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Why You Need to Rethink Your Email List Segmentation Best Practices

Email List

Find out why most email list segmentation best practices no longer meet the demands of today’s email marketing landscape.

There’s no shortage of email list segmentation best practices to go around. In fact, a quick Google search for ways to slice and dice an email list gives 19,700,00 results. But a great deal of these readily-available tips falls somewhere between marginally useful to totally obsolete. That means your segmentation strategy is probably due for a little overhaul. Here’s why.

In case you haven’t noticed, both B2B buyers and their buying cycles have changed. B2B prospects are now almost 60% into the decision-making process before reaching out to a vendor, and they’re doing a ton of research and learning about a product or services largely on their own. Old static segmentation models can no longer account for the dynamic, self-determined behavior that today’s prospects tend to display.

That’s just one area where traditional email list segmentation best practices fall short. You need to reconsider conventional ways of segregating email contacts because:

 

  1. Everybody’s doing it.

You really can’t gain any decent competitive edge from following traditional email list segmentation best practices. Practically, most B2B organizations segment email lists according to some basic combination of demographic, firmographic, and firmographic attributes.

While these are fairly effective as starting points for slicing and dicing lists, these strategies have attained such mainstream acceptance that it’s hard to differentiate your campaign and generate above-average results solely on these criteria.

 

  1. Buyers evolve faster than profiles.

As marketers, we’re painfully aware that data decays at a rate of at least 2% per month. But there’s more to marketing data going stale than contacts’ job titles or addresses changing.

The modern B2B purchase journey’s nonlinearity means that prospect behavior doesn’t remain constant or predictable throughout the process. This is why segmentation models need to take these changes into account in order to be useful.

 

  1. Traditional models don’t do a very good job at personalization.

Most email list segmentation best practices were developed when mass targeting was still the norm. That was why these models relied mostly on broad categories and aggregate groupings of prospects.

With today’s decision-makers expecting a relevant, targeted experience, sending out emails that only make use of superficial personalization (first name, industry, company names, etc.) simply isn’t going to cut it.

 

These are a few of the main reasons why email list segmentation best practices need to evolve. The bottom-line is that the marketing landscape has changed. Traditional ways of doing things aren’t that helpful or effective anymore. So, keep up and stay ahead.

6 Actionable Ways to Segment Information Technology Mailing Lists

6 Actionable Ways to Segment Information Technology Mailing Lists

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Whether IT managers, directors, or CIOs (or all three) make up your information technology mailing lists, reaching out to an organization’s IT decision-makers via email can be a tough nut to crack. IT folks tend to be a well-informed bunch (i.e., keeping up with developments in their field is an unwritten item on their job description). This makes them almost pathologically allergic to sales and marketing efforts that try to “educate” them on a pain point or solution they can figure out on their own.

But with the right message delivered to the right person at the right time and for the right reasons, it’s not impossible to get decent email campaign results with your information technology mailing lists. That’s right. I’m talking about good-old email list segmentation.

List segmentation breaks up your contact database into groupings based on some criteria (more on this below). The main idea is that these groupings (or segments) let you deliver more relevant email messages, so that recipients respond better to your emails. Actual campaign results show that segmented email lists produce, on average, 14% more opens and 101% higher CTRs than non-segmented lists.

It’s a bit surprising (to me, at least) that despite the measurable benefits list segmentation brings to the table, a whopping 42% of companies still avoid using this tactic. That’s according to a DMA report that claims segmentation generated 58% of revenues and 77% of ROI in 2015.

So, there you have it. Segmentation isn’t only good for your email campaigns; it also works well at boosting your top and bottom-lines. Now, let’s go over a few segmentation techniques you can apply on your information technology mailing lists right away. Although there can be hundreds of ways to slice and dice your email lists, most of these boil down to the following:

 

  1. Start with basic firmographics

I’m sure you’ve come across some fancy ways of breaking lists up. But, in most cases in IT sales and marketing, segmenting lists according to your target prospects’ company attributes can already get the job done.

Information like industry, annual revenues, geographic location, and company size are good parameters to get started with chopping up your information technology mailing lists, especially if you also throw in additional segmentation criteria such as software or technology in use along with the company’s purchase process.

 

  1. Map emails to sales funnel stages

If you need a bit more precision in your email campaigns, then targeting based on where prospects are in your sales funnel is the logical next step to build on top of firmographic segmentation.

It goes without saying that emails sent to top-of-funnel prospects shouldn’t be the same as emails intended for leads that have been in your pipeline for a while. New email subscribers, for example, are most likely looking for general information about your products and company. They’re usually not yet ready for emails about product comparisons or pricing.

 

  1. Follow a contact’s clickpath on your site

A clickpath is simply the series of links a visitor follows. It tracks the steps a prospect takes to get what she wants from your website.

