3 Steps to Creating an Impactful B2B Email Marketing Strategy
The marketing world is redefining itself and as these changes continue, B2B marketers are faced with new challenges. So, how do we keep growing our businesses in these uncharted waters? And, how can we improve our strategy to keep on being top-of-mind to our prospects?
Nowadays, there are many channels in which we can find our target audience and inform them of who we are, why we are different, and what services we provide; some of them spark more creative possibilities than others. But, let's talk about a less sexy channel: email. Email marketing has great potential to us B2B marketers when a well-thought-out strategy is put in place. But why is email marketing such an effective tool? It could be because our attention is on all things “work” when reading our emails, and because it's the place where we as professionals spend the most time. Think about it… how many hours do you spend in your inbox a day? Countless.
1. Find Your Audience: Who do You Want to Reach?
The first step in creating an email marketing strategy is defining your audience. Showing up in inboxes is great, but you need to be confident that you’re entering the right ones to have the right impact on your goals. To do this, we’ve taken an account based marketing (ABM) approach, which means that we set a list of target accounts– our audience– we want to concentrate our efforts and resources on. It may sound simple, but identifying who the right audience is for your company is a game-changer for the success of your email performance.
Another great benefit that an ABM strategy drives is the alignment between sales and marketing. The framework encourages us to work together to identify target accounts and create specific tactics for those accounts that are complementary to both sides. If you’re interested in learning more about ABM strategies, check out our guide about B2B ABM.
2. Add Value: How to Stay Top-of-Mind?
The next step of your email marketing strategy is identifying what content will fuel your email campaigns. There are many different objectives an email can have, like thought leadership, signing up for a demo, or registering for an event. But, with each and every email touchpoint, one overarching goal is continuing to keep your company top-of-mind for your audience. And, in order to support that goal you must have content to send; but not just any type of content– content that adds value and creates a relationship with your prospects.
If you’re thinking this sounds like a lot of content... that’s because it can be! Sending a valuable email campaign could mean that new content needs to be created to show you understand your audience's pain points and are the right solution to help. But throughout this process, don’t forget about pre-existing content that can be modified to fit your specific audience’s needs. The idea is to be efficient while creating a strategy that is realistic to your team.
When creating or modifying content, think of it as something that will fuel not only your email strategy, but all of your marketing strategies. These assets can become a bridge between tactics so that your prospect has a consistent experience wherever they may be interacting with your brand. This consistency will help you tell your story and build a connection with your prospect, thus broadening your prospect’s perspective of how you can help solve their challenges. Once this relationship is forged, you can then begin to see these prospects turn into qualified leads and, soon enough, new clients.
Email Tip: Make sure that the content you share with your readers is as relevant as possible to that unique group of recipients. Think about segmenting your audience and personalizing the content to secure high engagement rates. If a prospect is more engaged, a better relationship is created, which will lead to a stronger position of your brand.
3. Create Your Emails: How to Keep Your Audiences Engaged?
There are many things to consider when designing and building an email template. A good place to start is to establish the utilization of the template you want to create. Remember that you are not limited to only one template, but you don’t need too many either. Some examples of templates you might need are event invitations, newsletters, or special announcements.
Once you have established what types of emails you’ll be sending, now it's time to start designing. It is most likely that you will need to follow brand guidelines, but just because these rules are in place, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun with your templates. It is important to design templates that will keep your audience visually engaged so that they will actually read what you’re sending them.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for designing a template:
Do: Keep handy the W3C accessibility standards. It will guide you through design musts.
Don’t: Ignore dark mode. A lot of people use dark mode and you are trying to forge a relationship with them, so don’t make them feel forgotten.
Do: Be creative with the images and videos you use– they could be the sole reason why a person actually reads your content.
Don’t: Forget that you are designing for multiple email providers. Some email providers will block or not allow different design aspects, so be prepared for it and have a backup plan.
Creating a well-thought-out email marketing strategy takes a lot of planning and executing to make it successful. But, once an email strategy is in place, it can’t be a “set-it-and-forget it” tactic– it needs to be revised to keep it fresh and up-to-date. As you continue to create more great content, identify how you will incorporate it into your existing email programs so that your prospects can always be reading the latest and greatest pieces from your team.
As a next step to creating an impactful email strategy, we recommend you read our blog, How to Prove Your Brand’s Value as the Price for Customer Consent Goes Up. In it, our CEO, Larry Fisher, and our Email Marketing Manager, Jay Kennedy, dive into consent and first-party data, two key factors in the creation of any successful email marketing program.