The death of email is exaggerated as often as it is reported. Studies indicate that email marketing generates between $44 and $53 of revenue for every dollar invested, representing an impressive ROI of 4400% or more. It's no surprise that email remains the dominant medium when it comes to online marketing, and it will almost certainly remain that way in the future. If you employ modern B2B marketing strategies, you too can reap the benefits of email marketing.
What is B2B Inbound Email Marketing?
There are two primary forms of marketing, whether you're using email or different methods. Outbound marketing consists of 'going out' to find people via cold pitches, while inbound marketing targets those who have expressed interest in your products. Inbound B2B marketing entails selling products and services to other businesses. The first step to integrating email into your marketing efforts aimed at other businesses is to appreciate that relationship-building, long-term solutions, and your ability to prove value are key.
Employing Email for B2B Inbound Marketing
Compared to the relentless cold contacts involved with outbound marketing, quality reigns over quantity in inbound marketing. At a basic level, inbound marketing starts with providing valuable, quality content. From there, your advertising efforts focus on reminding your target audience of the value you have to offer, encouraging them to convert in the process. As opposed to the emotional, lifestyle orientation of selling products to customers, B2B inbound marketing should take a more logical path. Your emails should center on features and the concrete benefits that a prospect stands to gain from working with you.
After all, you might see an ad with a happy family playing in a pool and find that it tugs on your heartstrings so much that you go ahead and buy the pool. It's hard to imagine that you'd buy commercial goods and services on that basis, however.
Segment Your Email Campaigns
Marketing is more competitive than it's ever been, and what cut it a decade ago isn't good enough anymore. Even in B2C marketing, your use of email shouldn't default to sending generalized emails to your entire mailing list. This is doubly true when it comes to the realm of B2B marketing, where relationship-building and proven value are the kings. For that matter, the cases you'd ever want to send an email to your entire B2B mailing list are rather rare.
After all, when you open your email and see yet another vague advertisement masquerading as a targeted email, do you read it? Odds are, you send it straight to the trash, as do most people. In general, recipients leave roughly 75% of emails unopened. The key to writing emails with valuable information that appeals to the B2B prospects on your email list is specialization. A well-written, compelling email needs to be concise and specific, and a narrower target demographic empowers your emails to be brief while still containing valuable information.
Write Compelling Emails
Of course, you can do everything else perfectly and it won't come to anything if your emails aren't well-written. Successful B2B emails have the following characteristics:
Effective Subject Line
An effective subject line is one that provides a sense of urgency or reason for the email. If you're selling software-as-a-service and your incredible program offers dozens of benefits, identify what they all boil down to in terms of saved time or increased revenue and you have your pitch.
Concise and Readable
While you can afford to be a bit more elaborate in the body, converting the lead is the job of the sales team. No one reads long emails, so you should keep the email around 100 words or less and break up lengthy paragraphs. In your writing, simply focus on the positive outcomes you have to offer.
Show (Content), Don't Tell
It's worth offering evidence of claims you make, but this email isn't the place to expound upon them. By linking to third-party content, case studies, and other relatively objective sources, you can say a great deal in a short space.
Call to Action
If you've convinced a lead of the value of your products and services, that doesn't necessarily mean they know what to do with that information. Finish the email with a clear course of action that you advise them to take.
Consider Incorporating Video
Video is a major trend in the world of B2B marketing, thanks to the presentation advantages it holds as compared to text. When drafting your next marketing email, consider if the use of video would appeal to your targets. Embedding video in an email is a simple process, so this option is worth keeping in your toolkit.
Maintain a Long-Term Mindset
As inbound marketing ROI is hard to measure in the short-term, many organizations begin to prematurely lose faith in new inbound marketing initiatives. Moz, a prominent name in the SEO industry coined a term for the phenomenon where a company cuts its inbound marketing efforts before they begin paying dividends. It's called the Gap of Disappointment, and it exists when the benefits of your new marketing efforts start to show after you gave up on them, after which they begin to decline due to the lack of consistent investment.
When it comes to inbound marketing, it's necessary that you give yourself time for your efforts to bear fruit. Modest, long-term goals and consistent effort will help you avoid this occurrence and set you up to succeed in your B2B marketing efforts.
For further insight, you can consult this list of B2B marketing strategies and tactics that will help you succeed. Additionally, you can consider investing in an email design system or enlisting expert marketers such as the ProSales Connection team. We've managed innumerable successful projects across many industries. If you'd like to learn more about B2B email marketing solutions, you can contact us with all of your questions.