How prospects navigate your site can reveal a lot about what they’re interested in and what their intentions are. Leads who have made it to your product pages, for instance, may be expecting a more product-oriented email message than someone who’s only been to your careers page.

 

  1. Find out what content they’re engaging with

Which of your whitepapers does a prospect download? What topics on your blog does that prospect tend to view? Which of these does she share often?

The content that a prospect consumes can help you craft email messages that are likely going to resonate with that lead. If you’re able to map your content materials with your sales funnel stages, your email list segments will become even more granulated once you include content preferences as a criterion.

 

  1. Keep track of responses and activities

If you’ve been using your information technology mailing lists for a while, then you’ve most probably already gathered enough data on prospect responses and email activities to identify patterns in how they interact with your campaigns.

Activities like opens, clicks, replies, and opt-outs can let you segment your list according to how engaged or interested prospects are. These interactions enable you to prioritize or reengage stalled leads with relevant messages.

 

  1. Apply a lead scoring scheme

One way to put all of these different segmentation techniques together is to use a lead scoring system. A lead score quantifies many of the things we’ve talked about earlier and assigns a value to a prospect based on how that lead meets each of the criteria.

For example, a lead scoring system might assign more points to an IT director whose company falls within a given industry, but deducts a corresponding value if that contact just happens to be browsing job vacancies on your site. A lead scoring scheme can give bigger points to prospects that view a certain topic (e.g., bottom-of-funnel content) and smaller scores to top-of-funnel leads. All these points are then added in order to compute the lead score for that particular contact.

Whatever segmentation strategy you choose to stick to, the key thing is to realize that the old “spray and pray” approach at email marketing won’t work on your information technology mailing lists. It’s relevant, engaging emails which are going to get you the right results.

Is Your B2B Contact Leads Database Ready for the AI Revolution?

Is Your B2B Contact/Leads Database Ready for the AI Revolution

image credits goes to the original owner

One of the main takeaways from Salesforce’s 2017 STATE of MARKETING report  is that investments in AI has outpaced spending in other marketing tech areas. B2B marketers are adopting AI technologies ranging from predictive lead scoring to chatbots in droves. But before you get caught up in the hype, there’s one thing you need to nail down before you start applying AI into your marketing processes: Is your B2B contact leads database ready for AI at all?

To answer this, we first need to separate the reality and the publicity behind AI’s capabilities in B2B marketing today. MarTech Advisor points to four key areas where B2B marketers can realistically expect AI to lend them a helping hand:

  • Scoring and ranking leads.
  • Segmentation and content personalization
  • Discovering and implementing Marketing automation strategies
  • Sales enablement and acceleration

At its present development stage, the best that AI technology can do is allow you to carry out the tasks in each of the above activities more efficiently. While some aspects of AI can uncover prospect behavior invisible to the unaided human B2B marketer, the reality is that AI remains just a tool, and tools are only as effective as the persons and processes using them.

So if you think AI has a place in your marketing toolkit, you first need to take a good look at your B2B contact leads database.

Like everything else in marketing, AI depends on good data. The data currently sitting in your CRM and datasets you’re about to collect need to meet some basic requirements before starting AI-enabled campaigns. In an interesting video series, Brandon Rohrer at Microsoft Azzure thinks of data science and AI as a lot like making pizza: the better the ingredients (your data), the better the final product (marketing insights).

There are four qualities that any dataset must satisfy to be ready for AI and data science:

  1. Relevant: Do the fields and records in your B2B contact leads database help you answer the questions you’re exploring? For example, which lead attributes in your CRM influence the likelihood that a prospect turns into a customer within the next quarter?
  2. Accurate: How reliable are the models/profiles generated from your marketing database? Do the records contain incorrect, outdated, redundant, or invalid entries?
  3. Connected: Are there significant gaps in your marketing data? What percentage of records contain empty fields?
  4. Sufficient: Do you have enough records to build robust AI models?

While each of the above criteria is important, we need to carefully consider sufficiency. AI requires data–lots of data. The algorithms that power most AI applications run on vast amounts of examples in their training set. In general, the more examples you use to train an AI algorithm, the more accurate the resulting model gets.

So before you think about applying AI in marketing, you first have to bring your contact leads database up to snuff.  Use the previous ideas as your guidelines and maximize the power of artificial intelligence.

Stop doubting! Email marketing is the new black!

Ever heard the saying Orange is the new black? Or anything that associates with the new black saying? Maybe you’ve heard of it from a movie or saw it on the social media? But let me tell you one thing, even if its old or new, people will decide what’s trending or not.

Email marketing has been one of the strongest marketing strategies that marketers are currently using, It is effective to drive more traffic towards your website, keeping communication lines open with your clients and develop strong relationships.

It’s old, but it still the new black in marketing. Mostly because it’s mostly used by every marketer or companies. Well, who wouldn’t when you can build relationships over an email? Most people will hang up if their phone started to ring, as for the email, they could just ignore it or it can automatically be placed in the Spam folder.

