The results are in from Marketing Sherpa's latest survey of over 1,100 firms who use email marketing to communicate with prospects and they make interesting reading!
So what are the key challenges marketers face when using email marketing to communicate with prospects?
Chief challenges to email marketing effectiveness
The main challenge stands out like a sore thumb. Over 2/3rds of the respondents named the relevance of the content as the number one challenge.
Whilst its good to hear these marketers understand that relevant content is king, what is somewhat bizarre is that conquering this challenge is totally within their power to control!
I wrote about creating great content in an earlier blog post, but here is the short version:
Content must be relevant. Show you understand the buyers world by demonstrating you understand the problems and challenges they face. Resist the temptation to talk about the wonders of your new product. Use their language.
Content must be interactive, make sure your prospect can interact with you, don't make the email a dead end, build in a comment section to your blog, add a call to action button at the end of the email.
Content must be delivered in context ie at the right time in the buyer's journey. What a prospect needs in the early discovery phase is quite different to the mid or lower funnel. Nurturing leads requires marketers to know where their buyer is in their buying journey and tailoring content for that stage. Understanding and responding to the buyer's journey is absolutely key for B2B Marketers to understand. Check out this complementary white paper on the buyer's journey if you would like to read more about this topic.
Lastly, don't limit your communication channel to email, leverage all that hard work you have put into creating your remarkable content and ensure your message is easily accessed , via LinkedIn, on your business blog, via Twitter and so on. Using social media to spread your message farther and wider increases the bang you get for your buck.
The second key challenge was how to quantify the effectiveness of email campaigns and to get some measure of the ROI. The answer to this challenge lies in two parts.
- Implementing automated marketing technology
- Defining clear measures within the business
Smart, automated marketing software allows you to score leads, that is to define and then subsequently measure the point at which a contact or visitor becomes a lead and the point a lead becomes "sales ready" or qualified for the sales team to accept the baton. Its important that both sales and marketing sit together and define these transition points and jointly align their efforts. Marketing should be measured on how many leads they pass to sales that turn into a sale. Best practice suggests this is around the 25% mark. Similarly sales need to be measured on how many of those leads they actually follow up on. By defining and measuring this process effective ROI of email marketing campaigns can be achieved.
If you would like to read more on this topic download g2m Solutions complimentary white paper. on generating sales ready leads.