There are around 3.9 billion daily email users around the world. It’s surely no secret that there’s a huge accessible audience out there, but still, to our surprise, more than 68% of B2B companies today struggle to generate consistent leads for their businesses. In fact, a massive chunk of the audience is drowning in the pool of spammy promotional emails. So, if you want to attract leads through email marketing, especially those who are intrigued by your products or business, you’ll need to think outside the box.
Unlike B2C marketing, the primary challenge in B2B landscape is that your target audience is most likely involved CEOs and corporate executives who are all busy doing their own work. So how can you stand out from the rest of the emails of your competitors sitting in an inbox to finally convert a reader into a lead? Well, it’s all about the value you are providing with the content you deliver to your audience. This is harder than it sounds since prospects’ understandings of the value of your content might differ from what you think.
So, you might have assumed that in the process of B2B email marketing, there’s a lot more to this than just creative email subject lines and compelling content. To achieve the conversion rates your business aims for, your landing pages, call-to-actions, and forms must all equally fit your message. So, this article is all about the latest best practices teaching you how you should use email marketing at its best to generate more leads. But, before we jump into the best practices of email marketing, let’s take a look at why email marketing might be one of the best methods of generating B2B leads. Let’s get started,
What Are the Perks of Email Marketing in the B2B Landscape?
With the ongoing growth of various digital marketing strategies, the most logical question that comes to mind is: “Are emails useful in B2B lead generation anymore?” Especially, with the regular release of new social media sites, it’s only reasonable to neglect one of the oldest lead generation strategies. However, if you believe that emails aren’t important for your B2B business, think again because, for 59% of B2B marketers, this is still the most effective revenue-generating technique.
There are a number of reasons why B2B companies prefer email marketing; here are four of the most common ones.
- It’s Highly Cost-effective
You don’t really need a lot of resources for your email marketing campaign to be successful. In fact, email marketing has a very low cost of entry and a very high return on investment. This is considered cost-effective compared to traditional methods like direct mail or print. You don’t have to spend on photographs, venue costs, printing, shipping, or placement, for starters. All you need now is a copywriter to get started.
Therefore, as a B2B marketer, you may benefit from email marketing not only in terms of drip campaigns but also by getting a higher return on investment. This is especially true for startups with limited budgets looking for cost-effective digital marketing methods. As a result, businesses with low marketing budgets choose email marketing since it requires the least amount of investment.
- It Helps You Build Strong Relationships
Relevance is the key to building strong relationships. The more your readers feel like they can relate and talk to you, the more likely they are to become your customers. And as a B2B marketer, you must always try to improve your relationship with your target audience.
Today, email has become one of our most popular online communications options. It’s a two-way communication method by which you can communicate with your target audience when it’s convenient and vice versa. This makes it ideal for building a strong relationship with your audience. You can reach a larger audience and interact with brand advocates more easily with email marketing. Besides, personalized emails can keep your audience’s attention throughout the year, keeping them loyal to your brand.
- Emails Are Easy to Track
No marketing strategy is good enough without the option to measure the results. Unless you are able to track how the marketing campaign is performing, you cannot really judge the effectiveness of the strategy. Today, with several email marketing tools, it is easier than ever to track and measure the results of a campaign. With metrics like open rates, content engagement, click-through rates, delivery rates, bounce rates, and more, you can easily understand how a certain campaign is performing.
These metrics make it a no-brainer to identify the weak points in your campaign and help you improve. Still, debating whether email marketing is the best fit for your B2B marketing strategy? Let’s hop on to the next benefit that makes this marketing method even more useful than other aspects of digital marketing.
- It Allows You to Personalize Your Message
As we said earlier, relevancy is the one aspect that makes your audience turn into leads. With email marketing, you get the option to personalize your messages according to the target market. You can easily customize the emails by addressing the goals and pain points of a certain set of targeted audiences. Also, personalization can be as simple as adding the name of a recipient to an email. Studies have shown that emails with the recipient’s first name in the subject line receive a higher click-through rate than those without.
Not only that, but you can also create personalized content based on the segmentation of your email list. In simpler words, suppose you want to send a specific message to the leads who have just subscribed to your email list and a different one, for obvious reasons, to the returning customers. This means you will be sending the right emails to the right audience every time.
Now that we have explored the many benefits of email marketing and how it can improve your B2B lead generation strategy, let’s get to the good part already! Or what we call “the unspoken rules of effective email marketing.”
10 Best Practices for Email Marketing that Will Generate More Leads
Let’s start with a figure. Do you know that around 89 percent of marketers prefer email marketing as their primary channel for getting leads? That’s huge, right? But at the same time, 44% of marketers have said they are struggling with low engagement rates when it comes to email marketing.
So, why is there this imbalance in numbers despite all the benefits of this digital marketing channel? The answer is that many marketers are still unaware of the best practices and how to make the most out of email marketing.
Let’s take a closer look at how to start your next B2B lead generation email marketing campaign.
- Identify Your Prospects
Knowing your audience is the very first step of email marketing. You can’t start creating an email list or sending out emails to leads until you know who you’re talking to. Your ideal customers make up your target audience, often known as a buyer persona. From mapping your market to creating a B2B customer persona, you can use various ways to understand your prospective customers. For example, use verticals such as job role, industry, location, and organization size to make your content more relevant to your audience.
