Everyone is using email, so it’s a great way to reach out to customers and potential customers. But if you’re doing it wrong—and a lot of companies are—your email marketing efforts can be at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Here are a few tips to help you avoid email marketing pitfalls and ensure your email campaigns aren’t in vain:
Don’t Overwhelm your Customers
Everyone with an email address has gotten annoyed with a company that sends them too much email. If you’re bombarding your clients and leads with email everyday, chances are they’ll notice you, and not in a good way. Send too many, and your recipients will be looking for the unsubscribe button.
Also, don’t spam people. We shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t. You don’t like it, and your leads won’t like it either.
Send the Right Content at the Right Time
Your content must not only be relevant, it should also be timely. If there is seasonality in your industry, ensure that the content you’re sending right now aligns with those trends. Additionally, your content must be timely in terms of the lead’s point in the buyer’s journey. Leads who are further along in the journey and are nearly ready to purchase won’t respond as well to content explaining what your product does—they already know—as would a lead who is just discovering their need for a solution your product provides.
Intuitively Segment your Leads
Another way to turn off potential clients is to send them an irrelevant email. To make sure you’re sending the right content to the right leads, double-check that you’re segmenting your leads properly. Separate your marketing qualified leads (MQLs)—leads with demonstrated interest in your product or service, but who aren’t ready to make a purchase—from your sales qualified leads (SQLs)—leads who are further along in the buyer’s journey and are closer to purchasing.
You’ll probably also want to segment your leads based upon their company size, job title/responsibilities/authority, and pain points; if you’ve created buyer personas, you can use those to segment your leads. Luckily, in email marketing programs like MailChimp and others, it’s easy to segment your leads—so there’s really no excuse not to!
Dumping all of your contacts into your mailing list is not going to be effective. If they aren’t leads or customers, you don’t need to send them email—it’s not going to generate sales, and like we mentioned earlier, it’s just going to annoy people. Plus, it’s going to throw off your numbers: it will be harder to get an accurate picture of your open and click-through rates and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
If you’re interested in implementing techniques for effective email marketing or adding email marketing to your marketing strategy, let’s start that conversation.
For more information on how Evenbound has helped B2B manufacturers draw in qualified leads and massively increase sales, check out the case study below:
If you’re a home services provider, your services are what’s important, and visitors to your site will want to know exactly what you do and how you do it. What’s more, service pages dedicated to relevant keywords help you rank well on organic Google search results. That’s why it’s so important to write engaging service pages for your website. But how do you write service pages that will get customers’ attention?
An effective service page does four things: defines the service, demonstrates the value of the service, explains your process, and explains how your company is unique in how that service is provided. In order to do those four things, you need to know who you’re writing to and how the service will benefit this person. If you own a landscaping company and one of your services is lawn mowing, one of your audiences may be working homeowners. Your service can benefit them by ensuring that their lawn is cut every week and looks great, but another benefit is that it saves them time.
How Do You Stand Out From the Crowd?
When it comes to how your service differs from that of the competition, thinking about your audience is crucial. If we continue with the mowing example, maybe you differ from the competition because you allow clients to choose the date and time their lawn is mowed, which provides them with the benefit of scheduling for a time when they’re at work, so that you’re not in each others’ way, and they’re not being awoken early by mowers on a weekend (it’s the worst).
Explain What your Service Is, and How You Do It
Defining the service and your process is also crucial. While lawn mowing might seem self-explanatory, there are still some things people will need to know about how you do it. Do you use riding mowers or push mowers? Are they zero-turn mowers? Is weed-whacking included? How often will you mow? If it storms during a regular mow time, how will the mow be rescheduled? All of these questions are things your service page can address. If your clients can get the answers to their questions on your site, that’s less fielding questions and answering the phone for you, and the more confidence your clients will have in your services.
Once you’ve considered all of these things, you’ll have compelling content for your service pages, content that will answer your potential customers’ questions and inspire them to pick up the phone and give you a call. Not only that, well-written service pages will help your site’s SEO, which will help you get found by other potential clients.
If your B2B has a website or social media accounts (or both), you know how frustrating it can be when your number of views, likes, shares, and comments is low. You’ve probably tried a lot of things, but it’s clear that you’re not seeing the results you want. It’s not easy to increase engagement, especially as a B2B, when your products and services lack mass consumer appeal. Nevertheless, there are still a few more things you can do to increase engagement with your B2B social media and website.
We love LinkedIn. We talk about LinkedIn all the time on this blog. Why? Because it’s the most effective social network for B2Bs. If you want audience engagement, LinkedIn is the place to get it because that’s where your audience is; after all, your product or service is targeted toward the needs of a specific business need or industry. With LinkedIn, you can reach potential leads in a variety of ways: sharing relevant industry news and content, creating and sharing your original content (through LinkedIn’s publishing platform or by sharing your blog content), engaging with the pages of leads, and targeting leads through LinkedIn ads.
We weren’t kidding about loving LinkedIn. To use your LinkedIn presence as effectively as possible, check out our other posts on LinkedIn for B2Bs:
People love to talk, whether in person or online. So, to increase engagement with your site or social media, you need to get people talking. Okay, you might say, about what? My product isn’t flashy or exciting. No matter how unsexy or mundane your product may be, you can still create content that engages your audience. How? By creating content that is relevant to your customers’ needs.
