According to 2018 predictions by the folks over at Campaign Monitor, email marketing is about to become much, much more complex. The experts of the site say that the most successful companies in 2018 will be the ones who focus on producing more of, and consciously improving, their automated emails.
New Year, New B2B Email Marketing Strategies
Email marketing is no longer about how well your campaigns do, but about how many customers you can convert into lifetime clients. Not an easy task to accomplish on your own!
The 2018 business owner must be ever-aware and constantly improving on their b2b email marketing strategy if they want to stay in the game and beat out the competition.
Below is a list of the most important b2b email marketing resources, software, and best practices available for the coming year, so you can stay ahead.
1) Shift your Focus Toward Automation
Chad White, author of Email Marketing Rules, says, "Investing... our time in the production of mass emails that account for roughly 95% of our email volume but generate less than half of our email revenue won’t make sense. Instead, we’ll begin investing more time in the automated emails that account for 5% of our email volume but most of our email revenue" (Campaign Monitor).
White isn't just invoking the "quality over quantity" rule-- this is important. A business should always focus most of its time on that which gains it revenue, exposure, or loyal customers. Email blasting the way you've always done it is not the answer in 2018.
Instead, focus on:
- Tailoring and Improving your Email Campaigns
- Identifying your Audience in Detail
- Converting your Audience to Lifetime Clients
- Improving your CTAs (Call to Action)
- Building an engaged email list of people who actually interact with you
2) Invest in Prime Market Automation Software
Marketing automation is purchasable software that can help your business with b2b email marketing campaigns and get into the subtleties that lead to deeper engagement. This type of software can take some of the burden off of you or your marketing department.
Its value is by adding efficiency for the repetitive parts of your marketing campaigns and not merely as a vehicle to send messages to as many email addresses as your company can accumulate. This way, you can save your brain power for improving your products, your business, and the campaigns themselves.
Some winning pieces of software for 2018 include:
- Active Campaign
- Constant Contact
3) Revitalize Segmentation
According to Smart Insights, segmentation, or the breaking up of email subscribers into smaller groups based on interest, location, etc. was the most popular email marketing trend of 2017.
But leading up to 2017, both segmentation and "personalized" email trends have either remained the same or dropped which suggests there was a lot more cavalier use of email now that there are so many tools available to help businesses send it.
Lately, businesses have returned focus to optimizing their email content to take in the use of mobile and social media sharing sites-- which is great. However, experts at Smart Insights recommend that businesses bring back personalization and segmentation as a general way of going to be successful in 2018.
4) Personalize Personalize, Personalize
Clients like to be treated like real people and businesses in their emails. They want to feel like they're being heard, and that their needs and wants are individually recognized.
Personalized content hooks readers. If an email appears to be written just for them, why wouldn't they engage with it? Personalization should be about more than including the recipients first name, it should be more intricate and take in the advanced capabilities offered by marketing automation software.
5) Interactive Emails, Not Just News
B2B email marketing in 2018 is now a two-way street. Make sure to include something for your subscriber to do. Not only will this create engagement, but it's better for feedback.
If your client takes a quiz or clicks a link, you'll have more information to build the relationship that can lead to a sale in the future.
6) Don't go "Gray"
Gray mail isn't quite spam, but it isn't exactly wanted email either. This is mail that your subscribers probably wanted at one time, but now don't. Or perhaps they signed up to your email list without knowing it (think opt-out systems or pre-check boxes.)
It's better to have fewer, more engaged subscribers in your email list than it is to continue to pepper an audience of people who don't open any of them.
The most popular email platforms, like Gmail and Outlook have become more intuitive. For example, Microsoft Outlook's "Focused Inbox" feature helps regulate which emails are important for a reader. How does it "know"? By examining the behind the scenes data that's been gathered about the email sender. The more people who don't open the volumes of email being sent by a company the higher the odds future email from them will be off-routed from the focused inbox.
Your business will have to start increasing the importance and validity of content being sent if you want it to be seen by your subscribers.
Make 2018 the year to trim the fat and target the most interested people in your list.
Come Out Ahead
The latest trends of 2018 include being a better business for your customers. That means no workarounds, no loopholes, and no "quick" email blasts that are low on substance to too self-serving.
The b2b email marketing trends of the early 2000's simply won't cut it anymore. Audiences have gotten smarter, technology has gotten smarter, and now, it's time for businesses to get smarter about how they use it.
Learn better ways to use email by seeing what Clyde does - our fictional entrepreneur designed to provide relatable "hands-on" learning experiences.