Lead buyers back to other content and don't leave them hanging. Too many newsletters either deliver content in the e-mail body itself or point to temporary content pages. Your e-mail newsletter should point buyers to additional resources on your corporate domain. This is especially the case with blog content. Don't write a blog and then separately write an e-mail newsletter. Write great blog content and then feature it as a headline in your newsletter, linking directly to it.
18 | DMNEwS | August 9, 2010 | www.dmnews.com TECHNIQUE Smart practices for b-to-b newsletters Developing an e-mail newsletter takes careful planning, including variations on content to reach disparate audiences with the right message to spur response, maintain interest and ultimately increase sales Adam Needles Director of field Alisa Erba marketing and b-to-b Janine Popick David Baker Channel marketing marketing evangelist, Cofounder and CEO, VP of CRM solutions, manager, Silverpop VerticalResponse Razorfish VeriSign : Prioritizing content is often an afterthought : When b-to-b e-mail lists are cultivated : In its infancy, the e-mail newsletter was : At VeriSign, we use the newsletter to keep for too many business-to-business market- correctly, a company will end up with sev- a general bulletin that was sent out with partners up to date on the latest product, ers, including in their e-mail marketing. In eral e-mail addresses from businesses that the same cadence as the print bulletin was company and industry news. Typically, we fact, in the recent “2010 E-mail Marketing have not yet made a purchase. Your list mailed. It then evolved into a sales tool gather article ideas from internal content Benchmark Report” from MarketingSher- could be made up of prospects you met at to keep customers engaged and to build experts such as product management, prod- pa,” content relevancy was named the No. 1 an event or include visitors to your website content that can be shared in organizations. uct marketing, sales and support. challenge for e-mail marketers — especially who signed up for the e-mail newsletter. Today, the company website does the work Additionally, we always include a “part- b-to-b marketers. This group of subscribers usually results of providing a baseline introduction to the ner spotlight” in every newsletter issue. Unfortunately, too much time is spent on in the second-best response rates for your company and its products or services, and We feel it’s important to provide partners logistics and planning while content devel- business. While they are interested in e-mail is used as a means of building con- with an opportunity to share the success opment is left to the end. Instead, content your business, they should be separated tinuity and consistency in the brand com- they’ve had with a particular marketing should lead. Pay attention to what topic is from your customer list so they can be munications. Likewise, the company’s social program, sales technique or integration most important to your current demand- moved through the b-to-b sales cycle with presence is about providing an expression of process. Whatever the topic is, it’s a great generation programs. What are the differ- strong offers and calls to action. Always the brand experiences for customers. way to share best practices with the broader ent content angles you can build around have a way to get new business leads and There are four fundamentals that pro- partner base. Plus, it adds a personal touch it? What partners and resources can you be conscious of moving them through the vide the keys to great b-to-b newsletters in to the newsletter by highlighting new and leverage? How does this fit into the edito- purchase process. today’s world. The first is to recognize that exciting things other partners are doing. rial calendar? e-mail is not for everyone, so offer options Smart content marketing in the modern ThE TAkEAwAy for content sharing and feeds. The e-mail ThE TAkEAwAy era must be rationalized against the buyer Cultivate your prospect list and segment newsletter is a great tool, but with aver- Maintain regularity to keep interest and where they are in the buying process. subscriber lists to tailor content age open rates of less than 30%, you must and readership high An e-mail newsletter to both prospects and recognize that more than half of the people customers may not be appropriate as these on your list will not see the value outside two groups are at different points in the buy- B-to-b marketers should take their exist- of the first interaction. The format of our newsletter is brief and ing cycle. For prospects, address their No. ing customer newsletter and tailor the con- informative, not blatantly promotional, but 1 pain point. In fact, lead with that, rather tent slightly toward converting leads and ThE TAkEAwAy provides enough information to pique our than push your product. B-to-b buyers start offering specials. Do not, however, send Recognize that e-m
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