22 (Marketing Automation) Email Marketing Best Practices to Drive More Clicks and Land More Customers
Email marketing remains a mainstay in the world of marketing and is a powerful tool for customer acquisition. In order to reach and acquire new customers, business leaders must take a close look at the power of email when it comes to selling their message, service, or product. In this post, you’ll have the opportunity to learn email marketing best practices that can launch your business to success.
Perhaps you’re not confident about how much time and energy you should devote to email marketing strategies. Rest assured, that some of the most recent research shows that email marketing tactics can earn a company up to $38 for every $1 spent. Such an enormous return on investment could create a significant difference in the health and stability of your customer acquisition efforts both now and in the future.
If you’re looking for modern and effective email marketing ideas, you’ve come to the right resource. We’ll start with an overview of how to execute a B2B marketing strategy and explore several email marketing best practices that also work for B2C companies that your team can use and adopt quickly.
Why You Should Use Email Marketing for Customer Acquisition
No matter what kind of business you own or product you sell, email marketing is a crucial piece of the puzzle.
Below are a few notable reasons why targeted email marketing is worth the investment.
- More than 34% of individuals around the world use email to communicate.
- In the United States, email advertising accounts for more than $350 billion annually.
- Email can be 40% more effective than social media platforms for acquiring new customers.
The growth of email marketing is only expected to rise in the coming years, which means that it will remain an influential factor in customer behavior. To capitalize on these email marketing statistics, in addition to many others, it’s crucial for your marketing team to prioritize email as a conversion channel with serious potential.
What is B2B Email Marketing?
Business-to-business, or B2B, marketing differs from business-to-consumer marketing in that it may appeal less to emotional responses and more to nurturing relationships. When marketing to other businesses, the goal is to move each lead or prospect through the inbound funnel.
B2B email marketing is generally most effective when the following factors are true.
- The company uses a sustainable and effective email service provider for mass communications.
- The business uses specific segmentation and automation strategies to target potential and returning customers in unique ways.
- The marketing team capitalizes on lead nurturing to encourage communication with leads and prospects over time, using effective and timely content.
Email Marketing Automation
As you scale your business with multiple channels, the mental bandwidth and time consumed by your team is bound to go up. By automating email marketing your team can get ahead of the game without sacrificing results.
Some best practices for B2B email automation:
- Auto-response protocols: At this point in time, users are not put off by receiving an automated response to an inquiry – so long as it is thoughtful and solves their problems. In fact, you can gain significant ‘wow’ points with your prospective partners by having an intuitive set of pathways that get responded to immediately.
- Create Drip Campaigns: Furthering the automated response cycle, a ‘drip’ campaign is a triggered sequence of automated emails set to a schedule based on where a user is in an automation lifecycle. This works extremely effectively in the B2B space because interactions and sales cycles are longer than the typical B2C sequencing.
- Automate re-sending to non-opens: No matter how much automation or optimization is included in your B2B email campaigns, you still must include the human experience in your decision making. A non-open could easily be chalked up as a loss, but there are multiple different non-open scenarios that a normal person checking their email could have been affected by. Resending your B2B emails with new subject lines can cover all your bases and skyrocket your important opens.
Benefits of marketing automation
Email marketing interaction (high response rate, subscription to a list, ect.) is such a hallmark of a satisfied visitor. Understanding the full user experience can really help make or break your success with this customer acquisition strategy. Similarly, the best automation will reduce confusion, time spent, and build relationships with businesses you want to work with.
So long as your audience is well-defined, B2B email automation will also let you discover important metrics from A/B testing and target your suboptimal performance. These behaviors will also generally be indicative of broader campaign sentiments across your platforms (as you’re trying to convey many similar messages in different forms). The great news is that automated funnels allow you to back-test this as well, meaning you’re always putting your data-driven foot forward.
22 Email Marketing Best Practices for B2B Businesses
Email marketing has complexities and nuances, and the truth is that it takes time to learn. While that may be true for any marketing tactic, there are several email marketing best practices that you can leverage no matter where your experience level is.
