyalty.
But merely sending out email blasts to every address on your customer list won’t work. The most effective email campaigns take advantage of a few fundamental best practices:
1) Segment your email list. Your customers and distribution partners are not the same, and your message shouldn’t be the same either. Additionally, your customers are in different points of the buying cycle. Segmenting your email list allows you to deliver messages tailored to a variety of specific groups.
2) Deliver strong subject lines. Your subject line is crucial to increase your open rate. Concise, personalized subject lines that contain powerful nouns and verbs, or subject lines that ask the reader a relevant question are more likely to be opened than generic subject lines or over-used keywords.
3) Optimize your email for mobile. 64% of decision-makers read their email through mobile devices. If your message isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re neglecting nearly two-thirds of your most important audience. Ensure that your email is mobile-optimized in both design and content to increase your click-through rates.
4) Offer something of value. Industrial professionals want more than slick marketing or empty event announcements. They want substantive information that can help them do their jobs. Deliver information-rich emails with reports, industry news, and links to case studies, white papers, and webinars. It will increase your brand’s credibility and make them more likely to open your emails on a regular basis.
5) Make your email easy to share. Make your email content easy to share and you’ll increase your exposure and your open rates. Provide sharing icons within your email to spread your message and increase your click-through rate. Users are more likely to open an email message that’s been shared by someone they know and trust.
While it doesn’t receive the buzz of newer marketing techniques, email marketing remains integral to any integrated marketing program. With a few simple tweaks to your email marketing, your business will reap the rewards of what remains one of the most powerful communication methods in B2B.