Email marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Email is still the preferred long-form method of communication for almost all business, and just about everyone, even those with zero social media presence, has an email address. Most businesses consider email communication to be formal, actionable and accountable, all of which means email marketing is still your best bet for reaching many of your customers.
The landscape of B2B email marketing has changed over time, though, and continually improving spam filters and ad blockers mean that the email marketer has to be on top of their game to make sure their email is deliverable. We’re taking a look at some of the top B2B email marketing best practices you should implement in 2018.
1 - List development
Email marketing list buying is dead. Or it should be. Those lists are chock-full of broken links, inaccurate information and customers who really want to know where the heck you got their addresses from.
Focus on growing and developing your own lists and keeping them up to date, relevant and fresh. Not only will this make sure you’re reaching the right audience, it will also help reduce unsubscribes and spam reports.
2 - List segmentation and targeting
The more connected our world becomes, the less people want to be exposed to irrelevant information. There is so much vying for our attention, that most people tend to immediately delete or simply ignore anything that doesn’t instantly strike them as relevant.
Through thorough list segmentation and pin-pointed targeting, you’re going to see much higher open rates and conversions than you will by relying on the spray-and-pray approach.
3 - Automate, don’t stagnate
Emails form a critical part of any halfway decent, automated drip marketing campaign and by carefully and thoughtfully crafting excellent automated emails, you’re going to remove a lot of headaches. However, you need to keep those drip campaigns fresh and exciting, to make sure you’re not stagnating.
Your customers and potential customers want new and interesting content, not the same old same old every time, so even though automation is going to make it easier and faster to reach the right audience at the right time, email content and campaign development needs to be ongoing.
4 - Pay attention to the basics
Your first contact with an email marketing campaign is always going to be the subject line, regardless of how algorithms change, funnels shift and adapt and content is consumed. So pay attention to your subject lines! And while you’re at it, don’t forget to keep your emails as deliverable as possible, and to avoid becoming spammy at all costs.
5 - Monitor engagement
A successful B2B email marketing campaign is about more than just getting people to open it. It’s also about getting to understand your audience and use that data to improve your ongoing relationships with them, and to improve future campaigns.
Things you want to monitor include open rates and click-through rates, of course, but you also want to know:
- Engagement rates - some people simply aren’t going to open your emails, regardless of how good the subject line is, and these people will negatively affect your engagement rates.
- Unsubscribe rates - there’s always going to be some fall-away, but if there’s a sudden increase you want to know why.
- Spam reporting - along the way, one or two people might report your email as spam and as long as it doesn’t happen often, you should be fine. Again, if there’s an increase in this, you need to know why.
What B2B email marketing best practices work for you? Let me know in the comments.
Want to build a kick-ass email campaign to get 2018 off on the right foot? Talk to us.