Prologue

Email Marketing is the use of emails to promote products or services & is an indispensable ingredient of any B2B marketing strategy. Emails are used by the businesses to keep their loyal customers informed about the latest developments in the marketplace, as well as, in some specific products or services that the marketers might be interested in. 

The power of emails is immense & as an essential element of B2B marketing arsenal it possesses the capability of attracting, engaging & converting the buying prospects into the actual customers. Even when it comes to client retention, email newsletters have an important role to play, which keeps the existing customers engaged with the weekly or monthly news digests resonating with their diverse areas of interest. 

According to a research published by DMA in the year 2018, for every $1 spent on email marketing the average return is $32. 

Amidst the talks of social media advertising & engaging prospects by getting them to like, comment & share, one may argue if Email Marketing is a bygone trend, which certainly isn’t the case. Email marketing is a necessary constituent of B2B marketing & along with organic traffic, paid searches, search engine marketing & social media advertising plays an extremely important role in client acquisition as well as retention

In a study conducted by Emarsys in 2018, it was deduced that 81% of Small & Medium-Sized Businesses (SMBs) rely on emails as the primary channel for client acquisition & 80% use it for client retention. 

Marketers need to keep an eye on the evolving trends in Email Marketing to optimize it for their omnichannel marketing endeavors. They also need to assimilate the feedback from the end-users & clients in their email marketing strategies, to improve, split test-run & ultimately optimize them for their email marketing campaigns across omnichannel. 

Steps to Optimize Email Marketing

Over the years email marketing has evolved beyond its conventional form to become an interdisciplinary aspect of the multi-facet digitized strategies being employed by the B2B marketers to optimize their revenue.

Below are some essential strategies to optimize Email Marketing endeavors: 

1. Articulating The Welcome Emails

According to a study by GetResponse, the average open rate for welcome emails is 82%. 

Open Rates are one of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to analyze how well the email marketing strategy of an organization is performing. These days B2B companies mostly have automated their welcome emails. This ensures that a quick email is delivered to the inboxes of the clients as soon as they sign up on a new website. 

According to Experian, 50% of the companies feel they can increase the interactions with their potential buyers using email marketing.

Sending timely welcome emails helps the marketers in optimizing the users’ experiences. 

2. Improving the Email Sender Reputation: 

According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of the people prefer to receive the promotional pieces of content over emails, compared to a mere 17% who prefer receiving the same through several social media channels. 

However, the biggest challenge for modern B2B marketers is to ensure that emails are delivered to the recipients’ inboxes. To quantify the successful deliverability of emails to the inboxes of the customers, the marketers introduced the concept of email deliverability. Email deliverability is directly co-related with the percentage of total emails from campaigns that have been successfully delivered to recipients’ email inboxes. 

The factors impacting the email deliverability are usually the following: 

Email sender reputation is a score assigned to an organization once it’s identified as a sender of the email by the internet service provider (ISP). The sender score is used as a part of the ISP’s algorithms that decide what to do with each email being sent to respective inboxes of the recipients. A higher email sender reputation score reflects that the ISP is more likely to ensure the deliverability of the mails to the users’ inboxes. On the contrary, a lower score (especially if the score is critically low below a minimum permissible limit determined by the ISP) can lead to the ISP sending email to the spam or Thrash folders of the recipients. 

Separate ISPs have separate methods to determine the email sender reputation score. Following generic tactics may be used for gaining better scores: 

  • The number of emails that the sender mails to the respective inboxes of users, using a particular ISP network
  • The percentage of recipients using the ISP network who have marked the previous emails from the sender as “spams”
  • The quality of emails being sent to the inboxes of the recipients using an ISP’s network
  • The bounce rates of the emails from the senders
  • The unsubscription rates for the emails from the sender
  • The level of engagement of recipients with the emails received from the sender (opens, clicks, etc.)
  • Maintaining a clean email list for optimizing sender score & the emails ender reputation

Maintaining a good sender score with various ISPs reflects on high email deliverability. Also, regularly cleansing the email list, running it through email verification & validation & removing outdated addresses helps the marketers in architecting a highly-yielding list for optimized sales conversions. Also, marketers need to track the hard bounces & need to make sure that they are immediately removed after a campaign is sent. 

