Archive for November, 2022

B2B Email Marketing 101

If you’re in the B2B space, you must already understand how important email marketing is, but why isn’t it working out for most marketers?
As email marketers and copywriters, you want to craft emails that people love to read. You can’t create emails for the heck of it, and in case you do, your audience will only learn to treat it as white noise and tune it out.

It’s time to harness the power of email, and this blog post will help you achieve that! We’ll show you how to write compelling emails that inspire your audience to take action. Let’s dive in!

Email Marketing: The Dos and Don’ts

“Most B2B brands have an email marketing strategy, but often get stuck when it comes to writing email copies that stop the readers in their tracks and grab their attention.”

Direct email is a marketer’s biggest blessing. The one-to-one communication it offers gives you a chance to make an impact and form robust relationships with your readers. Emails provide the best ROI for marketers and flexibility and control for the readers. Only the consumers decide when to open and read an email. The first to-do on the list is consent. As a business, ensure you have an opt-in list of subscribers and follow all the data regulation laws such as CCPA, GDPR, CASL, and CAN-SPAM. If your readers wish to unsubscribe, make sure the opt-out process is smooth and easy.

Most consumers check their emails multiple times a day. You can create email marketing campaigns to educate, entertain, and inform your audience. But most importantly, to build rapport and make them trust your brand even before your ads or salespeople reach out to them. Personalization is the key. Your customers don’t want to feel they’re just another name on your list. They want to feel it’s personal. They want to feel like you’re directly talking to them.

Email marketing’s goal is to help your customers get to know your brand better and take the intended action. Before you start writing your email, you may want to ask yourself why you want to create this email in the first place. It helps you set an intention for your email marketing practice and design an inviting subject line. If you do not write a good subject line, most people would not even bother to open the email, and all the efforts you put in to create the email body go in vain. Make sure the subject line is clear and specific.
Email marketing has the potential to grow your business rapidly, no matter in which industry or niche you operate. Segment your email lists as per the audience categories and preferences. You shouldn’t be sending the same email to everyone. Marketing only works when you send the right message to the right audience at the right time. Communicate with your audience consistently- time is of the essence here! We recommend once a week for most B2B brands.
Make your emails readable- write short sentences and give enough whitespace; so it doesn’t look tedious to read to your customers. One-sentence email paragraphs make your emails scannable and prompt you to be clear and concise. Simplicity is the key!
In the B2B world, avoid sending emails early in the morning. When selecting days in the week, go for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday since Mondays are busy with meetings and calls, and on Fridays, people often wrap up work early. Try to think about your reader’s schedule and time your emails accordingly.

In the end!
Emails shouldn’t be about you. They have to be about your customers because your readers aren’t interested in how great you think your business is- they want to know what you can do for them. Be bold and straightforward with your emails but don’t come off as too salesy or aggressive. Subtle marketing is the way to go!

Read more: B2B Email Marketing 101

Anatomy of an email marketing strategy: from discovery to conversion

Content continues to prove itself as an invaluable part of a marketing strategy, for B2Cs and B2Bs alike. Brands that make it their business to create and serve engaging, useful content can keep their audience interested, gain their trust, and establish themselves as an authority in their field.

Content strategy can be a major part of reaching business objectives – according to Semrush’s 2022 State of Content Marketing Global Report, more than three-quarters (78%) of brands that achieved their business goals have a documented content marketing strategy, while 81% of companies that did not reach their goals do not have one.

There’s a role for content throughout the entire customer lifecycle, though it has the most impact when it is delivered at the right moment, which is where email comes in.

Mapping the right content with the right point in the customer journey and delivering it through email can be extremely effective. With consistent delivery of quality, relevant and valuable content, you get better quality leads and customers who are more likely to stay with you, as well as the opportunity to learn more about your audience and what they want, continuing the virtuous cycle.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can effectively build content into your email strategy in three steps: mapping the customer journey, collating the right content, and bringing the two together in an email programme.

Step 1: Understanding the customer and mapping their journey
As is the case with every marketing campaign, the best place to start is with an understanding of your audience. As a first step, draw upon any insights you have about your existing customers to develop different personas, before plotting the journey they take with you from awareness to conversion and beyond.

