In an era of inbound marketing, social media, blogs and such, why are we writing an article on email marketing? This is because it’s value for businesses in creating sales leads and revenue, and retaining customers remains undiminished. Email marketing for B2B remains an important, cost-effective, easily created/designed, forwarded and easily measurable solution to drive lead generation efforts and add value through the customer life-cycle.
While blogs and social media are winning budgets, companies are finding people do respond to emails; and in 2016 Email marketing delivered the best ROI in India.
Source: Digital by default 2017, Octane Research
Email campaigns for lead generation
Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter, according to McKinsey.
Leads, leads, leads. Every B2B business wants them and once you have a few, you will want more. When you do get more, you’ll want better quality ones. With some planning, a well crafted email campaign sent to a targeted prospect list can generate leads. It can be used to inform an audience of a new product or service, make an offer, deliver an invite to a company event or to download an e-book. (A lead is someone who responds to an email campaign by replying to it, or filling out a form on the website landing page, someone who downloads an e-book, or attends a company sponsored webinar)
Email marketing is a great way of attracting new clients, as it can be targeted to any audience, globally.
Email marketing programs for lead nurturing
B2B businesses find that it takes weeks, or even months, for the lead to take the final decision to buy. This takes time because many vendors and their offerings are being considered and evaluated. During this time, its imperative to stay in touch with your leads to remain in their consciousness, build a relationship, build the brand, and supply information about your product/ service that will help to close the deal.
Email marketing for lead nurturing involves designing programs to send targeted email at regular intervals to your leads to push them to the next stage in their buying journey.
B2B buying stages from Shortlisting vendors to Purchase
Your emails should talk about product benefits, build brand; send links to relevant articles and so on. Share different types of content like blogs, infographics, case studies and whitepapers with your leads during the buying journey. Provide them information to aid in making the purchase decision in your favour.
Customer retention programs
You have got the customers. Now what’s next? You need to maintain the relationship and build loyalty by reinforcing the strength of brand and product/service.. Customer retention on average, costs only one-seventh of customer acquisition. In fact, retention is a key to sustainable growth. Customer Retention programs use email to take the program to the customers.
Up-selling and Cross-selling – Upselling is the practice of encouraging customers to purchase a comparable higher-end product than the one in question, while cross-selling invites customers to buy related or complementary items. Upselling and cross-selling are mutually beneficial when done properly, providing maximum value to customers and increasing revenue without the recurring cost of marketing.
Email marketing is a powerful channel for nearly every business and a tactic marketers use in various marketing programs since it provides the best ROI. The email list collected over time can be a pillar of your business to drive both new and repeat customers. For B2B it’s the tried and tested workhorse, bringing in leads and building long lasting relationships with customers.
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