As an email marketer, do you ever feel like that guy on Tinder who poses with a fish in one of his pics, hoping to hook someone and reel them in?
But in reality, you never really stood a chance?
That’s because you didn't have a plan. And hitting and hoping like Tinder fish dude will get you nowhere.
So in this blog, we’re going to tell you how to build a proper B2B email marketing strategy that’ll get your prospects swiping right on your product or service. With a little help from the experts at Cognism...
Get scrolling, or use the menu below to flick through 👇
We may be biased as hell. But as the B2B email marketing stats show, it's one of the most effective marketing tactics at your disposal.
And like those inspirational quotes on Pinterest say:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
To start your plan, you need to... 👇
Quality contacts are more likely to lead to closing deals rather than spamming an audience that you don’t really want to be talking to.
Keeping your end-goal in mind throughout your planning process is essential to achieving it.
Is it booking a demo or closing a deal?
Whatever it is, you must set out with this goal in mind from the get-go.
Create a list of contacts to verify whether your audience is significant enough - James Sutton, Campaign Marketer at Cognism
Leading with a hard sale isn't always the best route to take.
So, what are some alternatives?
But whatever you do, you need to ensure that you’re building these steps into your strategy while planning when to ‘sell’.
You need to think about how often you’re emailing and at what point you bring in your product/service - James
Be as objective as possible when reviewing your performance, see where you can improve, what to do more of, and what to do less of.
Evaluate where you are in terms of reaching your targets and adjust your strategy to get yourself closer to reaching these.
In a B2B email marketing strategy, if something’s not working, you can change it. Adapt as you go and learn along the way.
Review your performance and iterate in the future - James
You love your company and you love your product.
If you’re lucky.
But, how do you get your prospects as excited about it as you are? Well…
You focus on them. Not you.
People don’t buy your product because it’s awesome – they buy it because they believe it can help solve their problems or achieve better results. When creating your emails, talk less about yourself and more about how you can make your prospect’s life easier. - Verche Karafiloska, Product Marketing Executive at Cognism
A few other things that can help you out are:
Try to focus on your market’s ambitions. Maybe it’s converting X more clients, or getting X ROI on their campaigns. Inspire them, show the prospect what THEY can do and how your product can help them achieve that - James
Knowing when to stick to business formal and knowing when to be quirky and fun is a fine line to tread, as we show in our B2B email marketing examples blog.
For starters, you’ve got to read a room where you can’t actually see anyone, you don’t have a personal relationship with the prospect and you’ve got to stay true to your company’s voice.
👆 That’s a lot to remember, so let’s simplify it!
It’s important to make your statement in someone’s inbox, or you won’t stand out, however, there’s a time and a place for quirky emails - James
When creating your B2B email marketing strategy, you’ve got to remember that the first time you reach out, you won’t have trust or familiarity with the prospect just yet.
Maybe they’ve downloaded a piece of content, or they attended a webinar - that familiarity is the foundation from which you can start to make emails more fun. - James
Personally I think that you always need to send conversational emails that sound human. As far as humour goes, I think you can definitely have fun with your emails if it’s part of your brand identity. B2B doesn’t mean NOT FUN. - Verche
But be careful, it’s still the awkward talking phase. Ease into where you make your jokes, evaluate how the prospect responds, and take it from there.
Cognism recently introduced a nurture campaign aimed at lost opportunities. It was framed around the concept of a breakup - ‘We could've been so good together’ - and that's generated some great responses! - James
Some prospects aren’t ready to receive more informal emails, while some might be fed up with your boring corporate lingo - read the room and incorporate that into your B2B email marketing strategy accordingly.
Now for the juicy bit.
Let’s get on with the B2B email marketing best practices that should be front of mind when creating your strategy!
When starting out with your email marketing strategy, first try to break down your target audience into segments.
Think about how your emails and nurture sequences will best target each segment.
This could be by industry, job function, lifestyle stage, or another customer data point - James
You don’t have time or a budget to waste. Make sure you get to the decision-maker as soon as possible.
You also need to go beyond that and ensure you’re targeting the departments that will benefit from your product/service the most.
Approaching employees who don’t have the authority to make the final buying decision is more often than not a waste of time. That said, job titles and organisation hierarchy are becoming increasingly complex, so sometimes it’s more effective to define your target by excluding junior staff. - Verche
It’s easier than ever to set up automated emails, so do it!
First, consider your funnel - where is the 'leaky bucket’ losing leads? - James
Then, use automated emails to deliver tailored content at each stage of the customer lifecycle.
Make sure you continuously review these sequences and optimise performance.
Instead of rushing to sell, think about what value you immediately offer to your prospect - what will the recipient get out of your email? After all the best emails are useful emails.
Remember, if there’s nothing in it for the recipient, they’re likely to not respond.
They’re also likely to shut down when faced with a hard sale - it’s not about you, it’s about them - always keep this in mind.
Use thought leadership and content to establish your brand’s expertise, and from there you can scale to talk business - James
70% of email sequences stop after just one unanswered email.
Can you imagine how much money companies leave on the table because they don’t follow up? Most companies are afraid that their emails will be seen as spam if they follow up multiple times, but in such a noisy world, it takes more than one touchpoint to get a reaction. - Verche
In B2B, the sales cycle typically lasts longer than that of a B2C journey because you’re asking for more of an investment.
You’re asking for a higher investment, so it’s important to follow up and to do it often - Verche
While you're here, why not check out our beginner's guide to B2B email marketing? ☝🏼