Email marketing is a powerful tool that businesses can use to connect with their target audience, increase sales, and generate leads. With the rise of digital communication, email has become an essential part of the marketing mix for companies of all sizes.
In this blog, we’ll expand on the following topics:
Definition of Email Marketing
Email marketing is the action of crafting and sending sales emails to potential (and current) buyers in your target market, with the intention of making a sale.
With an email marketing strategy in place, businesses can increase brand awareness, generate leads, and drive more sales. When used as a lead generation tool, sales development representatives (SDRs) and marketing teams can craft messaging to align with each step of the buyer’s journey—from the introduction to lead nurturing and setting the sales appointment. However, it’s important that SDR and marketing teams are strategic about their email marketing approach so they don’t come off too strong while also not being too hands off.
Difference Between B2C and B2B Email Marketing Strategies
Email marketing isn’t the same across the board. Email marketing strategies vary whether you want to pitch to consumers or businesses.
B2C (business-to-consumer) email marketing is used by businesses that sell directly to individual consumers. This email marketing approach is often targeted towards sales of a specific item or a new product launch that you may want individual buyers to know about. B2C email marketing focuses on building relationships with customers and providing them with useful information or special discounts and offers they have going on at the time.
On the other hand, B2B (business-to-business) email marketing is the process of pitching a product or service to other businesses and their core decision-makers. This includes commercial industries such as HVAC, roofing, managed IT, software, construction, etc. While both the goals of B2C and B2B email marketing are essentially to generate revenue, the approaches are a little different from each other.
For example, when writing B2C emails, marketers should focus on promoting products and driving sales by offering various discounts. The content within this email should feel more personal, as if it’s an email between friends, so people will feel more comfortable with what you have to offer them.
However, B2B email campaigns should be more formal and focused on relationship building rather than making an immediate sale. Since B2B purchases often require multiple decision-makers, sales cycles are often much longer than B2C. This is what makes lead nurturing and emails such an important component to B2B lead generation campaigns.
While we could tell you all the differences between B2C and B2B emails, it’s important to learn about your target market and all their different buyer personas. Additionally, it’s important to consider the ultimate goals of your email marketing campaigns. As you take a look at your email marketing lead generation approach, consider the audience you’re serving and how they want to be approached in the sales and marketing materials.
Benefits of Email Marketing
Email is an incredibly valuable communication channel for sales and marketing teams to use in their lead generation efforts. Email marketing presents growing businesses with many benefits, such as that it drives sales, targets specific prospects, and is budget-friendly. Let’s get into it.
When it comes down to it, one of the core reasons email marketing is around is to drive sales and generate a more significant ROI from your lead generation efforts. With the right approach in place, your company has the opportunity to get in front of new prospects and get repeat business from previous customers.
Organic social media posting may be impactful for spreading brand awareness and getting in front of the eyes of users, but email marketing empowers your SDR and marketing teams to target specific prospects. While you may have a single target audience, there can be various buyer personas within your market, meaning you need to segment them based on common factors (we’ll expand on segmenting more later).
Email marketing itself is incredibly cost-effective. More traditional forms of advertising such as billboards, print ads, and TV commercials require more of your budget and there’s often less impact compared to email marketing. Additionally, there are a wide range of free email marketing tools available online that your business can use to distribute emails and measure the performance of your campaigns, allowing you to see where you can make adjustments to be able to generate a positive ROI.
Different Types of Email Marketing Campaigns
Sending emails may sound mindless when you’re talking about communicating from one person to another. However, when it comes to email marketing campaigns, it’s important that you have a well-thought-out strategy in place to make sure you get the most benefit out of your business growth efforts.
As you consider your email lead generation approach, it’s important to think about what types of email marketing campaigns. Each type of marketing campaign is different depending on what your goals are. There are three main types of email marketing campaigns: promotional, newsletter, and automated. Let’s explore what each campaign entails.
