Anatomy of an Email Marketing Campaign that Gets Results
We asked our B2B provider partners how they measure the success of their email marketing campaigns–and how to get results.
Who says email is dead? According to Really Good Emails, 81% of B2B marketers say email newsletters are one of their preferred formats of content marketing. B2B email marketing campaigns, if done right, are likely to get results because subscribers are more likely to engage with emails at work. Why? Because they provide content useful to their job. But to be successful, email content needs to demonstrate to readers that your company can help them solve their problems. And be able to do so in a concise manner.
So how do B2B businesses make sure their email marketing campaigns are successful? Well, we thought we’d let our community of B2B experts do the talking on this one.
What are your key considerations when planning an email campaign?
“Prior to planning an email campaign, you need to have a clear business goal. Do you want to drive more traffic to your website or just simply an educational piece to add value to your target audiences? Starting to write without a plan is like navigating without a map: slow and very frustrating. What’s more, setting a goal allows you to measure your success against it.
“At Soup Agency, we work with different types of clients and it is our job to keep everything on-brand and professional. Our creative team will do their research and look at the business website to make sure the colors and fonts are consistent and aligned with the brand’s tone before design.
“Our final key consideration is knowing who you are sending these emails to–your target audience. This will enable you to set your tone and include the sort of graphics and content you are sharing. Different things will appeal to say, a professional in their 40s and a teenage boy, so it’s important to know your audience.” –Katya Vakulenko, Soup Agency
“My three key considerations when planning an email campaign are first, the message we are looking to convey to our audience, secondly, the content/copy we’ll be using to get this done, and lastly, the end-goal and outcome of our campaign.
“Sending an email campaign should do exactly what it says on the tin, you are virtually sending someone mail! With this being said, it is key to get clear on the message you are looking to send out, understanding the goal and outcome you’re looking for will help you understand your message further, are you looking to get your readers to click on a link, buy your product/service, contact you, respond to question, etc.
“Once you have figured out the message you are sending out and the actions this should produce by understanding your campaign’s outcome, it’s time to focus on the content and copy which will make your email come to life. Your content and copy should be very easy to read, attention-grabbing, and affirmative, these are three key areas to consider for your email content to ensure a successful campaign.” –Ben Precious, Pace Social Media
“The most important consideration is writing the campaign in a way that people want to open, read, and engage with the content. The information in the email should be helpful, with a specific focus on lead nurturing. One email alone may not always lead to a sale, but the more times one specific customer opens and engages with your emails, the more likely that customer is going to convert into a sale.” –Karly Nemeth, webFEAT Complete
“The first thing is objective: What do I want the people on the list to do? Do I want them to buy something, sign up for an event, or visit my site to read a blog post? Knowing what I want in the end helps to create the right email message.”
–Shannon Peel, MarketAPeel
What specific metrics do you believe are the most valuable in evaluating the success of an email marketing campaign?
“We are a performance and metric-driven agency. In terms of email campaigns, we tend to observe click-through rate and conversion rate. We understand that the goal of most email campaigns is to drive traffic to websites to increase lead generations, therefore click-through rate is an important metric to deepen your understanding of your audience and the type of content/layout/design they prefer. A low CTR could be an indication that your audiences are just not interested or that you need to change your tone.
“Conversion rate is another important metric to observe and assess the effectiveness of a campaign and website at the same time. This is because you could have an amazing email campaign and not a very attractive website. This can therefore be an indication that your website needs improvement.” –Katya Vakulenko, Soup Agency
“I believe that one of the most important yet over-looked metrics in email marketing campaigns is the delivery rate of a campaign, this metric takes things back to basics and tells us how many emails were delivered to the list receiving the email campaign, this is an important metric most people overlook, however, this gives us a great insight into the quality of the list we’re using to market to, if you have a low delivery rate, you’re most likely using poor email addresses and data. Data is key within marketing campaigns, but not just any data, quality data.” –Ben Precious, Pace Social Media
“Open rate is the most important, in my opinion. If one person opens five of your emails in a row over five weeks, that’s five weeks spent thinking about your business, which is nurturing them towards a sale.” –Karly Nemeth, webFEAT Complete
“Though the open rate is a nice feel-good metric, it isn’t the right metric to determine success. The most valuable metric is the one that measures the purpose of the email. If the purpose is to generate sales, then the metric to use is sales.” –Shannon Peel, MarketAPeel
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What specific metrics do you believe are the least valuable in evaluating the success of an email marketing campaign?
