Marketing Automation for B2B
B2B marketers are gearing up to maximize on their ROI for email marketing automation. With traditional programs like the welcome series becoming a routine facet of every digital marketing team’s strategy, it’s important that brands strive for customers’ attention with relevant, contextual communication that surprises and delights the customer.
In this article, we’ll give you some inspiration for automations that break from the status quo, but there’s no limit to the possibilities for building programs that promote your business. Keep the customer in the forefront of your mind and enjoy experimenting with innovative ways to surprise and delight; OM3’s reporting functionality and staff are on hand to guide you through the process.
Finding ways to motivate customers to get excited about your product can be tricky, especially if the product in question is a little lacking in glamour – but this is an area worth taking the time to develop if you want to beat your competitors; Whether you’re looking to entice new business or retain current customers, sending regular and timely emails that highlight your product’s unique selling points is a crucial facet of your digital marketing strategy.
Build excitement around your brand, provide crucial info on product benefits, and help every customer make the most out of your relationship, no matter where they are in the journey stream.
Taking time to develop the content of these product campaigns is important and this will be different for every brand. Here are some things to think about when creating a good product campaign:
When would your customer be able to get the most out of your product email? Sending product promotions at 3pm on a Friday will likely mean that recipients may not read your email or click on any links. Sending Tuesdays and Wednesdays will most likely yield more opens and clicks while people are more inclined to open/click.
Customers who spend most of their days away from an office environment or on the road may not see the full email or content so make sure your emails are mobile-ready. Keep images text-free to avoid any loss of information, and keep copy to the point for mobile, while still having extended information on the desktop version.
You can use the data you hold on customers to personalize your product story via segmentation. For example, a customer who works for an environmental charity would respond well to information on your product’s own positive green impact. Providing customers with the chance to engage emotionally with your brand is a great B2C tactic that drives dramatic results
Building a product automation program based on your customer’s industry or need can help them envision how their lives could be improved with your product or service on board.
B2B buyers report that just 20% of meetings with sales pros focus on their specific needs. Tapping into this industry-wide opportunity can provide your business with the competitive edge, so personalizing the email is important.
Automating nurture programs is a thorough and cost-effective way to surprise and delight every – at mass scale. Show your customer that you’re attuned to their decision-making process by applying dynamic content and decisions based on data you have on the company or person, keeps crucial leads warm and provide a better engagement experience to more complex purchase journeys.
Tailor your nurture program to your customer’s buying cycle.
If your company offers a free trial, your welcome email could be followed with a gentle nudge to customers to get started with your software right away. Rich media elements like how-to and product demo videos can add value to your proposition. However, building your nurture program doesn’t have to be a drain on your resources; you can use existing content to better target customers at appropriate stages of their journey. For example, repurpose blogs into handy infographic content for customers to digest on the go, and create an FAQ-focused campaign from user-generated content on your website.
Keeping your nurture program on track
Nurture programs can take time to strategize, so make sure you are getting the best ROI by employing effective measuring. Plan your reporting before your program goes live; are you looking to measure the uptake in warm leads or completed self-service purchases? Track the engagement with your nurture program over a period of months to get a strong idea of what’s working and what needs refining. OM3’s real-time reporting tools let you analyze the performance of your campaigns with speed and ease. Our graphical reports help you access crucial information on everything from open rates to link clicks.
Today’s empowered consumer is ready to move for a better experience, and the loyalty lag that has long plagued the B2C industry has now hit the B2B sector. According to a report from Gallup, 71 percent of B2B customers are ready and willing to take their business elsewhere. A robust retention program is crucial if you want to guarantee ROI for your business. Plus, it’s crucial best practice for companies who require contract renewal, and for cycles with infrequent touch opportunities.
Your retention program should begin with a thorough onboarding series. Automate timely emails that educate the customer on how best to interact with your product or service now that it’s all theirs. Video tutorials, invitations to connect across your various channels and advice on how to best access your customer service materials are all important things to include. Content-focused campaigns that give customers exclusive access to resources adds extra value to your relationship; boost relevancy by segmenting customers by their specific challenges and then targeting them with content that addresses their needs.
What if customers are asleep?
Keep track of your engagement rates; if a customer isn’t opening the emails in your retention program, it’s best to take preemptive action to preserve your reputation, both as a brand and as a sender. Segment inactive customers who haven’t opened an email in a while (6-12 months) and enroll these contacts into a win-back program consisting of a series of campaigns focusing on rebuilding the relationship. Happily, the effectiveness of win-back programs drives 45% of lapsed customers to read subsequent communications!
Events provide B2B businesses with a unique opportunity to provide a physical touchpoint for prospective and existing customers. Communicating with attendees before, during and after an event keeps people fully informed and ‘warm’ after they’ve engaged with your brand. The B2B event cycle is much shorter and faster than the usual B2B journey, so your event program should be relatively short and incredibly concentrated. Ensure that attendees are enrolled as soon as they’ve accepted your invitation.
Segmentation is key. Your B2B event program requires a different approach to personalization. There are three segments you should build in the run up to an event:
Geographical location; Whether you’re hosting an international conference or a localized seminar, the whereabouts of your customers will determine the kind of logistical content they’ll be interested in. Automate relevant travel information to different geographical segments to keep no-shows to a minimum.
Attendee status; An event partner is not going to be pleased if they receive content aimed at your hottest prospect, so make sure attendees are segmented effectively by their relationship to your brand.
Lead score; Events are great for nurturing customers in the middle of your sales funnel – those who’re ready to engage but haven’t yet converted. The kind of follow-up content you trigger to customers should vary depending on their lead score; for example, you might want to invite mid-level attendees to a follow-up meeting or product demo, something that those just starting out with your brand might not be ready for.