Although there’s still a doubt in our mind whether to stick with email marketing in the near future, knowing that there will be changes in the marketing industry. Having said this, we are still undergoing some changes that we aren’t used to.

WHAT HAPPEN IF EMAIL MARKETING IS LONG FORGOTTEN?

The marketing world would never be the same anymore. Without Electronic mail marketing, marketers will have a  hard time coping up with what they are used to. But of course, with the change or renew of some marketing campaigns comes another opportunity to grab.

Even though Email marketing will be long forgotten, there will be instances that it will be used in the near future. And if that happen email marketing will be used greatly and dearly by many marketers.

Email marketing Programming and its Benefits

Email marketing is not new in B2B marketing. Email marketing might be a thing in the past but business these days are not using this simple yet effective strategy in prospecting. Email marketing that we know is just a regular text with recipient and sender and that is all. Without thinking through the possibility of email. We may not be using it properly and effectively. Remember that email is also dynamic and it takes a lot of forms.

Knowing that, we would be easily doing what it takes for our email campaign towards our lead and prospects.

One thing to consider is on how to program your own email. Programing email may seem it’s going to be modified through various ways yet this is just a step forward. Email may come in three different forms, and that follows as:

  1. Interactive and responsive
  2. Entertaining
  3. User-friendly layouts

Interactive and responsive email may come in example as newsletter. It will look like a small website that is linked to your site and it contains similar image as to your site. It has all the CTA and contact information so for the convenience of your recipient. It will brand your company name yet it will look into the need of your audience.

Not all of your audience or recipient will be interested immediately in your email, yet you must still capture their attention in order for them to forward it to someone else. Put some demo videos and gif if you can and program it in the way that audience would see it as an advertisement type. Americans appeal to advertising is much higher than those in marketing type approach.

Lastly is make it mobile friendly, browser enabled and cookies enabled. This is to capture all three variance of your prospects information. You will know if they are into mobile or desktop browser and get their email address in just one click. Isn’t that easy?

Email marketing is not yet dead. It is just changing. B2B marketers and lead generation service must know this.

30 Days List Building Strategy

In B2B marketing, building your list is very important in lead generation. This can be achieved through many ways. But one sure fire win to build a list for responsive email list, get this done within 30 days. One would normally ask if this is even possible. Yes. It is possible and you can do this online without spending too much money on your pocket. We will be sharing one of our strategies for you to make your own list.

Find a content developer that will trade their content release to you as a marketer in exchange of plugging your site for about a month if you want. Then start trading these releases so that you can acquire responsive subscribers.

If you are good enough about the content, It will sure to take only a few hours to wait for a new batch of leads to come through just like a continuous wave. You can see then that leads are flocking over to your site which you can trade away for marketers. And to think that the content you made took only couple of hours to complete.

Aside from content, you can also go for:

  • article writing
  • web designing
  • programming
  • SEO
  • audio/video,
  • building website

Or could be anything that your skill is interested in as well, or under the industry market you are working with.

Finding the email list owners is the real deal in this marketing industry. You can leverage the skills that you have so that you can build your own list and then endorse your website.

Common Errors in Connecting Email Contacts

Connecting as described by Daniel Fagella, is the second phase of emailing quadrant in email marketing. During this phase, optimization process happens. We are building the best initial relationship with the prospect as possible through automated follow-up sequences and communications based on their prospect type and behavior during this time.

Understanding the appeal of motives of prospects is done before converting them into an initial buyer to an up-sell or retention strategy. During this phase, we understand the unique characteristics   to employ the next best move for this type of customer. Some errors can be observed in this phase as follows:

  • Bland, generic follow-up sequences that aren’t calibrated by the business’s demands or by the behavior of the client This type of follows up emails is created by one person coming from intermediate source. The content of this email is often generic and not specifically generated for that type of prospect. The relevancy of this email is low thus, can decrease the chance of conversion.
  • Neglecting to setting up designated follow-up sequences for new buyers, or for win-back of past customersAs mentioned above that relevancy is indeed relative to the rate of conversion. Most marketers end up sending inappropriate email containing old promo for new type customers. Also there is no email that will contain retention tactic for win-back customers.
  • Short, untested email sequences that are set once and never tested to improve their efficacy in delivering meaningful results like sales, appointments, or any kind of engagement The most common experience of a marketer is when they thought that email format ends up with the same result. But not testing the sequence of different email format was not used to measure up different results. Some formats are reliable base on the prospect’s behavior but not always end up the same thing.

More over, having these corrected will make the email experience from prospects quite a lot easier that what it has been before.

Benefits Of Email Marketing Today

It’s a tough challenge. Propagating the value of your client relationship while converting new prospects can be viewed in the same sense. Marketing tools for emailing campaign well is free and affordable. You just have to know how to do it. But why email marketing? Here are some benefits in emailing campaign and blasting to keep both on the track.

