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Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post comes courtesy of Candyce Edelen, CEO of PropelGrowth, a B2B financial services marketing firm in Princeton, NJ. She works primarily with financial technology firms to refine their integrated marketing strategy and content marketing programs, helping them facilitate the customer buying process. Candyce has spent the last 14 years in financial services, particularly in the area of securities trading and investment banking.
In this age of information overload, it’s not easy to entice people to sign up for yet another email marketing subscription. Studies show the average corporate employee receives approximately 105 emails per day. Not only does this overwhelm recipients, but it also makes them more discerning about which companies they allow to send them communications.
B2B marketers therefore need to be more strategic when it comes to enticing customers and prospects to opt in to their regular email campaigns. Here are some ideas on how to get started.
Request their Presence
Just because someone is a customer doesn’t mean you can automatically start emailing him or her without consent. A better approach is to send these contacts a friendly note requesting that they opt-in to your communications. An impersonal mass mailing is not going to be compelling, so be sure to keep your note as personal as possible, perhaps even mentioning the product they purchased.
You may also want to include an incentive in your email. For instance, you could offer a complimentary white paper or case study download, available exclusively to those who subscribe to your communications. Also, remember to include a link to a designated spot on your website (the homepage typically works best), integrated with your email platform, where people can enroll themselves. This beats having to collect their responses and enter them into your system manually.
Add a Subscribe Button to Landing Pages
Another effective way of encouraging prospects to join your mailing list is by placing a “sign-up” button on your landing pages. This technique works great for leads that are coming in via inbound marketing methods or through social campaigns.
Be sure that every banner or paid search ad you create links to a landing or asset download page that has phrasing to the effect of, “Did you find this valuable?” or “Want to receive more information like this in the future?” Even though these contacts are automatically enrolled in your database once they download your content, this added action on their part can help you gauge their true level of interest.
Approach Event Attendees
When you sponsor a conference and receive a list of attendee contacts, do you ever wonder what to do next? Try emailing them a list of the top takeaways from the conference. If you send this out within a day or two, the conference will still be fresh in attendees’ minds. We frequently receive thank you notes from attendees who receive these updates.
The takeaway points should be outlined in a separate document that you offer as a download. Once recipients click to view the file, they should be able to click a box that allows them to opt-in to your email communications. Of course, per CAN-SPAM laws, it’s also important to ensure that your emails instruct recipients on how they can opt out of your communications at any time.
You also should consider adding relevant information about contacts, such as the types of conferences they attended, into your CRM system. Then, in the future, you can pull from this data in order to segment contacts by criteria such as region and event type interest. This will allow you to keep them engaged by sending out regular quarterly emails highlighting nearby upcoming events that they may want to consider.
One way to reduce the possibility of your current contacts losing interest is by emailing them periodically to confirm contact details and better understand their email preferences. Pose questions such as, “How frequently would you like to be contacted?” or “What types of content are you interested in receiving?” The resulting feedback will give you solid perspective on how, when and why you should be contacting these individuals. As a result, you’ll be able to provide an improved customer experience. It’s also a great opportunity to make sure the contact information you have on file is still up-to-date.
You also can enlist the help of your contacts to ensure your message is reaching the right people. Do this by inserting a “share with a friend” option in all your promotional emails. For example, you can say something to the effect of, “Are you not the right person within your organization to be receiving this communication? Consider passing it along. We promise to honor the same opt-in rules with them.”
Offer a Free Newsletter
An effective way to both generate new and nurture existing email subscribers is offering them a regular newsletter on an interesting topic. Just be sure that your stories are focused on issues that directly appeal to your target audience. Offering a free e-newsletter is an ideal way of keeping the line of communication open between you and your customers. Additionally, if the content is interesting, it also increases the odds that it will be shared, extending the reach of your marketing message.
Keep them Interested
Capturing the attention of B2B prospects is no easy feat—and getting them to opt-in to your emails is perhaps an even bigger challenge. However, using the tips outlined above, you’ll be able to strategically grow your email subscriber list in no time at all.
For more tips to help build an effective content plan that incorporates email marketing, check out PropelGrowth’s white paper Feeding the Content Marketing Beast Without Blowing Your Budget.
How to Generate More Opt-ins With Your Email Marketing Campaign is from Eloqua’s It’s All About Revenue, a Blog Covering Business To Business Marketing