Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways B2B Technology companies can promote their business — be it to build the brand, sell products, or communicate with customers. Email marketing is a sought-after channel even for the best of marketers owing to its beneficial return on investment (ROI). A 2015 study by the DMA (Data & Marketing Association) found that for every $1 spent, email has an average of $38 ROI.
While emails are a desirable channel for marketing, the average CTOR (Click-to-Open Rate) across industries stands at 14%, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. Additionally, in a study conducted by Barilliance, the average email conversion rate stood at 14.6% in 2021. These predicaments demand B2B marketers devise effective email marketing campaigns that can greatly improve the odds of converting customers.
In the following sections, we’ll be examining some of the common mistakes that result in the failure of cold emails as well as strategies that can improve the effectiveness of email marketing in b2b companies.
Mistakes With Cold Emailing
- Generic Email to All recipients
Generic and templated emails are one of the common pitfalls of email marketing. Such emails seem less personal and are often perceived as spam by the readers. Personalizing campaigns with a few personal details of recipients makes a big difference. For B2B companies, it’s not only the recipient’s name and company’s name, a cold B2B email needs to incorporate personal demographics (like gender, income, and education) and professional details (like industry, position, qualifications, company size, and specific skills). Personalization is known to receive favourable responses to cold emails.
- Pitching to People Not Interested in Your Product/Service
Even the best solutions won’t be bought when pitched to the wrong people. Marketers need to find leads that match their Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and designing a buyer persona will enable businesses to appeal to people’s needs better. It is advisable to not write to people who do not match the profile. More importantly, provide solutions that will help the audience conceive their goal and not just try to close a sale.
Mails are often mercilessly segmented as spam with words such as “Click Here”, “Apply Now”, “Free” and “Discount” among a plethora of others. Marketers need to ensure that spam words are replaced with relevant and reliable Call-to-Action (CTA). Email marketing campaigns should have conspicuous CTA buttons/links with only one per email. CTA should encapsulate a direct link so that the audience is spared from searching for the desired page.
Shortened links are often used in marketing emails for aesthetic purposes as they might look more legible than long links. However, the flipside to this is that emails with shortened links can be filtered as spam by the Email Service Provider (ESP). It is hence not recommended to use shortened links within emails as the ESP tracks where the link leads.
- Not Creating Mobile-Friendly Emails
Viewing emails on mobile phones has been on a rapid rise. According to a 2019 report by Adestra, 61.9% of email opens occurred on mobile, 9.8% on desktop, and 28.3% in a webmail client. Ignoring to creation of mobile-friendly emails may fail to come under the reader’s radar.
Strategies For Effective Cold Emailing
- Understanding Customer Expectations from Emails
It is important to understand when a customer will solicit the email and isn’t going to deem it as spam. Spamming isn’t about prospects or customers receiving solicited emails at an unexpected time, it is rather about sending unsolicited emails in itself. For instance, if a company sends out a marketing email around the time when a prospect is looking to buy a product or service, it is more likely to be welcomed than regarded as spam. The order and timing of emails should be strategically done as per the individual’s or account’s engagement level and their phase in the buying funnel. Marketers have to invest in understanding the expectations of customers and nurture them through all the phases in the marketing funnel.
- Leverage Marketing Automation Effectively
Incorporating marketing automation can be beneficial to marketers. A study by VentureBeat found that automated email marketing campaigns derive conversion rates 180% higher than batch emails. Automated emails are trigger-based emails that are automatically sent out based on user behaviour. Common trigger emails include ‘welcome’ emails, thank you emails, and transactional emails like order confirmation and receipts.
Additionally, Campaign Monitor found that automated emails generate 320% more revenue than non-automated ones. Marketing automation should thus be an indispensable part of B2B marketers’ repertoire.
Personalized messages don’t mean an individual email is sent to every single subscriber. Creating personalized emails entails leveraging customer data (like demographic data, firmographic data, behavioural data, and contextual data). A study by Experian Marketing Services found that personalized emails generate six times higher transaction rates and revenue per email than non-personalized emails. While trying to engage and persuade readers to respond to email campaigns, including email subject lines that are personalized with a recipient’s first name and using a real reply address will improve credibility and appear personal.
Emails should target content to solve/address idiosyncratic problems and needs. It is desirable to send emails to a segmented list of contacts based on their interests.
Segmenting the customer database will enable email campaigns to be better targeted. Segmented email marketing campaigns are found to get better open rates, revenue, leads, and transactions. DMA’s 2014 report stated “Segmented email campaigns accounted for 60% of all email revenue, an increase on 2012 (55%). On this basis, during 2013 over three-quarters (77%) of all email marketing revenue came from more advanced practices than generic broadcast email.”
Another benefit of segmentation is its compliance with GDPR’s email marketing regulations. Email campaigns can be segmented by company size or annual revenue, by sales cycle, and also by industry. Knowing the industry of subscribers and tailoring the campaigns by their position in the sales cycle is a great way to increase response rates
Email marketing can be simplified by incorporating platforms that can create and segment mailing lists, use targeted lists directly from databases, schedule email delivery, and track people’s responses. Platforms with such segmentation capabilities will enable marketers to create, send, and test effective email campaigns.
Testing provides insights for decision-making that can improve marketing performance in b2b companies. A common practice among marketers is Email A/B testing. A/B testing can determine email elements that perform best. With email, A/B split testing marketers can ascertain the effectiveness of email marketing corroborated by data.
Having marketing analytics data will help to refine marketing strategies. Some of the common metrics for measuring email marketing effectiveness are Opens and Clicks Rate, e-commerce, website traffic, unsubscribe rate, and conversions among many others.
These statistics indicate how well the campaign content resonates with the readers and track any trends in website traffic or commerce activities after a marketing campaign is delivered.
Email marketing is still the most preferred channel for B2B companies and is known to out-perform all other marketing channels. Marketers should look to deliver email cadence following the engagement level of their audience. Failure to do so can risk damaging customer loyalty and brand reputation too.
Prospects can be exhausted by emails owing to an incessant bombarding of spam. An effective email strategy can greatly improve the efficacy of marketing efforts as well as improve conversion rates.