If you’re struggling to generate a steady stream of leads for your B2B business, you’re not alone. 68% of B2B businesses are in the same dilemma.
As a B2B business, your target audience probably consists of CEOs and business executives. One thing they have in common? They are all busy. So, you’ll hardly find them browsing blogs or social media looking for the next product to invest in.
One channel that they cannot do without, however, is email. This is why email marketing is a powerful tool for generating leads for your B2B business.
But the average person sends and receives over 121 emails per day. So how do you stand out in an inbox long enough to convert your audience to a lead?
In this article, I’ll show you how to generate B2B leads through email marketing.
Tips for Creating an Effective B2B Email Marketing Strategy
If you must stand out in anyone’s inbox, you have to be smart. But before anything, you need to know which companies you want to target, the kind of industries or verticals they belong to, and their major pain points. This will help you tailor your lead generation campaign in the right direction.
The following tips will help you make your email marketing effective enough to stand out and get qualified leads for your B2B business:
1. Know Your Prospects
One mistake many businesses make is always addressing marketing emails to CEOs. They fail to realize that decision-making personnel differs from company to company.
What to do? Find out who is in charge of making decisions to purchase your products or services like yours and target them directly.
This way, your emails are more likely to fall into the right hands and give you more productive lead generation and sales results.
2. Segment your Prospects
They say the money is in the list. While that’s true, you also need to know how to make the most of your email list.
One way to do this is by dividing your prospects into segments and sending them the most relevant or appropriate emails.
Let’s face it, what works for the goose may not necessarily work for the gander. If you’re trying to make a lead out of a company’s CEO, for example, your approach should be different from how you would approach a marketing manager. While these two people may be decision-makers, a CEO will be more invested in their business than a marketing manager who is an employee.
Apart from job titles, other criteria you can use to segment your email list are by industry or vertical, location, company size, and others that you find relevant.
If you need more convincing, you should know that businesses that segment their audience see a 760% increase in their revenue. So, if you aren’t segmenting your audience, you’re leaving lots of cash on the table.
3. Use an Effective Subject Line
As I mentioned earlier, your prospects are busy people who also have to wade through daily emails. So, they don’t sit around reading emails all day. They typically skim subject lines as they scroll through their inboxes to decide which email to open.
Hence, the secret to getting your prospect to open your email lies in your subject lines. The more relevant and effective your subject line is, they will open the more likely your email.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to creating effective subject lines. However, the following tips will be helpful:
Keep it short
Remember, your prospects are only scanning through their inboxes. So, there are only so many words they can catch from each subject line. This is why your subject lines must be easy to digest at a glance.
State the purpose of your email upfront.
Unlike B2C prospects, your B2B prospects usually know what they want and are rational about their decisions. They also have less time to spend on an email. So, there’s no point beating about the bush.
Hence, it is smart to be upfront from the get-go of your email. This is the best way to hook your prospects early and turn them into leads.
Don’t use click baits.
There’s always the temptation to do anything to get your prospects to open your emails. However, click baits are a no-no.
Using click baits makes your emails appear like spams and get your prospective leads tossing them in the trash before you can blink.
Typos in your subject line are the fastest way to lose credibility, especially if it is your first email. So, you want to be meticulous and avoid them at all costs.
4. Consider Timing
Timing is an important consideration when you’re generating leads with email marketing. You want to make sure your emails enter your prospects’ inboxes when they will likely see them immediately.
Sending your emails at just any time might send it to the bottom of a long list of unread emails. And you might need some luck to get it opened if that happens.
Generally, business people open their email inboxes in the morning before starting the activities for the day. So, this is usually an excellent time to get their attention with your email.
You also need to know what times of the year your product will be in high demand. Take advantage of these periods for effective lead generation through your email marketing. You can create special offers to get even more leads at these periods.
5. Always Give Value
No one likes to be sold, not even business owners or executives. Plus, many other businesses like yours are already bombarding them with sales emails anyway. So, why add to the noise?
One way to trump this is to give your prospects value from the onset of your communication. It’s the secret to generating interest in your product in advance and establishing a positive relationship with your prospects. A positive relationship built by providing value makes lead generation easier.
Give value to your prospects by sending them content they will find helpful to their businesses. You don’t always have to create them from scratch.
Sharing content from other sources works fine too. It shows that you aren’t just hungry for a sale but are first committed to making their lives easier.
One of the major challenges in lead generation is getting “qualified” leads. When you give valuable content to your prospects from the onset, you can be sure the people interacting with your emails are your ideal customers and are more likely to make qualified leads.
It doesn’t just end there; it makes your prospects more open to your offers in the future.
6. Automate Follow-Up Emails
Wondering how you’ll keep the communication line with your prospects open? Send follow-up emails.
But this poses a problem: finding the time to invest in sending the emails. After all, lead generation is not the only thing you do at your company. You equally have other tasks to get to. This is where automation comes in.
Automating your follow-up emails is a smart way to generate leads from your email marketing without stress. It also allows you to scale your email marketing without extra effort.
To do this, use email marketing software like Mailchimp, SendinBlue, ConvertKit, and so on.
With these tools, you can send emails to specific segments of your email list at a preset time and interval. All you’ll need to do is upload your email list, set up your follow-up emails and sending conditions, and the rest will fall into place.