“With the newest update of IOS 15 putting more pressure on email privacy, open rate is a metric that has already become not very reliable. This recent update stops businesses and publishers from tracking open rates on Apple mail.
“Forwarding rate is not a very important metric to focus on since the goal of most email campaigns is to drive website traffic. it’s pretty inconsequential whether a few people on your list are forwarding emails. What’s more, the email forwarding is a pretty inefficient way to reach new clients anyway (we certainly wouldn’t recommend it over other strategies).” –Katya Vakulenko, Soup Agency
“I believe that open rate is often used as the main metric to judge the success of an email campaign. This is not the case as many variables come into play when reviewing the success of a campaign. Open-rate is an easy, go-to metric that tells us how many people viewed/opened the email itself, while this might give us a small indication of how successful a campaign is, it certainly isn’t a clear determiner of our campaign, most of the data here could even be attributed to the subject line of the email rather than the content itself, as this is what triggers a user to open the email before viewing its contents.
“The best and only relevant piece of data open-rate will give you, is the number of people who opened your email, you should take this figure and then layer on more important metrics such as click-through rate to figure out the success of your campaign.” –Ben Precious, Pace Social Media
“Unsubscription rates. Let people unsubscribe–if they don’t want what you’re selling, they aren’t going to engage with your email anyway. Unsubscriptions help to clean your database and allow you to focus on how the people who are interested in what you’re offering provide data on how to connect with them.” –Karly Nemeth, webFEAT Complete
“Open rate, unless the purpose of the email is to see who is still interested in your message before deleting them from your email list. It can be a good measure to determine if your click-through rate or conversion rate is not successful due to the content of the email. If your open rate is 70% and your click-through rate is 1%, you have a problem with your content. Beyond that, the open rate isn’t the end game.” –Shannon Peel, MarketAPeel
What are the “must-have” elements in an email sent to customers?
“The must-have elements in an email is to have headlines that align with the content of the email. This can increase subscribers’ frustrations and overall dissatisfaction if your business is blasting out emails, therefore avoid open-bait subject lines. The colors and font must be consistent with the website to ensure that it is on-brand and professional.
“Next, it is important to include the receiver’s name at the start of the email to offer a sense of personalization in the hope to strengthen a client-customer relationship.
“Moreover, another essential element would be a footer that connects all the social accounts. This way, it’s easy for viewers to follow or access social profiles with just one click.” –Katya Vakulenko, Soup Agency
“My top must-have elements in an email sent to customers are a great subject line, responsive design, share options, your contact details, and a clear call-to-action.” –Ben Precious, Pace Social Media
“Catchy subject to get them to open it, information in the body that is helpful to them, a direct and easy to find a call to action, and an unsubscribe link.” –Karly Nemeth, webFEAT Complete
“Pique the readers’ curiosity to click and move on to the next chapter in your brand’s story. Will need a link to click on and directions to click on it.” –Shannon Peel, MarketAPeel
How has email marketing evolved in the last 5 years? How different do you believe it will look 5 years from now?
“We have seen an increase of businesses utilizing interactive features such as gifs, puzzles, and prices. Automation workflows are also popular, it ensures that specific emails are delivered at the right time to the right audiences. Businesses are also integrating CRMs for email marketing, there are more design options and features within the CRM platforms that make creating emails easy and more appealing.
“In the next five years as technological advancements continue, we are expected to see more AI used in emails, such as timing and frequency of sends will optimize efficiency and increase open rate, as well to assist with subject headlines to ensure personalization. Interactive emails are a must and will continue to keep audiences engaged and excited–rather just than texts.” –Katya Vakulenko, Soup Agency
“Email has gone from spamming inboxes with life or death “you have to buy this now OR ELSE” to gentle lead nurturing with helpful information that allows the customer to come to you when they’re ready. Five years from now I would love to see email continue to be an inbound-marketing focus with even more emphasis on making life easier for the consumer.” –Karly Nemeth, webFEAT Complete
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