As part of the video series “Thought Leader Life,” which I co-hosted with Mitchell Levy throughout the month of August, we spoke at length with Act-On Software’s Linda West and Rachel Rosin, who provided outstanding practical advice for B2B email marketers. These marketing pros offered their seven top tips for reaching and interacting with target audiences through email:
- Engage your audience: As B2B email marketing continues to evolve, the tactics and measures of success are shifting. These days, the goal for marketers is to enable prospects and customers to engage with your content. As such, it’s less important to track open rates and more crucial to measure click-through rates as a key performance metric, in addition to leads generated and sales closing.
- Complement social media: Using email in conjunction with your social media program gives you a larger sandbox in which to play. For example, a good call to action would be for the prospect to simply tweet the email content, as opposed to a hard sell and less engaging “buy now” CTA. Offering an easy “click to tweet” button linked to a valuable asset is an easy way to generate shares – and to pave the way for an important engagement. With analytics, you can also track these shares and attributions.
- Design responsively: Technology advances continue to make marketers more effective. Responsive design is HTML programming language that will actually change its design based on the device that’s opening the email message. This technology is ideal today, as more people are accessing email on their mobile devices. In fact, this is not only true for communication, but people are using their mobile phones as the primary way to engage – more than their computers or even television.
- Get moving: Video can help any message be more engaging and stand out from the crowd. However, there can be certain technical considerations to consider, such as file size limitations and the fact that not all email providers support the myriad video technologies. But movement doesn’t have to mean video – animated GIFs create action, increase the cool factor and are a great workaround if video doesn’t work for you. Linda and Rachel tested static vs. animated banners and found that animation draws more engagement every time. The good news is, animation is easy to create and doesn’t have to involve an expensive agency to design – there are some great resources available online.
- Test and test again: Studies show that when marketers guess as to which email features will draw better results, they are most often wrong in their predictions. As such, testing is an email requirement these days for optimal success. But it doesn’t have to be complicated: send your next email version A to 10% of your list; version B to another 10%. Whichever draws the best response is the version you send to the rest (80%) of your list.
- Build trust: It would not be appropriate (or likely successful) to ask for marriage on a first date. The same should be true in your email campaigns. Successful marketers today make the majority of their content about thought leadership and educating their audiences on best practices – or on how to approach a particular challenge. After all, buyers first need someone they can to relate to – and that means a person, not a product. The actual solution is an afterthought in the overall process, and only discussed at the end of the buyer journey. Building relationships and trust creates more value to prospects than any product sheet possibly can.
- Take charge: It wasn’t long ago that marketing and sales siloes were separate and unequal. Today, marketers have more power in business than ever. That’s because marketing content leads the buyer experience and is the primary conduit through which prospects are moved through their buying journey. Marketers today are more technical, can measure their activities and know their numbers. In addition, they not only deliver new customers, but also help produce repeat customers – and create and promote loyal brand advocates.
You can watch the video interview with Linda and Rachel here. Also, come back to the blog next week, because in Part III of our Thought Leader Life video series, we’ll talk to Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing at the CMO Council. Liz not only interacts on a daily basis with today’s most successful marketing executives, but also provides ongoing advice to this elite group of CMOs. Next week on the blog we’ll offer her exclusive insight into what matters most today to these top marketers.
If you need help connecting with your ideal prospects and driving higher levels of engagement with your email marketing campaigns, consider giving BizFACTZ’ B2B marketing data a try. BizFACTZ allows you to reach targeted contacts with precision and accuracy. Click here to register on our site and use the offer code “INTRO” at checkout to receive a 20% discount on your first order.
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