Marketing, advertising, communications & public relations trends, statistics, charts, graphs, infographics, presentations, and video that are not published to the e-Strategy Internet Marketing Blog or to eStrategy TV. David Erickson, VP of Online Marketing at Minneapolis Public Relations firm, Karwoski & Courage. January 6, 2014 by THE SEEN This infographic from position2 shows some stats about B2B email marketing in 2013.
B2B email marketing lists are built on value that is proven through a website or other marketing materials. B2B email marketing can be effective when value in the primary message of the content that is delivered.
MORE ABOUT BRANDONAfter being physically and mentally disabled by a brain tumor, Brandon overcame the odds to regain his health to help his pregnant wife in her fight against stage 3 breast cancer. Craft clear, attention-grabbing email subject lines that will entice your readers to click. Net a double-digit boost in email clickthrough rates by employing personalization techniques. A gallery of B2B email examples showing great, good, average, and poor examples of B2B lead generation emails to help inspire your own email campaigns. Opportunities: Offer earlier decision stage content to keep propsect engaged if they are not ready for an immediate sales contact.
Feel free to suggest additional lead generation email examples by contacting us or making your suggestion in the comments section of this resource. The B2B Lead Blog presents the most topical, relevant ideas and insights to help sales and marketing professionals – and their leaders – thrive in a continuously evolving marketplace. TweetLead nurturing involves a number of activities and channels such as “under the hood” tracking and scoring of prospects behavior and engagement with your campaigns as well as follow-up telephone at times whenever that tactic fits into an overall lead nurturing program. However, the key channel for lead nurturing is email — particularly using email to send a series of relevant content pieces or offers to prospects as they move through the buying funnel. In previous B2B Lead Roundtable Blog posts, I’ve offered a group of MarketingSherpa case studies based around a particular content area.
Christine Elliot, Director of Content Strategy and Digital Marketing, Crowe Horwath, understood the value of lead nurturing to both fill leaks in the sales funnel and improve ROI.
When she began working with the “performance group,” a business unit within the firm, Christine was pleased to learn that she didn’t need to pitch the value of launching an inaugural lead nurturing program. The program was based around a 12 to 18-month sales cycle and targeted C-suite executives and large financial institutions with at least $1 billion in assets.
The first stage was determining content for the program, in this case, based on four topic areas:  Dodd-Frank, anti-money laundering, process improvement and core systems. In launching the lead nurturing program, the campaign began with a list of 4,000 executives who would receive a monthly email offer for a piece of content. To even be entered into the lead nurturing program, email recipients had to download content from an invitation email. After engaging and entering the program, list members no longer received invitation emails and instead began receiving one email every three weeks with an offer for free content.
The team had 12 pieces of content for each of the three buying stage tracks for a total of 48 pieces of content. Once the program launched, both Marketing and Sales met to review the newly nurtured leads and discuss how the program was performing.
Instead of filling out a lengthy form, prospects only had to answer a single question to download content. Lead scoring was improved after analysis of every person in the program, and the team found out that factors impacting lead quality included: asset size, title and behavior such as changing tracks, forwarding material or downloading at least three pieces of content.
This was the first automated nurturing program at Crowe Horwath, and it became a model the team uses to deploy similar programs across the company. If you found this short excerpt of the case study, clickthrough to read the entire case study with more detail on each step of the program. TweetThe holiday season is always a time of reflection for what we have and what we have accomplished over the past year. However, it is also a time to reflect on all we have learned that can help us improve the blank slate that is 2015. Read on to find out what B2B Lead Roundtable Blog posts were shared the most as well as the three topics B2B marketers valued most in 2014. The best way to build this concept is to approach your marketing strategy in the same way a portfolio manager would approach a mutual fund.
This post offers ideas on how to expand your lead generation portfolio, and features a free downloadable copy of a mind map for lead gen from Brian Carroll’s Lead Generation for the Complex Sale.
