A significant number of B2B marketers use email marketing as part of their overall strategy. Consequently, B2B marketers need to consider email marketing as a vital piece of the marketing puzzle.
Creating your 2019 B2B email marketing plan, however, is not as simple as you may think. An effective plan requires some homework, some internal research, and following through with effective strategies that are analyzed and tailored as you go.
Understand the Difference Between B2B and B2C Email Marketing
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The essential difference between marketing for B2B clients versus B2C clients is that B2B purchasing decisions are based on logic and company needs, whereas B2C buys are based on emotional response and whether the buy is a good deal or not. In a B2C world, businesses need to research trends and figure out how to manipulate the essential emotional triggers of their customers to provide a personally satisfying purchasing experience.
B2B marketing emails are all about demonstrating your business knowledge, skills, and credibility. You’re identifying potential problems that other businesses may be having and demonstrating how you can specifically provide solutions to those problems. By credibly proving you have the know-how to help make someone else’s business run more smoothly while increasing profit, you are highlighting how effective you can be and making yourself a valuable commodity.
Discover the Two Key Ideas Behind B2B Email Marketing
The first step toward creating a viable B2B email marketing plan is to do your research. As you begin to plan, you need to keep two key ideas in mind. First, it’s going to take some time before purchases are made. Research shows that customers need at least seven email contacts before they consider making a buy.
This point applies even more toward B2B email marketing. The amount of money spent by a B2B business is greater than what an average consumer spends. You need to plan on a longer buying cycle as you send multiple emails to your contacts and educate them over time about what your company can do to resolve ongoing issues for their businesses. One email is not going to be enough.
The second key idea is that you’re not doing a hard sell with B2B marketing like you would in a B2C email. The point here is to educate the consumer, not try to sell a product. B2B clients are usually looking to make a major purchase, which they see rightfully as an investment. Since it’s not an emotional or impulsive decision, your B2B emails need to present options as well as research data, studies, and other factual pieces that back up the claims you’re making. You are effectively selling ideas to the consumer, versus a product. It’s about educating your future client and building that relationship.
Do Your Homework
Before you launch an email marketing campaign, you need to know three essential items: what email service provider (ESP) you will be using, what businesses you want to target, and a sample profile of purchasing executives in those businesses.
Several ESPs available on the market today can provide various strategies for your campaign. A marketing professional can help you determine which ESP best fits your B2B marketing goals. Whether you are looking for something affordable and scalable, such as MailChimp or Constant Contact, or a comprehensive and full service, such as Pardot or HubSpot, it’s helpful to weigh all your options so you can choose an appropriate ESP that provides the level of service you are comfortable with.
When considering what businesses you wish to target, you need to know what difficulties various businesses are having. When you do, you can tailor a results-oriented email campaign that lets these companies know you have solutions. It’s not about marketing to multiple businesses; it’s about customizing solutions to targeted businesses that will respond to your expertise and credibility.
Lastly, defining who your target consumer is can help with a B2B marketing campaign, just as it would in a traditional multimedia campaign for B2C consumers. You need to be aware of who makes the purchasing decisions at each business you contact. It may be one person or a team of people who have purchasing authority. Therefore, you may need to appeal to a range of people. Creating a typical consumer profile can help you see effective strategies before you reach out, and can help address differences in behavior from each person involved when it comes to decision making.
Define Appropriate Goals and Objectives
Before embarking on a B2B email marketing campaign, you need to create clearly defined and measurable goals and objectives. They need to align with your overall company objectives. This means the email campaign coincides with the goals you have for your business. Measurability is important, as you need to have clear definitions of success. This will allow you to analyze your campaign later and tailor content accordingly.
Keep in mind that the broader the goal, the more useless it will be down the road. While Company A says its email marketing goal is to “generate sales,” Company B may set its goal to generate “20% more leads and 30% more phone contacts within one month.” The second goal is measurable and can generate more avenues to analyze and correct than the nebulous and vague goal of Company A.
Analysis and making course corrections are necessary parts of any marketing campaign, but they are absolutely vital in B2B marketing, given the lengthy sale generation time and the need to carefully craft appropriate content. Make this important step a priority in the planning process.
Find Out Why Teamwork Is Key for Successful eCommerce
Whether you design your campaign in-house or employ a knowledgeable marketing company to assist you in content curation and delivery, it is vital that every member of your team understands the overall goals of the campaign and how it fits in with your business plan, and how to follow up with purchasing agents. Solutions need to be presented in a way that all team members are aware of the strategy involved.
Creating a successful B2B email marketing campaign doesn’t have to be tedious or unproductive. Many issues can be addressed ahead of time by doing research, setting measurable and appropriate goals, and working as a team to ensure effective implementation. The professionals at IronPlane can assist in creating an email marketing plan that can work for you.