According to Marketing Matters’ recent B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Report, 58% of B2B marketers say increasing leads for the sales team is among their most important objectives. 50% listed increasing customer engagement.
With those priorities, it?s no surprise that email marketing automation is an increasingly popular tool. 57% of survey respondents said that email was their most effective form of digital marketing. But, manually managing email campaigns requires significant resources and limits your ability to optimize timing and targeting. Email marketing automation cuts down on labor while increasing the usefulness of your email marketing campaigns.
With email marketing automation, you can easily:
- Send a particular email based on a particular lead behavior, such as visiting a particular page on your website, completing a form, or downloading a premium offering.
- Schedule follow-up emails to ?keep in touch? with the prospect, nurturing the lead along the sales pipeline without human involvement.
- Automatically shift a prospect from one campaign to another when an action suggests that he?s reached the next level (or needs a little extra nurturing).
Nurturing Leads through Automated Email Marketing
Automated nurturing is a critical tool for B2B marketers, since business customers typically require several contacts before making a purchase or signing a contract. Before email marketing automation, a sales representative would have to reach out personally multiple times to help move that prospective customer along the sales funnel. In addition, to the labor-intensive nature of that project, leads often fell off the table as sales representatives were focused on other prospects or customers.
Email marketing automation changes all that.
Increasing Customer Engagement
While automated email marketing is a powerful tool for moving prospects along the sales funnel, its power doesn?t end with conversion.
Customer engagement increases direct revenues from the customer: depending upon your industry, that increase may be 30-50% or more. And, engaged customers are more likely to refer others to your company, thus indirectly increasing revenues. In short, engaged customers are far more valuable to your company than disengaged customers.
Keeping your customers engaged will require more than just automated email marketing. ?Email updates, newsletters, premium content, and other automated messaging provides a powerful opportunity for regular touch points with past and present customers.
And, keeping those customers engaged via email makes it easy and inviting for them to help spread the word: 72% of B2B customers say they?re most likely to share useful content through email.
The Bottom Line
Studies have placed the average return on investment for email marketing at between 44:1 and 57:1?clearly a worthwhile investment. With automated technologies readily available, it is easier than ever to optimize the effectiveness of those campaigns, and to measure effectiveness and adapt timing and messaging as needed.
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