This article is provided in partnership with Constant Contact.
You probably already know social media is a great way to connect with friends and email is an easy way to send a message. However, do you know that if you own a business and are trying to market to other businesses, the combination of social media and email is a powerful way to generate leads?
(Photo courtesy of Constant Contact)
Constant Contact Manager of Content and Social Media Marketing Dave Charest explains that when it comes to engaging B2B buyers through email marketing, volume is a key differentiator. Since B2B sales cycles are typically longer and usually require more than one person to weigh in on the decision, marketers should expect to send a few more emails over time to engage customers and generate responses.
“The content and offers in B2B email campaigns are usually designed to impart knowledge, engage the key decision makers and inspire them to want to learn more, therefore moving closer to the next stage in the sales process,” says Charest. “On the other hand, business-to-consumer emails tend to be a little less formal, the content is typically focused on the consumer benefits of the product or service, and the offer inspires the consumer to take immediate action, such as making a purchase or taking advantage of an offer before it quickly disappears.”
For all email marketing campaigns, but especially B2B, a balance of educational and promotional content is vital. He recommends a ratio of 70 percent educational content to 30 percent promotional content.
Define and engage your ideal customers
According to Charest, you must “define your ideal customers, and then focus on engaging them in person and online with relevant content and targeted offers.”
Instead of trying to build a massive contact list or attract thousands of online fans, B2B marketers should focus on engaging the 20 percent of their audience that will drive 80 percent of their business. That 20 percent are the customers who will keep coming back and will spread the word about your company.
Targeting an engaged B2B audience requires you to understand their business challenges and how your business can address them. The email content should hit on those challenges in a helpful and informative way. As you launch those campaigns, pay attention to which content drove the most engagement. That will shape future campaigns, further moving prospects through the sales process.
Avoid spam filters and trash bins
After spending all that time creating compelling content, you don’t want your email to get overlooked, stuck in a spam filter or deleted, so follow these four suggestions:
- Always ask permission before adding a new contact to your list.
- Have a single goal and present a single offer in each email.
- Share insightful information that’s relevant to the reader as opposed to sales-like content.
- Keep it short.
This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau via Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.
For more information on email marketing, visit Constant Contact.