If your company manufacturers a metal component that goes inside of small appliances, rather than focusing on the product, focus on your customers’ needs relating to your product. Maybe they need to know how to find the best supplier of metal components—you can provide them with that information, which is relevant and interesting to them, which in turn will encourage them to engage with your site or social media account and possibly even become a lead. Don’t just create content, post it to your blog, and expect to get a ton of views, though. Make sure you’re sharing your content on social media (hint, hint, LinkedIn) so that people can see it and engage with it.
Engage with Other Industry Leaders
Cultivating an effective digital presence is about more than just producing and sharing content. Another way to increase engagement is to engage with others. When people comment on the blog posts or articles that you share, respond to their comments. When someone in your industry posts interesting content, like it, share it or comment on it. If your ideal client is shares industry news, engaging with their post is a good way to start a conversation with them. It’s also a good way to enhance your reputation as an informed, engaged member of your industry.
We know that it’s not easy to increase website and social media engagement as a B2B, but getting people talking on the right platforms can really make a difference. Are you interested in increasing engagement with your B2B website and social media profiles? Evenbound can help you enhance your digital marketing strategy and increase engagement from leads and future clients.Contact us online to start the conversation.
For more information about how Evenbound can increase social media engagement and digital leads for B2Bs, be sure to check out the case study below:
If you’re new to digital marketing, the costs involved can seem a little overwhelming: pay-per-click ads can rack up the $$, as can banner ads and website redesigns. If your digital marketing budget is stretched a little thin these days, there are still plenty of ways to reach your ideal clients online, for free. Here are some of the best free digital marketing tools that you can take advantage of, right now:
Home service pros have always relied on word of mouth, and even in the digital era, customer reviews are the best way for you to get the word out to new potential customers about the quality of your services. When potential customers search for service providers, they’re going to look at your reviews, on Google, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Facebook, etc. In the same vein, the five-star rating system has become a popular way to evaluate businesses and has been integrated into most online review platforms. Getting your satisfied clients to leave reviews of your service—even just a 4 or 5 star rating—is crucial to attracting new clients.
Google+ is the new Yellowpages listing you used to pay for, before the internet. If you’re not actively managing your business’s Google+ profile (i.e., the entry for your business that shows up on the right hand side of the Google results for a search of your business) or don’t have one, you need to get on that. It’s free, and it’s often the first thing people will see when searching for your business or the service you provide.
If you want repeat customers, you need to keep your company and the great service you provided in your customers’ minds. A great way to do this is with regularly scheduled email or email newsletters that keep your clients informed on your seasonal service offerings and relevant topics related to their home and home maintenance. MailChimp and similar platforms offer you the ability to design, create, segment and automate email to your client list, for free.
We love Houzz and we talk about it all the time but it’s worth reminding you all about how useful a tool it can be. You can set up a profile for your business for free, add pictures of your work, get client reviews (reviews are important! See above!), interact with future customers, and get found by people looking for your services in their service provider directory search.
One of the great things about the internet is the proliferation and availability of free tools and resources across all industries and areas of interest. Digital marketing is no exception. Don’t let a small (or nonexistent) marketing budget keep you from cultivating a strong digital preference; make use of the free tools available to you such as Houzz, MailChimp, and more.
If you’d like more information on how to implement these tools into your digital strategy, or would like to talk about other ways to bolster your online presence, we should talk. The HA Digital Marketing strategy is tried, and tested, and we’re proven to deliver exceptional results for home service pros. See exactly how our strategy works for clients like you in the case study below:
B2Bs have often done advertising wrong, from mimicking B2C techniques to not doing any marketing, at all. But now, digital technologies and greater, widespread access to information has changed the way businesses across all industries, especially B2Bs market their products and services.
Why cold calling is out
The difficult task of selling rather unsexy products is a constant problem in the B2B world,, and traditional marketing and sales rhetoric stipulated hard sells with direct, loud, interruptive messaging. Think: radio commercials, direct mail, cold calls. The truth is that these tactics were never the most effective for B2B products, which are in some cases compulsory purchases for the customer (like screws needed to assemble their product) and in other cases large, expensive, once-every-ten-years kinds of purchases (like heavy machinery).
This is why many B2Bs, especially those with steady customers, perform very little marketing at all, instead relying on the necessity of their product within its niche and their company’s industry reputation. When recessions hit, however, B2Bs who rely on such methods often find themselves losing income from struggling loyal customers and without the strategies in place to replace those revenue streams.
How to update your B2B marketing plan
Instead of essentially shouting at potential clients to buy a product, inbound marketing uses soft sell techniques to educate potential clients about the value of a product or service, how to use/implement/integrate said product or service, and other topics related to the product, service, or industry that will be of interest to the person responsible for sourcing, purchasing, or approving purchase of said product. No longer do you sell your product, you sell future clients on your company by providing high-quality information that addresses the needs of your target buyers and building trust and brand recognition.
Inbound marketing and modern technology
The transition to inbound marketing has somewhat coincided with the advent of wifi and smartphones; consumers have access to information, and they’re using that information to research products and services before making purchase decisions. This applies to people buying consumer goods, but it applies also to buyers for industrial and manufacturing companies. Buyers and component sourcing specialists at the companies who are B2Bs’ ideal customers are performing online research to compare suppliers and products and find the best product, and deal, for their application. Salesmen are no longer the arbiters of information regarding their products; clients can and do educate themselves and make informed decisions.
If you’re ready to transition from traditional B2B marketing and advertising techniques to a more buyer-centered inbound marketing approach, HA Digital Marketing can help. Contact us online now, or give us a call at (616) 841-9082. Our inbound marketing strategy is proven to produce exceptional results for B2B clients just like you. Check out the case study below to see exactly how HA Digital Marketing delivers for B2Bs: