If your business primarily caters to providing products and services to other businesses then your problems most likely feel 10 times greater, which is quite understandable.
Most corporate business owners and their C-level executives are often so busy in their day to day dealings, they often don’t have time to be “hangin’ out” online. They’re working. So the thought of engaging them online via Social Media though possible is really quite difficult.
According to Forrester Research, 90% of email gets delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox, whereas only 2% of your Facebook fans see your posts in their News Feed.
Though it seems more likely you have a better shot of getting in front of your intended b2b audience via Linkedin, the metrics aren’t much better over there, unless of course, you’re looking for a job.
Most decision makers aren’t spending a great deal of recreational time on Linkedin or Facebook. As has been stated already, they’re usually extremely busy working.
Not only that, but the layer of corporate bureaucracy is usually so thick, it can be VERY difficult to get in front of the person you need to that can actually make decisions about whether or not they’ll do business with you.
Go ahead and try getting an audience with decision makers in person. You’ll be lucky to have any self worth left after all the dismissals and rejections you’ll have heard after that excursion.
How about cold calling via phone?
Typically, phone calls are thwarted by the first, well trained, level of defense...the corporate secretary.
These folks are trained assassins. They can smell a sales call a mile away and are loathe to give cold call sales people any courtesy or time of day.
If you call in thinking you’re gonna small talk and schmooze your way past these gatekeepers, you’ll quickly discover they have the ability to rip out your sales confidence, while simultaneously hanging up so hard in your ear that your eardrums will ring.
Trying to get a hold of executive b2b decision makers by phone is not fun and should be left to those masochists who enjoy hardship and abuse in sales and who would rather make their selling careers unenjoyable.
Though content marketing has it’s merits, the front loaded cost associated with creating the correct content, disseminating that content and waiting for it to attract inbound queries for what you provide often proves to be too long cycled for most corporate campaigns to fare.
The effectiveness of content marketing is unquestionable, for certain, however, it’s more of a long term strategy.
So, then, what does that leave us with?
According to a number of sources, email marketing is still one of the BEST ways to market your business online...even in the B2B space.
An online Inc. Magazine article states:
“Email marketing has been described as the highest-ROI online marketing strategy, when implemented properly, with 67 percent of businesses listing it as their highest earner.”
Another article points out that some individuals have experienced as much as a 3800% return on investment, the highest return ever, by marketing via email. That means for every $1 invested they’d typically get back at least $38 in return.
Not only that but the average order value via email is typically at least 3 times higher than from a social media ad.
It shouldn’t be terribly surprising to know that although most corporate execs don’t always have the time nor inclination to visit their social media accounts, Facebook, Linkedin, etc, on a daily basis, they do, however, visit their email inboxes at least once a day (more than half of these folks).
That same research study shows that email use is actually fairly important to internal business communication for most executives, as it’s a fairly integral part of how they relay information, even to each other.
At 1.47 million emails sent per month, US companies send more emails than the global average of 1.38 million
So, with all that being said, why isn’t there more emphasis and proaction from companies that market b2b to use email marketing in their day to day marketing activities?
Part of it probably has to do with the idea that it takes a great deal of time and money in advance building up a sizable list large enough and targeted enough, that can provide a business with any real significant return on investment.
Not only that, but most of the leading email marketing companies out there typically won’t allow you to import a list you’ve procured yourself through some other means, whether you grew the list using a competing service or if you collected the information manually.
Also, email deliverability has been an issue as of late with the added obstacles of spam filtering, blacklisting domains and other technological hurdles, which has made email less appealing as a marketing medium than it once was in the past.
That’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that it is tougher than ever to get email marketing to work as it seems to be more of a deferred gratuity medium. One that takes time to cultivate and prosper from, but that’s only if you’re not sure of what you’re doing.
The good news is that this makes it all the more lucrative for the savvy business to business companies to learn how to harness effectively.
Ways to do that are by working with email marketing service providers that are specifically geared and focused on working with the b2b sector.
Will they allow you to import a list?
Do they have counter measures capable of effectively dealing with spam filtration and black listing traps?
Can they guarantee deliverability?
How can they best serve you and what makes them worth their often higher fees than other designated providers?
Why should you work with them?
These are all useful questions to ask when dealing with these types of companies. The bottom line is:” What can they do for you?” Right?
Armed with the data you now have, knowing the right questions to ask and knowing what you now know about email marketing, isn’t it time you go out there and start getting the returns you know you should be getting by properly using email marketing?
Go do it, today.
Ready to add effective email marketing to your b2b lead generation strategy?
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