Tim Holt

Managing Director

An experienced data professional who has been working within the direct marketing industry for over 20 years. Having spent 17 years as owner and MD of Data HQ Ltd his remit covers the whole of the management spectrum including; strategy development, organisational structure, company policy & procedure and product development.

Is e-mail important when developing a B2B marketing strategy?

We have been asked this question many times by many clients looking at ways to expand their business and utilise their data in an effective way.

Our answer is always ‘yes’. E-mail is an important tool within the B2B toolkit but even more important is following the correct process. This article provides some top tips when planning and executing B2B e-mail marketing campaigns:

Top Tips for B2B E-mail Marketing

Pre Purchase Due Diligence

  • Do not be tempted to buy 100,000’s of records very cheap i.e. £500 or a £999 off the Internet. The data is very likely to be old, not opted in, full of duplicates and full of personal e-mail addresses that will leave you exposed to ICO fines. Also, the list may contain hidden spam trap records that will get your e-mail servers blacklisted and shut down.
  • Do not buy e-mail data that is scraped off the web, this too will have spam traps.
  • Always use a reputable DMA member to buy your marketing lists from, and try to carry out background research into how long they have been trading and how they operate.
  • Ask to see evidence of open rates and bounce rates from previous campaigns.
  • Ask to see details of the data collection process and any DPA and opt-in information.

Best Practice

  • Always include your contact details in the body of the e-mail and include an unsubscribe link.
  • You are better off to send fewer e-mails over a longer period of time than to blast the list in one campaign.
  • Try and seek opted-in records whenever possible and always make these records a priority in a de-dupe hierarchy.
  • If you keep sending the same thing to the same people this could be viewed as spam and your email-broadcasting server may be blacklisted. Use different creative with different messages and different subject lines.
  • Cheap data can lead to poor results - our advice is to avoid at all costs (its false economy).

Successful e-mail marketing campaigns

  • Make sure your landing page provides the information needed to make a decision and give the prospect a clear next step action.
  • Don’t forget, e-mail marketing is only one of many channels you should be using to promote your products, other channels are, post, phone, LinkedIn, Twitter, Web SEO and PPC.
  • Wherever possible, try to use a service of a professional agency with experience that can guide you through the process and manage your campaigns for you.
  • Always aim to send more than one campaign; often it’s about targeting a customer at the right time. You should aim to send one campaign a month for 12-months.
  • The opposite to the above point, do not send one campaign a day, every day of the week nonstop to the same people, it won’t work for a multitude of reasons.
  • Try a split test on offers, messaging and creative to see what works best.
  • Do not try to use email broadcasting platforms such as Mailchimp for rented lists. Read their T&C’s carefully, they do not allow you to use their system to broadcast to rented lists.
  • Follow up click throughs with a phone call or another e-mail to encourage them to take action.

Summary

The benefits of e-mail for B2B organisations as a measurable, cost-effective marketing channel are clear.

Backed up by both industry statistics and professional opinion, e-mail has an important value for businesses in increasing ROI, enhancing lead generation, up-selling opportunities and client retention.

By delivering engaging pieces of information to a targeted contact list, you can build your client base, establish your business as a thought-leader and positively influence your bottom line. And after all, that’s the ultimate goal of B2B e-mail marketing!

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