By simply implementing a few key strategies, such as scheduling frequent meetings between these two teams, you can easily re-align interests and strengthen your overall lead efforts. Learn about the importance of putting the empathy back into customer interactions, and then read some simple strategies for achieving empathetic marketing. More than anything else, lead nurturing can help turn a lead from marketing qualified to sales qualified and hopefully into a sale. In the Internet age of uber-informed and advertising-adverse consumers, cold calling just doesn’t work like it once did.
Instead, in order to score leads, and ultimately drive conversions, marketers need to make themselves a valuable resource to their prospects.
A silly question, I know, yet it is one that several marketers continue to answer incorrectly. Learn the exact definition of lead nurturing, and read some examples about what does and doesn’t make the mark.
Email is an indispensable tool for today’s marketers, but sometimes the relevancy gets lost between the subject line and send button. Not keeping your customers first in your email sends can lead to something worse than an ignored email — it can lead to an unsubscribe. Read about the benefit of adding lead nurturing to your emailing strategy, and discover six ideas for how to keep relevancy at the front and center of your emails.
Watch Ninan Chacko, CEO, PR Newswire, as he explains the five steps to effective content marketing in this Lead Gen Summit 2013 replay. Learn more about why transforming the call script into a story resulted in this dramatic increase.
TweetBuilding on my post last week, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a marketer who was meeting with her new boss to explain the need for a new lead nurturing strategy.
The problem was that her boss felt their current integrated marketing campaigns qualified as lead nurturing. A lot of marketers say they are “nurturing” their prospects, when in reality, all they are doing is sending out nice brochures, landing page links or marketing copy focused on product releases or company announcements. Let me break it down even further by giving a few examples of what is and what isn’t lead nurturing.
For example, I receive emails often from companies that claim to “know” me — in some cases I’m their customer — but their emails certainly don’t show it. So, how do we better align our email and nurturing messages with what is relevant to our audience? Be sure to provide different kinds of information to your prospect based on what point they are in the buying process.
If you have a complex sale, the best way I know how to do this is by combining a human touch with your sales pitch to build relationships with your lead-nurturing message. Effective lead nurturing starts with listening to customers to truly understand them, and then it requires identifying the personas of your audience. For example, based on my experience, a decision maker is heavily involved at the very start and the very end of the B2B buying process but leaves the middle of the process up to the influencers.
Read more on The Physics of Trigger Events for Lead Generation to get a look at a trigger event mind map.
Try different subject lines (this is my favorite relevancy booster — I find that the less marketing hype used, the better).
Developing lead-nurturing tracks is extremely useful because you can leverage what you’ve learned to reuse that content again and again.
For this B2B Lead Roundtable Blog post, I want to offer four of those case studies published over the last couple of years addressing that very topic.


This case study covers how a commercial cleaning and janitorial services franchise created an Internet-based direct response marketing machine. To create the program, the team began with the website and from there, added paid search and SEO to the digital marketing initiative.
This effort led to lead generation through website form registration, and even phone calls from prospects who initially found the company through the digital marketing. Technology is a major factor in effective lead scoring and nurturing once that lead has been generated.
A provider of management services for technology assets serving the mid- to large-enterprise market found that its technology setup had a problem – the automation solution and CRM system were operating in tech silos and, most importantly, not sharing data. To meet this challenge, the team audited the current situation, and ended up replacing both existing marketing automation and CRM solutions, and found new technologies that were more integrated.
With the integrated technology in place, a lead scoring process was created, the contact list was built out, leads that Sales couldn’t close were nurtured, and the enterprise even found a higher level of Sales and Marketing alignment. Technology and automation are vital and valuable pieces of marketing today, but the personal touch still has its place.
A provider of OEM equipment for printing companies created a campaign that combined event marketing with direct mail, email and teleprospecting both before and after a trade show to create brand awareness and new opportunities. In this campaign, the company segmented its prospects for targeted marketing, came up with different incentives – such as trips to the company headquarters, or admission to a major league baseball game – for each stage of the campaign, utilized PURLs to track response to the campaign, and used telemarketing to highly qualify prospects. This final case study is about how a drug information provider for health IT companies leveraged the knowledge that its conversion rate was much higher with already engaged prospects, so the goal was to increase ROI by focusing on what the team called “known” contacts. TweetMarketing automation can help you manage lead nurturing efforts in a complex marketplace. When you boil down behavior automation, using prospect actions as triggers for email sends ultimately creates a list within a list as you separate product users from potential prospects. As Keith explained, the product download is where the track begins, followed by responding to those product usages with emails offering helpful content.
