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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2022-08-17

Email may be a mature channel, but it’s not retiring anytime soon. Preferred by customers and marketers alike, it continues to be a B2B marketing workhorse, driving high ROI along with sales and business growth for brands year after year.

A new Ascend2 summary report, “Email Marketing: Strategies, Tactics & Trends,” reveals new insights for marketers around personalization, automation, and mobile-friendly design and responsiveness. Among the findings, these two stats stood out for me: 36% of marketers surveyed feel that AI would be most useful for email retargeting and to craft personalized newsletters, and 31% said AI could help them understand the customer lifecycle and improve deliverability.

Also of interest, even though email has been around for decades, success with the channel still eludes most marketers, according to the report. “Less than one in five marketing professionals surveyed see their email marketing strategy as successful at achieving objectives.” One reason for this may be that email continues to evolve, and marketers need to evolve along with it – adapting their strategies for the changing market.

With that in mind, there are plenty of ways to elevate your email marketing for modern times. Here are a few takeaways from the Salesforce 50 Best Practices for Email Marketers guide.

  1. Remember: it’s about them, not you.

Start with the basics – and that means you’ve got to remember to think about your customers as you’re planning campaigns, not just what you want to achieve. What value will they get from this email? Focus on your customers and showing them that you see and understand their needs. Keep this in mind with personalization that goes beyond a first name: customers are twice as likely to view personalized messaging as important, according to the “State of the Connected Customer” report from Salesforce.

  1. For segmentation: think outside the demographics box.

Personalization can only be as specific as your segments. This is where high-quality data, including firmographics, can be a game-changer, especially for acquisition campaigns. And don’t forget to use modern data strategies, such as digital intent monitoring and identity graphs/data marketplaces. These data innovations allow you to zero in on the right decision makers – even people who are in-market for your solutions now – and cast a wider net with your B2B audience reach.

  1. Run it as a marathon.

Leveraging segmentation, map your customer’s journey and plan emails accordingly. According to Salesforce, 73% of customers prefer to use email when communicating with companies, but let’s be frank: some companies send too many emails. No one wants to be bombarded with too much information, or the same information over and over. Consistent design and branding will go a long way, but you also need to have a content flow that makes sense.

  1. Include a preheader.

This one’s simple: give your emails the best chance of being opened by optimizing the preheader, the text that follows the subject line in an email preview. Also to note: preheaders should be personalized for the segment you’re targeting. Make it relevant to the specific audience.

  1. Make the CTA clear and simple.

What do you want the email recipient to do? If you don’t know, your audience won’t either. So make it simple and clear: sign up for a newsletter, request a quote, download an e-book. Your CTA should be specific and easily visible.

  1. Avoid visual monotony.

In designing emails, make it easy for the recipient to see the most relevant information with short paragraphs, bullet points, headers and/or images. If they’ve taken the time to open your email, make sure you don’t frustrate them with a novel they won’t read.  

  1. Just keep testing.

Timing, tone, even colors can impact your email marketing success. Test differences and see what (gets the) clicks.  

Email is a critical part of the overall marketing strategy, with 84% of Ascend2 respondents agreeing that executing an effective email marketing program will be essential to their success in the coming year. But because email keeps reinventing itself, marketers need to keep pace with the changes to elevate the way they leverage this all-important channel.

Over 75 million of OMI’s 80 million manager-level and above contacts are matched to the LiveRamp RampID graph, including 65 million records from our SMB and medical market databasesContact us today to learn more about building a custom audience

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At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

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