B2B Email Marketing - How to Improve your Response Rate
Email is here to stay. As organic reach on social channels diminishes by the day and pay-per-click costs are continually rising, email remains a fast, cost-effective way to connect with your prospects and customers.
So, for the year ahead, I urge you to look closely at how you can extract maximum value from your email campaigns.
Segmentation and personalization are key issues to address in 2018. To hold your audience's attention you must send relevant and engaging messages – you can only do this if you know who you are sending emails to and why they want to receive them. In 2016, MarketingProfs reported that, "42% of marketers do not send targeted email messages and only 4% use layered targeting".
The first step in sending relevant content is to understand your recipients. Review your sign up process to ensure you are asking the right questions to understand their needs. A simple 'join our mailing list' is not always enough.
Use your past data to customize future campaigns. If you split your data between different message types – perhaps you have two distinct product groups – check the open rate and click through rate for specific users. Building new mailing lists based on past interaction will instantly improve your relevancy reducing the risk of unsubscribes and increasing engagement and return on investment.
'Working hours' is a thing of the past. Many of us feel that we wake up with our smartphone in our hand. Social media and email are two ways to connect with your audience at almost any hour of the day (or night). Be cautious – if you're a B2B marketer and you want to sell a product or service to a customer, is 10pm the best time to reach them? Sure, your open rate might be high as there are fewer distractions and it's easier 'to get in front' of your customer, but will they appreciate your intrusion to their 'downtime'? Check your call to action – if you're asking them to call, can they reach you at the time the message is sent?
As with all marketing, test and measure is the way to move forward. If you've always stuck rigidly to the 9-5 sending window, try sending at different times and review your data very very carefully. Look not just for engagement but conversion too. Want to know the best time to send an email? View this.
This applies to all marketing messages - be clear on:
- Who you are targeting
- Why your message is important to them
- What action you want them to take.
We all love great design, we are captivated by stunning graphics and moving images, but for your message to be effective it has to lead to action.
Benefits win over features – period. Be clear on why the recipient of your message should:
- Know about your product or service
- What it can do for them
- Why they need it.
Review your email subject line – it's a promise of what's to come. Are you delivering on that promise? Over-promising leads to high open rates but very low conversion rates – you've been warned! Read this to make your message STAND OUT.
This is the critical element to high performing emails. Make sure your recipient knows what to do after they've read your email. Sounds simple, right? You would be amazed how little time is spent on this crucial area of email design.
You write an amazing subject line that has your open rates running off the chart – your content is engaging and the reader has connected with your brand and product – now what? Do they walk away saying to themselves 'wow what an amazing product' or are they saying 'I must have this, oh I just need to click THIS button'.
High performing calls to action are simple and clear. Nielsen Norman Group reported recently that, "email marketers are missing out on click throughs as their creative, whilst beautifully designed, didn't make it clear to the reader what was clickable and what wasn't" – this left the reader not sure of what to do next.
There are no fixed rules in marketing – there is only testing and measuring and responding to your results to improve future campaigns.
If you would like an independent review of your next marketing piece, you can call me, Donna at +1 860-210-8088 or email me directly- firstname.lastname@example.org.