Reflect on the prospect’s needs, challenges and concerns on each step of that journey. Then identify the points at which they will be most receptive to content from you and determine what that content should look like.

An important point to keep in mind is that your email and content strategy must be aligned with the company’s broader marketing goals. According a 2019 survey from the Content Marketing Institute, the two biggest benefits of a documented content marketing strategy are aligning teams around common missions or goals, and making it easier to determine which types of content to develop.

If your business objectives are well defined, then goals for the content strategy will more naturally follow. It also means you’re less likely to waste money and effort on campaigns that don’t deliver material results for the company.

Step 2: Bringing together the right content
By this point you should have a good idea of the content you need, and fortunately, there may be no need to create it from scratch. It may be far more efficient to update or repurpose content that already exists in the company, which you can track down with a content audit. This is where you take stock of all the content you have on your site, such as blog posts, videos, guides, whitepapers and survey results, noting what content is performing well or tends to spur action.

If it is necessary for you to make new content, ensure you’re thinking about who your audience are as individuals – where they work, their life stage, their challenges, what they value, where they get their information – as well as where they are on the customer journey, to guide what you create.

Step 3: Aligning content with the customer journey
After you have an understanding of the likely journey the prospect will take with you and the content to which they’ll be most receptive, it’s time to bring the two together with your email strategy.

With a bulk communication and marketing automation platform, like Everlytic, it’s possible to set up automated workflows that send emails in response to certain behaviours, ensuring the prospect receives the right content at the right time. Also, if you have segmentation in place, you can adapt the email and personalise the content within it to suit their profile, rendering it even more valuable.

For example, when the Independent Institute of Education (IIE), South Africa’s largest private higher education institution, wanted to convert prospective leads into applicants and ultimately registered students, they used Everlytic to build a series of emails to nurture those interested in further study.

A series of emails and texts were sent to contacts over time, which were triggered by their behaviour. The content of the messages, of which there were five variations, would reflect where the recipient was in the onboarding lifecycle. IIE attributed the campaign as a factor in the 20% growth in student numbers the following academic year. This paced approach also took some of the strain off their sales and marketing teams.

Read more: Anatomy of an email marketing strategy: from discovery to conversion

How And Why To Adapt Your B2B Sales Strategy For Future Success

We’re in the midst of a significant B2B sales and marketing revolution. The pandemic forced companies to move from traditional sales to a more hybrid experience. Gone are the days of pitch decks in a conference room and “inside” sales—the future of B2B includes more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience for customers. Enterprise companies need to invest in this shift if they want to see success in the future.

Companies that refuse to evolve with the changing landscape will see a decrease in revenue as they compete against competitors adopting new strategies. In McKinsey’s latest B2B Pulse survey, “more than 90 percent of enterprises plan to sustain the changes made to their sales force structure over the past year.”

Here are seven ways to update and adapt your sales strategy to be more effective and capture future sales.

  1. Solve your customers’ problems anytime, anywhere.

Your customers want a complete solution. Companies need to enable touchpoints in multiple channels to ensure you’re serving customers when and where they want to buy. An omnichannel presence is critical. And a true omnichannel experience, which looks very different from five years ago, is now at least a 10-channel strategy. McKinsey data shows that “customers want—and expect—to engage seamlessly across ten or more. And the businesses that have been quick to meet that demand have profited: 72 percent of B2B companies that sell via seven or more channels grew their market share.”

More and more B2B customers are happy learning and buying through online and digital channels, making the traditional, in-person sales pitch less necessary.

  1. Work higher in the funnel.

At any given time, about 95% of B2B buyers aren’t in the market for your product. This simple yet monumental fact changes the B2B advertising and marketing game quite a bit. It means you need to spend advertising dollars on people who aren’t going to buy right now, but need to be familiar with your brand or product when they are in the market.

The most effective way to do this is focusing messaging and advertising dollars on creating brand-positive memories for your customers so when the time comes to purchase, your company is top of mind. As LinkedIn’s B2B Business Institute accurately captures, “Advertising impressions, accumulated over time, affect our memories. So, your advertising has to be designed to create distinct impressions about your brand in people’s minds — to be activated later.”