Promotional emails are the most common of the email campaign types. A promotional email campaign is used to advertise your company’s product or service. In these emails, SDR and marketing teams are often looking to make a sale or secure a sales meeting. They make this clear by using call-to-actions (CTAs) that read “Buy Now” or “Book a Meeting,” so email recipients know exactly what to do with the information provided to them.
Newsletters are another common form of email campaign that marketing teams implement into their lead generation strategy. Email newsletters are often used to keep current or previous customers informed about new business-related updates. They’re a great way to continuously build relationships with existing clients and drive more revenue.
While email newsletters are often used to re-engage clients, they’re also used to nurture relationships with warm leads that come in through your website. If a user is on your website and sees the value your company has to offer but isn’t ready to buy yet, they can sign up for your newsletter and get monthly sales and marketing materials that guide them further down the
Lastly, the third type of email campaign is automated. Automated email campaigns are set to automatically send messages to potential buyers based on their behaviors or actions. Let’s say that an interested buyer signs up for your company newsletter. The first email they would receive is an automated “welcome” email that introduces them to the types of materials they might receive through your email marketing efforts.
While automated email campaigns can be used for both B2B and B2C businesses, they’re most often used in the B2C realm. This is because when a user makes an account on an ecommerce website and adds things to their shopping cart, they can get email reminders of things in their cart that they haven’t purchased yet. Additionally, it can notify users who have items in their cart that the price went down or they have a specific offer for that item, boosting the likelihood of them purchasing the product and generating more revenue for your business.
Email Marketing Best Practices
Email marketing is a powerful channel for sales and marketing teams to use to connect with prospects and customers. While the process of sending an email may be simple, there are some email marketing best practices to keep in mind to ensure you get the most out of your email marketing lead generation efforts.
As you integrate email marketing into your lead generation strategy, it’s important to consider implementing best practices to get the most out of your efforts.
Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your email list is essential to ensure you’re sending the right content to the right individuals. For any email campaign, the content of your message must be relevant to the audience in order to be successful.
For example, a sales email that you send to a prospect will be different from a sales email you send to a current customer. This is because while you want to achieve the same outcome of drive revenue, the ways in which you approach them must be different based on their stage in the buyer’s journey. While a prospect may be in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey, a customer is in the repeat purchase phase, so it’s vital to craft messaging based on where they’re at with making a purchase.
In addition to an individual’s stage in the buyer’s journey, email lists can also be segmented by:
- Buyer persona
- Industry served
- Decision-maker job title
- Amount of yearly revenue generated
- Number of full-time employees
Segmenting email lists by these different factors allow your SDR and marketing specialists to effectively engage buyers in your target market, and nurture them through different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Email list segmentation can be done easily through your company’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform. With all the different prospect and customer insights you can gather and input in your CRM, this makes segmenting a seamless process in your email marketing efforts.
Personalize Email Campaigns
Another email marketing best practice is to personalize email campaigns. Personalizing email campaigns should start with having a good subject line that addresses the prospect by name, followed by a short and snappy snippet that gives them a reason to open the email. When you address the prospect by name in the subject line, you can achieve higher open rates, but personalization shouldn’t stop there.
Getting the prospect to open the email through personalization is only step one. To keep them engaged, it’s important that you personalize the content within the email. Similar to segmenting, personalized email campaigns can be customized by the prospect’s stage in the buyer’s journey, their buyer persona, the industry they serve, decision-maker job title, etc.
Let’s say you want to pitch the same product or service to commercial cleaning and commercial HVAC companies. While the concept of the email may stay the same, you should personalize messaging to make it focused on that particular industry. How does your product or service provide value for commercial cleaning companies vs. commercial HVAC? Personalizing email content encourages prospects to keep reading and explore more of what you have to offer businesses like theirs.
Include Strong Call-to-Actions
If you want to get responses from your email marketing efforts, it’s essential that you include strong call-to-actions so the email recipient knows exactly what you want them to do with the information given to them.
