Online marketing platforms are a valuable and substantial element of the marketing mix for business-to-business (BtoB) marketers. Online media channels allow marketers to introduce their products and services to the most relevant audience and quickly follow up on hot leads, and, eventually convert them. In the face of the challenging economy, it is no wonder BtoB marketers plan to increase their online marketing budgets, specifically in the email channel, according to BtoB Magazine’s “2008 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey.
For BtoB marketers, the main goal of any campaign is to drive demand generation and translate leads into meaningful ROI. Email marketing is an effective vehicle for meeting these objectives. Because email can be targeted, there is little room for waste. According to a study by Harte-Hanks, BtoB email campaigns had click-through rates
of 11.2% and open rates averaging 67.7% - both of which are above index.
Because email can easily be tracked and measured, email messages can be tweaked to ensure positive performance and follow-up on relevant results. According to a separate study conducted by Alterian, 90% of BtoB marketers said they use email for customer retention and cross-selling.
If you haven’t already instituted an email marketing program, here are three steps you need to know to ensure success.
BtoB email campaigns share a wide range of commonalities and differences with business-to-consumer programs (B2C). If you are looking to launch a successful B2B email marketing campaign, here are a few tips: 1. Identify Your Target Audience
Are you trying to reach a CEO
with a huge staff, or are you targeting the marketing department of a boutique company? Perhaps you are directly communicating with resellers and/or distributors.
Each of your audience members or communication constituents speaks and responds to you differently based on the language, tone, and style you employ. Your email copy should be tailored to address audience needs. Once you know who your audience is, make sure you can sum up what you are offering quickly. BtoB marketers are very busy, and you have a very short window of opportunity
to grab their attention. Don't go into too many details; instead get to the heart of the matter and explain why using your product or service will make their job easier or more productive. 2. Define Your Objectives
Marketers often claim that their main goal is to incite purchases, grow existing customer relationships (loyalty), and/or gain visibility with new audiences. But your main campaign goal should be narrower. How are you going to promote purchases, loyalty, and/or awareness? Do you want audience members to visit your website? Register for a newsletter or whitepaper? Sign up for a demo? Make your call-to-action clear, and make it easy for prospects to make it to the intended destination. 3. Know When to Send
Finally, you want to think about the best time to deliver your message. Is there really a best time of the day to send a BtoB email? You don’t want your message getting lost in their inbox, so first you should know if your targets are on the East or West coast, and send to them during their work hours. Next, just test, test, and test! That is the best way to determine a good time to deliver your offer. Michael Goldberg is the Associate Director of Marketing at Datran Media. In his role, Michael works with the team to produce, measure, and grow marketing campaigns across media and search. Prior to joining Datran Media, Michael was employed by iCrossing, Where Magazine and ParadyszMatera. Michael received a B.A. in English from the University at Buffalo and leverages his training and experience to advance Datran Media's brand and marketing communications programs. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.