  1. Constantly invest in your brand awareness.

Invest at least 50% of your advertising dollars in awareness. With research showing that only 16% of B2B marketers rank building brand awareness as a major marketing objective, it appears most companies, particularly large ones, are taking their awareness for granted.

Small companies see the immediate value in spending money to increase brand visibility, but bigger, more established brands sometimes skip it. What keeps the brands with the most awareness top of mind is their ongoing and deliberate dedication to weaving their brand into their customer’s thoughts and lifestyles. Never skip or skimp on your brand awareness budget.

  1. Base every conversation on value.

Regularly remind your customers—both current and future—about the value you bring to the relationship. Provide end-to-end insights about your business and industry. Suggesting ways to help your customers navigate regulatory change or demonstrating how potential customers measure up in their industry are just a couple of ways you can help increase your value to customers.

Read more: How—And Why—To Adapt Your B2B Sales Strategy For Future Success

The role of B2B marketing in sales enablement

The digital world and the proliferation of channels have created an opportunity for PR to perform more cohesively across the organisation. From internal communications, reputation management, stakeholder engagement and sales enablement, the demand for collaboration and creativity across all business outputs is only increasing.

As a result, we’re seeing a real coming of age for B2B PR. More than ever, clients want to know how this can benefit the sales function.

B2B sales don’t come overnight
It’s important to acknowledge the B2B buying process when putting together a communications strategy. According to research by Professor John Dawes of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, only 5% of B2B buyers are in-market to buy right now. That means 95% of buyers are out of market and won’t buy for months or maybe even years. The chances are they’ve already got what you are selling, so you can’t make them go in-market at will.

It therefore makes no sense to direct all your marketing budget to generating leads for the 5% of customers that are ready to buy today. Instead, make it your purpose to more effectively influence the 95% of potential future customers who will generate future cash flow.

This is where B2B communications strategy comes in. Because success in the form of sales rarely happens overnight, there is more of a requirement to think long-term. How can you do this?

1 Go where your target audience is
The digital landscape provides more platforms and channels for brands to be visible across than ever before. That responsibility can feel overwhelming at times and as the saying goes, companies are now ‘needing to do more with less’. Successful B2B PR strategies rely on a focused approach that starts with understanding where your target audience most commonly resides. This will allow you to direct more of the marketing budget to the channels that are going to be most valuable to the organisation.

2 Stand out for the right reasons
To effectively target people that aren’t actively in the market now, brand awareness is super important if they are to remember you when they are in the market. This is less about timely press releases to announce your latest product updates and more about delivering a compelling message that resonates with your audience – and doing so on a consistent basis.

Therefore, it’s not just a case of being known, your ‘why’ needs to be heard louder than ever before, especially if you operate in a crowded marketplace. Your ‘why’ is what sets you apart from the competition.

Become a thought leader on the topics that reflect your ‘why’, provide your perspective and be an authoritative voice on the issues that matter to your target audience with a consistent and targeted content marketing strategy.

3 Earn third-party validation
This is a key component for building brand awareness and trust. It can take the form of a product reviews campaign or a case study approach. Letting a third party do all the talking for you provides credibility.

This strategy is so effective for building trust that Google is also getting in on the act. It now puts the focus on useful and relevant content from third parties rather than from brands themselves. As a result, brands are finding that news articles appear top in search results rather than their own website content. This further emphasises the importance of a content marketing strategy.

4 Reflect your audience’s vision
To be relevant today, an organisation needs to demonstrate that it understands – and acts upon – the same issues and concerns as its audience.

The greatest example of this is the rise of environmental, social and governance (ESG) communications in the B2B sector, a broadening of the focus on the environment against the backdrop of the social justice movement. It centres on the belief that organisations can no longer ignore their own accountability and requires total transparency in delivering on their ESG values and vision.

As a result, ESG is increasingly becoming the centre of an organisation’s communications. Failure to be transparent and communicate creates an assumption that the organisation is failing to act at all; this can result in lost leads.

Read more: The role of B2B marketing in sales enablement

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