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Why B2B Email Marketing Is Sexy (And It Knows It)

B2B marketers who overlook the power and cost effectiveness of email marketing in favor of "sexier" tactics do so at their own peril. 

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Poor email marketing. Like the late Rodney Dangerfield, it sometimes gets no respect. And compared to other, newer marketing tactics like social media and viral videos (like this one of the above pictured Spandy Andy), it just doesn't seem quite as sexy.

There are reasons for this perception. Email actually predates the popular Internet era and social media. And with the exponential growth of social media (and spectacular IPOs) in recent years, email can seem like it's just not as cool. Not as sexy.

Au contraire. According to the Direct Marketing Association, the average ROI is 40:1. According to a study by Message Systems, 63% of marketers cite email as the channel that offers the best ROI.

Email is the most successful and profitable B2B marketing channel. There are two primary reasons why email is so effective:

1) Building Relationships
2) Nurturing Relationships

And relationships are very sexy.

1. Building Relationships

When visitors to your website fill out a form to download some valuable content, they are most likely not ready to buy from you. Email marketing is the linchpin to keep that initial contact sustained and to guide the prospect through their research and purchase.

  • Brand Awareness and Trust – As long as you offer value, you can build a trusting relationship with the recipients. When taking leads through the buying process, trust is a critical component.
  • Lead Generation – Not all email addresses are created equal. Some are prospects, some are not. Email marketing can be used to sort through the tire kickers and find the most sales qualified leads.
  • Boost Social Interaction – Email can help encourage helpful social interaction with your prospect such as social sharing, Facebook likes and tweeting. This helps to extend your reach beyond your email list.

2. Nurturing Relationships

Email allows you to segment your lists and send messages in the right context. To be relevant, the message you send to your prospects should probably be different from what your current customers receive.

  • Driving Sales – Email should be used to drive sales, ultimately. While not done at the exclusion of any other valuable information, email should be used to promote events, special offers and your website.
  • Build Customer Loyalty – With email marketing, strengthening customer relationships has never been easier. You can send personalized emails, nurture the relationship to connect with your users and establish credibility and rapport.
  • Educate and Upsell – For nurturing customer relationships, email can help you educate (which is very popular with customers) and that can lead to more sales.

Email marketing is an incredibly flexible form of communication and is extremely effective.

But one of the greatest things about email marketing is that you can track the ROI. It generally has a lower cost than other “sexier” tactics, but the return can be exponential.

And, if you’re a B2B marketing who loves analytics, you can use real data to make smart, calculated decisions. Email marketing is one of the most straightforward tools when it comes to analytics and measurement.

What do you think? Please join the conversation below. And if you found this helpful, please share it with your network.

 photo credit: Genevieve719 via photopin cc
Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.
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