Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2020-03-25
If you find you have a little more time on your hands these days, now’s the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your email marketing strategies, especially since so many new trends and technologies have emerged. From micro-targeting to intent monitoring, audience building and more, today’s B2B marketers have new and more modern options when it comes to ramping up their ability to precisely identify the right prospects at the right time in their buying journey.
At the same time, with so many events canceled due to the current pandemic, marketers are turning increasingly to digital engagement, especially email -- and that’s another reason why now is a good time to sharpen your approach. But you can’t build out your capabilities without a solid foundation. From my experience, here are some elements you should consider first as you work to take advantage of all that email has to offer today:
Know Your Audience
A solid understanding of who your emails are intended for should be the starting point for your campaigns. Everything you create and send should be meant for someone while still addressing a specific buyer need. Look at your current customers and prospects to consider things like the types of companies they work for, industry, location, and size of the business, as well as their individual roles, job titles, age and gender. If you haven’t already, develop personas that you can use to make sure your campaigns are aligned with your audience. And just as you’re sending an email to a real person, remind recipients that you are real too by sending it from a person’s email address instead of a department or no-reply address.
Give Them What They Want
Focus on creating engaging content and emails that deliver real value to your audience, whether that’s offering solutions to a problem, providing resources for decision-making, or additional support. Your campaigns should have a clear purpose that’s identifiable to your recipients. Aim to provide real, valuable guidance towards solving their challenges, but try not to take yourself too seriously. Remember that you’re selling to real people, so shoot for a balance that is informative, interesting and even fun.
Grab Their Attention
You’ve spent the time getting to know your audience and creating something they want, so don’t bore your readers before they open your email -- because chances are, they won’t. Use an engaging subject line -- something eye-catching and intriguing, but not click-bait. See what works and what doesn’t through A/B testing. Additionally, ensure your email’s preview text, the section of copy visible from the inbox before opening the email, entices recipients and piques their interest. After the subject line, it’s the next most important thing recipients will see that can persuade them to open the email.
Make it Easy
What do you want recipients to do with your email? Read an article, download a whitepaper, or schedule a meeting? Make your call-to-action (CTA) clear and as easy as possible for your audience. One way is by keeping the main message and CTA above the “fold” of the email, the part readers can see without scrolling down. If your main CTA falls below the fold, as many as 70% of recipients won't see it. Some studies recommend repeating CTA links at least three times throughout the email in various places and formats to increase click-through rates. Make sure your email platform shows click results by CTA placement and not just a total number of clicks. This allows you to optimize your CTA wording and design.
Also, consider the overall design of your email to ensure it doesn’t distract from your message. If text is excessively bolded, underlined, or italicized in various fonts, your email will feel cluttered and too busy.
Check for Blind Spots.
Think logically through the flow of your campaigns, and don’t miss opportunities for transactional or trigger emails (which perform best and deepen your relationships with customers and prospects). And if you’re not sure about something, ask. Send subscribed email contacts a quick survey to gauge their interest in various topics or content types. Maybe the results will confirm what you think your customers and prospects are interested in, or maybe they’ll reveal new ways you can improve your emails.
Email has proven itself for winning new clients and delivering unbeatable ROI, but as consumers we’ve all been on the receiving end of an email campaign that just didn’t work. Start with a solid foundation to set yourself up for success and take advantage of all that email has to offer. Let us know how we can support you in your email marketing.
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.
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.