The list below provides an overview of some of the top strategies, tools, and tips that you can implement right away.
1. Develop a digital marketing strategy
Email marketing should always flow directly from your company’s overall digital marketing strategy. Since the goal of email marketing is to encourage a customer to move from one stage of the buyer journey to the next, you must first understand what this process looks like for your company or business.
Without this foundation, your email marketing strategies may take longer to develop, or you may experience a decreased ROI.
2. Use Google Analytics
With Google Analytics, you can easily set up campaign tracking to monitor the performance of your different marketing campaigns. This process uses UTMs and custom tags to generate specific reports on campaign performance. If you’re looking to gain more in-depth data, this practice can generate valuable information you may otherwise overlook.
3. Drive traffic to landing pages
If your marketing team relies on landing pages to convert customers, it’s a good idea to create pathways to these pages in your emails. Depending on whether you send HTML or text emails, you can add hyperlinks or visual elements that link to separate landing pages.
Not only does this increase website traffic, but it allows you to share more information than you would otherwise be able to share in a standard email.
4. Leverage content marketing
Although the members of your marketing team might have separate responsibilities, it’s crucial that you don’t overlook how email and content marketing work together.
Offering useful, refined content is always better than engaging in cold email marketing that misses the mark. In an email, there are several places to leverage good content, including your subject line, body copy, and calls to action.
5. Invest in email marketing software
To truly capitalize on the benefits of email marketing, you should consider investing in a top-level ESP, or email service provider. There are many options available on the market that are suited to enterprise corporations, bloggers, ecommerce providers, and more. An email service or software can help you avoid downtime, automate your messaging, and learn more about important metrics.
6. Craft optimized CTAs
Not only should you include well-written calls to action in every email you send, but you should also look for things like CTA placement. When it comes to providing direction for your readers, be sure not to bury the lead under layers of extra text. Try to limit your CTAs so that customers know precisely which action they should take next.
7. Drive customer and brand loyalty
Email marketing isn’t just about selling a product or service. While you should take advantage of sales opportunities, you can also use email marketing strategies to drive customer loyalty. Whether you write newsletters or send special messages that offer thanks, aim to send some emails that provide value to your audience and aren’t simply focused on making sales.
8. Fine-tune your marketing automation
Marketing automation is sometimes considered its own speciality, with many companies turning to email marketing consultants to offer the best advice on automation practices.
However, once you automate, you can send timely follow-up messages to new customers and leads. This includes welcome sequences, new offers based on purchase history, or reminders to complete an abandoned sale.
9. Abide by spam rules
With the rise in email marketing popularity also comes an increase in individuals and companies who use email in inappropriate ways. Email marketing best practices include using a physical address in the footer and providing a way for users to opt-out. You should also be cognizant of send times, message frequency, and the types of content you provide.
10. Increase sales
Friendly, welcome, and relational emails can help drive future sales. In fact, companies that do this well have been shown to generate a 50% increase in new leads at almost a third of the cost associated with other methods. Because of this, it may be wise to involve your company’s sales team in the process of developing nurture sequences and other types of email messaging.
11. Manage send times
When your customers are most likely to engage with an email depends on who your customers are. The time of day that you hit ‘send’ is likely to affect your email marketing open rate and other important key performance indicators. Some evidence indicates that the best time to send emails is earlier in the work week around mid-morning.
12. Test subject lines
An email marketing open rate is the percentage of time that your subscribers or recipients actually open a new email. Don’t assume that simply because a message comes from your business that readers will automatically engage or open it. By testing subject lines, you can see what type of copy performs well and increases the chances that readers will want to open the email to learn more.
13. Use personalization and custom greetings
When you leverage an email service provider that syncs to your company’s CRM, you can generate emails that have personalized information. This includes placing information such as a first name directly within the greeting.
Customers are more likely to engage with content that feels personal and unique, rather than messages that seem broad and far-reaching.
14. Take advantage of auto-responders
As your audience grows, your marketing team likely won’t have time to individually respond to each opt-in or message.
