25 February 2016 in Lead Nurturing, Marketing Automation
Email marketing may be as old as the internet itself but it remains one of the toughest nuts to crack for B2B businesses. That’s because while the drip campaign delivery method has remained unchanged, the kind of content that B2B buyers expect has been transformed in recent years.
In today’s era of information abundance and self-education, the only way to be heard through the noise is to provide messages of genuine value that address the precise pain points of the recipient. Data-driven marketing has facilitated a change by enabling the most forward-thinking B2B businesses to use the changes in buyer behaviour to their advantage. While success stories are interesting for those businesses aspiring to do the same, they have also set the bar high.
With this in mind, here are the best practice tips we offer our clients when they seek advice on creating killer drip email campaigns capable of engaging empowered buyers:
Consider who you are targeting
There is no substitute for high quality buyer personas, and effective context marketing requires these to be as in-depth as possible. These should not only form the basis of the content of the messages you are relaying, but also influence the frequency and format you use. For instance, if you are targeting a particularly time-pressed group, it may not be beneficial to produce a glossy HTML mailer. The more you know about your buyers, the more you can address their pain points.
Give your titles the thought they deserve
With every email you compose, you should remember that you only get one chance to make a first impression. Standing out in the inbox is getting harder than ever, so ensure that the little space you have is used wisely. Most automation platforms now offer A/B testing and we strongly recommend experimenting with different strategies until you find the best fit for you.
Never stop testing
Regardless of how confident you are of the quality and deliverability of your emails, we recommend introducing a formalised testing process that should be adhered to for all campaigns. This should cover processes for checking copy, testing spam filter performance, and analysing results.
Don’t forget to introduce yourself
This may seem obvious but it is astonishing the amount of campaigns we come across that are not planned with an initial introduction email. What is the first thing you do when you receive an email from someone you don’t know? Trash it? Well, guess what – so will your recipients.
Be influenced, but don’t copy
Whenever anyone comes to us seeking advice for drip campaigns the first thing we say is always same – there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You must shape your email marketing efforts to respond to the demands of your target market and keep in line with the content you have available. With the abundance of data that is now readily accessible about campaign performance, it’s easier than ever to find your own path.
Identify your goals
What is the purpose of your campaigns? While high open and click through rates are good, what is the ultimate goal you want to achieve? It’s amazing the amount of campaigns that are set without a target in mind. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, sales, or customer retention, every drip campaign should have an end goal to measure results by.