Listen up B2Bs! - 4 Email Marketing Strategies to Increase Your ROI in 2017

We welcome guest author, Rebecca Doherty of dotmailer who shares 4 proven B2B strategies to increase email marketing returns.

Email marketing automation is a must for CRM managers in 2017; 42% either plan to or have already increased spending in that area of marketing, presumably in acknowledgement that email remains the preferred channel for consumers to maintain relationships with businesses.

Building your email marketing strategy around the data you hold within your CRM is a great way to achieve relevant communication with your contacts. 

But, in order to streamline this relationship, the two technologies need to be able to talk to each other. Luckily, as a user of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, most ESPs should have a pre-build integration; for example, Dynamics is one of dotmailer’s premium integrations, enabling our clients to automate personalized, 1-2-1 messages on a mass scale.

Whatever stage you’re at with your email marketing strategy, everyone could benefit from a future plan. This blog looks at four essential email marketing strategies to boost your ROI in 2017.

1. Don’t Ignore Your CRM

Your CRM system holds an insight into many activities that your prospects and clients take with your business; this is true for both website behavior and interactions with your sales team. 

Indicators of changes or developments in customer buying cycles are actionable and can inform your email marketing. 

For example, your CRM can tell you whether a customer is ready to buy, has made a repeat purchase, and so on.

If you are currently sending batch and blast campaigns to your entire contact list, then you’re missing out on the opportunity to use your CRM to influence an individual’s buying cycle – and ultimately achieve a greater return from your digital marketing. 

It’s time to get thinking about how to monetize your current data.

2. Get Sensitive to the Signals

Here are a couple of example customer actions that can help you better target prospects and clients:

  • Speaking with a sales associate
  • Visiting your site’s FAQ page and requesting help

Imagine that one of your prospects has had a conversation with a member of your sales team, who subsequently alters their status as a buyer within your CRM. 

The salesperson can simultaneously enroll the contact into relevant email programs based on their status; for example, a prospect who has become an “opportunity” might benefit from a six-month nurture program of emails.

Set up your “Contact” form on your website to feed data back into your Microsoft Dynamics CRM. You can then use this communication to trigger an email that reaches out to the contact and checks if they found what they were looking for.

3. Personalize your Automated Campaigns

One of the biggest investments made by businesses in 2016 was in personalization tactics; 68% of firms surveyed this year by Forrester have prioritized personalized experiences, and 53% have invested in email marketing software.[1] 

With 2017’s inbox sounding louder and busier than ever before, B2B businesses need to be using intelligent personalization to cut through the noise.

Since pulling in a recipient’s first name is now the norm, you should now be looking towards including dynamic content in your email campaigns if you want to drive a healthy ROI. Partner your real-time CRM data with intelligent copy based on known preferences, from corporate behaviors like average time/day/week of purchase, average order value, to personal preferences like hobbies, lifestyle choices, favorite channels etc.

In 2016, those that prioritized investment in hyper personalization saw a 14% improvement in click-through rates, and a 10% improvement in conversion.[2]

4. Make it Mobile

According to a recent report dotmailer sponsored for the DMA, 40% of consumers surveyed open emails on their smartphone; it’s estimated that 2.282 million people will access email via their mobile device in 2017.[3] 

To reap the rewards from mobile, you need to make sure everything you do is optimized for the even smaller screen.

Your email templates may not be completely mobile responsive yet, but it is easy to get going with the bare necessities. Design tappable buttons to improve user experience, and format your copy to make it easily digestible on the small screen.

At dotmailer, we advise our B2B clients not to let their perceived differences from the B2C sector hamper their email ROI. Our Client Services Director, Skip Fidura, notes: “your B2B shopper on Monday was a B2C shopper on Sunday and expects the same experience”. With mobile use for B2B research jumping by 91% in the last two years alone, it pays to get portable with your email marketing.[4]

Want to know more email marketing tactics? Get takeaways from the DMA Email Tracker Report.

A GUEST POST BY DOTMAILER

[1] Digital Experience Technology and Delivery Priorities, 2016 – Forrester, May 17, 2016

[2] The Future of Email Marketing 2016 – Email Monday

[3] DMA Insight: Consumer email trackingDMA, sponsored by dotmailer

[4] 45 Phenomenal Email and Mobile Marketing Stats – Webbiquity