Author: Tom Manke
Many B2B marketers and business owners are still daunted by digital campaigns, using social media marketing or search engine marketing. Yet it’s a fact that you need to be where your customers are, and that’s exactly how social marketing or social search is helping B2B companies. But don’t forget about an older, simpler means of generating sales and goodwill.
Arguably, there’s an appropriate marketing strategy for every customer journey phase. If you’ve captured potential customers and leads via social media or from your website, that next phase is sustaining the engagement with that new audience. This is where email marketing and newsletters come in. It’s an old reliable method to a maintaining communication with your customers.
A recent study called “The State of Email Marketing by Industry” showed why email marketing is essential for a specific industry. Key findings showed that email marketing brought the highest overall ROI and is still the most reliable tool for lead generation. The report also showed that 57 percent of the marketers surveyed intend to increase their email marketing budget in 2016.
So…How Do I Get Started with Email Marketing Again?
There are tons of email marketing tools out there. These automated email marketing platforms help B2Bs to inexpensively reach their target customers. Email marketing combined with either attached or internal newsletters may include links to your web infographics or other live links where they can generate the most return on your newsletter’s investment.
The aforementioned study shows that 75% of B2B marketers and owners are using newsletters to communicate with their target audience. Newsletters can be more relaxed and interpersonal in ‘voice’. Used to sell a product or service, newsletters can be visually enticing, informative and engaging.
Here are 5 B2B newsletter tips:
1.) Identify your Customers’ Needs
Before crafting the content of your newsletter, you need to determine your customers’ needs and motivations. Assess your customer base, and then develop a unique buyer persona or avatar of your customers before you do anything else. Marry that persona’s interests, what compels them, and the problems they most often face with your services or product line. That will determine your newsletters final form. And it’s not just about presenting your product; you need to show and build your product’s value along the way. Showing the value of your product or service will entice them to check out those live links within each newsletter edition.
2.) Present a Smooth Format
Newsletters should be adaptable. Your readers today are more likely to open your newsletter within an adaptable ‘smart’ tablet or phone device than a desktop computer. A mobile responsive design is nothing less than essential no matter where it is viewed.
Structure is key to ensure customers read your newsletter. Apply design features such as a vertical format, clear headers, white space between separate items, short line length, short paragraphs, and bulleted lists.
Answer these guideline questions when mapping out your newsletter format:
- Is the design of your newsletter clean and easy to digest?
- Is your CTA (call to action) clearly visible? Is it actionable (to complete a sale)?
- Are the graphics and photos attractive and engaging?
- Does it complement the letter’s content and your buyer persona?
3.) Timing is Everything
Consider every newsletter that is not opened a case of unlimited and missed profit potential. Keep in mind the peak times when your target audience is most likely to open their mail. Start by guessing as best you can, and then successively establish optimal delivery times using your email platform’s analytics function. Click through rates are at stake! MarketingSherpa had drawn from a survey the best days for maximum open and click-through rates (CTR) are Tuesdays and Wednesdays for B2B newsletters. Well, that’s a starting point for you to begin your own factual open rate data. Yet broad data like this is bound to differ from your own due diligence. Getting this right can make the difference between thousands and millions; don’t neglect timing.
4.) Determine Customer Personas
Newsletters are more personal in tone and voice. Customers will click and read it if they feel that you are directly talking to their hopes, fears and goals. Identifying customer behavior determines your newsletter design and approach. Not all customers segments think alike, even within the same business vertical, so you need to assess the automatically collected data from your email platform’s analytics tools. These are the important points to take note:
- Measure how people respond
- What draws their attention and makes them click
- How much time they spend on your newsletter
5.) Call-To-Action is Key
Using CTAs is what distinguishes a good B2B marketer from a brilliant one. It’s essential to apply calls-to-action within your content to assure feedback, response and results. CTAs can be questions, buttons, or even “freemium” offerings such as case studies and eBooks. It’s important to complement your newsletter’s structure with engaging copy yet structure all newsletter marketing content around those calls to action.