Not long ago, your B2B audience read emails in an office on a desktop computer, and you could send a single email to all of them. Today, they see your email in a wide array of contexts. Your audience is no longer bound to a desk when they check their in-boxes, and they expect far more contextually relevant service from the companies they work with regularly. Marketing automation makes email contextually relevant with responsive design and by customizing it to fit each reader’s needs.
These characteristics of a contextually relevant email marketing strategy help you keep pace with an ever-changing marketplace.
No other aspect of your email marketing plan matters as much as upgrading to responsive design. With responsive design, every element in your email becomes modular and fluid. The same elements appear on a laptop, desktop, or smartphone, but they adjust to fit the size of the user’s screen. More people now read email on mobile devices than on desktop computersyou’re your email marketing design must be accommodating for these users too. Marketing automation tools let your marketing team create email that looks as good on a reader’s workplace computer as it does on a phone during an impromptu office email check from home.
Contextually aware email demands recognition of who’s reading it. Identifying your readers and understanding their activity signatures allows you to make email uniquely relevant to each of them. Personalization now means much more than simply using a recipient’s name in the greeting; it’s about understanding buying and browsing habits. Demonstrate that you know your email audience on a deeper level by incorporating past information in emails. For example, you might send a follow-up email to a site visitor who spent a good deal of time on one product page to alert this lead about a change or upgrade to the product.
Email marketers have long known their messages are time-sensitive, but timing and triggers have become vastly more sophisticated now. Customers expect marketing messages to appear when they most want to read them. Marketing automation systems analyze past open times and project optimum mailing times for specific audience segments as well as large groups. Automation software also lets marketing teams change the content of a message to reflect when it’s opened with a post-send update to image files contained in the email. Live content updates make mail even more timely, offering continuous new content in a single email. Triggered emails that go out to mark an anniversary or remind a client that it’s time to re-order supplies have a high response rate.
Including Contextually Relevant Content
When you know who your readers are, you can include content that makes a difference to individual recipients. Using demographic, behavioral, and firmographic information to tailor content instantly makes it more relevant to readers, but to reveal that content in the first place, you need a comprehensive marketing solution that collects the data for you. A lead who downloads a white paper, lingers on a landing page, or signs up for a webinar says volumes about his or her areas of interest – interests that your next email marketing campaign can target directly.
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