“Email is familiar. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to use. But it might just be the biggest killer of time and productivity in the office today.”–Ryan Holmes, Internet entrepreneur
Way back in January, my colleague Eric Wittlake asked me and our fellow BNJ coworkers what our predictions for the year 2015 would be. My immediate response was that we would see B2B nurture communications expand beyond the realm of email and into social, display, mobile or traditional channels – like phone, mail and events. This was my prediction, but more accurately it was my HOPE for 2015. Many B2B marketers are relying too heavily on email as the only channel for nurturing their precious prospects and customers.
Without doubt, there is “email fatigue” – and it’s having an impact on our ability to connect with and engage buyers. And, recent conversations with top B2B marketers only validate what we’re all experiencing – our ability to engage with our audiences through emails is declining.
So, why aren’t we rapidly making a shift?
Is it lack of technology? Not likely.
Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) are purpose built to disseminate communications through dozens of channels (beyond emails).
It’s time to make our nurture communications work harder.
Three Actions to Boost Your Nurture Campaign Efficiency:
With a plethora of channels at our fingerprints, and the ability to up-level the relevancy of email, there are many options for communicating with prospects and customers in your database.
Consider this short list a great starting point for you to consider:
- Make Email Work Harder.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to implement better subject lines. An email is relevant only if it gives our prospects a reason to care about what the email will say. According to Salesforce.com, 33 percent of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.
There are dozens of other best practices for email marketing – the ones we know and trust (strong call to action, succinct and relevant communications, limited file size and graphics). There are also dozens of resources (although you’re welcome to ping me) to help you optimize your email success – including this fun Infographic from MarketingProfs website.
- Leverage Your Email Lists to Extend Into New Channels!
An email database can serve us well to connect with our buyers in channels beyond email. Not only does this mitigate the risk of being single threaded (by only using email), but it can give us a considerable lift in metrics around engagement and conversion.
A few (but not at all exhaustive) ideas include:
- Banner display (matched to our email list). Leverage banners to promote content or other calls-to-action. There are many ad networks that enable this targeted marketing – including AdRoll. LinkedIn is also a very smart option for retargeting your audience, but operates a little differently in terms of exact “match” to your list.
- Social (also matched to our email list) with networks like Facebook and twitter.
- And, not to be forgotten, are traditional channels: think direct mail (a postcard, a letter or any physical format).
- Go Beyond Your Email!
Once we’ve taken steps to make email work harder and to leverage your email list to extend into new channels, there are many ways to increase engagement with our prospects and customers (through channels other than email). For instance, we can start building your audience through opt-ins to an RSS feed or through applications.
And, in the spirit of sharing – I’d love to hear how your expanding your reach BEYOND email (specifically to nurture your known prospects and customers).
No. Email as a primary channel for nurturing you’re prospects and customers is not dying anytime soon. However, we have a fantastic opportunity to improve its performance and reach our audience through a more diverse and effective set of channels.