Want to improve your b2b email marketing? This post for Canadian Microsoft partners focuses on 10 ways to make your email marketing more successful.

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is not dead. But to succeed at it, you must be organized, detail oriented, and adventurous enough to stand out through the clutter and get real traction.

 

1. Respect your audience
As one of the most wired countries in the world, email marketing in Canada evolved significantly in the last two decades. Canadian professionals have high expectations and very little patience for random acts of email. So, make sure your emails come from a legitimate business email address—yours.

Watch your step! Having your emails and/or domain flagged for spamming by search engines can ruin your brand.

2. Stop “blasting” everyone
Segment your target audiences instead. Audiences fall within groups that share something in common–that’s considered a segment or cluster. By segmenting your customer base, you can prepare content, special offers, and articles that will get their attention, get higher levels of engagement, and deliver value.

3. Personalize your content
Make your emails more relevant by personalizing your content to each recipient. Gather intelligence about your target audience’s preferences, hobbies, consumption habits, etc. With this information, you can evolve your marketing efforts and deliver a more persuasive pitch.

4. Use CRM & social listening
Microsoft partners can take advantage of best-in-class tools, such as Dynamics 365. You can use these apps to manage, communicate, transact, and nurture your prospects and customers. Or do some social listening, to better understand your target audiences’ activity on social networks.

5. Survey your customers
Don’t forget your customers! You can send them a survey to determine their communication preferences. Depending on the questions you ask in your survey, you may find your customers prefer email for a certain type of information, like special offers, newsletters, or blog posts on specific topics.

The more data you collect about your target audience, the more you can personalize your email and other communication.

Go deeper! Use your survey to gauge the potential of repeat business. You can ask what compels them to buy your product or service, what areas of technology investment interest them, and even pain points or missed opportunities. Every data point reveals a little something…

6. Test & learn
Start out small. A test-and-learn approach to email marketing allows for ongoing improvement. Select a small number of customers from each segment to receive an email and test the following items BEFORE you with a bigger list:

• Subject line
• Call-to-action
• Messaging
• Offers

Just as you might with A-B testing, analyze the results from your test to identify the highest performing content and then refine your email accordingly.

7. Measure properly
Most email marketers know about open and click-thru rates. For newbies, keep in mind that the engagement rate of an email campaign is calculated by dividing the number of click-thrus by the number emails opened (not emails delivered). The higher the engagement rate, the more successful the campaign.

8. Build your lists
For obvious reasons, house lists outperform rented lists by a significant margin. If you don’t already have your own list, you can rent one. However, building your own list may not be as hard as you think. Many companies use contests, promotions, and special offers to earn a customer’s email address.

9. Get creative
Speaking of which, creative makes all the difference. Keep your emails short. Avoid cliché and tech jargon. Use compelling subject lines, headlines, and messaging. Use evocative visuals that capture the eye, not stiff, boring stock photos. And make sure you have one, clear, crisp call to action!

The best emails keep it simple. Make sure you provide make one compelling argument with one call to action, not several.

If your budget permits, work with pros for the best creative results. You can collaborate with freelance writers and designers—or with marketing agencies who provide turnkey solutions. They can help ensure you market yourself consistently and effectively.

10. Obey the law
Canada’s anti-spam legislation (CASL) protects us while enabling businesses to stay competitive. In 2015, new rules made it illegal to install programs, like malware and ransomware, on anyone’s computer without their consent. Offenders can be prosecuted, no matter where they reside globally.

To operate within the law, before you send an email to an email address the recipient must first consent/opt-in. Additionally, your business must identify itself, include an unsubscribe link that works, and provide truthful information only. (In short, they don’t want you to send spam!)

For more on CASL, the Government of Canada covers the basics and even includes a free webinar here.

For more tips and insights on how to improve your marketing impact, join the Marketing conversation here

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