Marketing to the business consumer
Imagine walking down a street, grey billboards displaying messages in illegible fonts, while signs pop up on the path for a few seconds before disappearing. Sounds crazy, but this is most people’s email experience.
Everything, from interesting reports to original research and even premium events invitations are vying for your audience’s attention. The good, the bad and the ugly – in most cases it is almost impossible to differentiate between them at a glance. And that is all you get, 15 seconds is the amount of attention the average email receives, but on some mobile devices that figure drops to 3 seconds. That is if it is actually opened – more than 80% won’t be.
Nearly half of adults feel that they are sent too many emails, with a third complaining that many of the messages are completely irrelevant. This problem is heightened on mobile, where designs are often poorly optimised and frankly just too small to read, or the email delivers but the landing page is not mobile effective. As the first device for most people, it is critical that all email marketing campaigns work on mobile. This is an issue we have to engage with as an industry, but particularly in B2B marketing, as every badly conceived campaign damages the medium as a whole.
So – faced with the many negative connotations of marketing emails – how are you going to get your email read?
Market to a person not an idea
When writing emails for a business audience, it is all too easy to get lost in corporate messaging and forget that the audience is consumers as well. When you consider that B2C emails get 57.4% more opens on mobile than B2B email, it is clear that there is a lot that can be learnt from thinking in a more creative, consumer-minded way.
The same thought process should also be applied to the type of design and imagery used in B2B communications, the key here is to not make assumptions. Learn as much as possible about your target audience and craft messages that will speak to them as business consumers. It is always valuable to split test different content and designs so that decisions can be based on strong results.
Understand the medium
At Fieldworks we think that, while we should be proud of our best work, no marketer can afford to rest on their laurels. By being open to new ideas you’ll be more adaptable and able to evolve. There is a great deal of literature on how email is read, and it should be a priority to keep up to date with the latest research.
However, B2B marketers can also learn a lot by simply engaging with more email content, be it from your favourite fashion brand or an innovative event promotion, and share best practice with your colleagues through brainstorms or a shared mood board. Email is a relatively new medium and particularly on mobile, there is a huge scope for trying new and exciting concepts.
When sending out a B2B email campaign, chances are you are either selling something or asking your audience to act. The key to success is never going in cold, this is a relationship and should be nurtured as such. In return for their attention, every campaign and preferably every email should offer the reader something back.
As specialists in retail technology marketing, we’re acutely aware that our clients and audience are busy, the topics we discuss are complex and that everything we send to them via email has to be engaging and add value. The balance between sales and adding to their knowledge offers a value proposition that will build engagement and trust.