In today’s “do more with less” industrial marketing environment, email marketing continues to be a productive marketing tool despite all the reports about its declining effectiveness. According to SirrusDecisions research, the B2B buyer receives 20.3 email campaigns per week, up from 15.4 per week in 2006. And that reality of the flooded inbox is very evident from steadily dropping response rates of only 1% to 3% range for traditional email marketing.
The old email marketing strategy of batch and blast or spray and pray is no longer effective. However, there’s no denying the low cost of email marketing. Therefore B2B and industrial marketers continue to favor email marketing over other direct marketing channels.
Today, it has matured to the point where marketers can deliver highly focused email campaigns to the right audience at the right time and in the preferred format.
Savvy B2B email marketers are being very creative in order to rise above the noise, get their lists to open their emails and take a desired action. They are combining video, audio and sophisticated tracking tools to deliver email campaigns with highly customized messages that engage prospects in their preferred format and measure interactions beyond just open and click-thru rates and well into website behavior.
Develop your email marketing strategy first
Before you begin developing customized content and using sophisticated analytics, the first order of business is to develop a sound and sustainable email marketing strategy. And that begins with thinking like an investigative reporter by asking the 4Ws and the 1H questions. They are:
Let’s look at two case studies to see how industrial marketers are using email to reach and engage with industrial buyers.
Case study #1: B2B lead generation through better segmenting and more focused email content
Business challenge: FreightCenter wanted to change its customer mix of 70/30 (B2C/B2B) to a more B2B-centric mix.
Email strategy: FreightCenter.com teamed up with email service provider Delivra to devise an email marketing strategy. Email tactics included:
Case study #2: Driving qualified traffic and growing in-house list using emails with videos links
Business challenge: Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. needed to drive more repeat visitors of its target audience of retailers, distributors, contractors and other building professionals. The second challenge was to grow the in-house email list of 75,000 names that were mainly dormant.
Email strategy: Milwaukee Tool worked with email service provider (ESP) ExactTarget in developing an aggressive email campaign containing links to product videos. Email tactics included:
It is obvious from these two case studies that email marketing continues to be very effective as an online marketing tactic. However, it does require some tweaking and a dose of creativity in order to rise above the noise in attracting the attention of industrial buyers and engaging with them deeper into the sales cycle.
How are you using email marketing to reach and engage with your target audience? Share your ideas here.
Let’s start with a free 30-minute consultation to determine if this will be a good fit for both of us. It will be a friendly chat to get to know each other better, not a high-pressure sales pitch.