Cleaning the email list regularly also helps the marketers in more precise tracking of their campaigns & assists them in getting rid of the addresses that will never drive responses. This step helps one to effectively optimize all the campaigns. 

3. Define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for quantifying the endeavors of the email marketing campaigns: 

Marketers need to focus on KPIs signifying positive performance such as open rates, click rate, Click-Through-Rates & the ratio of clicks to conversions. The upsurge in these KPIs directly resonates with the positive performances of the campaigns, directed towards an optimized Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI). 

At the same time, it’s also important for marketers to monitor their negative signals such as opt-out rate, spam complaints, nonresponders, etc. Each of these marketing metrics represents prospects giving implicit signals that the pieces of content being deciphered through the email marketing campaigns aren’t relevant to them. 

The negative metrics need to be compared against the diverse variables of marketing to deduce & avoid the underlying factors that lead to a superfluous number of spammy emails. 

4. Driving Email Engagement

The metrics such as open rates, click rates, clicks on different links, etc. are the positive marketing metrics. For the email marketing content to engage the prospects, it needs to be highly relevant to the cluster-specific audiences. 

Having been able to engage more recipients with your campaigns has positive implications on senders’ reputation over a while, as well as on enticing more responses towards driving sales conversions. 

5. Improving the Personalization by Data-driven Insights:

The modern B2B marketing thrives on segmenting the prospects into specific clusters & targeting them based on their demographic, technographic, psychographic, fit-data, as well as data gathered from their past researching habits & purchase insights. 

Focusing on the first & third party intent data allows marketers to understand their spending habits as well as what incentivizes them. Furthermore, improving the personalization with the help of data-driven insights helps the marketers in expediting & optimizing sales conversion through the hyper-targeted omnichannel campaigns. 

6. Making Sure that the Email Marketing Campaigns Comply with GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was legally enforced on 25/5/2018 & ensures the safety of collection, processing & transfer of the personal data belonging to the citizens of the European Union, within as well as outside the European boundaries. B2B marketers need to be sure that their omnichannel email marketing campaigns; under any circumstances are GDPR compliant. 

Compromising upon the personal data of the customers will not only adversely impact the brand equity, but will also result in hefty administrative fines which may fall under any of the following 2 tiers:

  1. A fine amounting up to $10 million, or 2% of the annual global turnover of a company – whichever is greater, or,
  2. A fine of up to $ 20 million or 4% of annual global turnover – whichever is greater 

Moreover, the customers also tend to switch providers & cancel services on learning that their privacy has been violated. Trust that the prospects & the existing customers have in the brand takes a while to develop & is directly correlated with the brand resonance. 

A customer Privacy study by TRUSTe/NCSA found that 92% of online customers consider data security as a vital concern for their privacy. Furthermore, a report published by the Chartered Institute of Marketing entailed that 57% of the customers don’t trust brands with the way they process the personal data of the customers & believe that the data is handled irresponsibly. 

Creating GDPR compliant email marketing campaigns not only helps the marketers in infusing among its prospects a sense of trust but also helps in expediting the sales conversions and optimizing the revenue as only the prospects who have given their consent to use their data for marketing are being targeted. 

7. Embedding Videos with the pieces of Content in the Email Marketing Campaigns

According to the research report titled “Toward Video on the Web with HTML5”, published by François Daoust, the email marketers sentimentalize to use more of embedded video in their campaign.

We have very good reasons to use videos in the email campaigns after all. Prospects love to engage with video-based content on social media as well as on other platforms such as the principle domains of the businesses’ website. Email marketing is yet to evolve enough to allow embedded videos in the marketing campaigns, as & when required. 

