It seems like everyone these days has an email marketing list, and for good reason. According to an ExactTarget study, 77 percent of consumers prefer to receive permission-based marketing communications through email. And if that’s not enough to convince you to include some form of email marketing in your business just take a look at these stats:
- 44 percent of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
- 72 percent of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email.
- 40 percent of B2B marketers rated the leads generated by email marketing as high quality.
While any email marketing is better than none at all, there are many things you can do to make sure you are achieving the highest conversion rate possible from those prospects who have opted-in:
Include a Catchy Subject Line
According to a recent study, 33 percent of email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. While there are many different techniques to try, the best subject lines usually: Invoke curiosity, speak to a specific benefit or touch upon a question your prospects are actively looking to have answered. Depending on your email marketing service provider, you may also have the option of including your prospect’s name in the subject line.
According to Adestra’s July 2012 Report, emails with this type of personalization have reportedly proven 22 percent more likely to be opened. Even U.S. President Barack Obama uses the strategy in his email marketing campaigns! Further, it’s also a good idea to keep em’ snappy. Subject lines fewer than 10 characters long reportedly had an open rate of 58 percent (which is very good). It’s also worth noting, subject lines which contained the words money, revenue and profit reportedly performed best for B2B companies specifically
Offer Insider Promotions
As often quoted by industry experts, 44 percent of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. The fact is, your prospects are signing up for your list because they want to hear from you! They have in essence pre-approved themselves and are “raising their hands” to be presented with offers. Does that mean every email blast should be a sales pitch? Absolutely not.
While your primary focus should be sharing informative, interesting and educational content, you may also want to create “insider offers” like special promotions, early exposure to new products and announcements of any exciting industry changes you think they’d want to know about. A good rule of thumb –– aim for 80 percent informative content and 20 percent promotional related content. A caveat: This may or may not be appropriate for your specific B2B. But almost every business can create a feeling of exclusivity with a little creativity.
Send a Welcome Note
Have you ever subscribed to someone’s email newsletter and then completely forgotten about it? Only to receive a random email from said newsletter months later, that you cavalierly sort into your SPAM folder?
It’s easy to forget that while your B2B is at the forefront of your mind, it’s not likely something your prospects are thinking about. At all –– even those who were interested enough to provide you with their email addresses in the first place.
One way to circumvent this is to immediately send your subscribers a welcome email after they opt-in.
According to chiefmarketer.com, prospects who receive welcome notes show 33 percent more long-term brand engagement than those who don’t. Your email should remind subscribers of the benefits to being on the list, tell them how often they can expect to hear from you and ideally include some sort of free give-away (ie. an informative whitepaper, a free consultation etc)
Include Social Share Buttons
This one may or may not be relevant, depending on your unique strategy or industry. However, one of our favorite social media platforms for generating B2B leads is LinkedIn. We’ve seen tremendous results with lead generating campaigns for clients across the board with it. One of the best ways to maximize results like these is to link your email newsletter with your social platforms. Encourage subscribers to share your content with their colleagues, peers and decision-makers by including social share buttons in every email.
Emails that include social share buttons have a 158 percent higher click-through rate, according to email marketing provider GetResponse. You can provide an even clearer “call to action” by directly asking your customer to click the button to share.
Keep It Brief
Considering how busy most of us are these days, this one isn’t all that shocking –– 80 percent of people are only scanning your emails. That means you need to be concise, clear and intriguing. If you are linking to an article published on your blog, do it early on. If you are wanting your prospects to take advantage of a special promotion, don’t bury it. Also, consider using a large, easy-to-read font; formatting with short paragraphs (for easy scanning); and strategically using bold/italic markers to emphasize more important phrases.
As you can see, there are many ways to take your email marketing campaign from good to great. At Creatunity, we specialize in helping B2B clients develop comprehensive inbound marketing strategies that generate more high-quality leads, more sales and more revenue.