Tactics to Improve B2B Email Marketing


"79% of leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance."

(Source: MarketingSherpa)


Lack of lead nurturing is a common concern we hear amongst those in the business-to-business environment. It doesn't need to be a time consuming or confusing process. With strategic email campaigns businesses are able to fully utilize their mailing lists and convert more leads into sales.
According to B2B marketing professionals surveyed by B2B Magazine the top five tactics to improve your email marketing include:

  1. Delivering content that is relevant to a segment
  2. Lead-nurturing programs
  3. Content quality and volume
  4. List segmentation
  5. Email personalization

Below are some simple changes you can make today to help improve your B2B email marketing campaigns and nurture those leads that you worked so hard to attain.

Segment your list

Be honest, have you segmented your lead list? If the answer is no, then this is the first step. Chances are the contacts in your lead list aren't all from the same type of business/industry. Take inventory of your list and start to build categories.

Depending on your product or service you may look to segment geographically (cities, neighborhoods, postal codes etc.), demographically (age, gender etc.) or psychographically (lifestyles, personality, values and social class).

There are many online tools that can help you build and organize your lead lists; one of the more popular and easiest to use is Salesforce. Within Salesforce you can segment your leads in a variety of ways and export them to a multitude of email marketing programs.

Important because: By segmenting your list you can build specific campaigns and messaging that will speak to your leads in a way that is relevant to them, rather than a 'spray and pray' approach of sending mass email to everyone and hoping someone responds.

Customize your emails

Once your list is segmented it is time to customize. Depending on the message you're delivering, it is important to address each segment differently. Use language that is appropriate for the audience and personalize with each individual's name.

You can take your email from "Hello" to "Hello Matt" automatically in most email marketing programs; we highly recommend you do this. Time is precious; by personalizing your subject line and salutation you grab the recipients attention for that split second longer.

Important because: Customizing your email can make a huge difference in whether the recipient opens, reads and ultimately responds. Would you answer the door if someone blurted out messages you didn’t understand?

Provide relevant content

The number one tactic to improve your email marketing is to provide relevant content. (It’s further down our list because your content is only effective when you know whom you’re sending it to.)

One common mistake made in B2B marketing is sending content to everyone on your list, which is really only relevant to a certain target audience. For example: do you have clients across North America on your list, but your upcoming email content is only relevant to US clients? Don't send it to your full list!

Using your segmented lists, create content that is engaging for that particular audience. If it's information relevant only for Canada, send it only to your Canadian leads.

By taking the time to get to know your lead list and doing a little research to determine what information would interest them most can go a long way.

Important because: It makes your leads feel important. It shows them that you're listening and know who they are and what they care about.

Lead-nurturing programs

When someone is added to your list, what is the first thing they receive from you? Proper etiquette is to send a welcome email.

How was the lead added to your list? Did they sign up on their own via your website or social media channels? Did you enter their information manually after a face-to-face meeting? These avenues of communication need to be addressed differently to nurture the lead through the buying process.

Email marketing programs are excellent in simplifying this process and can be used to send auto-generated emails as soon as someone subscribes or is added manually to a certain segment.

For each segment you can create a series of scheduled emails that send out in a timely fashion with customized and relevant content (see, it all comes together).

Important because: By creating a series of scheduled emails you can stay top of mind without being intrusive.

Avoid Spamming

Have you ever received an email that wasn't relevant to you – who hasn't? Did you report it as spam? It's common amongst users who receive email from unknown senders or irrelevant content to report them as spam, in the hopes of never receiving again. Don't let that happen to your emails!

Following the previous steps will help eliminate your spam reports, but you also need to take into consideration how contacts are added to your email lists. Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) best practice is to obtain consent from your recipients.

Let us clarify what consent is according to CASL. There are two main types of consent: expressed and implied. You can send marketing emails to anyone who has provided either type of consent. Let's dig a little deeper.

Expressed consent: The recipient has expressly provided his/her name, address, and email address to the sender, and has been made aware of the purpose of the messages that will be received. This could include a newsletter signup form on your website.

Implied consent: You have an existing business relationship; for example the recipient has purchased from you in the past 24 months, or has made an inquiry in the past 6 months. Implied consent also exists if a recipient has publicly displayed his/her email address, such as on a company website, and hasn't asked to not receive messages. The message must be related to the recipient's business. Note: Contact information on business cards collected at a trade show count as implied consent.

Get started today!

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you click 'send'.

  1. Who is my target audience? – Pick a list to send to
  2. Would I open this email? – Customize
  3. Did they sign up for this email? – Avoid spam reports
  4. Will they read this? – Is it relevant to the list selected?
  5. What's next? – Lead nurturing series

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