Three (Mild to Wild) B2B Email Marketing Strategies
We talk a lot about consumer emails here but today we’re looking at three very different B2B email marketing strategies, which range from basic to advanced.
Needless to say, email programs in the business-to-business realm have certain attributes that make them different from the average consumer email program—like longer sales cycles, higher price points and fewer products to sell.
Today, we’ll review a few B2B strategies that may help you to, not only, stay in front of business prospects/clients but help you ring the cash register harder, and more often. Let’s begin.
Push Social Connections (as a Standalone Campaign)
In the example above from Wildfire, the company reached out to its subscribers and clients asking for followers on five social networks.
Aside from the additional reach that social media can afford B2Bs, Wildfire is likely looking to build its social following for two reasons.
First, having a large social following is corresponding more with search results. Google+, in particular, is having a bigger impact on search result. Therefore for companies looking to get more traffic from search it’s important to grow a social following.
Second, a social following does have an impression on people that have just discovered a brand. When someone hears about the brand and is potentially interested in the service they’ll do some research and today one of the basic research steps is finding out how many followers the brand has on social media. It’s a quick and general way to see if others trust the brand; social proof. That said, I’m surprised that Wildfire did not include a link to their LinkedIn company profile of company-sponsored LinkedIn group.
Use Dynamic Content (Like a Retailer)
Email newsletters are common among B2Bs. They’re a great way to provide useful resources in addition to the services you already provide. You can gather articles that will be interesting and useful to your clients. But everyone does that.
What’s unique about this example from LinkedIn is how they promote the custom aspect of the newsletter. They are using dynamic content, via merge tags, to accomplish this which insanely common in the consumer and publishing worlds but surprisingly not so common in B2B.
If an email is “dynamic” it means that each subscriber could, theoretically, receive a unique email based on their profile or behavioral data.
This dynamic data, which populates the content of an email, could be as straightforward as a photo and contact information of the user’s account manager or, like in the email above, it is based on a user’s LinkedIn profile.
Dynamic content has proven to increase relevancy which can often accelerate the sales cycle and increase upsells. It’s no brainer.
Use Google Remarketing (in Your Emails)
For those who are late to the party, Google remarketing provides marketers with an opportunity to stay in front of prospects who were on their site and then offer those prospects relevant display ads as they browse the web.
Though it is well-documented how retailers benefit from ad remarketing, it is not always apparent how the technology can work for B2B; it’s especially unclear how it can work with your email program.
I would argue that any B2B company that uses a free trial, has a freemium product, engages in active lead generation, or runs lead nurturing campaigns (which I suppose is almost every B2B) can use remarketing in their email campaigns to increase conversions and drive revenue; but they have to be smart about it.
For the most part, users who have accepted your free trial, for example, don’t want to see ads for a product they’re already tested. One of the biggest mistakes in retargeting is ads asking users to take an action they’ve already taken.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t advertise to existing clients, you simply must do so in a way that adds value. One prime example is freemium products. Preaching the virtues of your paid product to your free users (via email and Google remarketing) can help increase upsells.
Likewise, if you’re devoting dollars to bring traffic to a lead gen form, remarketing to those who open but (do not click) on those emails (or bounce from those landing pages) will help you stay in touch with your warm prospects, with a message that is more relevant to where they are in sales cycle. Here’s how it works.
Just like you would do on your website, all you need to do is add a sales-stage-specific remarketing code into the HTML of your emails, and everyone who opens an email, in that list segment, will begin to see those (more targeted) ads all over the web. The benefit here is that you can better focus your Google remarketing efforts based on how far your users are in the funnel. That way, you can ensure you’re getting the biggest bang for your remarketing buck.
What are your favorite B2B email marketing strategies?
Please share your thoughts and comment below.