Email marketing is a diverse activity that offers different formats each with its strong points. The best format for you depends largely on your buyer persona and your marketing base. Sometimes trial and error is required to find the best fit for your company always asking the question “Is this format producing the best results?”
There are several types of email formats; we will review three basic formats, Lead Nurturing, Sponsorship and transnational email that you can use in your business to business email marketing campaigns, including:
Lead Nurturing Emails
In business terms a “lead” is a prospective buyer that has demonstrated some form of interest in your business. Lead nurturing is an inbound marketing strategy that involves understanding the tone of your leads' timing and needs. In a related blog we discussed the buyers mapping process which can greatly assist your understanding of the buyers timing and needs. When you get these details right, it's easy to achieve success. Ideally, lead nurturing emails are used shortly after initial contact with the lead. This is often your first follow-up with the lead and should be used to provide and solicit-ate information from the prospective client furthering the dialogue. If you wait too long to make contact the lead will grow “cold” and your CTR on your email will significantly drop.
Lead nurturing email system have their advantages; one being that they are automated. You can send out pre-drafted emails, on a time released sequence, with content that addresses your new leads through their buyers process. Because of this advantage, lead nurturing emails require little actual time investment while you maintain contact with the leads.
Tying your email series to a map of the buyers process will allow you to effectively show your awareness of the person's interests, so you present the prospective buyer with new opportunities at the time they are most ready and open to receive your message and more likely to consider your product or service.
Sponsorship Emails allow you to include your message inside another companies newsletter or business advertising and allows you to reach new audiences and pique interest in areas otherwise left untapped. This type of advertising is more hit or miss and many people who are not in your buyer demographic will be exposed to your message, however, it allows you to discover new markets for your product or service. “Email has a median ROI of 122% – over 4x higher than other marketing formats including social media, direct mail, and paid search.” Kevin George – 1/3/2018
Sponsorship email campaigns are also part of the paid media strategy that includes pay-per-click (PPC), display advertising, mobile advertising, and affiliate advertising. Paid marketing strategy is most effective when you have a specific audience you’re soliciting.
Sponsorship emails provide benefits for your business to business email marketing campaigns in the following ways:
- Provides access to a new audience
- Allows you to direct the campaign to a target audience.
- Unlike other advertising methods, this one allows you to link your advertising campaign directly to income giving you the ability to calculate your ROI accurately.
All is not rosy. There are a few disadvantages with Prospective email marketing. Though you can reach a new audience, keep in mind they have not opted in to your content. You'll have to pay the other company to access the leads. Furthermore, the company that sponsors your content must be reliable; if they use content that isn’t relevant to your industry, then you'll see few results from this paid media strategy.
Transactional Emails are sent to the prospective buyer shortly after the purchase of a product or service. They’re great when the advertising is relevant to the purchase and can suggest an ancillary purchase like a new video game to go with the purchase of an Xbox system. These emails are most common when you buy or download something from e-Commerce websites like Amazon. The real advantage is that you capture leads for your business while verifying customer email addresses. Just as valuable, Transaction emails have a high click through (CTR) rate since they are generated immediately after interacting with a lead.
Though transnational emails are great to use in business to business email marketing campaigns, they can also be seen as another obstacle by people who just want to complete the transaction and obtain the content they requested.
Also remember that with this form of advertising your message will be seen as a nuisance to many that never intended to hear your message. So be careful with the message content as new viewer will be skeptical before warming up to your advertisement. A humorous snippet can works wonders as an ice breaker in this situation.