Email marketing can still be effective in 2017 for a B2B business. Here are four technological innovations that, if used effectively, can propel your B2B email marketing strategy into the future.
While email itself is a fairly “old-school” marketing technique, that doesn’t mean your approach to it has to be. In the email marketing industry, there are a number of cutting-edge technological developments that are transforming the way that marketers approach email.
By keeping an eye on these trends and applying them to your business, you can vastly improve the returns from your email marketing – all while saving your marketing department hours of time and effort.
Email marketing automation is about sending a message at the right time. It involves sending out emails automatically according to defined parameters (or ‘triggers’), reducing the need for marketers to manually set the conditions for each and every email. These conditions can be anything from a particular time of day, to whether or not a user has interacted with a previous email campaign.
From picking the right audience for each email, to sending additional emails depending on the purpose, automation offers endless opportunities for marketers looking to take advantage of technology as part of their email strategy.
Automation aims to increase efficiency, while also helping move people towards the sales funnel, from prospects to customers. It’s not just about reducing the number of manual steps required for a campaign, but also about teaching the platform the steps it has to follow for future campaigns.
This intelligence leads to improved results as marketers feed into the platform.
The use of the right program for each business can increase open rates, click rates and traffic to the site, while directing leads towards the desired landing pages.
According to Epsilon Email Institute, emails that involve automation average a 70.5% higher open rate, while the click-through rate is also 152% higher than other emails.
Automation is all about delivering the right content to the right audience at the right time, and it can significantly improve the returns from your email marketing campaigns. It frequently goes hand-in-hand with segmentation – which is the next innovation on our list.
Email marketing can only be effective if it reaches the right audience. Segmentation, or list segmentation, involves dividing up your audience into ‘segments’ and targeting them as groups with the most relevant emails, in an attempt to maximize their interest and engagement.
Personalizing your emails is also an important element of segmentation. Personalization can increase the appeal and the trust among recipients towards the content, unlocking numerous benefits that elevate email marketing.
People tend to respond more positively to relevant content that feels personal to them. Thus, personalization needs to ensure that a campaign is important enough for the target audience to spend more time on it.
The challenge with segmentation and personalization is knowing your target audience well enough to craft the most relevant emails to them. Data and analytics often play into this, as the data you gather on your audience can tell you about their preferences and behavior, what content they respond to best and why.
As you test different emails with different audience segments, gather data from those trials and use it to inform future strategy. It’s not just about creating targeted content, it’s also about building an understanding of the audience that will take the strategy to the next level.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software allows marketers to organize their interactions with their customers in the most structured way. According to The Martech Industry Council and Leadspace, 45% of B2B marketers consider CRM their most essential marketing technology.
The use of CRM technology as part of an email marketing strategy offers the opportunity to get a complete overview of the business goals and the results of a campaign.
The proper use of segmentation along with the full access to the target audience helps marketers improve their email strategy and create more effective campaigns. For example, it’s easier with the use of CRM technology to analyse the most relevant audience for a specific campaign, whether it’s about targeting prospects or loyal customers.
This increases the chances of a successful campaign, with the target audience valuing its relevance to their interests.
CRM technology can also be useful when deployed in conjunction with automation, as it offers the assistance that marketers need when trying to nurture a contact towards their sales funnel.
CRM integration can either be a simple tool to manage customers and prospects, or a complete platform that blends email marketing, metrics, campaign planning and automation all in one place.
It’s not just about understanding your audience anymore, but also about finding the best way to use technology to facilitate your marketing and sales goals. CRM technology has greatly helped marketers over the years and despite the challenges of integrating it with email, it’s still a fantastic asset to any email marketing strategy.
Artificial intelligence is a rising trend in email marketing and marketers are already exploring how they can integrate it into their marketing.
There’s huge potential in AI for in improving personalization, segmentation and the overall effectiveness of an email marketing campaign, by learning from previous campaigns and their performance and adapting future campaigns accordingly.
For example, AI has the potential to offer finely-tuned insights regarding:
- the right time to send an email campaign
- the ideal audience it can address
- the reaction to expect
These can improve the open rates, clicks, and also conversions, ensuring that technology is used in the best possible way to predict the audience’s behavior and improve the results.
Artificial intelligence can also help a marketer design their email marketing strategy, from the goals to the actual template and the optimization of the content.
Email marketing can benefit enormously from the right use of technology, helping a business achieve the desired ROI as efficiently as possible and keep their strategy up-to-date with developments in the field.
We cannot afford to overlook how significant the impact of technology is on email marketing, and the increased appearance of new tools shows that the industry is getting on board.
Despite the sometimes steep learning curve involved in introducing new technologies to your marketing strategy, it’s time to realize the potential of taking advantage of personalization, segmentation, automation, CRM integration, and artificial intelligence for a successful email marketing campaign.