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August 28, 2019

How to Overcome Two of the Biggest Email Marketing Challenges

In the age of influencers, chatbots, live streaming and more, many clients ask us, “What communication channels will actually work for our goals?”

It’s a valid question. With a constantly changing digital landscape, businesses have more avenues than ever to reach their audiences. However, few channels deliver the same kinds of results as email.

In fact, 59 percent of marketers say that email generates more ROI than any other digital channel, with 25 percent planning to increase their spending on email in the next year. And for B2B marketers, 40 percent agree and rank email newsletters as the most critical element to their content marketing success.

What’s the reason behind the enthusiasm? Email works well because your brand is speaking to an audience that’s already engaged. (Unless, of course, you’re purchasing email lists or contacting people cold – which is actually a violation of some email regulations).

Although email can yield impressive results, many brands fail to harness its full potential. Overall, B2B marketers face two key challenges with their email marketing efforts:

  1. Crafting an email strategy that helps achieve their broader objectives, and
  2. Executing the strategy with creative that works

See how you can overcome these email marketing challenges with these tips:

Understand Where Email Fits in Your Marketing Puzzle

Email marketing, when done strategically, goes beyond the standard business newsletter. While newsletters should certainly be a piece of your email marketing strategy, it shouldn’t stop there.

Your brand can leverage email marketing to achieve broader objectives, such as:

Event & Trade Show Promotion

If your brand is investing in a booth or display at an industry trade show or event, email can help connect with prospects both before and after the show.

For leads from previous shows, send out an email to let them know that you’ll be at the show again and encourage them to visit your booth. In addition, you can also send out a segmented newsletter to any leads you’ve collected prior to the show to drive traffic to your booth. By sharing relevant industry insights and a sneak peek of what to expect at the show, your leads will be more interested in talking with your experts at the show.

After the show, nurture those leads with a quick-follow up email and some relevant takeaways from the show.

Before sending your post trade show email, however, identify the goal of your follow-up communication. Perhaps you want them to stay in touch by subscribing to your newsletter. Are some of these leads already subscribed? Then identify another goal you would like them to complete – perhaps it’s ordering a sample, or signing up for a training program. Use that opportunity to have a more meaningful and customized engagement.

Demand Generation

Launching a new product? Email can help you drive demand with your existing audiences to generate more sales.

True helped our client in the building products industry do just that. We started by crafting an optimized landing page with a lead-capture form. After completing the form, the leads were entered into an automated email campaign promoting a special offer, encouraging them to order the new product at their local dealer.

Using an automated email campaign helps keep your new products top-of-mind with interested audiences and can actually improve sales.

Craft Email that Breaks Through the Noise

281 billion emails were sent per day in 2018, and this number is expected to grow to 333 billion. That leaves marketers with the challenging task of standing out in an already crowded inbox.

Marketers can focus on creating compelling content and creative to break through the noise. Some key areas to focus on include:

Get Your Headlines Right

59% of B2B marketers say that earning email opens is one of their most frustrating challenges. The truth is, many marketers are so focused on getting the click that they’re willing to sacrifice quality – and audiences are catching on.

Increasingly, email headlines use click-bait style messaging to grab attention: “Is email marketing dead?” or “3 Top Mistakes That Are Losing You Money.”

The problem is, audiences are becoming wary of these flashy headlines. And for those who open the email, they oftentimes find that the content of the email doesn’t match that flashy title.

Depending on how misleading your headlines are, you may even run the risk of violating CAN-SPAM guidelines. This often has long-term effects like damaging your sender reputation and deliverability. It can also potentially get your brand banned from a third-party email provider if you’re violating their terms of use.

The key to headline optimization is to accurately convey the content of the email while also speaking your audience’s language. For many B2B brands, this means not shying away from industry-relevant language specific to your niche.

Don’t forget the magic of A/B testing either. Let the numbers tell you what headlines earn better results and optimize from there.

Deliver Valuable Content

Do your newsletters offer audiences something of value, something so special that they can only get it from your newsletter content?

Often, marketers use email newsletters to promote new blog posts or, worse, as a basic sales pitch. While it’s great to use email as another channel to push out your brand’s content and products, good newsletters go a step further.

For example, you may provide added commentary about the blog post content in your newsletter. Or, include some insider tips and insights from your subject matter experts on the topic to give your audiences something they can’t find anywhere else.

Commit to Consistency

How frequently – or infrequently – you send your email newsletter can impact performance. One study found that this variation in performance is not due to sending too few or too many emails, but rather sending them inconsistently.

Why is this? Inconsistency reflects a lack of strategy and planning, which your audience can detect. Audiences are more receptive to email that follow a cadence they can predict and expect. Before committing to a newsletter, create an editorial calendar with specific topics, content and objectives.

Want more insights to help step up your email and digital marketing efforts? Subscribe to our newsletter for more tips and insights.

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