Email Marketing B2B: How to Get the Most from your 2020 Campaigns

28/01/2020

When it comes to digital marketing, there are plenty of tools you can use to generate new leads, increase your sells or nurture your audience. One of the most powerful among them, the one which cannot be avoided - despite the rise of social media and infl

Especially in B2B marketing, email is confirmed to be the most appreciated working instrument by marketers of all around the world...and there’s no reason to think this fact is going to change within the next few years.

Why you should still bet on email marketing

One may wonder why emails are still such a judgement call, in digital marketing strategies: the answer involves several studies and a huge list of benefits, which make email marketing the center of gravity of every well designed B2B email marketing campaign:

  • Emails have the highest ROI, compared to other digital marketing tools such as social media, display ads, SMS etc.. The average ROI of an email marketing campaign is 3800%, that’s to say that every dollar put in it will pay 38 dollars back (DMA). 
  • Email is the most direct channel to your audience: 93% of B2B marketers use email to distribute content, and 40% say emails and mailing lists are most critical to their business. That shall not be a surprise: there are now nearly 5.6 billion active email users (Statista), and 99% of consumers check their email every day (DMA). Email is a medium so widespread you cannot avoid, unless you want to play a different game. 
  • Statistics speak for themselves: if you’re in B2B marketing, you shall be aware of some numbers about your core business. 79% of B2B marketers find email to be the most successful channel for content distribution (Content Marketing Institute), especially in terms of revenues: in fact, shoppers tend to spend 138% more when marketed to through email (Disruptive Advertising). 
  • Email can be customized to the bone: as we shall see, the personalization of promotional messages has a key role in the setting up of an efficient digital marketing strategy, in B2C as well as in B2B campaigns. 

Email allows you to customize every single part of your message: you can personalize the subject line, the moment of sending and even part of the message, thanks to marketing automation software. Email is the most versatile tool in today’s digital marketing, a feature which makes it the perfect fit for inbound purpose, too. 

If you’re working on your B2B digital marketing setting, then a reflection which gives the right prominence to emails is quite mandatory. Regardless of what your business is focused on, you shall consider email marketing as a vital part of the whole process of reaching new audiences and nurture your prospects and clients. It is no accident that 87% of marketers anticipate investing more budget into email in 2020 (Email on Acid). That’s of course the general trend.

Segmentation: the starting point for a successful email marketing campaign

So, every marketer needs to use well designed email campaigns - but do every name on your list need to receive the same message from you? That’s the critical question you’ll have to deal with, while renewing or improving your digital marketing compartment for 2020. 

Several different studies are coming to a unique outcome, for what concerns email marketing trends: for a successful email marketing strategy, you have to segment your target audience. Especially with emails, indeed, a good campaign must be relevant to the recipient: if you want to sell, you need to be read first. 

Customers have never been so powerful before: that’s the deeper meaning of inbound marketing, and that’s the reason why you should send different messages to different segments of contacts if you want to get their attention.   

So, how to segment your contact lists? In general, marketing automation software allow you to segment the lists using multiple criteria:

  • Demographic segmentation: age, gender, ethnicity, income and education could tell a lot about a prospect. The setting up of different lists based on these criteria can definitely help tailoring the highly relevant message you want to deliver. 

In B2B marketing, you can handle a demographic segmentation using as parametres the size of the company and the average age and income of employees, with particular attention to the DMU (the Decision Making Unit which is your real prospect, in every B2B strategy).

  • Geographic segmentation: it may sound old fashioned, but location still matters for marketers. Just as your displays, your emails need to be localized: local marketing is crucial for B2B because of the increasing importance clients give to your local reputation. 

Philanthropy actions, local sponsorships and open showcases on your company best practices and people could definitely improve your general reputation among companies.

  • Value segmentation: more than a B2C email marketing campaign, a B2B strategy should consider the top clients as a different segment; in B2B, in fact, a tiny group of customers could openly dominate the sales ledger. 

No need to say that you shall pay particular attention to nurture them, that’s why your top clients should be on a tailor-made list.

  • Behavioral segmentation: based on criteria such as the loyalty to your services or brand, the benefits sought and the usage frequency of your services or products, you can manage to set up different lists, which may require different approaches and timing to make their members more engaged with your communications.

You won’t find a guide not mentioning segmentation and personalization as the key aspects of a 2020 successful email marketing strategy, even for the B2B sector. That’s because digital marketing itself is becoming more and more defined by engagement: you have now to address your audience as individuals, and you need to reach them based on what they do and wherever they are. 

Top email marketing trends for 2020 B2B campaigns

We’re getting to the point: digital marketing of 2020 will be focused on the relevance of your messages. No matter which digital marketing tool you’re thinking of, your messages need to be more and more relevant for your target audience. 

How can you get your recipients attention? As said, the first and inescapable rule is to show the right message to the right people, with an accurate segmentation of your contact lists. Let’s see then the email marketing most relevant trends for 2020 that can be applied to B2B campaigns and strategies:

  • Don’t be afraid of using AI: Artificial Intelligence could have a key role not only in smart segmentation, but even in automating the workflow (such as for triggered emails) and in content and subject line optimization. 

If you never thought of using AI-driven tools for marketing purposes, then you should start considering it as a major trend in digital marketing. Just saying, companies that use marketing automation to nurture prospects have a 451% increase in qualified leads (Marketo).

  • Leverage User Generated Content: UGC is getting more and more influential, not only in social media marketing. A study from 3dcart says that 82% of consumers consider user generated reviews extremely valuable and 70% of all consumers will look to reviews or ratings before making a purchase. 

According to your brand or product, you should test the integration of clients reviews inside your messages, and you can use UGC to point out what other clients love about your product or service. That’s a really effective way to grab your prospects attention, in B2C as well in B2B email marketing.

  • Go for interactivity: directly linked to the leverage of user generated content, the interactivity of your emails could play an important role in open, click and conversion rates. Beside the CTA, which is for itself an interactive feature of your message, you should try to let your prospects engage with you right inside the email. 

Videos, surveys, animated buttons, polls and interactive user generated contents may be really helpful to make your campaign a success. Videos in emails can lift the open rates to 200-300%, and the only presence of the word “video” in the subject line can increase open rates by 19% (Renderforest). 

In B2B digital marketing strategies, asking for feedback from your clients is a crucial good practice, which can really help your audience get more engaged and your company more conscious of its strengths and weaknesses. That’s a great way to double-capitalize your prospects engagement. 

For your next email marketing campaigns to be successful and really effective, you should then consider the importance of your contact lists: you should dispose of a genuine contacts list and work on its accurate segmentation, first. Then, as an email marketer you’ll have to cope with a one-task challenge: creating relevant content for every segment of your target audience. 

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