Trying to target other companies for your business? You need to have a good base of B2B email marketing. In this post, we will discuss just how to do that.
What is the purpose of your email marketing campaign?
Whether you're B2B or B2C, the purpose is typically going to be the same. You want some sort of engagement back from whoever you're sending the email to, whether or not you got these people from subscribing on your website to a newsletter, or you purchased their name through a list, or you got their name through a list.
Either way, the purpose is typically some sort of engagement back. Now, the level of engagement that you're looking for, that's where it comes down to how you're going to create your email and how you're going to do the creative behind it.
But the purpose is sending out something and in 2019 it's going to continue to be like this. The trends are down as far as open rate, click rate, and things like that because email marketing is losing its effectiveness.
What email system are you using? There are tons of CRM systems out there. You can be using a free one, like ConstantContact or MailChimp. Those have their limitations, especially if they're free. Even the paid ones have limitations too. HubSpot is a very popular CRM. Many people are not a fan of it because of the cost and because of how they lock you into a multi-year contract. It also has its limitations from a design standpoint. Infusionsoft is something that many people use from years ago. That is a great system because not only does it have the plain text, email marketing format but it also has a ton of back end automation to put people through campaigns and nurture them and build all that out. Infusionsoft is a great option.
Another one is SharpSpring. Sharpspring is great because it does some advanced tracking, advanced list building and things like that. It searches out on the Internet and social platforms and pulls information back in. Build out a campaign to where you're sending micro pieces of content, let's say over eight weeks and you're hitting everybody either once a week or once every two weeks. Also, build-out so that when somebody new gets put in your funnel, you know that they're going to get these six emails over eight weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, whatever it is. But building out that automation first is going to be critical to make it efficient.
3. Spend a little bit of money
There's a bunch of CRM systems that'll do monthly plans like SharpSpring, Infusionsoft, and others. Just for a small amount of money put it in there and you'll be much better off.
4. The format
This is the biggest change that has happened over probably the last two years. Some people are picking up to it now. You cannot make your email marketing look like a home depot ad. You need to remove the images, you need to remove the band of text at the top that says,
"View this in a browser." Remove your headline, remove your logo, and remove stuff embedded inside of the body, remove as many images as possible and it should just be in simple plain text and in HTML. Don’t go to a rich text format. Use the HTML because you want to embed the tracking code so you can track what they're clicking and what they aren't clicking in the opens.
Stop making it look like an ad where you've got images all over the place, click here and watch this, etc. Depending on the type of email system, whether it's corporate one or it's a Gmail system or something like that, they will automatically flag it and throw it into the junk or spam. Or with Gmail, they'll put into promotions if you have too many images or too many links.
The format needs to be simpler to where you're just saying, essentially, make it look like you just typed this email. You can say some sort of intro and then go straight into some text. Make sure that it's not a big paragraph of text. Break it out to where you've got separation between your thoughts and your lines. Put a link in there because you want to be able to track this with your CRM system that you're sending it through.
5. Putting a Link
Put in a link which is your main call to action or maybe two that's all. Otherwise, this stuff is going to get flagged as spam.
When you lay it out, make sure it's very clear, very straight to the point, keep it simple and short because people are not going to want to scroll through emails as they used to. In your email marketing campaign, make it look like it's a sequence that's consistent with the creativity behind it. But the biggest point here is to stop using images that flag spam.
Nobody likes looking at them and especially if you're doing B2B, this just looks really cheesy these days. The centerline content is the other side of that. When you look at an email from an email marketing standpoint, when it comes to you, you can see that people have everything center justified and there's a box and there's a border along each side of it that looks like an automation tool created it and that looks very cheesy and generic, again, like an ad.
You can go into the backend of the CSS and do some code changes there. Or some email systems like Infusionsoft can make it look just by default like you want it to be a plain email. Shift everything to the left justification. Make it look just like a normal email that you signed. No borders or images or banners or anything like that. Just make it look as plain and as simple as possible, have a simple signature, no big logos, no big images, nothing like that.
6. Unsubscribe button
A little hack is to bury that unsubscribe down below. Put some space between the end of your email signature and where that unsubscribe link is put 600 pixels or 800 pixels of empty space because that way people can just easily scroll and click unsubscribe. You want it to not appear like you're just sending somebody through automation.
Keeping it simple is the biggest factor here in the email marketing format in 2019, systems are getting smart to it, people are getting annoyed with it, so you just keep it simple.
7. Email List
Whether you have a list or it's a couple of years old, it's outdated or you want to get some new contacts into your list, this is going to be the critical step to get quality data. Do not use any sort of list building services that get their information from hoovers or DNB. You can get hit by those companies all the time. You have zero control there. If you can't search and query it yourself and look at the data and then pull more, that's not an effective way to build the list. The best way is going to be ZoomInfo. In ZoomInfo, you get 5,000 automatic exports. You get to access their entire database, do search queries in it, keyword phrases, cities, states, titles, and things like that.
Pull all that information out, you can copy and paste it into a spreadsheet to not use any of your credits, or you can just upload it into the system and then download it with one click to use some of your credits. But either way, for a year, which is worth $5,000, if you're really looking to build out a list, this is the most effective way for anybody that's bootstrapped and doing it from the ground up and doesn't have the marketing spend. You can put the $5,000 in and then just build a list out by searching, copying, and pasting into a spreadsheet. The other way to do it is to hire a freelancer or somebody from the outside to strictly do data scraping.
Hire someone to do a Google search, find a company name, go to that website, pull the contact information, and copy that onto the spreadsheet. That's really the other way to do it.
At the end of the day, that's probably going to be the least cost behind it, but there are going to be some issues with language barriers. It could be communication issues, the quality of it, the time of it, things like that. The only two options for building a list is ZoomInfo and searching list yourself or using a freelancer or an agency from the outside that can do offshore list building because it is going to be ridiculously cheap compared to using somebody in the US or in Europe if you can.
Ideally, you want to try and have a list built by having a newsletter then have people subscribe to it. You can then just send out your newsletter once a week or once a month. But from the beginning when you have nobody and you don't want to wait months and months or a year to get a newsletter list built up before you send your first piece, go out
there and get that information.
8. Use LinkedIn Connections
The other way you can do it is by using your LinkedIn connections. Try not to reach out to people through LinkedIn using their email addresses because most of the time it's their personal email addresses. A lot of times people are going to get either annoyed by that or they're going to click the unsubscribe and flag you as spam, which would cause issues in the future.
But just sending people a link on LinkedIn or posting and saying, "Hey guys, check out my newsletter. Here's some content we're producing. Just subscribe so you can be notified. We'll send it to you every week." That would be the best way to do it.
But if you don't have that luxury, if you don't have the time ZoomInfo or having somebody do data scraping for you on upwork.com or any sort of freelance site can do. Do not use any sort of third party group that's going to say, "I'm going to build your list for you," because most of the time they suck.