The growing popularity of social media and other communication channels has certainly not hurt the communicative power of email marketing, which is still a great strategy for reaching, informing, and engaging users.
In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at email marketing and focus on the effectiveness of email automation for B2B. You will also learn how to manage contacts effectively and how to use inbound marketing and content marketing strategies to attract new contacts.
In a previous post, we talked about the effectiveness of email for interacting with users, giving companies the ability to communicate with them more directly and personally.
Email has been found to offer great benefits in terms of ROI and sales, SEO optimization, website traffic, and lead generation.
So email marketing isn’t going away to make way for other channels. On the other hand, Statistics show that around 3.9 billion people used email for communication in 2019 alone, a number that is projected to reach 4.3 billion in 2022. (Statista, 2020).
On the basis of these premises, let’s try to understand how the potential of email marketing can be exploited and what advantages automation tools offer companies, especially in the B2B sector.
Email Marketing: What Is It And Why Are You Automating It?
Email is a communication tool that can be accessed by everyone. However, when we talk about email marketing we are referring to communication activities that companies use with the aim of promoting a particular product or service, or strengthening the relationship between brand and users.
Based on this distinction, we can identify other tools such as Newsletterthat are used to provide regular updates on company activity for which there is sufficient space Content Marketing to strengthen customer loyalty and improve the brand’s reputation. There are also DEM (direct e-mail marketing) that has a purely promotional and commercial purpose (e.g. to propose offers for products or discounts).
As for newsletters, we can say that they are an excellent tool for that Increase user engagement through content marketing. Among the most effective content that can be included in a newsletter, VideoThe protagonist of almost all digital marketing activities is currently the most dedicated and one that increases activities significantly Click rate. (Source Hubspot)
Not only that, the effectiveness of video also lies in its ability to deliver a message much faster and more attractively, which translates into an increase in video Opening rate and a decrease in Cost per lead and Website trafficwhat also affects SEO. (Source Vidyard)
Speak instead DEMThese are sent to a more specific destination and contain targeted commercial content with the aim of getting the customer to buy. The obvious effectiveness of this type of email marketing is given by the high conversion rates it generatesThanks to a precise target group approach.
In both cases, the communications are at different rates that require resources and time. This is Why automation tools can play a critical role in email marketing activities.
In terms of the frequency of sending for a B2B audience, there isn’t a perfect number of emails that can be sent to each user on a monthly basis. However, recent research suggests that sending 5 to 8 emails per month is the right compromise for positive ROI without being too intrusive. (Source litmus)
In addition, automation programs not only save time when sending e-mails, but also allow you to manage the e-mails safely and effectively Address database They already have or those that you will acquire over time.
Email Marketing Automation: A Definition
Email Marketing Automation is an activity that allows you to manage email campaigns using automation tools. More specifically, automation tools manage the sending of emails based on your user data (e.g. personal data, user behavior, the stage of the funnel they are in).
This enables companies not only to improve communication with users, but also to make it so personalized Optimizing the performance of the email marketing strategy (and digital marketing more generally) for each of them.
In addition, recent studies by Social Media Today show that email marketing automation is widespread among companies in terms of time and budget optimization, as well as audience segmentation.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of email marketing automation to understand when and how it can be implemented into a digital marketing strategy.
The benefits of email marketing automation for B2B: from database management to personalization
As mentioned earlier, automating marketing activities, and email marketing in particular, can be a great way to optimize time, budget, and resources. That’s not all.
Managing large databases and email lists without an automation tool can be a very complicated and ineffective action. Why?
By collecting and managing contact information, you can use the automation software to send targeted content to each recipient segment. Some examples: automatic follow-up emails with blog articles, e-books or infographics related to the topics of interest to the recipient, or Welcome emails that arrive after a newsletter subscription.
All of this not only helps improve communication with users, but also makes emails more interesting and has a positive effect Open rates, clicks and conversions. With that in mind, we recently talked about KPIs for digital marketing and measuring email marketing campaigns by identifying the most appropriate KPIs and metrics in a recent post.
Hence, we can say that email marketing automation leaves a lot of room for personalization strategies that are becoming more and more popular and valued by users, as we have presented the marketing trends of 2021 here.
The ability to automatically send personalized emails for each user is definitely one of the top benefits of automation. If, on the one hand, we can optimize the time it takes to send emails, then, on the other hand, we have to consider the need to put the user, and therefore the customer, at the center of communication.
There is therefore a need for Humanize automation and ensure that communication transforms the relationship with the user into one that is more solid and lasting.
This need has been recognized by many companies in the B2B world. According to a study by Econsultancy, around 67% of marketers said they increasingly want to deliver personalized customer experience Through email marketing activities and related to automation, approximately 53% expressed a willingness to use automation tools to improve the performance of email marketing initiatives.
However, for 51% of enterprise marketers who use personalization, data integration is still a difficult hurdle. This is mainly due to the difficulty of bringing together different sources of information and the many marketing platforms available.
At a time when personalized communication is increasingly in demand, we can therefore say that software is combined Automation and CRM Functions (customer relationship management) like Hubspot are tools that every company needs.
As mentioned earlier, this type of tool allows you to manage and create segmented contact lists based on the data collected. How can you expand your email list and database?
E-mail addresses: how do I collect new contacts for e-mail marketing in B2B?
The list of email addresses acquired over time is constantly evolving as it has to deal with unsubscribe requests, but also new subscriptions.
While we need to strengthen relationships with existing contacts through targeted and personalized content and communication (Maintain lead) and reduce the unsubscribe rate, we also have to constantly add new contacts to our mailing list. How do you do that?
In the case of Get contacts offlineParticipation in events, trade fairs or conferences is definitely a good starting point to meet new prospects and to enrich your database. However, it is a step you can also take to attend industry events and online conferences that have become increasingly popular, especially recently.
There are many more strategies for collecting new qualified leads online. Let’s look at some of them:
- Insert Newsletter registration form on the company website to receive updates (e.g. from the company blog) or new offers for products / services
- Run Lead generation campaigns in social networks (e.g. via the contact form for LinkedIn contacts) by sponsoring content (Lead magnet) B. e-books or infographics that encourage the user to leave their data to download
- Create organic posts in social networks This link to landing pages with a form to fill out to download content or register for a digital event organized by the company (e.g. webinars).
According to the logic of inbound marketing, after acquiring a new contact in the database a Workflow is activated automaticallyThis is a series of personalized communications aimed at engaging the contact and bringing them closer to the brand until the contact is convinced to buy a product or service (converting the contact from a prospect to a customer).
How could this be done without automation tools? The road would certainly be more winding. Marketing automation intervenes to support communication, which is becoming increasingly personalized, both in terms of the message and content being delivered, and in terms of when the message is sent.
In conclusion, we can say that email marketing is still a very effective strategy in B2B, thanks also to the automation tools that have made it possible to optimize it and adapt it to new marketing needs such as personalized communication.
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