Automated Emails Keep it Coming in B2B Sales Cycle
B2B companies know they need to keep an eye on prospects for cues that they’ve accelerated from cold to warm to sizzling. Well-timed contact can pay off in increased interest and conversions, and staying in touch with existing customers can result in referrals and higher earnings. Despite this, a lot of companies have their email automation faucet turned to an infrequent drip when they could be spouting more messages at more points in the customer journey to ultimately close more sales. Sure, they probably send an initial email to make acquaintance — but what about following up pre- and post-purchase, extending an invitation, asking how the free trial is going, offering a discount, announcing a new product?
Email automation software does a lot more than fire one-off auto-responders for landing pages or free trial sign-ups. Smart B2B marketing and sales teams rely on it as an integral part of their long-term strategy to nurture leads and encourage them through the entire sales funnel and to retain and upsell existing customers.
Email is the most effective revenue generation channel, according to 59% of B2B marketers. Businesses need to closely examine their sales funnel to make sure they’re not missing any potentially profitable email hotspots. Here’s a look at some key steps along the path from intro to closing through long-term customer retention where email can help secure wins.
Make fast friends through better cold emails
Yours isn’t the only company prospects can find with a quick tap on Google search. Fast response times are crucial for all businesses. Trigger an automated email introduction at the first opportunity. Make it as personal as possible with any details you can glean from their behavior on your site. Look into adopting tools to aid you in researching your website visitors. Try to establish some common ground out of the gate.
Try, try again
Do not throw in the towel just because they don’t answer or respond to the first email. Follow-up emails actually have a higher response rate than initial emails, and typical B2B sales cycles range from four to seven months from intro to close. Once you’ve gained access to a prospect’s email inbox, keep their attention and inch them closer to buying with an automated trickle of increasingly personalized emails.
Behavior-triggered auto-email campaigns can generate follow-up emails based on an open, or clicks on specific links within the email. Use prospects’ behavioral cues to gauge their interest and intent and tailor campaigns accordingly. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases.
Reel in trial users
B2B businesses that offer free trials or money-back guarantees should maintain steady contact with prospects throughout the active period. Automate helpful emails to prep them and give them tips on how to get the most from the product or service. Determine where customer pain points or drop offs typically occur and offer extra support and education in those areas.
Onboarding emails are an important first step to customer retention. A warm welcome along with key info and resources they need to be successful lets customers know you are in it for the long haul. Let them know your company is ready to resolve any issues that come up. Don’t bury “help” or “contact” in a barely visible line at the bottom.
Research shows that companies can spend five times more to acquire a new customer than they spend to keep an existing one. Automated emails are an easy way to help maintain relationships with customers and keep competition from stealing their attention. Newsletters, tips and surveys are just a few types of email content businesses can load into their auto-drip for existing customers.
Complementary & Special offer emails
Organize customers into specific groups and target them with upgrade offers tailored to their unique needs. Target them with offers that complement their previous purchases. Embed links to content on higher-end products within emails and target clickers with follow-up offers. Notify them of new product announcements, special pre-release opt-in opportunities and limited-time discounts.
Automated emails can help close B2B prospects literally while marketers and sales people are sleeping. They show up just in time to answer likely questions, make helpful suggestions, showcase features and make timely offers. And they never forget. The intro email is just for starters; B2B companies can leverage email automation at all points along the sales funnel and through the entire span of a customer relationship, ensuring that it is a long, successful one.
If your business needs assistance developing an email marketing automation strategy, we’re here to help.