Why email marketing should be in sync with your sales process
Imagine walking into a computer store and having a greeter ask, “Which model would you like to buy?”
Since the vast majority of store visitors are not ready to purchase at that moment, the greeter will ask more generic questions like, “Is there anything I can help you with?” or “What brings you in today?” – this qualifying question allows the greeter to determine where you are in the sales process and what the appropriate next step is.
Think of your website like your greeter.
As visitors log onto your site you can feature various offers via Call-to-Action buttons on the pages where traffic enters the most, usually the homepage and blog. For your content you can have anything from an educational eBook to a savings calculator or a white paper.
Each of these offers represent stages in your sales cycle, whether they are introductory, mid-funnel, or valuable ready-to-purchase leads. Only having ready-to-purchase offers is akin to proposing marriage on the first date and is one of the most common offer-related mistakes on lots of B2B company sites.
By adding valuable content that aligns with the buyer’s stage in the sales cycle you can build quality earned lists of organic email addresses. Even better, behind the scenes your visitors have now self-selected themselves into buckets.
You can then setup successful drip campaigns that automatically trigger personalised email sends a certain amount of days after a particular offer was requested, pushing them to the next stage down the sales cycle. If you do not have drip campaigns you can do manual sends to deliver the next appropriate email in the series ad hoc.
Personalising email for your buyers
Emails need to be personalised and timely, with information that educates the buyer and lets them come to their own conclusion about whether your product solves their potential problem. Study the results of the first iteration of your campaign. Make note if certain content (such as videos, external links, blog links) generate higher clicks and whether other offers that you promote tend to do well over email, and if so what timing is best. All of these numbers can’t be taught – they’re different for each business.
Purchased lists are a common downfall of email marketers. After all, how can you create a personalised email for someone you have next to no information about? Sometimes the lists are of poor quality, which naturally converts into business at a much lower rate. Similar to paid search, you’re also relying on a form of generating business that isn’t sustainable (if you stop paying the bill the traffic stops), yet another reason why organic content is imperative.
As marketers we need to start to pay attention to who the individual behind the email address is before we perform a send. The internet is starting to tell us more about who is on our list – LinkedIn can tell us where they work and what their goals are, Twitter can tell us what they’re interested in, and the questions that we can ask on forms, like HubSpot’s classic “what is your biggest marketing challenge?” feed even more information into the database. We even see microtargeting happening in the current Presidential Election. As data, tools, and integrations improve, email marketing and segmentation will improve, which is a win-win for businesses and consumers.
To a marketer, the beauty of the website as a medium is that you can test things at very rapid intervals and compare data at known sample sizes (but hey, every marketer should really be a data scientist anyway).
There’s no reason you shouldn’t do the same thing with email.