Email Marketing: Improve Your Email Open Rates – Deliver Relevant Content to the Right Audience
Is your email marketing program effective? Does it generate leads? Does it meet your lead nurturing goals? Bottom line: Does your email marketing deliver “relevant” content to the right audience like clockwork? Are you satisfied with your email open rates?
If you think there’s room for improvement, then this article is for you.
Obviously your professional peers think email marketing is valuable and they’re concerned about creating the right content for the right audience.
In March 2013, B2B Marketing Magazine (now Advertising Age) surveyed B2B marketers. The survey revealed two key points about email marketing.
· 58% of B2B marketers listed delivering content as their greatest challenge
· 47% said delivering relevant content was important to them
Before getting into how to deliver relevant content, let’s look at what “relevant” means. So let’s start with a good working definition and we’ll on the same page.
According to Jay Baer, author of the Youtility: Why Smart Marketing is about Help not Hype. The subtitle encapsulates this idea neatly. Relevant content, therefore, meets customers’ needs, wants and desires. Relevant content = Useful content.
Now that we’ve clarified the definition, let’s see, focusing on email, how you can create content that matters to your prospects and customers.
Write Content for Individual Personas
One of the many benefits of email marketing is its ability to target a potential buyer. It’s easy to write an email for CFOs, CMOs, supply chain professionals, and IT professionals.
Each one has a different interest, The CFO has a financial perspective. How much will the solution cost? That’s the ROI?
The IT professional meanwhile, looks at risks involved in the implementation. How long would take it to train “users” on the new solution? How difficult is it to maintain the system?
You get the gist, I’m sure.
Once you’ve identified the key personas involved in the buying decision, you can then create useful content that directly addresses to their needs, issues and concerns.
Write Content for the Phases of the Buying Cycle
To keep it simple, let’s look at the buying cycle in three distinct segments. The buying cycle goes by many different names. Some call it the sales cycle or sales funnel.
And marketers also view this cycle in different stages. I focus on three, but these can be further broken down into as many as even eight stages. It depends on how granular you want to differentiate.
For the sake of simplicity, I focus on: early, middle, and late stages of the B2B buying cycle.
· Early Stage. In this stage prospects want to educate themselves about the various solutions on the market to an existing problem. Prospects want to gather information and familiarize themselves with different approaches.
· Middle Stage. Moving to the next stage, the prospects dig deeper. Vendor credibility or track record becomes important, so does the company’s unique value proposition. How does one company compare to others in its industry?
· Late Stage. In the final stage, prospects are ready to select a business to work with. Prospects are interested how a company will work with them. Is the company easy to work with? Does the company guarantee its solutions?
Write Content Targeted at a Broad Audience
This approach is the opposite of writing to specific personas. This can be an effective approach especially in early stage. By taking a “big picture” approach you can appeal to all personas, from CEO to lower level management.
Louis Foong, a B2B demand generation specialist, suggests offering a free ROI calculator to get the cost per lead for a web optimization tool you’re selling. He maintains that an ROI calculator appeals to everyone from the CFO to the CMO to the sales department.
This is just one example. However, the point is to find a hook that has broad appeal that generates interest. Then once that’s occurred, you can write customized content for a particular persona.
Email Marketing Strategy – Targeted Marketing, Tailored Content
To deliver relevant content B2B marketers must clearly identify their content goals and objectives and align them with their prospects and customers. Email marketing best practices guarantee your content will be useful, helpful, and relevant.
Adopt this strategy as part of your email marketing best practices to deliver relevant content to the right audience.
Your email open rates will skyrocket. That will improve your lead generation, lead nurturing, and marketing ROI.