In a recent IBM study, CMOs acknowledged that to remain relevant they must understand the individual, not the audience. They must speak to each person in a give-and-take, one-to-one dialogue. Email remains the most effective channel to fuel such personalized and relevant communication with individuals across your sales funnel.
I know what you're thinking—this sounds impossible to pull off, right? Oddly enough the best b2b marketers have been preaching this for decades but with little hope of implementation prior to the rise of marketing automation technology. If your business is really going to put the buyer first, then every touch point across the buying cycle must become about helping, not selling. Marketers must become informed by the data and behaviors in each relationship, shifting from an “I'll send this mass email out today at 9” to “This email will be sent [automatically] whenever it's helpful to an individual we market to” mind-set. And this can seem like a large chasm to cross.
Here are some simple steps to deliver customercentric email communications—the kind people actually want, open and use. And by the way, this is the kind of marketing that generates revenue.
Leverage the behaviors (interests and intent) of the individual to dynamically generate the core content or offer in the email. For example, a visitor is on your site reading up on a specific element of your product or service; then they sign up for the newsletter. Why wait to send them an email until your next newsletter? Use marketing automation to send them an instant “welcome” message that prominently displays helpful information on the topic they are interested in and include a sample newsletter as well.
Bryan Brown is director-product strategy at Silverpop (www.silverpop.com), a provider of digital marketing technology.