Despite rumours to the contrary, email marketing is still one of the best ways to connect with business to business (B2B) buyers. It’s used by over 90% of companies and is among the highest ROI marketing tactics available. Sure, it’s not as easy as it once was to get your emails into the hands of your target customers. Recipients are more cynical about email and faster than ever to hit the delete button if your content isn’t highly compelling.
But that’s not a reason to give up on email marketing. That’s a reason to sharpen your email marketing skills and make sure your message is more compelling and relevant than the other guy’s.
The 8 Step Process
Here are 8 steps to ensure your email marketing is effective:
1. Use an email marketing platform
There are dozens to choose from and most programs will give you limitless template options and metrics. So do your research, sign up for a free trial period and see how comfortable you are with each program. We typically use Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, or Hubspot for our clients.
2. Map out your goals
Think about what you are trying to accomplish with your email marketing and write down your goals. Is your email marketing about staying in touch, raising awareness, generating leads – or all of the above? What specific goals do you have? Do you want people to visit your website? Are you launching a new product? Do you have new staff to introduce?
3. Check your list
Your email program will only be as effective as your list. Review your lists of customers and prospects. Is the data fresh? Is everyone CASL opted-in? Is your list segmented? You will want to send different messages to existing customers, prospects and distributors, so segmented or categorized data is crucial.
4. Develop your template
There are limitless template options in email marketing programs which may fulfill your needs. But don’t underestimate the importance of remaining true to your brand. You may want to use a graphic designer to build a template that positions your company as the industry leader.
5. Develop your content
Relevant, compelling content is absolutely critical to your success. If your readers don’t find your emails interesting, they will quickly delete them, or worse, unsubscribe from your list. Don’t skimp out on powerful content. If your content is helpful, people will read it. If they find it irrelevant to their situation or unhelpful, you’ll quickly alienate them. Remember, the quality of the content is much more important than the quantity.
6. Include links
When developing your content, make sure you include several links. Short snippets of information are better with a link to a full article or blog rather than lengthy text. Also, make sure when you are including a link that the site you are taking the reader to is up-to-date. For example, if you are announcing a new product, you want to take the reader to a specific page that talks directly about that product rather than a link to your homepage.
7. Send your email
Generally speaking, don’t send on a Monday or a Friday. Other than that, there are myriad guidelines on when the best times to send are. We find it varies by target market and industry, so test out a couple of days and times to see what works best for your situation.
8. Update and Report
After each email campaign, review the metrics (open-rates, click-through rates, bounces). Determine what worked well, and do more of that next time.
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to communicate with your existing customers and prospects. These steps aren’t fancy, but if you consistently follow them you’ll be on your way to an effective, efficient email marketing program.