Business-to-business marketing is very to that of its consumer counterpart. Expectations, commitments, needs and wants of a purchase manager at a business are very different to that of a ‘normal’ consumer. Therefore, as email marketing managers, we have to change our methods!
Firstly, the way in which you acquire email addresses to market to needs to be very different from the consumer-marketing model. A great place to start building your list is your own email inbox. Are there any clients that have opted in to receive communication from you that you can target to up-sell to or maybe potential clients that didn’t convert at the last hurdle? Do you market to these people already? If not, then this is your starting block; get them on to the list!
Email capture through giving away ‘free’ content still works at a b2b level but just needs to be more tailored to your target market. Ideally, the content needs to include latest industry statistics, insight from experts and give actionable tips or some tools, software, templates that help to optimise the work of that organisation. Business people have lots of things, but time isn’t one of them so make sure the content is concise, precise and adds value because that will result in the link being shared across social media platforms and email to their targeted networks who will, in return, give you their email address. The more the list can grow naturally the better it is for you. You are already committing time, effort, energy and money in to producing the content so you may as well go the extra mile to make it special!
It’s great to have all the email addresses but how can you market to them effectively? Many people make the mistake of sending out a bulk email to everyone on their email list. If you really want to increase conversion rates then separate your marketing list using email marketing by iContact so that you can really target the content and calls to action in each email. A short example of why this can be so effective can be seen by looking at marketing to a technical helpdesk technician who has no budget or buying power in the slightest. This most certainly isn’t a wasted contact. If you have a product that you know that technician would understand, want to use and can that it would add genuine value to their role then here is how to go about getting the company they work for to purchase it:
a) Get the technician on board. In your email, give them a functions/features list and a comparison to products they are likely to be familiar with.
b) Highlight generic pricing overview that shows it is reasonable when compared to alternatives and efficiency savings.
c) Provide the email receiver with a document that was targeted at purchase managers; this document needs to focus on the detailed figures of upfront costs and ongoing costs.
d) In the email, have a call to action for the technician (in this example) to forward it on to their manager for consideration.
This works on a very similar basis of peer recommendation because an internal request or recommendation is much stronger than an external. Dividing your email marketing list allows you to harness the power in this data!
This guest article is by Mike Savage. he represents an email marketing company and have written extensively in this field. He can give you advice on email marketing and how it can be of benefit to you and you business.