There are specific marketing methods and channels to use for lead generation when targeting customers. However, when it comes to business-to-business (B2B) lead generation, the tactic and strategy look quite different. Social media and innovative communication applications have changed the way businesses are targeting consumers in today’s digital age, but for B2B marketing, and specifically inbound marketing, traditional methods, including email and telephone communications are still on the rise.
Why is this? Inbound B2B marketing involves delivering logic, while the business-to-customer (B2C) approach has moved to a more emotional tactic. The click-through-rate (CTR) for B2B emails are 47% higher than that of B2C rates, while 59% of B2B marketers say that email is still the most effective methods of revenue generation. This shows that businesses should be investing in email marketing campaigns if their target market is other businesses.
It is important to note that for effective B2B email marketing, a relationship should already exist where clients have opted in to receive emails from a business. We are moving away from seeking out new audiences and more towards email strategies focused on strengthening existing relationships. This is known as inbound marketing which often results in higher engagement rates.
An effective way for businesses to obtain valuable email addresses is through a professional online presence, such as a website. This allows businesses to create quality content targeted at potential clients. Once a potential client signs up on a website, the interest is clear and an inbound email marketing campaign can be launched.
Let’s look at why email marketing is still effective and why businesses should not ignore its benefits:
The Importance of Inbound Email Marketing for B2B Lead Generation
B2B inbound marketing involves businesses to subtly promote their products and services to other businesses. For this to be effective, businesses must have an established relationship, must offer enough information to build trust and include a logical explanation of why a business should invest in its offering. Unfortunately, this cannot be done with instant communication tools, such as mobile applications, that have become available in recent years. Email allows for detailed and precise communication. Furthermore, email marketing provides the perfect platform to collect valuable data about other businesses. This data includes open rates, click-through-rates, reply rates and information contained in responses which indicate where a business’ interest lies.
Let’s look at a few benefits for email marketing for businesses:
Cost-effective: Email marketing has a very low cost, compared to other marketing methods.
Easy launch: An email marketing campaign can be launched with just a few clicks.
Better data: Email marketing offers many valuable statistics and data, which include open-rates, click-through-rates, responses, etc. This can be used to tweak future campaigns for increased success.
Retargeting: Potential clients can be retargeted more effectively through the use of certain data, such as click-throughs. For example, if the potential client clicks on a specific product or service but does not follow through to check out, they can be retargeted in the future with marketing focused on their interest.
Email has plenty of benefits for B2B marketing. Now, let’s look at the strategies that can be incorporated to increase the success of an email marketing campaign.
Strategies That Can Be Incorporated in Inbound Email Marketing
Email is a versatile platform. For marketing purposes, it allows for plenty of customization to ensure the success of campaigns. However, before launching a campaign, it has to be said that a business shouldn’t simply email anyone in its database. A relationship should already exist through a potential business client who has voluntarily opted in to receive news, updates, promotions and more from a company. Ideally, an email campaign should be used to simply prompt a potential client to take the next action and not as a platform to introduce a company and its existing products and services.
Here are a few strategies that should be considered for any marketing done through email:
Use a landing page or website
Having an online presence is an excellent way to get potential clients to opt into marketing emails. Quality and effective content should be used to initially attract prospects. This way, you’ll know that you are dealing with businesses that are already interested in what you have to offer. Once a business signs up to receive emails, it is easy to target them with future campaigns. Furthermore, a website is also an easy way to keep track of click-through-rates and it also provides a platform for further information should potential clients need it. Web development is no longer as expensive as it used to be. Hiring overseas web developers who work remotely can be even more cost-effective and an excellent investment for any business. To hire web developers overseas, be sure to search online for the average web developers salary, as well as the preferred skills to be sure you hire the right candidates.
Make sure your data is sorted
You won’t send the director of a company the same email you sent to a manager of a certain department. Therefore, you must sort your data before you delve into email marketing. It’s also important to know which industries you are targeting. It’s not always ideal to send the same email to businesses in different fields. This is where data comes in. Segmentation of data should be done before any big email marketing campaign. This can include location, demographics and content interest too. Once you know exactly who you will be sending your emails to, you can better tailor each batch to suit receivers.
Mobile users have increased exponentially over the last few years and many companies run their business on the go. It is, therefore, essential to ensure all your emails are completely mobile-friendly. Every design should display correctly on all devices. If you do not have an in-house design team, expert overseas software web developers can be hired to assist with this. Hiring remote web developersis no longer as expensive as it used to be and is an excellent investment should you require extra skills for your business.
Many businesses have still not realized the potential of email automation. Communication is so important in building quality relationships and therefore, every action requires a response. The best types of emails to automate are ones that follow after a certain action was taken, such as filling out a form, signing up for a service or requesting certain information. Automated emails are often instant, so you know your communication is fast and efficient.
One strategy that has proven to increase the success rate of an email marketing campaign is testing, specifically A/B testing. Before any big marketing campaign, a few tests need to be done to see what works and what does not. A/B testing, or split testing, involves comparing two versions of an email to establish which one, A or B, is the better performing variation. Testing can be done with staff and other stakeholders, or with a smaller amount of clients. Once you have the data from these tests, you can implement it into your actual campaign to ensure a higher success rate.
There are many tools which can be used along with an email platform to ensure you are constantly on top of insights from emails. These insights can include open-rates and click-through-rates and are valuable to evaluate the success of any campaign.
There are plenty of aspects that contribute to the success of an email campaign, from the tone you choose to use to the email signatures you add to sign off. Always use a tone that suits your business’ brand identity and that complements the relationship you have with the potential client. Email signatures should be professional and include a title, a name, the business name and contact information. Every part should be carefully considered.
How Email Marketing Supports the Lead-to-close Process
When a targeted business shows interest in a product or service after the initial sign up with their email address, a company has a better opportunity to persuade the business through email marketing to buy a product or service, and the deal can be closed. But why email marketing? Email marketing is a unique communications tool, as it allows for larger volumes of information to be sent. Through this, businesses have a better opportunity to build trust and to build a stronger relationship. Targeted businesses can ask questions which can be answered with in-depth and detailed answers.
The Bottom Line
Today, many marketers are debating whether email marketing is still a viable method for lead generation. However, it has stood the test of time and has proven time and time again that it is still the most beneficial method for B2B marketing. When implemented effectively, it can increase the success rates of lead generation, conversions and, ultimately, revenue generation. Businesses shouldn’t ignore its potential and should invest in email marketing if they aren’t already.