This is an important strategy that Email Marketers can experiment with. Using videos in the email content strategies allows marketers to diversify their content. Furthermore, using videos increases the engagement of the prospects as well as optimizes the users’ experiences (UX). 

According to a study by Martech Advisor’s 2017 data addition of videos to the emails can improve the clicks by up to 300%. 

The marketers can also implement, acclimatize & evolve to gamifying their email campaigns. Businesses should always focus on training their existing workforces or hiring the new ones who can help them excel with the top-tier video-based pieces of content. 

8. Unleash the Power of Abandoned Cart Emails: 

According to a study by Omnisend in the year 2018, sending three abandoned cart emails fetches 69% more orders than a single email. 

An abandoned cart email is a follow-up email sent to people who have added items to their cart, often have gotten through a part of checkout, but then left the website without purchasing the items. B2B e-commerce businesses can retrieve their lost transactions for prospective purchases by sending the abandoned cart emails. 

9. Automate the Email Marketing Campaigns but don’t count too much on them

Not all types of automated emails have a positive impact on the psychology of the prospects. When a client on boards, it’s perfectly fine to send him a well-tailored welcome email; however, regular delivery of automated emails can be a game spoiler, when it comes to optimizing the users’ experiences. 

Automated sales emails that are drafted like the non-automated ones can be delivered once or at most twice, however, sending these emails regularly can be perceived as cheap & inauthentic. Nobody wants to receive spammy emails, besides sending such emails is an illegal practice in Canada due to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) (as the person who has sent an email & the person on whose behalf it was sent, needs to be disclosed). 

10. Engage Customers with Consent-based Email Marketing

According to a report published by Statista in 2017, 49% of the customers provided their consent to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands every week.

The post-GDPR-era has paved the way for consent-specific email marketing & allows the marketers to send multiple emails to their prospects, to hyper-target them & optimize their experiences by feeding them with tailored pieces of content resonating with their pain-points & their respective stages in the buying cycles. 

The prospects that provide their consent for receiving the marketing data are happy to hear it from their favorite brands. 

According to the article titled: “Email Deliverability 101”, published in WhoIsHostingThis.com, sending four emails in a month, instead of just one, considerably increases the number of customers opening more than one email.

11. Optimizing the Email Campaigns for Mobile Devices: 

According to a study conducted by IBM in the year 2018, 49% of the emails sent out in different email marketing campaigns are opened on mobile devices. 

Most of the buying prospects research about their buying preferences using a mobile. 

Research by BCG found that more than 80% of the B2B buyers use mobile at work & more than 60% of them have reported that mobile played a significant role in recent purchases. Moreover, about 70% of the B2B buyers have already increased the use of their mobile devises over the past two to three years & 60% expect to continue to increase their mobile usage. 

Optimizing the campaigns for mobile ensures that the prospects are delivered with improved experiences while reading those emails, which in turn, helps businesses in expediting their sales conversions & optimizing their sales revenues

Getting It All Together

In the year 2019, the success of an enterprise’s email marketing campaign pivots around the ability to provide value to its customers throughout their buying cycles. Sending spammy emails does no good & may lead to companies being penalized legally as well as in terms of loss in the total number of engaged prospects. 

Email marketing needs to be paid special attention as in 2019; it is still arguably the most important channel for driving sales conversions. 

According to a study published by Monetate, 4.24% of the visitors gained through the email marketing campaigns translate into sales as compared to 2.49% of visitors from search engines & 0.59% from diverse social media channels. 

We, at Valasys Media, help our B2B customers with tailored B2B services. Along with architecting & maintaining highly-targeted & GDPR-compliant email marketing programs, we also have a wide array of services for helping our clients with their universal bottom-line goals such as optimizing their Return on Investment (ROI), sales revenue & improving users’ experiences. These include: lead generation, lead nurturing, content syndication, account-based marketing, list building & contact discovery services. For deciphering the pathways to perennially healthy sales pipelines, capable of optimizing the sales revenues or for availing of any of B2B services, feel free to get in touch with us.

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