Your marketing department sends carefully crafted email messages and e-newsletters to prospects and customers and diligently tracks the results (I hope!).
Meanwhile, your sales people dash off more free-form, personalized email messages to this audience. Most likely, from a tracking perspective, these fall under the radar.
Does this make sense? Not when you consider prospects for high-end business-to-business (B2B) products and services often receive over 20 email messages before a sale is actually made. And the majority of those messages come from sales, not marketing.
So how do you make your email campaigns truly integrated and include your sales force’s email cultivation efforts?
Organizations such as Fairchild Semiconductors, University of California Berkeley Executive Development, and Belgium-based Barco Projection Systems use low-cost, B2B-specific lead-generation systems such as the LeadGenesys Prospecting Module to get marketing and sales efforts onto the same page.
Salespeople can select a polished HTML template from a Web page that includes thank-you notes, follow-up messages, and new-product launch announcements. By adding a personal note to marketing-approved, dynamically assembled content, salespeople can increase response times and ensure a consistent, accurate message is delivered. Best of all, email prospecting activities can be tracked, including send, open, response, and lead-capture rates.
Messages include a personalized URL for each prospect, which drives prospects back to a personalized, prepopulated landing page. LeadGenesys claims this usually doubles lead-capture rates. Landing pages are custom-scored to help salespeople prioritize and follow up on the most qualified leads. Because profile information is updated in real time, salespeople can make follow-up calls based on when a prospect opens the email message.
Over time, with added sales force input, prospect profiles become more robust, resulting in more intuitive and relevant messages.
As Jeff Kostermans, LeadGenesys president points out, “B2B companies with very valuable customers and prospects can’t afford to limit their email marketing to just a few newsletters and other periodic announcements. Relationship building requires a more personal and event-driven approach.”
Every industry and company has key events that trigger an email message from sales or customer service reps. Here’s a list of events to consider using for relationship-building email templates:
- Initial opt-in or phone call
- Inquiries to customer service or support
- Subscription or license renewals
- Upgrades or cross-sells
- Anniversary dates
- Key customer dates
- Upcoming seasonal or other promotional efforts
- Sudden increase or decrease in contact history
- Drop-offs or bursts of activities, such as product usage
- Seminar or Webinar announcements
- Attendance at key functions
- Customer attrition
- Invoicing events
- Survey completions
Most B2B companies have a limited number of people who will buy their products or services. Creating a branded, multitouch marketing campaign can accelerate the sales cycle to help you reach the select audience of decision makers sooner.
Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.
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