Ann Smarty
April 9, 2021

Is Your Email Strategy Stuck in the Past?

B2B email marketing strategy

Key Takeaways:

  • Relevance is paramount: Marketers are abandoning generic mass emails in favor of highly personalized and targeted messaging.
  • Behavioral data is essential: Leveraging user actions and preferences allows for tailored one-on-one communication.
  • Nurturing matters: Sophisticated welcome series and onboarding programs, focusing on individual needs, are replacing one-size-fits-all approaches.
  • Deeper segmentation is on the rise: Integrating first-party data with external sources and using predictive modeling enables more granular targeting.
  • Social and email integration is key: Email programs infused with social components (referrals, data) increase relevance and engagement.
  • Vendors are adapting: Marketing automation platforms are evolving to facilitate tighter integration of email with social media functions.

Both demand-generation marketers and marketing automation vendors are grappling with the question,

“How do we turn generic broadcast emails into personal interactions?”

More marketers are focusing on relevance and personalization for email programs

While they still care about list growth, they’re also eager to turn email marketing into relevant conversations. For example, his customers want to:

  1. Tailor emails to the recipient’s interests. They want to leverage marketing automation to move past broadcast models. This means combining multi-track programs with behavioral data to deliver one-to-one messages in real-time.
  2. Personalize the early experiences of new email subscribers. Traditional, generic welcome emails are being replaced with multi-step onboarding programs based on demographics and behavior at the individual level.
  3. Use advanced segmentation with third-party data. More companies want to combine their data with that of third parties and leverage predictive modeling to create segments based on factors such as the likelihood of buying.

The three initiatives above show why marketers are interested in integrating email and social media:

  • Email nurture streams triggered by referrals from social media sites are potentially more relevant to their recipient.
  • Social media profiles are valuable sources of demographic and behavioral data.

For both B2B and B2C lead generation efforts, the result is email that is more fun or helpful, and more likely to drive sales.

Marketing automation vendors are improving the integration of social media and email 

It’s safe to say that marketing automation vendors are now investigating how social media and email can mesh.

Let’s quickly look at some of the features email marketers need for better results:

  • Social engagement tactics should be integrated into campaigns.
    These include
    • 1) promotion applications like sweepstakes,
    • 2) referral applications like special offers and
    • 3) engagement applications such as voting and polls.
  • Social profiles should be imported into the CRM for rich data and more sophisticated segmentation. This will make it easier for marketers to identify the top influencers in their database and target their needs specifically.
  • Third-party software integration. These include Google Analytics, Amazon seller app, and more.

There are quite a few email marketing tools that offer these features.

Social tactics add value to both B2B and B2C emails

Using engagement triggers is key to improving your email marketing performance. Even though polls and sweepstakes are often considered B2C tactics, they could also be applied in some B2B situations.

For example, visualize a poll that, with tongue-in-cheek humor, encourages a prospect to pick his biggest business challenge. That prospect’s answer might trigger a follow-up nurture stream targeted specifically to his concerns. It could also support a comfortable, positive conversation between the prospect and a member of the sales team.

How about you? Do these developments stir your thoughts? What are you doing to bring more creativity and relevance to your email marketing programs?

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Ann Smarty

Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the Community and Brand Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. She is also a host of two weekly Twitter chats (#VCBuzz on Tuesdays and #MYBlogU on Thursdays) and a regular speaker at the largest marketing conference Pubcon
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