As digital channels go, email is a venerable one. For years, it’s been a reliable, efficient means for marketers to connect with their audience. That doesn’t mean email marketing has grown stagnant, though – quite the opposite. Email’s longevity is due in part to its adaptability, and this year’s trends show that flexibility will be important to a successful 2016 too.
Here are the top trends in email for B2B organizations:
When it comes to delivering the right message at the right time, context is everything. New prospects want timely welcomes. Visitors who have browsed your sales catalog need just one piece of additional information to make a buying decision. Longtime customers must get reminders that they’re valued. Time-sensitive, data-sensitive, and behaviorally driven, contextual email campaigns use marketing automation to orchestrate a cascade of messages lined up and ready to go out to your audience with pinpoint timing and accuracy.
In 2016, contextually driven email is the smart alternative to mass mailing, and it’s become more sophisticated than ever. Once your marketing team sets the appropriate automated email flows in place, you’re able to reinforce important decisions your leads make as they make them with targeted, purposeful email content.
It’s no longer enough just to address email to the proper name; your message has to speak directly to the recipient in every part of the message. From the subject line to the email body to the call to action you choose, it’s now professional to personalize. You serve a large and diverse audience, and email management tools can now let you converse with each of them in uniquely relevant ways. With more finely-tuned segmentation, you’re able to customize your correspondence completely, including content tailored to each lead’s job title, location, role, and industry.
Connection to the Community
Email doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s part of the greater network through which people communicate, and it must be integrated with those other channels. Buyers today expect a seamless shift from email to social media channels across a range of devices. If email marketing is siloed, it can’t speak with other channels and isn’t integrated with the larger scope of a campaign. Because it operates in isolation, conventional email offers less interactivity. The latest automation technology in email marketing breaks down those silo walls, making it easy for recipients to view, share, and explore.
Sometimes, the only reason conversions don’t happen is that they require effort. Every step that comes between your prospect and a buying decision is another opportunity for them to opt out of your sales process. Smoothing the path as people take their buying journey with you is one of the most important roles your email marketing strategy can fill. Email-based nurture programs that guide leads to relevant content at key points along that trip through the sales pipeline reduce friction.
This year’s email marketing picture is more customer-centric than ever. Marketing automation advances deliver improved service at every step of the sales cycle. Instead of just applying pressure, email in 2016 presents positive, specific reasons to take action and lets great content speak for itself.
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