Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2016-09-14
Getting the best results out of your email marketing campaigns involves ongoing testing, benchmarking and tweaking. But when comparing the performance of a campaign with others in your industry, don’t get caught up in benchmark numbers that don’t apply to your initiatives. An apples-to-apples comparison is what you need, and that’s why it’s important to distinguish between customer engagement campaigns versus customer acquisition campaigns as you analyze your results. What’s the difference between these two campaign types?
Customer engagement can be defined as communicating via email with those who are already your customers, and, in my opinion, could be expanded to include those who are already within your business family as content subscribers, those who’ve requested to receive information or updates, or any other business partner, friend, fan or follower. Obviously, these are people who like your message, are interested in your products and may already be using them.
Customer engagement emails give marketers the benefit of not having to start from “square one,” and the purpose of reaching these recipients is to build upon the existing relationship. As such, engagement email campaigns might include newsletters, surveys, invitations to demos, coupons, renewal notices, product use tips and tricks, or other messages that build trust and nurture the sales pipeline.
Obviously, because these folks are familiar with your company, product and value proposition, customer engagement emails tend to perform better than acquisition emails. Econsultancy offers a very good breakdown of the average performance numbers – segmented by industry so that you can understand the significance of your engagement metrics in comparison to other businesses within your market.
Customer acquisition, on the other hand, involves engaging with net new contacts that are not (yet) aware of your company, products or value proposition. The focus here is on initiating a relationship with prospects who are similar to your existing customers, but with whom you have not yet established a relationship. As this is a more difficult audience to reach and convert, customer acquisition is often where the majority of B2B marketers focus their energy, and, in turn, struggle to yield the desired results. (And it happens to be the email marketing arena that OMI focuses on exclusively, as our email data is designed to help our clients grow their customer rosters.)
As should be expected, email response rates for customer acquisition campaigns are slightly lower than customer engagement campaigns. As we reported last week, our acquisition email open rates run in the 4-15 percent range, while CTRs vary between 0.05 and just under 3% -- which is exceptional for such campaigns due to our high-quality email data.
To increase engagement results for customer acquisition campaigns, marketers need to ensure that their emails are designed in an eye-catching and engaging way via colors, graphics, photos, etc. They should also be formatted for mobile devices as approximately 2 out of 3 emails these days are being read on a smart phone or tablet.
Customer acquisition emails must quickly pique the interest of the recipient via an intriguing subject line and a valuable call-to-action (CTA). Content might cite industry stats or articles that speak to the recipients’ shared challenges, or invitations for recipients to learn how similar, like-minded professionals have been successful in overcoming their challenges – such as to an online webinar, video or in-person event. The CTA will help them initiate the journey to solving their challenge with your help. In turn, they will provide their contact information for your follow-up.
Also, as the recipient’s phone is likely in their hand, marketers might also consider including an easy click-to-call feature within the email for those recipients who would like to move right away towards solving their issue by giving you a call. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, use quality email data from a reputable provider to ensure your ability to zero in on and successfully reach prospects that match your ideal customer profile.
When it comes to designing your B2B email campaigns, it’s important to distinguish between customer engagement and customer acquisition strategies. Although at the end of the day, both are intended to increase sales and revenue, each requires a different overall approach to be successful.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful B2B email marketing database.
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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.