What are the Vital Stages of the B2B Email Marketing Journey?

by Josh Biggs in Marketing on 26th August 2020

Starting a B2B email marketing journey can seem like an overwhelming task to those with little or no experience. However, the email marketing process is actually relatively simple when broken down into each stage.

Leads can be generated from many avenues, from PPC services, content marketing, emails, social media and influencers. But these leads can be rendered useless if the proper stages aren’t followed to convert them.

By utilising these steps correctly, you can turn cold leads in great prospects and engage potential customers by ensuring the best service possible. 

Below, we discuss the 10 stages of the B2B marketing journey to help new and current users gain a better understanding of how to take advantage of this process.

Buying B2B Data

A good data provider will give high-quality leads and actionable insights for sales and marketing teams. The question is, why should this investment be made?

Managing data in house, even with the most high-tech of CRM systems can be incredibly time-consuming and costly without the help of a third party and human error can cause a myriad of issues down the line.

A data provider frees up man-hours to do the important daily tasks instead. Every data company is different so it’s important to do research and talk in-depth to their sales teams about needs and requirements before taking the plunge.

Get Value For Money

Every investment made is in the hopes that it brings a greater return. But without proper prior knowledge into what you are buying, this investment can become an expensive mistake.

Create a clear brief for the vendor and have this written down so a paper trail is always available for all parties. Make sure the supplier understands each point of this brief and don’t allow any possibility for ambiguity or misinterpretation. 

When a quote is provided, ask for a full breakdown of exactly what is included in this, you may be able to cut costs by removing any unwanted or needed services and there is never any harm in asking for a discount, most sales teams have the ability to be flexible with their prices.

Check How Data Is Processed

Every sector has different laws and procedures they must follow to remain compliant. GDPR has placed many restrictions within businesses and breaches of this can be dire.

However, in a B2B world, there is a loophole that means you do not require consent for email and SMS communication.

But this is why CRM systems need to have names and job titles connected to these email addresses so only those who are legally allowed to be contacted are.

Get Personal 

With potential thousands of leads, it can be easy to fall into the wrong practice of sending out generic emails to all contacts that are not personalised.

But you can get around this with a few simple tricks.

Always imagine what your customer would like, not what you want them to buy. Tailor these emails to reflect this and word it so they can’t resist this essential product or service they simply can’t live without.

Reach out to your current customers and ask for feedback on what drew them to your business and positives and negatives in the initial stages of the purchasing process. This feedback can provide some invaluable insights on how to contact new leads.

When contacts unsubscribe, provide the options for them to give feedback as to why they are not interested. 

Cracking Content

No matter how good your contacts are, your outreach can be made redundant with poor content.

Make it personal, no one wants to receive an email that looks like a copy and paste job, these are swiftly ignored.

Make them short and to the point, busy business owners are unlikely to read through a lot of waffle. You can go into more detail during future conversations.

Always leave the reader wanting more and feeling compelled to respond or get in touch via phone.

Reputable Providers

Your email marketing provider is key to the success of the process so the right research is essential.

Check how easy their software will be to integrate with current systems and that it provides easy usability. Your staff will be reluctant to use overly complicated systems and can make the whole process redundant.

Check the customer service levels you will receive during your contract, you don’t want to have to wait days for a response with queries and issues.

Make sure the systems can be used for lead generations, some platforms have clauses in the terms and conditions that prevent you from marketing cold data, your account could be suspended and it is against the law. Always make sure your provider allows you to send cold purchased data.

Batch Send and Rotate Domains

This is vital to the success of your sent emails to unengaged readers. You don’t want to have your company blacklisted.

Don’t begin with sending 100 emails and jumping to 1000 the next time, this will flag ISPs and spam filters. You want your respondents to be engaged, the more engaged they are, the more your score improves and your emails will be trusted.

Using an inbox placement tool to measure score per email is critical but if you want to avoid this you can do the following.

Make sure complaints remain low, don’t send emails to contacts who will immediately make them as spam, so stay relevant to the respondent! 

Always pay attention to email formatting, bad coding will flag the spam folder almost instantly.

Cleanse marketing lists to keep bounce rate low.

What Emails Should Be Sent

Use cookies to see where respondents end up on your website and tailor emails to cater to this.

Cater campaigns towards this, drip campaigns can be used with collected data from visitors downloading free information from a webpage. These contacts can then be placed on a list that ‘drips’ information to them, eventually leading to a final email that includes a compelling call to action.

Follow Up 

Just sending emails will not be effective, you need to follow up and ‘nurture’ your contacts. Be aware of if this contact is showing an interest in your business, this could be from clicks throughout your website through links in emails for example.

Be aware that these users are probably not just considering your business and might be looking at other suppliers. A buyer won’t make a purchase until they are completely informed, follow up emails with case studies and research into your product or service.

Now it’s time to help them make their decision, use scale tipping information such as competitor comparisons to steer them towards your company.

Measuring Success

You need to keep track of the success of these marketing emails, to know what works well and what needs to be altered.

Use ESPs to track the number of recipients who open their emails. You should then be monitoring click-through rate, which of these readers is actively clicking into your website through your emails.

You should also be tracking activity on your website, not just from that initial click, but every time the user visits your website.

With all this, you can create actionable insights not just for email campaigns, but any alterations needed on your website, such as more information, faster landing pages and calls to action on certain information pages. 

Categories: Marketing