Optimize the Marketing ROI

Traditional marketing is depleting while email marketing is 30 times more cost efficient. If your company is suffering from financial capability, it’ll only take few cents or dollars in starting your own email traffic driver. Of course, start first with creating your own company website. Email marketing is 6 percent less expensive to sell to a current customer than traditional face to face marketing.

 

Improve Client experience and loyalty

In using email marketing, sensible and relevant relationships are formed and that will drive professionally the customer service. Emailing is not that difficult and again not expensive and it is also use in long-lasting customer-friendly relationship. You can start making newsletters, promotional contents, new service announcements or event invitations.

 

More Sales Conversions

In email marketing, conversions are important. Begin by smoothly lead a prospect through the sales process, provide important information and push a little forward your prospect towards your website. Email marketing allows you to communicate at the speed of the internet, so choose a reliable network connection for your business. For campaigns, response should be sent within 48 hours.

 

Utilize Tracking and Response

When you already in the stirring wheel of email marketing, keeping a numerical measurement is a bit difficult. But email marketing is traceable. You can see who visits and clicked links from your email and your website. You can also read important feedback from you customer to keep your business updated.

Amplifying Data and Expansion of Email Interaction Tip #1

Internet of Things affects our aspect of life in many ways today one of them is email which contributes the best road to interact consumers with the business.  Together with the understanding of how we can communicate well to our consumers to disperse the product and services is crucial in the profit of our business.

There are a lot samples in sending your email. Whether if it is a newsletter, promotion, special offer, follow-up, confirmation and others sprinkling your email across too many consumers is really inappropriateand just a ways of energy. In the same sense, you must not see your consumer in a single face.

ROI can be achieved if you can segregate the email you are about to send so that it will be relatable and significant towards your consumer. The secret is to see what is in your available data and use them to identify your consumer so that you can write an appropriate email and persuade them to take actions against your message.

Below is the first tip out of three to be listed on how you can start amplifying your data and expand your email interaction.

Diagnosing your Customer through Activity

Determine what type of costumer available in your database to form a design to spot them as a target.

  • Recurrent client– in your database, identify customer that has recurring activity such purchase, access of account or data usage in a given time. This type of customer have constant channel within your business, treating them with high priority must be done to ensure they will keep on involving and share information about your business. Try sending some special offers and discount as a perk. Sending email to them frequently with about 4 times a week can boost their motivation to stay as your customer.
  • Novice client– the newbie or so what they call. These types of customers are more likely to withdraw if wrong action was done. Chances of withdrawal are very high due to customers may find your emails annoying and inappropriate for them. Sending the right email such suggestion or tips about your product are the best. Don’t try to persuade them immediately by buying special offers but make them stay and eventually turn them into a recurring customer then.
  • Free Trial user- these are not official clients unless being converted to a paying costumer. These types of users are into free subscription (if product is software) and you must remember that investing some money on them is not profitable. Center the idea on how you can get them started paying your product.
  • Dormant user–  these are what we call dead yet still can be retained customer. It also includes that trial user that didn’t pursue in going with your business. Ignoring them may have been on your list but try to realize that they were into your business once. Try to send some surveys for you to know how you can improve your service or product as well.

Does It Sell?

An email’s design in essential and so is deliverability is also very essential. And also is the subject line. And so is the offer, copy, calls to action, timing and targeting approach. There are a lot of things that should be on top of the priority list. Of course, not a bit of these would make any modification at all if not one person is really on the email list. This is why the attention also needs to go to address procurement process, as well as the duplicate of the advertiser’s simple sign-up form.

The major alteration of these forms is that the marketer should know what are the prospective subscribers should do and what they can expect when they sign up.  However they should know what they are subscribing to; customers need to be shown or told what the products and services offered. Sadly, advertisers (a lot of them, in fact) write the text on these forms without accounting for the reader’s lack of information regarding the email program. One of the sad aftereffects of this is a failure to peddle the sign-up sufficiently.

The Conversion

Signing-up is a transfiguration occurrence and it should be treated as such. Sell the prospect on the benefits of being given of every customer’s email address. Even address should be seen as disbursement and the question will go: what does the subscriber get in return?

On the whole, the form needs to offer other than just a “contribution” to an “information sheet” or something akin to that. There should be a description available on the email content such as news, articles, promotions, deals and discounts and the likes. That would make a good start, but of course, there are many things to decide on from; the advertiser can go on further.

A question then is raised: how will such content give an impression to the subscriber? Will it change their life? Will it help them pay rent and alleviate the burden of their mortgages?

On the information that is held in emails, the subscriber can acquire information on the most recent news. The main themes of these contents are for subscribers to stay well-versed of industry developments and best practices.