A strong CTA should be clear, align with the goals of the email, and match the prospect’s current stage in the buyer’s journey. For example, a prospect in the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey has a different purchasing mindset than a prospect in the consideration stage. A CTA for an awareness stage email should encourage the prospect to learn more about your topic of expertise. This CTA button should drive the reader to a specific resource, such as a blog post or whitepaper so they can learn more on their own time and potentially navigate their way around your website.
On the other hand, an email CTA for prospects in the consideration stage should be more sales-focused since they’re more ready to buy. This could include driving them to your product or service page or a landing page that encourages them to schedule a sales meeting with a member of your internal sales team, where they can convert from a lead into a customer.
A/B Test Email Content
If you’re not sure what type of content resonates most with your potential buyers, it’s important that you A/B test different sales and marketing collateral so you can see what your target audience engages with the most. A/B testing different elements of your email campaigns will reveal areas that may need some adjustment.
Is the subject line catchy enough? Does the subject line align with the content in the email? Should there be a different link or more click-worthy CTA?
A/B testing empowers sales development and marketing teams to identify what approaches work best in their favor, achieving better results from your email campaigns. This allows you to make data-driven decisions rather than what you and your team may feel most comfortable with.
Use Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing can be tedious a lot of the time. While it’s such an impactful strategy to generate leads, a lot of the sales emails have similar components which can be exhausting to write repeatedly throughout the day. This is where email marketing automation comes in handy.
There are a lot of email marketing tools on the market (both free and paid) that your SDR and marketing teams can use to spend more time selling and less time sending emails. With email marketing automation tools, you have the opportunity to send various types of emails to hundreds of prospects at once. Additionally, many of these tools allow your SDR and marketing teams to see how prospects are engaging with email content, giving you the opportunity to make adjustments as they seem fit.
Top Email Marketing Benchmark KPIs to Follow
Email marketing is a very data-driven lead generation solution. When you have a firm understanding of the different email marketing benchmark KPIs to follow, you can explore where there can be room for improvement to accelerate business growth.
Monitoring email marketing benchmarks can help your business improve your ROI from this lead generation channel. Here are a few of the most common email marketing KPIs we follow, and the ideal range you should stay in for maximized growth and success:
- Open rate: This is the percentage at which prospects click on the subject line and open the email in their inbox. A good open rate for email marketing should be 17–28%.
- Click-through rate: This is the percentage of people who clicked on one or more links in your sales email. Email click-through rates (CTRs) should be between 2–5%.
- Bounce rate: This is the rate at which emails are sent back and never land in a prospect’s inbox. Email bounce rates should typically be 2% or lower.
- List growth rate: This tells you the rate at which your email list is growing. This is calculated by the number of new subscribers, minus those that unsubscribed, and divided by the number of email addresses you have on your list. Finally, you multiply that by 100 and you get your email list growth rate. On average, a company list growth rate is approximately 2.5%.
- Unsubscribe rate: This is the percentage of the number of unsubscribers per email sent. As a benchmark, email unsubscribe rate should be under 0.5%.
Email marketing is crucial for sales development and lead generation. Without an email marketing lead generation strategy in place, you risk missing a significant number of potential buyers in your target market. Since email has become such a vital part of our everyday lives, it’s important to keep it top of mind and use it to consistently engage prospects in the sales pipeline and nurture relationships with existing customers.
As impactful as email marketing is on business growth, it shouldn’t be your only approach to lead generation. Email marketing often works best when combined with other lead generation strategies, such as cold calling and social media prospecting. This empowers your SDR and marketing teams to pitch the right leads at the right time, ensuring no sales opportunity falls through the cracks.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our SDR and marketing teams are experts in all things outbound lead generation—from cold calling to writing high-converting sales emails. If you need help building and implementing a business growth solution that yields results, contact the lead generation experts at Abstrakt!