Content marketing done well should always incorporate an effective email marketing strategy.
When it comes to building engagement with your target audience, email marketing is sort of like the holy grail.
When people voluntarily sign up for your e-mails, your whole team should rejoice. Not just because you’ll have the opportunity to convert more leads, but because you’ll have the opportunity to connect with people who are actually interested in dialoging with your business.
That being said, e-mail marketing done right is a hard venture to conquer—and for B2B businesses it can be really hard.
Just take a look at some of the top email open rates by industry according to Mail Chimp though, and it’s easy to see why B2B businesses have an uphill battle when it comes to building a prodigious email marketing strategy.
This is why I thought it would be helpful to list out three tactics that can not only help you engage and convert users, but that will also help you sleep better at night.
So, without further ado….
Use excitement to build relationships (AKA personalize)
When you’re thinking about how to get an email marketing strategy off the ground, you need to focus on what makes your brand connect with people—not just simply how you can get people to open your emails.
There are a lot of gimmicks that companies try: using a potential customer’s name in the subject line, coming up with provocative headlines that evoke an emotional response from the person you’re emailing, (even if the emotional response is a negative one) but the cold hard truth is that you can’t fake personalization. When you can personalize e-mails correctly, however, people will get excited to open them—bottom line.
Mashable reported all the way back in 2012 that there were 144.8 billion e-mails sent (Read more...) day.
Now, sure, many of those are personal emails sent between family members, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues—but a lot are sent by businesses, maybe even your business.
Simply put, if you’re not emphasizing the branded appeal that your e-mail campaign can offer to an individual human being, it’ll get lost in the noise of all those other e-mails being passed around.
Draw data from every possible place you can
So what’s the secret to getting people excited about your B2B business’s emails? Data, and lots of it.
The companies that are most successful with their e-mail marketing campaigns know how to mine data—and use it to their every possible advantage.
Without the right data you won’t be able to target the individuals who are most inclined to be interested in what your B2B brand has to say… and what’s more, without the right data in your hands, you’ll waste significant opportunities to create content that engages your consumer base.
So where can you draw data from?
To begin with, make sure that your calls to action on your blog and/or website are on point. Without these in place people won’t be giving you their data (such as emails, occupations, interests, etc.) period.
Just take a look at how the Impact Blog situates their calls to action if you’re in need of inspiration. There’s no wasted space, and they really know who their readers are.
Next, make sure to dive deep into the people who follow you on social media.
Every B2B business should be on at least three different social networks with the three biggest being LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Whether you have 500 followers on social media or 5,000 you should take an audit of each social network you’re on and analyze what type of content people engage with most on each respective platform.
By doing this you can then create content buckets for the emails you want to create.
Finally, in Google Analytics, you can track the paths people are taking to sign up for your emailing list.
Maybe the people who are finding you organically—and then signing up for your newsletter—are interested in different types of content from the Twitter followers who have also signed up to receive your newsletter.
By going after the data, you ensure that you’re able to segment your emailing list. And if you’re not segmenting—you’re not personalizing enough.
Take branding inspiration from others who do it well
When it comes to B2B companies that build amazing brand messages a few great examples come to mind: HubSpot, Moz, Contently… and the list goes on.
But building a branded message (and fitting that into an e-mail) is undeniably a difficult feat to accomplish. And while you should be taking cues from other B2B businesses—especially your competitors—don’t be afraid to branch out and learn new tricks from other industries.
The Fashion industry for one, represents a fantastic example of how the right branded content can be worked into a newsletter.
From Louis Vuitton to Anthropologie there are a ton of Fashion companies that incorporate on-point messaging with branded images and other collateral such as timely discounts and product offerings.
The biggest takeaway here is that you shouldn’t limit your inspiration to copying and pasting what other B2B companies in your space are doing with their own newsletters.
Broaden your horizons as a marketer and don’t be afraid to test new ideas.
The road toward building epic email marketing campaigns that boosts your brand’s engagement is a long a windy one.
It’s an iterative process that you should never see as complete, but always changing.
As long as you’re not afraid to test the creative waters, keep your data in-line, and know the exact stories you want to tell, there’s no reason why you can’t build your own effective email marketing strategy.
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