In the constantly changing world of business, should email campaigns still be one of your B2B marketing objectives? In short, yes. According to Hubspot, over the past year, email engagement has increased by 78%. This is music to a marketer’s ears, considering Oberlo found that the average ROI is $42 for every $1 a company spends on email marketing. For a B2B company, communicating with clients through email is crucial.
It should be noted that not all emails are created equally. Hubspot found that 16% of emails get flagged as spam and never even make it to an inbox, and of the ones that do, the average open rate according to Oberlo is only 21%. The key to making it into the small number of emails your clients will actually open is sending them emails they want to open.
Types of Emails
Now that we’ve established the importance of email marketing, it’s time to determine what email campaigns are right for your business. Most likely, your organization will use a combination of these email campaigns to create consistent communication with your clients.
Recurring Emails are emails that you send your recipients on a regular basis, and they should be one of your top B2B marketing objectives. Recurring emails include things such as:
- Personalized updates
- Digital newsletters
- Weekly updates
Keeping constant communication with clients helps keep your company at the forefront of their minds, but hounding people with emails might result in clients unsubscribing – probably not what you want. Between 4 and 8 emails a month is typically the sweet spot with the highest open rate; it’s frequent enough to keep your company in people’s minds, but not so frequent that they feel bombarded.
Ad Hoc Emails are one-time emails separate from your company’s regular email schedule. They are not automatic, and they don’t need action on your client’s end to trigger them. You can use one standardized template for all of your recipients, or you can create different versions to send to different groups. This type of email is primarily used to send large numbers of people things such as:
- An invitation to an upcoming event
- Special offers
- New product releases
- Information about recent changes
On Event Emails are triggered by a recipient action, with the goal of furthering the buyer’s journey. These types of emails are often what bring a potential buyer to actually buy. They also function to keep current clients engaged with your brand. These emails include things such as:
- Birthday wishes and special deals
- Submission forms
- Welcome emails
- Thank you emails
- Confirmation emails
- Re-engagement emails
Co-marketing Emails are a partnership between at least two companies. If one of your B2B marketing objectives is to increase your reach, this is a great tactic to utilize. Co-marketing emails can draw in a larger audience, as they go out to your subscribers and the subscribers of the companies you partner with. When done properly, co-marketing emails allow you to introduce your brand to a whole new set of potential clients who are already interested in a related industry. You can send co-marketing emails for things such as:
- Special offers for clients of the partner company
- Joint Webinars
- Co-hosted Events
What Goes Into an Email
Creating a good email campaign is hard work on its own, but the real challenge comes with getting people to actually open and read your emails. The best way to encourage your subscribers to engage with your email marketing is to give them engaging material every step of the way.
Oftentimes, the subject line of an email can be a bit of an afterthought, but for an email marketing campaign, this should not be the case. The subject line of your email is the first thing your subscribers will see. Considering the percentage of emails that are actually opened, if the subject line is weak, it might be the only thing they see. A strong subject line is concise, engaging, and leads the reader to want to learn more. It also needs to be truthful; a misleading subject line is one surefire way to get sent straight to spam.
Call to Action
The call to action is arguably the most important part of your email campaign; it’s where you get to tell readers exactly what it is you want them to do. Without a call to action, the buyer’s journey ends at the email, but a good call to action will engage your readers and prompt the desired response. Your call to action can be anything that furthers your B2B marketing objectives, here are a few examples to get started:
- Read more
- Start my trial
- Sign up now
- Shop 25% off
- View my results
Calls to action often take the form of a button or link encouraging readers to click. If you find that your links aren’t getting the clicks you hoped for, try a well-designed button instead. Leighton Interactive found that the average click-through rate (CTR) for a button is 5.31%, that’s over double the 2.06% CTR for a link.
You want your email marketing campaign to have a strong brand voice that’s consistent across the entire campaign. In most cases, readers should know an email is from your company immediately based on the tone, format, fonts and color scheme. However, a consistent email campaign doesn’t mean an impersonal one. Simply personalizing the subject line increases open rates by 50%.
Once the subscriber has opened your email, how do you get them to keep reading? One great way to do this is including multimedia content, which can dramatically increase the reader’s interest and keep them engaged. In fact, just adding a video to your email can increase the CTR threefold.
Using MailChimp to Create Email Campaigns
Starting an email campaign can be intimidating, but there are some great tools available to make it easier for your company. If you decide to add email campaigns to your B2B marketing objectives, resources like MailChimp can help streamline the process.
Creating/importing email lists
Since MailChimp rates are determined by the size of your subscriber list, you want to make sure your list contains only active emails and no duplicates. Once you have a solid list, you can import it to MailChimp. This can be done in many ways, but the easiest is by uploading a CSV file.
A good template can help create engaging, visually appealing emails to send out to your subscribers, and MailChimp offers an array of template options for you to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty. The easiest route is to choose one of their pre-designed templates from the layouts page and use the drag-and-drop tools to insert your company’s content. Mailchimp also allows you to “code your own” template, but this can be an unnecessarily time-consuming task without the proper coding skills.
Preview and testing
Previewing and testing your email campaign on both desktop and mobile is absolutely crucial. According to Hubspot, 46% of all emails are opened on mobile phones. This is not just true for emails directed towards consumers; 35% of business-people check their email on mobile devices as well, so if email campaigns are one of your B2B marketing objectives, your emails need to work on mobile.
MailChimp also allows users with paid plans to test subject lines using the A/B split campaign feature. This allows you to try multiple different subject lines on a small portion of your email subscriber list. You can determine a “winner” based on open rate, click rate, total revenue or manually. MailChimp will then use the winning subject line for the rest of your subscribers.
Send times and automations
Determining the best time to send out your emails can take a lot of research, but MailChimp’s Send Time Optimization feature can do all of that for you. MailChimp does so by looking at your subscriber click activity to find the times when they are the most engaged.
MailChimp offers many other automations as well. You can create your own automation, or use one of the automations they already offer such as:
- Welcome emails
- Birthday emails
- Order notifications
To find out how your email campaign is doing, check the overview report. This lets you see click-through rate, open rates, bounces, and other measures of that nature. This is a fantastic tool to use when you want to see how the campaign is going as a whole. Markitors recommends keeping a spreadsheet with the data you collect so you can compare campaigns and keep track of how they are doing month to month.
Meet your Objectives with Brandcave
A successful email marketing campaign is hard to keep up with, especially when you have a business to run. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, give Brandcave a call – we’d love to make it easier for you.