5 steps to a winning email marketing strategy for B2Bs from http://beckymollenkamp.com

There’s always plenty of hype around the latest and greatest social media channel, but is Snapchat really the smartest marketing tactic for your B2B? Probably not. The truth is, email—nearly a dinosaur by modern tech standards—offers a far greater return on investment than any social media outlet.

5 Steps for a Winning Email Marketing Strategy

1. Define Your Audience
Who do you want to read your emails? Who needs your service? Who’s your ideal customer? Knowing as much as possible about your target market will help you craft messaging for their specific goals and challenges.

Once you’ve identified your customer, create a persona (also called an avatar) to personify him. This typically includes hypothetical demographic and psychographic information, such as age, job title, income, hobbies, etc. It should also address the client’s needs and how your service solves his problems. (Learn more about customer personas.)

2. Segment Your List
Group your customer list by job title or industry. This allows you to target customers based on their specific needs rather than sending a blanket email. After all, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company has very different concerns than a solopreneur, and your messaging should be tailored to each. Customizing your campaigns keeps them from being dismissed as bland or irrelevant.

3. Set a Goal
Before sending your first email, think about your goals. Are you hoping to get referrals? Turn prospects into customers? Keep existing clients happy? Knowing the reason behind your campaign will guide everything from the all-important subject line to the meat of the message.

4. Create Compelling Content
Whatever your mission, keep in mind that no one is as interested in your company or service as you are. Instead of selling, serve as an expert voice who helps readers as they move through the buying process. The most profitable email campaigns include different emails at each stage of this process.

  • Step 1: Awareness
    • Share content shows off your understanding of their problem (ie, trend stories).
  • Step 2: Consideration
    • Once you have their attention, offer facts and figures to support your solution (ie, infographics or checklists).
  • Step 3: Evaluation
    • Now that they realize they need help, build their trust in your brand (ie, how-to guides or e-books).
  • Step 4: Intent
    • They’re ready to invest, but need convincing that you’re the best choice (ie, case studies and testimonials).
  • Step 5: Retention
    • They’ve signed on the dotted line, but need ongoing support to remain loyal (ie, fresh and relevant content).

5. Don’t Forget the Landing Page
The goal of email marketing is to entice readers to take action. Typically, you’ll ask them to click a link that takes them to a targeted page on your website. This is called a landing page, and it’s designed to prompt the visitor to take a specific action tied to an objective within the sales funnel.

It’s important to spend as much time on your landing page as you do on your email message. The page should be easy to read with highly targeted messaging, and simple to navigate with a clear call to action. When someone takes the desired action, they should be directed to a thank-you page that offers additional resources and encourages them to share your content with others.

If you want to learn more about email marketing, here’s a great guide to help.

NEXT STEPS: Ready to get serious about email marketing? Get some helpful hints for how to grow your list by downloading my free checklist.