CRM software company SuperOffice recently publish a report on the state of B2B email marketing, and found that B2B companies are lagging behind in the adoption of email marketing. SuperOffice cites email marketing as the most effective channel to generate leads for a B2B company, yet discovered a surprising 59% of B2B companies do not use email marketing at all. The remaining 41% that do use email marketing aren’t optimizing their efforts; nearly 1 out of every 5 email campaigns was not optimized for mobile campaigns. Not great considering mobile is the new desktop, and will continue to grow as the main device for decision-making.
Additionally, 89% of emails sent from a company were from the company’s name, instead of a person. SuperOffice stated that “contrary to popular belief, it’s not the subject line that is the reason why an email is opened. It’s the sender’s name.” They found 64% of subscribers open an email based on sender, not the topic of the email.
B2B marketers can benefit from email as a channel by using targeted content ranging from product and company updates, promotional emails, newsletters, event invitations, and more. Ascend2 conducted the survey Email Marketing Engagement and discovered that for those that use email marketing, the top priority was to improve email engagement (55%), followed by increasing sales revenue (48%), and improving quality of leads (45%).
Email marketing campaigns don’t have to require an extensive CRM software or expensive license; it can be tied into already existing PPC efforts. Take Google’s Gmail Ads (GSP). Obility reported GSP’s ability to generate low cost opportunities as well as convert prospects to brand ambassadors. In their case study, Obility saw GSP campaigns earn a 3.4x Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) in the U.S. and a 2.7x ROAS in Mexico. Additionally, Google tracks the number of email forwards, allowing marketers to discover the best content that prospects are likely to send to their colleagues. This is important because, not only are forwards free marketing, but they help build brand trust as new prospects are introduced to the brand through their peers.
Search Engine Land provides a helpful guide to setting up an effective GSP campaign, including instruction on three different methods of targeting (keyword, audience, or demographic) and ad copy best practices. One of the best ways to utilize keywords targeting is to target their competitors by bidding on their terms, or with a more specific domain targeting, can send emails to anyone who received emails from @competitorsname.com. For audience targeting, B2B companies can benefit from using remarketing. The typical B2B decision and conversion cycle is much longer than those of B2C, so using marketing to remind potential clients about your brand throughout their customer journey can be the perfect influence to sway them your way.
From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:
- Often B2B conversion cycles are longer. From an analytics standpoint, where in the funnel would you attribute a conversion resulting from an email campaign?
- How would an awareness email differ from an intent or direct response email?
- Imagine you are a marketing manager at Dunder Mifflin Paper Company and prepare a marketing strategy for an email campaign targeting colleges who use paper brochures.