A lot of things have changed in the B2B marketing world, but there are a few that seem to remain the same despite all the breakthroughs and breakdowns. Email marketing has been rapidly evolving and has seen its fair share of transformations within almost every aspect, yet a handful of basic concepts and elements still hold true – a contact list is still a contact list; good content is still good content; and favorable results are still favorable results – even if the technology and techniques used have evolved.
This post takes a look at the time-tested steps of optimizing email marketing campaign ROI, concepts that have remained fundamentally unchanged throughout the years and most probably will continue to do so in the future.
Throughout its existence, email marketing lists has been credited with many advantages. Chief among these are its ability to provide automated personalization and its measurability. Research has shown that recipients from both B2B and B2C hemispheres strongly favor highly-personalized messages, a fact that email marketers are constantly taking into account when developing and sending emails to individuals in their contacts list. In addition, email campaigns are typically accompanied with a vast array of metrics and analytics that allow better decision-making.
Similar to the above benefits, B2B email marketing ROI has also remained among the top priorities for marketers and will likely stay on top of their lists for years to come. Here are a few tried-and-tested guidelines to optimize ROI for your B2B email campaign:
1. Quantify your objectives. It’s always a good practice to assign specific numerical values to the objectives you set instead of just using some vague terminologies. However, you need to make sure that the values you’re applying are realistic and justifiable without overlooking the time element. Again, email marketing campaigns give you measurable results; your objectives should too.
2. Adopt an inclusive planning approach. Now that you have some sense of direction with your objectives, it’s time to figure out a way to get there. However, your approach to planning should be reasonably inclusive which means you have to factor in other channels in your marketing mix and take into consideration past performance and tactics. Your plan should cover everything from your business contacts list segmentation all the way to lead nurturing email content mapping.
3. Segment, segment, and segment. Among the most crucial mistakes that many B2B email marketing practitioners make is sending exactly the same emails to ALL entries in their B2B contacts database. Different groups of contacts have varying information needs, and the only way you can satisfy their unique requirements is to systematically segment your contact list and match your content accordingly.
4. Make sure to include the essentials. Each email you send should answer three things that recipients typically ask: (1) Where did the email come from? (2) Why should I open/read it? (3) What do I have to do next? This simply means your email should contain valid From lines (preferably name of a person), strong subject line/quality content, and a clear call to action (CTA). These are basically the essentials of your email messages.
5. Educate and inform. Self-promotion is second only to prospect/customer education in B2B email marketing. This rule has been valid since the early beginnings of this marketing channel and continues to be the backbone of effective ROI-oriented campaigns. Nothing beats content that helps readers from your contact list in their everyday work.
6. Test regularly. Frequent evaluations make for better deliverability, compatibility, readability, etc. and ultimately translate to enhanced ROI. Make sure to adopt a systematic approach toward testing specific variables and tactics in your email campaign on a regular basis.
7. Reflect on results. B2B email marketing is a learning process and will continue to stay that way. That’s why you have to make it a point to take a step back and reflect on the progress, success or failure, and outcome of your campaign not only when it’s over but also during certain times when it’s still in full swing.