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» EMAIL PROGRAM OPTIMIZATION GUIDE How to develop a strategy for a successful email marketing program.

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Best Practices !

The most successful email programs begin with a strategy. Of course, the best strategies are built on knowledge of your goals and obstacles, so there are some natural questions that you should be asking yourself when building a program strategy. This guide is intended to provide best practices information gathered from our experience, and that of thousands of B2B marketers – our customers. Use it to consider new tactics or compare how you’re doing. Please, feel free to share!

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Important questions to get you started:!


The most successful email programs begin with a strategy. Of course, the best strategies are built on knowledge of your goals and obstacles, so there are some natural questions that you should be asking yourself when building a program strategy. Consider the following: • • • • • • •

What is your revenue goal? What is your average deal size? How many leads to you need to generate in order to achieve that goal? To who are you are trying to market your company’s services and products? How many contacts that meet this criteria currently exist in your database? How have they converted in the past? Do you have enough of these contacts to meet your volume requirements?

Need to know how many leads you need to meet your revenue goals? Try a funnel calculator!

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If you don’t have the answers to these questions readily available, do not pass go! A major part of program success is ensuring that you’re turning the volume dials properly. If you don’t have enough prospects and leads within your target market to enter into your email program, it will not meet its goals. Understanding the requirements in advance and making any necessary adjustments on volume before you get started is much easier than scrambling for more names, later.

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Don’t be a one shot wonder.


“One and done” is no longer the name of the email game. You have to map out a clear communication strategy to help progress your buyer through their buying journey. This means email programs that are multitouch that give your buyers the right information at the right time. Obtaining a thorough understanding your buyers’ journey can be a challenge. The information on how your buyer makes their decisions should be obtained in an interview format – for example, in persona interviews you conduct. Your goal here is to have a complete understanding how the buyer makes their decision and how they want you to communicate with them at different stages of their buying process. You’ll want to capture what types of assets they are looking for at the beginning, middle, and end of their decision making process. Create compelling offers that map to their wishes for each stage in that journey. Your programs can then be designed to include multi-touch emails to push them to each stage. When they engage, create online opportunities to pull them through that journey even faster. For example, after your potential buyer responds to your emails by going to the landing page, and registers to receive your offer, pull them to a thank you page that has several more offers to choose from. Ideally you will include at least one offer designed to help them through the next stage in their buying cycle. This can get quite complex, so you should diagram out each offer, email, form and landing page. Though it may seem like a lot of work, once it is built you can re-use it with new names later in the year, making it worth the effort.

Align your offers to the buyer.


Once you understand the buyers’ journey, you’ll want to apply this context to your offer strategy. What types of offers do you have for your audience? • • • • •

Educational content Survey Trial Discount Event

Consider these offers and how they fit in the buyers’ journey. You can easily create a matrix of the journey and map which offers fit your buyers’

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needs at different stages. Of course, offers should match the right message to the buyer, ensure that it is relevant to their decision-making, and be something of value. HINT: If you’re emailing the first touch to a targeted contact list from a data vendor like NetProspex, make a good first impression! You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, so don’t ask your prospect to join you for a product demo on your first touch. Instead, your goal should be to brand your company as a valuable resource in whatever field you specialize and educate them on how your solution solves their specific challenges. Try content such as a whitepaper, step-by-step guides, or a webinar, to begin to build a true relationship with prospects.

Get their attention - pronto.


Subject lines are key drivers behind good open rates. Make sure your optimizing your subject lines to get your message opened by as many people as possible. Here are some tips for optimization: (Always follow your own measurements and testing, as subject lines performance varies depending on both audience and sender.)

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Try to mention a pain point in your subject line – this speaks directly to the buyer and tells them why to open your email. Remember the WIIFM: What’s in it for me? Be clear about your offer right away, whether it’s a white paper download or webinar invitation. Beware of the TLDNR effect. TLDNR stands for “too long, did not read.” Try to keep your subject lines around 50 characters. Don’t be misleading. Your readers will only be agitated if you’re playing games to raise open rates.

Don’t be afraid to test what works. You can try A/B testing subject lines. Simply send half your list one subject line and the other half a different one and measure the resulting open rate.

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Keep it short and sweet.


You’ve got less than a minute to grab your reader’s attention. Get the most important part of your message in the introductory paragraph, including your first link to a call to action. Format your email so that as much as possible can be seen in the preview window of your buyer’s email application (think ‘above the fold’). Make each word count by cutting out the flowery language and getting to the point. One tactic that may help is to use dynamic content blocks to personalize when and wherever possible. Also, make it clear what you want your buyer to do next (big buttons do work!).

Say thank you.


Your mother was right, being polite pays off. As a standard practice, you should always bring your buyer to a thank you page and send a thank you email if they have downloaded your offer. You can leverage this as an opportunity to present them with another call to action to bring them farther along in the buying journey. And, once your buyer has completed your call to action, consider offering them a “share” functionality so they can share your content with their social connections. It will broaden your net to like-minded buyers.

Keep score.


If you don’t have the luxury of an automated lead scoring model, make your own agreement with your sales partners on when they want to call your respondents. Is it after they engage with two or more pieces of content? Only when the finish the entire program? What fields of information do they want on the contact? The answers to these questions, and more, should become your agreed upon definition for a marketing qualified lead (MQL). If you do have a scoring model in place, make sure that you make any updates that might be particular to your new campaign so that you can see the rewards of all your hard work when leads make it to an MQL status!

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Measure, measure, measure.


Once your program launches, you’ll want to watch how each piece is performing. Some statistics to track include: • • • • • •

Email open rate Click through rate Landing page visits Form completions Lead stage and status progression Revenue of leads originating or touched by each campaign

Don’t be shy – share the results internally. You’ll want to be nimble enough to make program changes as results roll in; quickly keep what is good and modify what is not. If your program meets your goal, do it again! New contacts can always be brought in and put through your program, whether from inbound marketing, live events, or even purchased data that matches your target buyer.

SCHEDULE A DEMO WITH A DATA SPECIALIST TODAY… We’ll show you why NetProspex should be your data partner of choice. With high quality verified contact records, limitless targeting and segmenting capabilities and an online account that houses your engagements with us, NetProspex is changing the way marketers buy lists. Email and request a demo. Be sure to mention this guide.

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NetProspex provides verified prospect lists, data cleansing, and powerful analytics to understand data and achieve optimal marketing ! results. Thousands of B2B organizations rely on our CleneStepTM ! verification technology to acquire and maintain clean, accurate prospect information and achieve high-performing marketing campaigns and a bigger sales pipeline.

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B2B Email Program Optimization Guide  

Workbook that outlines the seven key questions that B2B markets need to keep top of mind when crafting an email program strategy.