Regular readers of my blog know that I sometimes appear in videos on the subject of B2B email marketing. Due to the positive feedback I’ve received – and the seemingly constant demand for email marketing advice – I’m co-hosting a new “Google Hangouts” video series as part of “Thought Leader Life,” produced by Mitchell Levy. Throughout the month of August, he and I are covering everything you need to know about B2B email marketing including the top tips and trends, best practices, data acquisition strategies and more. We’ll also interview other email marketing professionals in the field to discuss their experiences and advice as well.
In my initial interview with Mitchell, we kicked off the video series by answering the question that never seems to go away: “Is email marketing is dead?” Of course, the answer is a resounding “NO” – with very good reasons and evidence as to why not.
Here are five things for marketers to know as to why the demise of email has been greatly exaggerated.
- Email ROI is unmatched: While social media garners much of the media attention these days, the return on investment (ROI) from email marketing continues to be unequalled, with experts saying it can reach as high as $44 dollars returned for each dollar invested. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields an average 4,300% ROI for businesses in the U.S. With these fantastic measurements, email marketing provides a much higher ROI than any other marketing activity or medium.
- Email is agile: With email, it’s easy to change the message, offer, call-to-action or campaign direction on the fly, based on what’s proven (or proving) to be more successful through various testing approaches. It’s much more difficult to do this for other, more traditional marketing campaign mediums, such as printed direct mail, print advertising and other forms of digital marketing. With email, you can also get your message out to a wider audience more quickly and easily – and beat a faster path to that high ROI.
- Email plays a central role in an overall marketing strategy: These days, we live in a multi-channel world in which business people receive messages from myriad sources such as online, through their contacts, events, traditional marketing, etc. Email remains a cornerstone of any marketing strategy as it is often the “point of the spear” of the overall message, directs the audience to other mediums (e.g. blogs, videos, articles, etc.) supporting the central message – and plays a key role in converting leads into paying customers. Email is also the linchpin for keeping in touch with customers throughout the relationship lifecycle.
- Email is ideal for reaching SMB: As folks who work at small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) usually wear many hats, they are often quite busy and don’t have time to do the full-scale investigation and research that their colleagues at other, larger companies are able to implement. That makes them more responsive to email – and more likely to take action on your product and service offers. Indeed, SMB email campaigns typically deliver even higher conversion rates compared to larger company-targeted initiatives.
- B2B email marketing is a specialized field: Specializing in B2B email marketing can create competitive advantages for marketing professionals. Before my interview with Mitchell, he did a LinkedIn search to identify various marketing experts in their fields. His search yielded 11,500 authorities in social media, 1,500 specialists in the field of “thought leadership,” but only 73 of us who focus specifically on B2B email marketing. That not only makes demand for my advice and offerings strong, but puts those marketers who specialize in B2B email campaigns at a competitive advantage in the job marketplace.
My top counsel for B2B email marketers remains to focus on the message – creating the right communication for the right audience – and committing to the highest levels of data quality to ensure your well-crafted messages reach the desired audience in the first place.
In the next episode of our video series, Mitch and I will talk to Linda West and Rachel Rosin from Act-On Software, who will provide their best advice including insight into how email tactics and measurement have changed in recent years. Come back to the blog next week for the highlights of that discussion.
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