Before sending an email, first determine who benefits the most from your solutions. As we said, the initial step to success is to understand the demographics of your ideal clients.
- Segment Your List of Prospects
Do you know that marketers who segment their audiences report a boost in revenue of 760 percent?
Therefore, segmenting email campaign lists can surely help increase open and click-through rates. The more segments you create, the better you’ll be able to target prospects. In fact, successful email marketing should communicate directly to the reader, so spending a little more time on this will pay off.
Let’s be honest: what’s suitable for a company’s CEO might not be useful for a marketing manager, although they are both decision-makers for a company. This is where segmenting your prospects comes into play. For segmenting your list, use strategies like demographics, surveys, email engagement rate, past purchases, and position in the sales funnel, to name a few.
- Create Short & Catchy Emails
As the common saying goes, “sometimes less is more.” And this is particularly true when it comes to your email marketing copy. Understand how to develop and structure short-form emails that pique your customers’ interests and increase your click-through rates. A more engaging and interactive email is one that is brief, crisp, and attention-getting. In the long term, delivering content that your audience wants can imply higher open and click-through rates.
In B2B marketing, your audience is usually aware of what they are searching for, unlike B2C leads. So, it’s a good idea to get your email off on the right foot. Any unnecessary content in an email can draw attention away from what you actually want to say to your readers.
- Make Your Subject Line Attention-Grabbing
Do you want to boost the number of people who read your emails? Marketers who get higher open rates write email subject lines that their readers can’t ignore. It’s because the majority of inboxes are filled with boring, dull emails, filling them to the brim. In such crowded, chaotic inboxes, your emails are easily drowned out.
Therefore, like headlines, subject lines must grab the reader’s attention. And you can do that by adding a little spice. By “spice,” we mean, taking advantage of tapping into human psychology. Use emotions in your emails. Feel free to invoke urgency, curiosity, fear of missing out, vanity, greed, and other emotions to grab your readers’ attention.
- Understand the Right Timing
This is an interesting tactic to boost your open rates that many marketers tend to overlook. If you don’t want your email to lie at the bottom of the dozens of other unread emails, identifying the right time is what you want to focus on.
So, when is the best time to send an email to your prospects? It all comes to our first point in this list: understanding your prospects. In B2B marketing, your prospects are more likely to check emails in the morning before starting their day. You can also apply the same strategy to decide what times of the year a product will be in demand for your target market. Make the best of these times to generate more leads with your email marketing.
- Create a Compelling CTA
You’re writing catchy email subject lines, applying appropriate space in the email body, and to-the-point language that sells. However, for some reason, people aren’t visiting to learn more about your products or even your offers. Well, the reason might be that the call-to-action you are using is not compelling enough.
So, it’s highly crucial to be creative when writing your CTAs. Make sure the call-to-action buttons are short, action-oriented, and to-the-point so they exactly say what the reader has to do. Instead of the common “buy now” or “download,” use catchy and actionable CTAs like “schedule your demo,” “get a free consultation,” “grab the discount,” and more. You can use the same strategies that you use for subject lines, i.e., using urgency or FOMO in your CTAs for higher click-through rates.
- Automate Your Email
Spending hours manually creating customized emails for each of your consumers isn’t practical. At the same time, you don’t want to spam your whole subscriber list with general marketing emails. The solution? Use automation tools for your email campaigns. Automating your emails will help you send them to the right prospects at the right time without you moving a finger.
All you need to do is simply input your email list, set up your follow-up emails, and publish settings, and the rest will take care of itself. Not only this, you will learn which links they tend to click, which pages they visit, and what sort of content they actually appreciate with the help of automation. Some automation tools also help you understand how your campaigns are performing with in-depth reporting.
- Consider Mobile-friendly Layouts for Emails
With 68 percent of email messages being accessed on a mobile device, having a mobile-friendly layout is no longer optional. It’s an absolute must-have. It’s high time that you make your email structures and subject lines suitable for mobile phones.
So, try to keep your subject lines under 25-30 characters long so that they display properly on certain devices. Pre-header content is generally overlooked, left off, or just forgotten, yet it may be quite beneficial in mobile-friendly emails. It’s critical to keep the text for mobile-friendly emails relatively short and simple but it’s definitely worth it.
- Keep Your Lists Clean and Updated
You have identified your prospects, created compelling email content, added catchy subject lines, and used automation. Yet, there is still another thing that can make your email campaigns more relevant and successful. And that is updating your email list.
Get rid of those unwanted contacts by regularly updating your email list. Having a clean and updated email list means removing irrelevant information and adding new data about your prospects. Keeping your list clean will make sure your emails are reaching your prospects’ inboxes and not their spam folders. Also, it’s important to remove all the fake email addresses that are feeding your bounce rates.
- Track & Analyze
When you have done all the tactics mentioned above, but you are not tracking the important metrics of your campaign, it will make all your efforts go down in vain. Monitor the KPIs like open rates, bounce rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, unsubscribe rates, and the total number of leads generated, to mention a few. Tracking these metrics and measuring the results will give you a fair idea of the campaign’s performance and get you better results in getting leads. You can also use a split test to improve these metrics after evaluating the results.
With these insights, we’ve developed a practical framework for producing high-quality leads for your B2B business through email marketing. The points described above will provide you with an excellent starting point for your B2B campaigns. However, you must also put your own ideas to the test for the desired results.