It’s no secret that email marketing is a top driver for sales and customer growth. A vast majority of marketers say that it is their primary channel for lead generation. And despite the many claims that “email marketing is dead,” it continues to not only dominate, but also reinvent itself as new tools and technologies allow it to remain more relevant than ever for businesses of all sizes.
Even more surprising is the fact that many large business-to-business (B2B) brands have not yet tapped into the potential of email marketing. From what we’ve experienced across our client base, some of these firms are finally turning to email to breathe new life into their marketing initiatives. However, what these newcomers are finding is that breaking into the “king” of all marketing channels is way more complicated than it seems on the surface. And that may be one factor that keeps some businesses from getting started.
For others, telemarketing and direct mail have been their go-to channels, and those channels have been performing for them, until recently. As a digital transformation is taking hold across the marketplace—massive changes in buying, selling and communication behaviors are taking place, and that means new ways of doing business are required.
The truth is that expanding relationships with existing clients and acquiring new customers demands a multi-channel approach today, especially as a new generation of millennials, who were brought up with digital communications, command a greater share of the business world. The good news is that email is extremely effective for digital, with a return on investment in excess of 220% for some businesses.
The Art and Science of Email Marketing
As those who have been around email marketing for any period of time will tell you, it is both a science and an art. It combines market segmentation and personalization with insight into creativity and clicks, and relies heavily on data for effective execution.
The first step with any email marketing initiative is to identify your ideal targets and prospects: knowing who your customers are is essential. Understanding how to best reach them—at the right time and with the right message—is also critical. And that’s why building an accurate, targeted email list is necessary. But, email lists are also complicated, especially for those just getting their initiatives going.
Acquired email data can help a business get its first email marketing campaigns off the ground when their house list or email database is short on contacts. Or alternatively, it can help a company augment existing initiatives by empowering them to focus on specific target audiences or extend their marketing reach into new areas, whether that means cultivating relationships in new vertical industries, connecting with executives with specific titles (i.e, CEOs, CMO, CFO, etc.), or expanding into new geographic regions.
Only when your email list is properly assembled, cleansed and segmented can you move into the next phases of your initiative involving crafting interesting content and subject lines, personalization, integration with social media, creating context and so on. After all, email marketing today is less about generating empty clicks and more about building engagement and customer lifetime value.
So, if you’re new to B2B email marketing, don’t fret. I look forward to providing more email marketing guidance and advice on these topics and much more over the coming year.
This post is based on content that originally appeared on the Outward Media, Inc. blog.
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About the Author
Paula Chiocchi, president and CEO of Outward Media, Inc. (OMI), is a marketing industry veteran whose mission is to help businesses realize their full potential by effectively reaching their target audiences and converting more prospects into customers. Outward Media, Inc. (OMI) is in business to help organizations expand their reach, find new customers and enter new markets. OMI wrote the book on multi-channel marketing data, and provides fresh, accurate email data to drive business growth and success for Fortune 2000 firms and mid-sized companies worldwide.
Contact us today to accelerate sales growth and success for your company: 1-310-274-5312, www.outwardmedia.com.