For most of us, email list management is one of the least exciting aspects of email marketing. But it ranks up there as one of the most important. After all, if you’re not reaching the right people with your marketing messages, all your efforts are futile. So how do top marketers master the art of email list growth?
A new report, “B2B Email List Growth Trends,” published by Synthio and Ascend2, surveyed B2B marketers on where they are succeeding – and struggling – in managing their email lists for optimal campaign performance. A few interesting takeaways:
- Increasing email opt-in rates is the most important objective for more than half (54%) of B2B marketers surveyed.
- Most (81%) B2B marketers consider their email list growth strategy successful to some extent, with about one third (34%) considering it “best-in-class.”
- Improving performance metrics, improving content relevancy/value and increasing sign-up conversion rates are the top challenges to achieving email list growth success for nearly half (47%) of B2B marketers.
- About two-thirds (65%) of B2B marketers most often encounter the complex sale involving many influencers and a long decision cycle.
- Creating and distributing relevant content of value to the target audience is a tactic requiring significant effort for nearly six out of ten (59%) B2B marketers. Content marketing is also an effective tactic used by more B2B marketers (43%) than any other.
- 79% of B2B marketing influencers outsource all or part of their email list growth strategy to gain capabilities and skills not available in-house, such as content development.
While the report verifies the importance of managing and growing email lists for campaign success, it also validates some of the messages we have communicated over the last few months on this blog:
- Content marketing: While email plays a strong role in supporting an overall content marketing strategy, generating the actual content can be the hardest aspect and require the most resources. However, such content is a great investment not only for bolstering email campaign success, but also contributes to your branding, social media, advocacy and website/SEO efforts.
- B2B and SMB: The B2B sales cycle can be intricate and lengthy, and this makes email marketing efforts targeting small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) complicated. Also, SMB organizational structures often differ from larger companies, and executives may wear many hats. SMB email lists need to be built with this in mind. And, with SMBs, relationship building can be even more important for generating the engagement and trust that will be needed to close the sale. SMB-focused email campaigns should therefore be more about educating the prospect to build trust, and nurturing the sale over time.
- Email metrics and list growth: While marketers track various data to gauge their campaign success, such as click-throughs, conversions, bounces and sharing, prospect engagement is what every marketer strives for to get them on the path to becoming paying customers. Successful email opt-ins are a sign that your message and content is resonating with your target market. In addition, B2B marketers should always be looking to grow their lists in order to expand their reach and position themselves as a trusted resource and thought leader.
- Clean, accurate data: Bad email data can be a drain on your campaigns, budget and resources. By making quality a cornerstone of your email campaign strategy, you’ll not only focus on better serving your targeted prospects and delivering them real value, but also avoid the many pitfalls and wasted time, dollars and effort poor data quality always brings.
- Third party experts: While marketers manage many aspects of email marketing, they cannot be expected to be experts on everything. Leveraging outside parties who deliver expertise in specific disciplines will save time and painful, expensive lessons learned. This is certainly true for procuring quality email data from reputable providers to ensure overall campaign and business success.
What areas of managing your email data and growing your lists have you been the most – and least -- successful with?
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you achieve better email marketing ROI, and 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.