Smart practices for b-to-b newsletters by ProQuest


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									        18 | DMNEwS | August 9, 2010 |


       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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