Add Google Analytics to Emails and Gain B2B Lead Generation Intelligence

While working on an email campaign for a client who markets to manufacturers in the Process Controls and Automation industry, I was asked if there was an easy way to combine web analytics with email marketing.

He was already using Google Analytics (GA) to monitor his Web site. However, there really wasn’t a good way for him to track site activity after each email campaign went out.

My client wanted to gain a better understanding of Web site interactions that could be tied to a specific email and help him refine his landing pages to improve his lead generation efforts.

The problem with basic email metrics of open and click-through (CTR) rates is that they are very limited in their usefulness. Here’s why: Read more

High-Performance Email Marketing for Attracting and Engaging Industrial Buyers

In today’s “do more with less” industrial marketing environment, email marketing continues to be a productive marketing tool despite all the reports about its declining effectiveness. According to SirrusDecisions research, the B2B buyer receives 20.3 email campaigns per week, up from 15.4 per week in 2006. And that reality of the flooded inbox is very evident from steadily dropping response rates of only 1% to 3% range for traditional email marketing.

The old email marketing strategy of batch and blast or spray and pray is no longer effective. However, there’s no denying the low cost of email marketing. Therefore B2B and industrial marketers continue to favor email marketing over other direct marketing channels.

Today, it has matured to the point where marketers can deliver highly focused email campaigns to the right audience at the right time and in the preferred format.

Savvy B2B email marketers are being very creative in order to rise above the noise, get their lists to open their emails and take a desired action. They are combining video, audio and sophisticated tracking tools to deliver email campaigns with highly customized messages that engage prospects in their preferred format and measure interactions beyond just open and click-thru rates and well into website behavior.

Read more

Don’t Count on Marketing Automation to Solve All Your Lead Generation Problems

Some B2B marketers tend to think of Marketing Automation as the silver bullet that will solve their lead generation crisis. Of course, Marketing Automation alone cannot live up to those hyped up expectations and has to take the brunt of the blame.

That is unfortunate because Marketing Automation software is a very useful tool and in my opinion, a necessity these days. However, B2B and/or industrial marketers must learn to use it correctly in order to harness its true power.

Let’s get one thing straight from the get go, if you are in a declining market with low demand for your products and services, no amount of automation will help you generate new leads. You need to rethink your business model first and fast.

Marketing Automation software is widely used to execute key marketing functions like lead scoring and routing, nurturing via drip marketing, creating email campaigns and landing pages, tracking, measuring and reporting using a unified dashboard. There’s is no question that marketing departments do become a lot more efficient by automating many of these marketing tasks.

However, is improving efficiency enough to justify investing in Marketing Automation? Or do we need to show a verifiable ROI? To most C-level execs that really means answering the question, “How much revenue did it generate?” It is the second question that seems to cause the most problems. Read more

Social Media with Email Marketing – is it the Super Combo?

Lately, social media seems to garner all the attention in the media and blog posts with very little mention about email marketing. This long time staple has become the Rodney “No Respect” Dangerfield of B2B and industrial marketing.

I’ve read several articles about the impending death of email marketing because of the steady decline in open and click-through rates (CTR). Are those predictions a little premature? Can we deliver a powerful 1-2 punch by combining  social media and email marketing? I came across two research studies that answer the last question with a big YES!

The first study done by AWeber (aff. Link), was a survey of small business owners and found that the two most common tactics used in 2009 were tweeting e-mail newsletters and sending out blog entries to e-mail lists. In 2010, almost 50% of small businesses will include “follow us” links in their e-mails, and about 44% will include share options in their messages. (See charts below). Read more

Are You Creating Irresistible Offers with Your Email Marketing?

Do you know the key component of email marketing that generates more high-quality leads and drives sales? Marketing gurus tend to talk about opt-in pages, sign up forms, calls to action and interactive squeeze pages to boost your click through and conversion rates.

However, for email marketing to be a true driver of sales, your need something even more valuable and every email that you send out should have it. What is it?

Creating an irresistible offer or incentive – one that is so strong, it compels your reader to part with his/her name and email address.

Just adding a sign up form in the sidebar of your site or blog stating “Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter for the latest news and handy tips” may be a direct call to action but is it really an irresistible offer or incentive? Read more

Using Auto-responders in B2B Demand Generation

Auto-responders have been around for a long time and in B2C marketing they have been used to engage customers, convert them into repeat buyers, to up-sell and cross-sell and to increase the value of every customer on a continual basis. In short, B2C marketers think of auto-responder as a killer app.

How about in B2B marketing? Unfortunately, they are used rarely other than sending out an automated thank you for subscribing to a newsletter or registering for a white paper download. I think B2B marketers can learn something from B2C marketers.

Auto-responder is an automated marketing follow-up solution that can dramatically improve conversion rates and ROI. In today’s Web 2.0 world, engaging customers and prospects over time with relevant messaging is critical. There is a new term for it, “engagement marketing.” (Source: Silverpop).

Read more

Add Social Media to E-Newsletters

This is a follow up to my post “E-Mail Marketing is Alive ‘N Kickin'. Adding Social Media features will add to the value of e-newsletters.

Email Marketing and Social Media, Part 1: Adding Social Media to the Email Newsletter  is an article written by Anna Billstrom on MarketingProfs.com. She has written about how you can do just that in easy to follow steps. Check it out.

Silverpop has introduced a new feature called Share-to-Social. Using links contained within your email messages, recipients can quickly share your message on one or more social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, adding their comments, including images from your message, and more. This opens up a whole new range of possibilities for viral marketing that can make your messages more effective and more targeted than ever before.

E-Mail Marketing is Alive ‘N Kickin’

I’m sure you’ve read many articles and news bulletins on the declining effectiveness of e-mail marketing. Yet, the basic e-newsletter continues to deliver good results in B2B and technical marketing.

I read a recent article on BtoBonline about how IBM Corp. is using e-newsletters to engage readers, drive traffic to their site and generate new leads. IBM not only uses its own e-newsletters to build brand awareness and generate leads, but it also relies on placing ads in outside e-newsletters to reach those publications’ audiences.

“It’s an affordable way to reach a targeted and engaged audience,” said Christine Grasso Jacobs, program director of interactive marketing for IBM General Business Americas. “It also helps drive prospects back to our Web presence so they can find richer content on our site.”

Read more