The following is a guest post from M.H. (Mac) McIntosh, a business-to-business lead generation and marketing consultant who specializes in helping companies create demand, generate leads, and close more sales using the latest B2B marketing strategies, tactics, technology, and media. Please visit www.sales-lead-experts.com for more information.
As effective as e-mail already is for B2B marketing, there is a way to get exponentially better results. How? By integrating e-mail into your marketing campaigns instead of using it as a stand-alone tactic.
When it comes to B2B marketing tactics, e-mail is clearly a winner. Not only does it cost little to send, it generates responses, such as leads and sales, virtually immediately.
However, as effective as e-mail already is for B2B marketers, there is a way to get exponentially better results: By integrating e-mail into your marketing campaigns instead of using it as a stand-alone tactic. Here’s how . . .
Start by asking for your prospects’ e-mail addresses, and opt-in permission, during every interaction with them.
To increase the likelihood they will give you their e-mail addresses, offer them something valuable in return (e.g., white papers, articles, how-to guides, self-assessments, case studies, e-newsletters, and updates about upcoming events).
Whenever possible, also assure them that you won’t share their e-mail addresses with anyone, and remind them that they can opt out at any time in the future.
Use e-mail as an ”outbound” or ”push” marketing tactic to follow up to your ”inbound” or ”pull” marketing-generated inquiries.
E-mail is an ideal way to follow up with prospects that downloaded your white paper, signed up to attend your webinar, or joined your LinkedIn group.
Even the authors of the best-selling book on inbound marketing admit to using e-mail as an outbound tactic for following up, nurturing, and qualifying the inquiries they generate from their inbound marketing efforts.
Use e-mail to nurture your longer-term prospects.
Unfortunately, not every response or inquiry represents a qualified, sales-ready opportunity. Our research shows that only one out of four sales opportunities come from those with immediate needs.
In other words, three out of four of your sales opportunities come from prospects with longer-term needs. To increase your chances of getting your share or more of those sales, give some thought to the steps in your prospects’ buying process as they move from consideration to purchase. Then create content you can offer via e-mail (e.g., white papers, how-to guides, self-assessments, and webinars) which address their information needs at each step.
Use e-mail to lead prospects to your social media content.
Your social media presence means little if nobody knows it’s there. So be sure to include signatures in your e-mails which feature links to your blog, your tweets, your LinkedIn profile, your YouTube videos, and even to the current issue of your e-newsletter.
Use social media to extend the reach of your e-mail.
Encourage your e-mail recipients to pass your information along by Twittering or blogging about it, or by forwarding it to their friends and colleagues. Make it easy by including buttons or links to do so in the body of your e-mails.
Open up an e-mail communications channel with the prospects who find you via other marketing media.
Prime the pump by allowing your prospective customers to respond by e-mail to all your marketing communications.
The bottom line? You’ll get better results.
Whenever you are planning new or additional marketing, ask yourself how you can integrate e-mail. Why? Because when it comes to results, integrating e-mail into your other marketing campaigns and materials is like 1+1=3.