By Lauren Dichter, Marketing Consultant at Heinz Marketing

A few weeks ago, it was trendy to say the Coronavirus hysteria bubbling up here in the states was unfounded or an overreaction. As it turns out, it wasn’t. Now more than ever, if I know something to be true, I’m resolved to share those facts with people who don’t know any better at the time, even if the truths are hard to swallow or inconvenient.

As silly as it sounds, the misinformation around the seriousness of this pandemic has reminded me of some other misinformation I’ve been hearing recently in the B2B marketing space! Right now, it’s trendy to say “email marketing is dead”. You can’t deny it sounds cool to be so certain about something! But when that thing is a not true how can it be cool?

While email marketing is an older channel and there’s nothing novel about it anymore, you can’t ignore the facts. Here’s what you need to know, as well as some tips to achieving high-performing email marketing in the B2B space:

While no longer a “hot” topic, email marketing is still going strong.

  • Validity’s “State of Email Marketing Report” shows email marketing still delivers results for most companies.
  • Although companies report that they struggle with email marketing deliverability and catching a leads attention, good email marketing performance is still correlated with higher revenue. Even Experian found “For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment”.
  • So, don’t abandon email marketing or minimize your use of it; instead, optimize its effectiveness by A/B testing and strategically segmenting email lists in order to personally resonate with the unique groups within your target audience.

To stand out in today’s inboxes, keep your email marketing strategy simple.

  • If you want to make an impression, simplify the format. Moreover, make sure your emails render well on cell phones, because when your prospect is in line to get coffee (once we can go out again) and decides to check their email, you want them to be able to quickly and easily read it before it’s their turn at the register. Use compelling headlines and scannable bullet points or lists. Just do what you can so the prospect understands your message without having to put forth much effort.
  • In email design, less is more! “Design an eye-catching single-column layout. Use white space to make the email easy to read and pops of color to help the reader focus on what is important; the calls-to-action.”
  • The goal with email marketing is to provide the most value to your audience as possible. So, aim for the content you share to be helpful and establish brand credibility. But first, make sure your email gets opened in the first place! Craft a short yet compelling subject line between 30-50 characters that communicates how valuable the email will be to the prospect.

If you’re going to use email marketing in your B2B strategy, be sure to grow your email list organically rather than purchasing contacts.

  • Always remember, quality over quantity! Even if you could buy the perfect contacts for what you’re offering, that doesn’t necessarily mean those contacts are going to like the way you contacted them. To preserve the quality of the relationships you build with prospects, grow your list authentically.
  • Moreover, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to annoy people, get yourself into legal trouble by not following GDPR, or create a bad rap for your brand as one that doesn’t respect people’s privacy.
  • A great way to boost your list-building efforts is to “Create a sign-up form: Think about the information you need to collect from potential leads, such as business size, industry, and whether they are the decision-maker. And make sure to optimize this form so that it shows up in search engines, as many people start their product search on Google.”

Segment your target audience, or don’t bother with email marketing at all.

  • Refer to your buyer personas. Create more specific segments by mixing n’ matching attributes you had identified when you first created the personas.
  • Analyze your existing data. Look for patterns and then create new segments based off those. For example, maybe you notice VP level folks at companies with 100-200 employees are the least likely to engage with your content.
  • You would then create a segment with those characteristics and work to produce content and marketing emails tailored specifically to that group.

If you’re not optimizing your B2B email marketing strategy, you might as well ditch it altogether. But it can be extremely valuable if done right, so roll up your sleeves and keep these tips in mind!