Email drip campaigns can work extremely well for both B2C and B2B lead generation. However, if you’re marketing your product or service to a decision-maker at a company, you need to take a different approach than you would with consumers.
Follow these steps to drive more B2B leads through well-crafted email drip campaigns.
Select the Best Software for Email Drip Campaigns
Image via Flickr by jonrawlinson
Automation software should make your job easier — not harder. Consequently, you need a software program that handles as much of the back-end tedium as possible so you can focus on nurturing the leads you capture.
A program like Hello Bar, for instance, enables you to manage your email list, capture new leads, and deploy different lead magnets on specific pages. Since it’s a lead-generation tool and an email service provider, it can make your job much easier.
Outline Your B2B Sales Funnel
Email drip campaigns should always start with an understanding of your prospects’ specific sales funnel. You should know the answers to several questions:
- What touch points do they make with your company before they buy?
- At what touch point do conversions most often occur?
- How do most leads find your business in the first place (e.g. social, organic search, cold emails)?
You can then decide on what content, such as emails, to deliver to potential customers at various stages in the funnel.
Segment Subscribers Into Categories
Email drip campaigns shouldn’t apply to every lead. You’ll attract leads at specific points in the funnel, so create campaigns to appeal to each of them.
At the top of the sales funnel, prospects don’t really know what they want. They’re in research mode. They might have heard of your company, but they’re not particularly brand-aware.
In this stage, focus on educating your market and asking questions. Invite the lead to interact with you, but don’t push it yet.
Toward the middle of the funnel, prospects have become more brand-aware. They’re interested in interacting further and perhaps engaging in a call. Incorporate testimonials, benefits of your product or service, and comparisons to competitors at this stage.
When your prospects reach the bottom of the sales funnel, they’re ready to buy. You can hook them with email content like coupons, promotional codes, upsells, and specific product or service descriptions.
Once you segment your prospects, add their contact information to their corresponding email drip campaigns.
Make Friends With Prospects
Even though you’re marketing to a B2B audience, you can still extend a friendly hand. Present your company as the solution to specific problems your decision-maker might have.
Learn more with our eBook!Download eBook
Anecdotal copy can work well in drip email campaigns. So can case studies. Whether they’re real or fictional, describe specific scenarios in which your product or service can ease a pain point, right a wrong, solve a problem, or help the prospect reach a goal.
If possible, get specific. Use numbers, statistics, and testimonials to demonstrate your credibility.
Use friendly language to mimic a casual conversation with a friend. Many B2B marketers become too stiff and formal in their email drip campaigns, which can turn off prospects. You don’t want your emails to sound like marketing copy.
Share Your Best Content
Part of B2B marketing involves educating your audience, particularly if you’re selling an expensive product or service. Explainer videos and long-form blog content can help you convince your prospects that you have the answers.
Putting together a sophisticated email drip campaign involves generating lots of content. The best pieces should go out in your emails, whether as links or excerpts.
If you lack the time or resources, consider outsourcing the job. A third party can create videos, text-based content, infographics, and more for your audience.
Invite Prospects to Connect on a Call
In B2B marketing, conversions often happen over the phone. Decision-makers want to discuss specifics with a live person, so make that option readily available.
Using a scheduling program — even one as simple as Google Calendar — can make your life easier. Allow prospects to schedule calls automatically from a link in your emails. Let them know what days and times work best for you.
In both B2C and B2B industries, globalization has become the norm. Make sure to mention your time zone when advertising your availability. If you have associates in other parts of the world, you can direct prospects their way to make connecting easier.
Fast-paced email marketing often works best in the B2B industry. Your prospects likely have lots of options, so you’ll want to hook them as quickly as possible. Creating urgency helps speed up the timeline within the sales funnel.
Subject lines can work well for this purpose. After your first or second email, you could use subject lines like these:
- I haven’t heard from you yet. Are you ready to schedule a call?
- Slots are filling up fast. Can we get you in on the ground floor?
- Did you get my last email? I want to connect ASAP.
Each of these subject lines communicates a sense of urgency.
Qualify Your Leads
In B2B marketing, you don’t want to waste time with companies that can’t or won’t invest in your product or service. It eats up valuable time you could spend on qualified prospects.
Your email data can tell you plenty about your leads. Are they hot, neutral, or cold?
Track metrics like open rates, click-through rates, reply activity, and other touch points. You’ll quickly discern whether a particular lead is actively ready to buy.
For instance, if a lead opens all of your emails and doesn’t interact in any way, that decision-maker might not be ready to invest. Alternatively, he or she might lack the funds necessary for your product or service.
On the other hand, a prospect who clicks through to blog posts, landing pages, and sales pages might be ready to buy. You can further segment those leads into more aggressive email drip campaigns.
Marketing your product or service to a B2B audience can seem frustrating, but email marketing helps qualify, convince, and convert leads. The more attention you pay to the sales funnel and resulting data, the more successful you’ll become.