Latest Trends for a Successful Email Campaign

Recently, Christopher Hosford, the East Coast Bureau Chief for BtoB Magazine, held a virtual roundtable discussion with some industry leaders about the future of email and where it’s heading. Here are some highlights from my perspective:

  • Gmail – has moved to a tabbed format that is raising issues about open and read rates.
  • Dynamic content – the wave of the future is to segment communications around real-time, behavioral-based messages.
  • Mobile has an incredible impact on how people read their emails. 43% of all emails are opened on a smart phone.
  • Automation tools are not a silver bullet – it’s the size and frequency that counts.
  • Triggered email around events, time or a behavior-based activity.
  • For B-to-B marketers, site visits or time spent on a site is more important, so you need good content to keep them coming back, especially for those in long selling cycles.

Their conclusion is that the future of email is bright because it builds on all these new ways of engagement and marketing perspectives.

You can read the entire interview here.

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B-to B-Marketers: What Are Your Most Effective Sales Channels?

B-to-B customers are doing more homework online when it pertains to buying well before they start the actual buying process. So what are you doing to take advantage of these “opportunity zones” to be successful? B-to-B marketers – are you prepared for a more educated buyer?

We all are facing the challenges of doing more things with sometimes fewer resources, so it stands to reason that what we do, do we want it to give us the best results. Where are you getting your leads and how are you qualifying them? I recently read an article by Dave Thomas on B2B Online Marketing that talks about the results of a recent nationwide survey from BtoB Magazine and Bizo that highlights marketers biggest challenges in 2012.

Among them were:

  • Paid search came in as the second-ranked tool for marketing, followed by display advertising (35 percent);
  • 60% of marketers claim their biggest challenge this year will be generating additional leads;
  • 63% of marketers state that their marketing mix either falls short of sales demand or they are not entirely sure their mix is working;
  • 56% note brand promotion as a major area of focus.

What I thought interesting was that their biggest challenge was that leads were falling short of sales demands. I guess does that mean that companies are forecasting growth and in order to attain it, they need more leads?

I guess the question I’d like to ask is are you experiencing these kinds of challenges, and if so, will you  share with the rest of us?

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5 Tips to Improve Your B-to-B Direct Marketing Efforts

Social media may be the hottest topic around the water cooler at work, but when it comes down to generating sales, direct marketing still fills a need. We all need to remember that there are many tools in the marketing tool box and we shouldn’t dismiss or forget about what’s been successful in the past.

You may have been bombarded by DM in past years to the point of oversaturation and were kind of turned off by it. Then there are e-mail campaigns that also began to bombard us and we either tuned them out or our IT department put enough filters on that nothing or next to nothing comes in.

What do you want to bet that the same will hold true of social sometime down the road? That happens when everyone hops on the newest thing. Ironically, we have had for both ourselves and for clients great success of late with DM because very few people are doing it!

I recently read a post by Chris Cottle in BtoB magazine  that highlighted 5 best practices to help guide your DM efforts and I wanted to share some highlights thant might help you:

  1. Invest in your list – The old adage “garbage in, garbage out.” Don’t be concerned so much about the size of the list, but the quality. Your best list is an internal one that’s a combination of leads from traditional marketing efforts, as well as input from your customer service, outside sales and warranty cards. Segment the list by markets, job function and if you can, where they are in the buying cycle.
  2. The offer matters – What’s in in for me” should be the first thing a prospect should see. Make offers instantly relevant and show them the benefits.
  3. KISS – Keep it simple. You don’t have to have an “award winning” piece, but one that gets the prospect’s attention. Simplicity implies confidence.
  4. Frequency matters – Depending on your audience, you’ll have to test to see how often you can touch them without getting pushback. If you’re using e-mail as part of your program, you will find out very quickly where the opt-out rate start to increase.
  5. Prove your business case -You only have a few seconds to get their attention and then you need to quickly convince them of the value of your proposition. In most B-to-B cases, there are multiple buying infuences and you want to get this person on your side to be your advocate with other colleagues.

I hope these have spurred some ideas for your next direct marketing program.

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B-to-B Marketers: Tap Social to Increase Search

Social media marketing is important in its own right, but efforts in the area can boost more online channels according to an article in

According to the data from B2B magazine and, marketer’s No. 2 goal for social media after brand building was increasing traffic to websites. Search ranking increased with increased social activity. If you generate more traffic, a logical conclusion is that you’ll generate more leads.

Are you utilizing social media to improve your search as part of your overall strategy?


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Industrial Marketers Focus on Social Media

industrialmarketingI’ve been saying for some time now that B-to-B marketers, and especially those in the industrial section, need to start embracing social media. Recently BtoB magazine hosted a Netmarketing breakfast in New York. Among the panel members were: Paul Dunay – Avaya Inc., Robert DeRobertis – GP DSP division of Analog devices, Rick Short – Indium Corp. and Gary Spangler – Dupont Electronic and Communications Technologies. Here are some nuggets from the meeting for you to ponder on:

  • Paul Dunay said, “You must bring valuable content that adds to the discussion. We’re using Twitter as a teaser channel, Facebook as a hub of information, Forums as a type of help desk and Blogs as our corporate voice.”
  • Robert DeRobertis said, “You have to link your social marketing to financial results, noting that internal transparency helps guide both strategic and budgetary direction.” DeRobertis’ program is driven by an understanding of his customers’ buying process which means staying up on important influencers and offering “test drives” which are special offers to see how their audience reacts.
  • Gary Spangler cautioned the audience to go slow and have a plan for social media. “The social train is coming, but you don’t have to get on all the cars at once.”
  • Rick Short uses real employees in his outbound programs, making his company more human and approachable. “Turn your company inside out. Customers want transparency, they want the real deal.”

They all agreed that your strategy should include listening, supporting customers, embracing product ideas and energizing the communities that you serve.

See videos of the speakers


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