7. Test New Ideas
It’s good to experiment with new ideas when generating B2B leads. However, make sure to test them before applying them.
By testing, you can easily identify what works and what doesn’t. So, if you want to introduce an unconventional idea to the usual trend in your industry, testing is a safe way to allow potential mistakes and quickly correct them.
Try different subject lines, headlines, CTAs, and email designs in the same lead generation campaign to see which one gives you more leads.
Many email marketing software come with an A/B testing feature.
8. Add a Clear and Compelling Call-to-Action
Every email you send out has a purpose – even if you’re not trying to sell anything yet. So, you should have a goal in mind for every email you send.
A call-to-action tells your prospect what to do after reading your email. It helps you steer them towards becoming leads and taking the next steps in their buying journey.
Make your call-to-action clear and compelling enough to get your prospects to click on it. Since this is the climax of your email, you only need to build on what you already have in the body of your email and tell your prospects what to do.
If you’re not sure what call-to-action to use, simply test the options you have and use the most effective one.
Pro tip: Embed your call-to-action link in a button instead of using a link text – or worse pasting the naked link.
9. Use Mobile-Friendly Email Layouts
Don’t think your B2B prospects are stuck in front of computers all day. They also access their emails and other information through their phones and other mobile devices.
Hence, you need to consider this when creating your emails for lead generation. Make sure your text size and font, overall email design, call-to-action buttons are well optimized for mobile devices.
Your landing pages and website should also be mobile-friendly so that when your call-to-action leads your prospects to a web page, they’ll experience no difficulty in interacting with your web content.
10. Track Important Metrics and Analyze Your Results
The best way to make your lead generation effective is to drive it with data. Tracking and analyzing important metrics gives you a steady supply of data to work with.
Important metrics to measure and track are the number of emails sent, open rate, clickthrough rate, number of replies (where applicable), bounce rate, conversion rate, unsubscribe rate, number of leads generated, and any other metric relevant to your business.
If these metrics already sound overwhelming, don’t fret. The email marketing software you use will help you analyze these metrics to help you understand them easily.
In some cases, you can even generate reports to give you easy access to the exact information you need per time.
Knowing your numbers will make it easy for you to spot loopholes in your marketing. You’ll also know what to keep doing to get a predictable number of leads.
Benefits of Email Marketing for B2B Companies
Even with the emergence of new digital marketing strategies, email marketing isn’t outdated like many people like to think.
Here are some benefits of using email marketing in your B2B business:
1. It Is Cost-effective
Considering how effective a well-thought-out email campaign can be, it is more cost-effective than most digital marketing strategies.
If you’re just starting your business, email marketing is one of the best ways to expand your customer base with minimal investment.
Also, most email marketing service providers come with free plans that you can use as a small business or new start-up with limited funding. This means you can have access to email marketing automation for free. Then as your revenue grows, you can scale up your subscription according to your needs.
2. Focuses on Building Relationships
As a business, you should be more interested in building a lasting relationship than getting one-off sales. Email marketing helps you achieve this.
It does this by helping you establish a line of communication between your company and your customers.
Through this line of communication, you can provide valuable content to help their business and personal life easier. You can also notify your customers of attractive offers, freebies, or loyalty programs.
This is another way of endearing them to your business and getting them to stay with your brand.
3. Easy to Track
What’s a digital marketing strategy if you can’t track its performance? Only by tracking your performance can you identify where you are getting it right and where you are missing it.
With email marketing, there are many metrics you can track to give you the information you need.
It’s even easier because email marketing service providers have tracking and analytic tools for measuring the performance of every email you send.
With the results from the metrics, you can identify the stage of each customer’s journey and how to propel them to the next step. You can also improve engagement with your content and increase your conversion rate.
4. Allows for Personalization
Your B2B prospects may be different types of companies with a similar need for your product or service. In this case, you shouldn’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach to converting them into leads.
One of the biggest perks of email marketing compared to other digital marketing strategies is the ease of personalizing content for different customers or prospects.
With email marketing, it is easy to group your email recipients into segments and send each one emails that are tailored specifically to their business type or persona.
5. Easy to Design and Launch
One of the beautiful things about email marketing is that you can get up and running with it fast without having to bother so much about design.
All you need is an email list, good market research, relevant content, email marketing software, and you’ll be good to go.
Your emails can be as simple as a body of plain text. If you decide to take things up a notch (which you should absolutely do), you can use email design templates that come with many email marketing software.
So, it doesn’t require much to design and launch an email marketing plan.
6. Emails Are Easy to Optimize for Mobile
Another major perk of email marketing is how easy it is to make it mobile-friendliness. Since more business people are beginning to use their mobile devices to access information both at work and on the go, it makes sense to opt for mobile-friendly marketing campaigns.
With email marketing, you can ensure your marketing communications are easily accessible by your prospects and on a personal level. It’s also a sure way to build solid B2B relationships and conveniently give value to your prospects.
No two businesses are alike. So, don’t be afraid to use your own ideas. However, make sure to test before establishing it as part of your B2B email marketing strategy for generating leads.
With the tips mentioned here, I hope that I have established a practical framework for you to use in generating qualified leads for your B2B business. If you found it helpful, don’t forget to share it with your network.