Where do you get your information about business-to-business (B2B) email marketing?
Aside from this column, of course...
I thought I'd take a midsummer break (yes, I know it's winter for you Aussies) to share my summer reading list. If you know of other resources, please tell me; I will include them in a later article.
In addition to talking to colleagues and clients, I subscribe to a handful of e-newsletters (most are text), visit several Web sites, and dip periodically into a couple of books focused on B2B direct marketing.
E-mail Marketing News Weekly
This is a weekly roundup of the top email marketing stories published at DM News and iMarketing News. You can sign up on the DM News site. They're usually success stories, so you'll get great ideas for your own campaigns or those of your clients. In last week's edition, the top story featured a B2B technology company, Global Risk Exchange, which abandoned direct mail after its first email marketing campaign generated a 24 percent response rate and a significantly higher return on investment (ROI). Of those who responded, 63 percent were converted to customers.
It's worth noting that this is the kind of B2B list that can get great results. It's in-house, it's small (565 names), and the prospects' names were presumably acquired through sales contacts and other business-development activities.
The eMail Marketing Newsletter
Published weekly by eMarketer, this is another good roundup. A typical issue includes international stories about email marketing, an interview by Editor David Berkowitz, new statistics, and a pointer to eMarketer email analyst Jonathan Jackson's most recent posting to the site. You can sign up here.
One of MarketingSherpa's channels, which publish practical news, case studies, and best practices for corporate marketers, this is both a weekly text e-newsletter and a site with archives of past issues. It's also one of my favorite reads. It's easy to search the text headlines to find stories about email marketing. Sign up here.
Email Marketing News
This is both a site and a periodic HTML e-newsletter, dating back to 1998, that covers the email marketing industry. It's published by Eric Targan, who is also founder and CEO of The Humor Network (tag line: One to One Direct Marketing with a Punchline). The last issue, titled "Market Continues to Expand; Consolidation Grows," came out in February. It's still worth a look.
If you haven't stumbled across this site, go take a look. It's a great resource, filled with news about permission email marketing, an opt-in discussion forum, an email marketing terminology section, regular columns, and the results of several studies. There is also an industry resource section (still being added to, but useful nonetheless).
This site has a wealth of news and resources for interactive marketers. You can check out the E-mail Marketing section, sign up for Digitrends e-newsletters, and get a free magazine subscription (sorry, for U.S. residents only) to the quarterly Digitrends.
Poke around the BtoBonline.com site, the online version of the tabloid magazine BtoB, and you'll find lots of stuff specifically related to B2B marketing. There's a story on the top B2B agencies, a resource guide with an E-Mail Direct section, discussion groups, and more.
Email Technology Company E-Newsletters
Often in HTML to illustrate the company's technology capabilities, these e-newsletters can offer truly useful information. You can sign up for "email hints and tips" on Constant Contact by Roving's site, for BoldFish's Opt-In Report, for Socketware's Subject Lines (check out the archive), and for FloNetwork News.
Subject Lines is a good example of an e-newsletter with effective, results-oriented content. VP of Marketing Communications Tricia Robinson reports that Socketware has gotten "nine quality sales leads" from recipients of the opt-in monthly publication.
(Before email vendors bombard me with messages about not being included, let me emphasize that this is just a sampling.)
If you have a particular interest in e-newsletters as a marketing vehicle, be sure to visit Ezine-Tips.com, which also has a daily tips e-newsletter.
B2B Marketing Books
Finally, there are a couple of books worth mentioning. If they're not already on your shelf, you might want to consider ordering them. "Business to Business Internet Marketing: Seven Strategies for Increasing Profits Through Internet Direct Marketing" (third edition) by Barry Silverstein is considered a classic and is highly readable. Chapter one is a must read -- a "crash course" on the principles and practices of B2B direct marketing. Silverstein's company, DirecTech/emerge, has good resources on its site.
Russell Kern, a respected direct marketing expert and the founder of Kern Direct, has a new book out: "S.U.R.E.-Fire Direct Response Marketing: Generating Business-to-Business Sales Leads for Bottom-Line Success." At 304 pages, it details a four-step comprehensive approach to B2B lead generation and management based on actual case studies. You can read more about it on Amazon.com.
Or, if you want to try your luck, you can enter MarketingSherpa's drawing for a free copy of Kern's book. Be sure to do it before July 15.
Oh, and just to let you know, this column will run every other week through August. I'm taking a bit of a summer break while I work on launching my company's e-newsletter, Word Biz Briefs.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Debbie Weil is publisher of WordBiz Report, which focuses on the business of words online. It was awarded The Newsletter on Newsletters' Gold Award for Online Subscription Newsletter. A former newspaper reporter with an MBA and corporate marketing experience, Debbie is an expert on B2B online content and marketing at both the strategic and creative levels. She was Web content marketing manager for Network Solutions (now part of Verisign) before launching WordBiz.com.
March 19, 2014