An auto-responder is an automatic message that is triggered once a lead, prospect, or visitor interacts with a web form or element on your website. These time-saving messages can be branded and professional while eliminating a tedious manual step.
15. Proofread, edit, and test
Although mistakes and typos are bound to happen, aim to develop a rigorous copyediting process to ensure that your email messages are free from major grammar and spelling mistakes. While these errors are minor inconveniences to most readers, some mistakes could be more significant. Plus, it may be embarrassing or confusing to go back and send an apology or clarification email.
16. Understand email marketing benchmarks
There are several industry standards for email marketing, including numbers related to open and click-through rates. It’s important to familiarize yourself and your team with these benchmarks so that you can set goals for growth. Having an understanding of these metrics also allows your team to troubleshoot in the event that a message or sequence lands flat.
17. Offer unsubscribe options
From time to time, customers may want to stop receiving messages from you. This is a natural part of email marketing and shouldn’t deter you from your overall goals.
Always offer customers and prospects a way to opt out or unsubscribe from communications, which you can easily do with a link in your footer or signature line.
18. Trim and organize your marketing lists
To make sure that the right messages always land with the correct audiences, you should be proactive in maintaining your lists. This practice might be easier if you only offer one product or solution, but more organization is required if your company offers different plans, products, or services.
By learning more about your customers, you can ensure that they’re placed on the appropriate list for targeted email marketing.
19. Include a branded logo within the email
Some studies show that readers automatically scan messages for a company’s logo in the upper left-hand side of emails. Incorporating your logo as part of the aesthetic and design communicates that the message is trustworthy and from a reputable sender.
20. Clear your lists of low engagement
To get a truly accurate picture of your email marketing KPIs, you’ll need to perform some occasional house cleaning. This involves looking at your analytics and lists for low performance, engagement, or even duplicate contact records.
Eliminating some of these individuals who have never opened an email can give you a more accurate picture of performance.
21. Use confirmation emails for sign-ups
Is your company offering a webinar or hosting an event? If you use a sign-up form on a website landing page, set up a confirmation email sequence to confirm the date and time. You can even include an option for adding the event to an attendee’s calendar, which may boost attendance.
22. Incorporate alt text
Using alternative text on the images and buttons on your website is vital for accessibility standards. Using this text in your emails, however, can ensure that your readers know what’s included if for some reason the email doesn’t send or load correctly. This routine practice is a good habit to form across digital marketing tactics in general, whether you’re developing the written copy on a website or developing your email sequence.
What is Opt-In Email Marketing?
Opt-in email marketing is simply one way to generate email subscribers. Using this method, a company or business can offer an incentive to a reader or website visitor in exchange for an email address or personal contact information. The incentive, or “lead magnet” could be anything from an eBook, to a coupon, to a contest entry.
Opt-in email marketing is beneficial because it allows subscribers to grant permission for receiving further marketing email communications. With increasing data privacy laws and regulations, it’s another way that companies can maintain customer trust and credibility.
In terms of email marketing best practices, providing an opt-in (and opt-out) feature, will help you streamline your segmentation and reach the right audiences with your message.
Gmail and Email Marketing Make Simple
Free email platforms such as Gmail and Microsoft Outlook that are used for more personal and direct conversations might seem enticing to use for email marketing campaigns because of their simplicity and availability. And while it is possible to conduct business and professional communication through these channels, services like Gmail aren’t true email marketing platforms.
To achieve a high email marketing conversion rate, your business should undoubtedly invest in an email marketing platform. Stand-alone email marketing systems can provide rich insights and customer engagement in ways that free platforms like Gmail simply can’t.
Factors such as deliverability, speed, and design are all crucial to email marketing success. As a result, it’s important to invest in a sustainable solution or platform that can provide support as you continue to expand and reach new markets.
Start the Path to Email Marketing Success
Are you still wondering what needs to change in order to create scalable growth at your company? Striventa has made it easy with a Business Growth Program that’s focused around one singular goal – customer acquisition.
We know that the best way to grow a company is to get more customers, and we’ve developed an illustrative flywheel that highlights all the tactics your company needs to employ, including email marketing, to achieve this goal.