Effective Email Automation Strategies for B2B Businesses
Running a B2B business is far from easy. Generating leads, dealing with long sales cycles, and closing new deals can sometimes be a real torture.
You probably ask yourself the following questions all the time:
- What should I do to improve the communication process with my leads?
- How can I successfully transform a lead into a sale within an acceptable period of time?
Worry not, for there is a tried-and-true solution to this issue and it is called B2B email marketing. This marketing channel is the way to go, since it improves communication with your customers and it can successfully deal with long sales cycles.
After all, email marketing statistics don’t lie. If you take a look at these figures, it is clear that email marketing can be an extremely powerful weapon when used correctly.
Moreover, it is through combining your email marketing efforts and automation strategies that you can better nurture leads and ultimately close more sales. Instead of doing all of the work ‘manually’, you need to start using an automation strategy that works. Based on the behavior of your leads, you can create and send automated yet personalized messages.
For all of you who find B2B email marketing complex and difficult to understand, this article will be broken down in a few sections:
- What is B2B email marketing?
- A list of effective email automation strategies
- B2B email subject lines
What is B2B email marketing?
B2B (business-to-business) email marketing revolves around the exchange of information or product/service promotion between two or more companies through email. It is no surprise that this marketing method is very popular, as email is a dynamic marketing channel and one of the preferred communication methods across all age groups.
In addition, we all know that email is still the default communication channel when it comes to business correspondence.
B2B marketing is known for having a longer sales cycle than B2C (business-to-customer). A number of companies deal with this issue on a daily basis and that is why it is really important to trigger the buying decision in your consumer sooner rather than later. Luckily, this is effectively done through B2B email marketing but it is not easy at all.
This leaves so many marketers wondering what strategies they should use for lead generation and more sales through email. One answer is email automation since it can improve your reach and conversion rate, as well as decrease the amount of time you spend sending your emails.
Read on to learn about the most effective email automation strategies for your B2B business.
More and more marketers recommend setting up a personalized, automated email drip campaign.
These emails can be triggered when:
- you add a new customer to your email list
- they click a link in your email
- they submit a form on your website
Once your subscribers complete one of these actions, you can send them automated emails. For this, you can use email marketing automation tools that do wonders for following up on leads with previous engagement and they can also help with meeting your previously defined drip campaign goals.
Top of the funnel emails
Once B2B customers decide to purchase a product, they start searching for it. And most of the time, they do it online. Since customers usually don’t know the exact name of the service or product they need, they start looking for ideas and recommendations.
Now, B2B marketers take advantage of this situation by offering lead magnets – informative content in the form of whitepapers, ebooks, and downloadable guides. In other words, you send them valuable content in exchange for their email address. This is also the first email in your B2B email campaign.
What follows next are the periodic messages that educate your customers and promote your products or services. Ultimately, through well-crafted emails, you should be able to secure a meeting or a call and finally close the deal.
The whole point here is to provide your potential customers with useful information. That is what makes all the important difference and adds value to the relationship with your customers. Bear in mind that the emails have to be well-designed, with optimized structure, and of course – short, as they make the first impression of your brand.
Nurture your leads
It is common knowledge that a B2B buyer can sometimes take weeks before making a purchase decision. That is precisely why you have to do all you can to remain in their minds. Your company has to be the one they think of once they are ready to invest in their business.
In addition, you always need to remind them what you have to offer by sending weekly or monthly automated emails.
When you reach this phase, do not shower them with general information they can find everywhere else. Instead, focus on specific features and include a light sales pitch to spark their interest. When creating these emails, consider including highlights, demos, tutorials, comparisons of products/services, as well as testimonials.
In addition, you should focus on the following aspects:
- including a clear CTA in your emails
- not going overboard with nurturing emails
- keeping the emails short and sweet means higher chances of engaging with a lead
- having in mind early exit options and different versions of your automation and email programs
It is important to reply to your contacts as soon as possible. Hence, it is useful to include autoresponders to the most important forms on your website. That way, you will let them know you have read their email and make them feel respected and appreciated.
Autoresponders can be used for:
- welcome emails - subscription confirmation - lead magnet emails
This type of automation emails does wonders for creating a strong bond with your customers. And the best thing is that setting this email is not that difficult at all.
Think about it. Wouldn’t you like to receive a quick email informing you that your message has been received and that your contact will get back to you as soon as possible? It sounds very thoughtful and that is exactly why B2B email autoresponders are very effective.
Automate re-sending to non-openers
Running a resending campaign enables you to resend the same email with a different subject line. Of course, this only applies to contacts that never opened the first email. This strategy can help you increase your email open rates.
Just remember to wait for some time before sending this email and make sure to use a different subject line. Of course, there are a number of email automation software tools that will make this process easy so that you don’t have to do all the resending yourself.
If you have any doubts about whether you should try resending your emails, remember that leaving behind any opportunity to increase your email open rates can seriously affect the percentage of generated leads and closed sales in the long run.
Don’t forget email subject lines
Email subject line is among the top factors that can make or break your email campaign, since it is the first thing a contact sees upon opening their inbox. The subject line can make your recipients send your email to the trash folder but it can also spark their interest to read on.
Bear in mind that no matter how effectively you automate your email campaign, you won’t achieve much without a converting subject line. You don’t need a better reason to optimize email subject lines as much as possible.
A converting email subject line has to be:
- short and effective
- it has to spark curiosity
In B2B email marketing, every single detail matters. Subject lines are among the most important elements and that is why you should never neglect them.
It is a fact that marketing automation has a number of benefits. And since email is still one of the most personal ways to communicate with your customers, smart email automation can make your B2B business skyrocket.
Now, email marketing automation may seem a bit complex at the moment but you probably know that all achievements come at a price. Putting a lot of effort and time into learning about the mentioned strategies above can only result in a successful outcome for your business.
On the other hand, if you want to focus on other tasks, you can always hire a B2B marketing agency. That way, your B2B email automation will be handled by experts and you can rest assured that it will be a successful endeavor.
David is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of TaskDrive. He’s on a mission to rid the world of bad customer experiences.