The ABC’s of Email Marketing


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Learning anything new can be tricky. The same goes for admitting that you’ve been in the game a long time and you still don’t know all the rules. I was working at home not too long ago and the radio was playing somewhere in the house and I wasn’t really paying attention until, for some reason, a song came on that got my attention – “ABC, 123? by the Jackson Five. Know it?

They sing about things being as easy as “ABC, 123”, and I thought that was a good way to not only help teach those new to the email marketing game how it’s played, but also a great reminder of some B2B and B2C best practices that even old pros may not have considered in a while.

So, here they are, the ABC’s of Email Marketing.

Adapt. There are no set rules when it comes to running a successful email campaign. It is good to always be willing to learn, grow, and adapt. In this vein, B2B email marketing campaigns can learn from B2C campaign best practices just as well as B2C campaigns can learn from B2B.

Business. You! Who are you? Do they know this already? Make sure they do! You want whoever is reading the emails you’re sending to not only recognize who you are, but to remember you as well.

Customer. The most important part of any email campaign is the person that campaign is being sent to. What do they like? What do they appreciate? Knowing your product means knowing your customer.

Creativity. The truth is that a lot of the emails that end up in any person’s inbox are boring. Make sure yours stands out so it doesn’t get sent to the bin before it even has a chance. Creativity is key. Surprise them: try something new, rework something old. Be dynamic!

Campaigns. We wouldn’t have added extra C’s to the alphabet if they weren’t important. One email is okay. More than one is excellent. If they open your first email and are interested and read that they will receive more information soon, they will have a vested interest. They will be waiting for the next one. There are different campaign best practices for both B2C and B2B email marketing – learn what they are and implement them.

Design. This is an obvious one, but clean and sleek design can make any text appeal more than it did originally. Color, font, shape, and texture are all important.

Eloquence. It’s not just about what you’re saying, but the words you use to say it. You have to keep in mind that the person you’re speaking to doesn’t know your product as well as you. Speak well; try not to use too many technical terms or unneeded verbiage. Conciseness creates concentration!

Friends. Refer a Friend options are always great in emails. It’s helpful to let them know that if they think someone else should get the same information from you that they have received, that you can pass that information on for them.

Generosity. B2C campaigns have more opportunities to give deals and coupons than B2B email marketing campaigns, but they can work for both. Whether you’re offering a limited time only seat in a webinar or a percent off coupon, that incentive is enough to get a lot of people to read what you have to say.

Help. Always respond to inquiries as fast as possible. Sometimes when there are a lot of inquiries, responses are slow or nonexistent. You never know what lead could turn into an excellent prospect – give everyone the attention they deserve.

Intuition. This applies in any situation – if something feels wrong don’t do it, if something feels out of place, don’t write it. People are only willing to give so much time when it comes to reading emails; make sure that time is worth it: follow your gut; it will make generating leads a lot less stressful.

Junk. Avoid it! No one wants to be in the spam or junk folder. People judge an email (and whether or not they will read it) by its title – make sure yours speak of quality and not spam.

Kick. Implementing these best practices should start now. Give yourself a kick to start working on improving your B2C and B2B email marketing best practices with Marketo’s Email Marketing Cheat Sheet.

Learn. While you know a lot already, always be open to new ways and techniques of doing the things you do. Just because a process works well the way it is, doesn’t mean that you can’t make it work better.

Market! Find the right market for your campaigns before sending them out. Targeting the right group of people will save you the time and energy of attending to a lot of people who really aren’t a fit for what you’re trying to sell.

Names. Automating your system to greet whoever is opening the email by name is a great way to impress potential customers. Personalizing an email makes it personal and makes them feel as if they know you already. With a B2C campaign, this will help you create that quick relationship you need to make a sale. With a B2B email marketing campaign, it could be beneficial to add even more personalization – adding a quick question or sentiment will let them know you’re there and you’re listening.

Originality. Read your competitor’s blogs, re-examine emails you have sent out in the past, and so on – make sure you know what has already been done so you can do something new – it’s okay to rework old content but the best source of positive feedback is generating new content (and a lot of it).

Permission. People hate it when you send them emails they don’t want. If you’re sending to people who don’t want you to have their information, they’re not going to respond no matter how clever your campaign may be.

Quality. Utilizing just one best practice technique with your email campaigns will help you initially, but the way to reach real quality is utilizing as many best practices as you can. From attentiveness to your reader’s needs to zestful writing to keep their attention, every bit helps.

Relationships. Building a relationship over time is an integral part of a B2B marketing campaign – try giving your B2C campaigns some of this flavor by building one around the concept of a relationship. A series of emails that let them know you and, if they want, in turn, let you know them.

Symbols. Avoid them. People don’t like seeing lots of “$$$” symbols because it tends to cheapen the quality of the message trying to be conveyed. B2C campaigns can occasionally get away with this, B2B campaigns can’t.

Technology. With so many techniques turning to technology and mobility, it’s crucial to keep in mind the changing times and how you can change with them. Do your best to keep up to date. Social media can help a B2B marketer to keep a better relationship with a prospect, but it can also help teach B2C marketers more about what certain types of people like and what sort of things they respond best to.

Update. A big roadblock to any email campaign is to make sure the people you mean to get your emails do get them. This means remembering to update your databases and lists as often as possible. While list hygiene may be a grueling and time consuming effort, the return is worth it in the end.

Verification. A helpful tip for when you have the option for people to add themselves to your subscription list is to make sure they have to enter their email twice! This way helps keep typos out because they have to verify what they’re entering. It makes them happy because they’ll receive the emails they want and it makes you happy because you have less faulty data in your system.

Whitepaper. People love information! People love knowing important things before their coworkers and companions do. Provide them with cutting edge information first and they’ll remember you for the next time they are looking for new data.

X. Imagine a big red X here. This is a reminder, before the list is over, of all the things you need to avoid. Cross them out. No spamming, email use without permission, or pushy, overbearing language.

Yesterday. Reworking old information and sending it out in a new package is a great way to keep up consistent email traffic without constantly having to create new content.

Zest. We can’t stress enough how important creativity is when it comes to your B2C and B2B email marketing campaigns. Always strive to try something new, something fun, something innovative.

Like ABC or 123, learning all the best practices of B2C and B2B email marketing isn’t impossible; it can even be easy with the right amount of practice and patience.

If you think that there are some words that need to be added to the alphabet list, let me know in a comment what they are and why you think they’re integral to email marketing. Thanks!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Maria Pergolino
Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.


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