Why email marketing is good for your B2B
OK, so you sell to other businesses, and you’ve been told you should be “doing email marketing.” But it scares the bejeezus out of you. I mean, what have you got to share with an email list? An email list? You don’t even have one!
Woah, there! Deep breath. I have you.
Investing time in email marketing is good for B2Bs. It really is. And done well, it will generate business for you. We know as B2Bs our sales cycle is longer. We don’t have customers who impulse purchase.
That’s why building a quality email list is such an important thing for you. Let’s break it down.
Why email marketing for B2B?
Something occurred to me whilst I was delivering a webinar for an organisation.
Here’s what I thought…
You visit your inbox with intention, but you go to social media to scroll when you have a few minutes spare.
Let that sink in. Your readers are going to their inboxes with INTENTION. They WANT to know what’s in their inboxes.
But that’s not the only reason you need to make email marketing part of your B2B marketing toolbox. Let’s go through what else is on the list.
- You own your list. Remember 4 October 2021 when there was an outage at Facebook? No Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Messenger. Did it bother me? No, because I’ve invested in my email list. It’s mine. That’s not true of the space or the data on social media.
- Deliverability. That’s how many emails hit people’s inboxes. For email marketing, it’s over 90%. That’s over 90% of your list seeing your email in their inboxes. That’s not true of social media – organic reach is tiny compared to email marketing.
- Return on investment. You’re thinking that social media is free (apart from ads). But what is your time worth? Time spent on email marketing returns an average £35.41 for every £1 spent*. Imagine that! Can you say the same of social media?
- Conversion rate. This means how many people do the thing you want them to do once they’ve opened your email. And for email marketing, it’s 3 times more than for social media. I always get more people to my blog with my newsletter than all my social media combined!
- Email automation. For me, this is the biggest opportunity for small business owners to make money. And you’re not using it enough, if at all. You don’t have time to follow up everyone, but time spent on email automation means it happens… even when you’re sleeping! Read more about it in this blog post.
*Data and Marketing Association.
What should you include in your emails?
So many business owners who sell to other businesses tell me that they don’t have enough content to include in emails.
I say: you’re limited by your imagination!
You might feel that your business isn’t interesting enough or exciting enough. Believe me, we’ve all been there.
But here’s the thing…
You can be these things. Plus, you can be knowledgeable, helpful, an expert, and more. To get there, you need to think about B2B email marketing as helping you build a relationship with your readers. It has to be a two-way street.
What’s more, you can inject your own personality into your emails. If you own your business and it’s you existing and potential customers deal with, why are you holding your personality back from your emails?
Let’s look at content you can use
This isn’t an exhaustive list. It is designed to help you think of more things you can include in your emails.
- Blog posts. Come on, this is an obvious one. I’ve already mentioned that my email list drives more traffic to my blog posts than my social channels combined. You need to sign post that content to your readers. Front and centre!
- Podcasts. I’m not a big listener of podcasts, but they are ALL the rage. Whether you have your own or are a guest on someone else’s, tell your email list.
- Webinars. Are you hosting your own webinar? Speaking at one that someone else has organised? You guessed it. Tell your email list. This is their opportunity to learn more about your expertise.
- Your social profiles. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m not telling you to bin off social media all together. That would be wrong! You need a MIX of marketing activities. Tell your email list all the places they can talk to you on social media.
- eBooks or guides. You’re the expert in your field. You can put together simple PDFs that help your readers. They really will appreciate it. Believe me – I’ve tried it and had great feedback.
- Polls. Yes, you can do polls directly in your emails. It gives you instant feedback on a simple question. Maybe you’re deciding on your next webinar title or the best day for your list to receive your emails. These are great questions to ask your list, and it has the added benefit of making your email interactive.
- Surveys. I don’t know about you but guessing what my audience wants or needs doesn’t work. That’s why I create an annual survey. It helps me plan my marketing for the following year. I always share this with my list (more widely too) because they’ve invested time in me. I want to know how to be more helpful to them.
How will you do it without a list?
Yep, an email list is pretty essential thing when it comes to email marketing. But growing a list isn’t as tough as you might imagine.
It’s all about how you ask… and yes, you HAVE to.
Before we get into the how, let’s talk about the quality of your email list. Part of the success of email marketing is wrapped up in talking to the right people.
So, avoid the temptation to buy email lists. Even the ones that say they are GDPR compliant. The company selling these lists will tell you people have opted in. BUT they’ve not opted into your emails. They don’t know you from Adam.
Grow your list organically with people you know are relevant to your business.
How should you ask?
First thing’s first. You need to create your value statement. This breaks down into two parts.
- How often will you email your list? This is a decision for you to make – one that makes sense for your business. I advise at least monthly.
- What’s in it for your readers? What is the value they’ll get? This might be a number of things – exclusive access to things, a free consultation with you, a chapter of your book. Again, you’re limited by your imagination.
Now you have those two things, you have your value statement.
“Would you like to receive my monthly email? All my readers get exclusive access to a members’ area where I share how to…”
Make your value statement so irresistible, they can’t say no!
Now, you have to ask!
I know it’s nerve-wracking, but you just have to do it! Once you’ve got your value statement, grab a piece of paper. Spend 10 minutes writing down all the places you come into contact with your target audience. Need a bit of inspiration? Take a look at this blog post.
These are all the places you need to ask! Do make sure you have a great list-building form. If you’re struggling with this, watch this webinar.
It doesn’t end with sending your email out. No! You need to pay attention to the results. They’re going to give you insight into what your email list thinks. It’s almost like you’re reading their minds!
For me, the reporting is the BEST bit about email marketing. Really, really, really don’t miss this bit out. If you feel a bit overwhelmed with email reports, read this blog post.
Now that I’ve convinced you that email marketing is good for your B2B, I have one last thing to share.
It’s all in the tools you choose
Pick the right tools to help you on your journey. Here are a few things to consider when choosing your email marketing software:
- Usability – you do not want to spend hours figuring out how to put your email together. Pick an email service provider that has easy-to-use drag-and-drop builders.
- Features – what else do they have that would be useful for your business? Landing pages, surveys, social media scheduling, simple social media ads, and advanced automation. The more you can do in one place, the less time you waste with multiple tools to pay for and learn.
- Support – let’s face it, none of us has time to wait for a response to an email. Make sure there’s a telephone support line that you can call. If you work with me, then that’s me!
- Integrations – what else do you use that your email tool needs to work with? The more your systems can talk to each other, the more time you save!
My pick for all of the above? Constant Contact. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without it. See for yourself with a free trial.
Need more help?
OK, I have it for you! This is THE course you need to help you get started. It’s my Small Business Email Marketing course. It’s got everything from creating a strategy to understanding your email reports.
And, it’s designed with solo business owners in mind. Let’s face it, you don’t have a lot of time to spend learning new skills. My course will have you up and running in as little as a day!