B2B marketing: it’s free, it’s targeted and it works. Search engine marketing (e.g., Google AdWords) is getting more expensive by the day, it seems, and Facebook’s ad platform has yet to prove itself. Display advertising often entails lots of visibility for little click-through, even if you are outperforming the market standard. Social media marketing requires a long runway, and the goal usually is to get them from the social environment to another area (like email or a landing page) in order for them to hop into your funnel.
Email marketing is much easier. You are pushing to a controlled population – your house list – so you know exactly who you’re talking to. You can segment based on profiles to improve targeting even more and further minimize waste. And, it doesn’t cost much: you pay for a service, and there are some cheap ones available (like MailChimp). The metrics, of course, are fantastic, as you can see who opened, who clicked, what was clicked and so on. This is a great way to truly understand what’s on the minds of your prospects and clients.
Until email fatigue sets in.
According to a new post on eMarketer, people are getting tired of unwanted digital promotion. In the United States, 66 percent of respondents who think advertising messages are too frequent indicated that they are inclined to “unsubscribe from, ignore or delete promotional messages.” In the UK, this rate is 65 percent. Twenty-eight percent in the United States – and 32 percent in the UK – say this makes them “less likely ever to respond positively to a message from them in the future.”
So, what is an email marketer to do? On the one hand, you need to use email effectively, and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to engage your target market and generate leads. Yet, you don’t want to destroy any hope of future engagement.
The trick is to deliver value with every email. Make it your first priority to inform or educate, with the offer – linked to the value-added messaging – almost playing a secondary role. Generate useful content based on intelligence you gather from past emails and corporate blog post analytics. Your email marketing messages will perform better if you make them inherently valuable. Also, you’re building a case for the recipient to click a link and take advantage of your offer.
Of course, this is not a rigid rule. There are some times when you’ll just want (or need) to pump out something purely promotional – this approach does have its place. If the bulk of your email provides value, however, you’ll be more likely to generate better results from even your promotional messages.
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