Automating a sales nurturing track is significantly different from a content nurturing track as it turns up the dial on complexity.
In this case, prospect behaviors trigger email sends based on a conversion process to turn free, one-time users to paid, ongoing customers.
Keith also explained how the sales nurturing track has been helpful in delivering additional customer intelligence to Sales on where customers are within the conversion process. Campaign-based triggers are probably the easiest of the three tracks to set up, and they also acknowledge the elephant in the room with free trials – time will eventually run out. Using your free trial timeline can help you deliver helpful content to prospects when they might need it the most. As I mentioned at the start of this post, automation can help you manage lead nurturing, but you can’t automate trust.
TweetAt Lead Gen Summit 2013, Keith Lincoln, Vice President, SmartBear Software, discussed the importance of speaking the language of your customers, and, more importantly, when to say nothing at all. He interacted with his ideal audience every day and learned how to speak the language of his customers. Ultimately, Keith knew that by offering a quality free trial product, users would become loyal customers and tell their friends about it – all of the emails and encouragement from the marketing department wasn’t necessary to convert free trial users to customers.
Keith explained that they already captured the lead, and the lead was using a free trial version of the software. TweetChange can be tough, especially if your organization is entrenched in legacy marketing. I call it legacy marketing because it’s marketing on autopilot, a pandemic of “we do it this way because we’ve always done it this way” thinking that is likely leaving a lot of ROI on the table. A key component of the change Chris covered was testing subject lines for a new email campaign. Before we get started, let’s review the research notes for some background information on the test. Primary Research Question: Which subject line will generate the greatest overall open rate? According to Chris, the traditional approach in subject line A was how Tennant was crafting subject lines prior to the new email campaigns, which focused on announcing new product. Subject line B included elements of the new campaign that were front-loaded in the subject line.
The hybrid subject line was a combination of both the traditional and nontraditional subject lines.
The subject line focused on a mix of product relevance and target audience appeal outperformed the traditional subject line by 24%. It can also help you challenge your legacy assumptions by putting them on trial to determine if those practices still are truly the best for your organization.
As luck would have it, I’ve arrived just in time for the Email Messaging (overview of the online version of the course at that link) Workshop on “Writing Effective Email Copy,” led by Dr. During the session, Flint offered an interesting perspective on the relationship between email copy and the value proposition you deliver to prospects in your email marketing. According to Flint, optimizing your email copy is a big key to tipping the value and cost force exchange fulcrum with your prospects. In sum, good copywriting is about recognizing perceived costs in the mind of a prospect and delivering enough value to overcome those costs. So in today’s post, I wanted to share three copywriting tactics for increasing perceived value that you can use to aid your email marketing efforts. Here’s a screenshot of the letter-style email Flint used as an example to begin walking through how email copy can be optimized to communicate value to your prospects. But unless you can connect your offer to a prospect’s position in the purchase cycle based on behavior, you’re going to have a tough go of making a meaningful connection. Flint’s illustration emphasizes that point by highlighting a known behavior about the prospect.
One big takeaway from this session is essentially thinking not just about copywriting, but ultimately, thinking about email itself.
If you strip away all of the copy, images and expectations, emails are an empty vessel waiting to be filled. They can be filled with valuable content, perceived as useful and delightful to the recipient. Or they can be filled with another sales pitch thrown at the list with the hopes that a few a stick and click. TweetOne of the best insights into creativity I’ve ever discovered was scrawled into a Plexiglas window on a subway train. As we zoomed through the dark tunnels, I wondered if the person responsible for the message was, in fact, so bored on their train ride that a little vandalism was just what the doctor ordered to cure their traveling blues.
While I’m not a proponent for vandalism, I do believe in the power held in those four simple words. Admittedly, it’s tough to create excitement around content in general, so I understand the struggle to find that wild spark in niche markets or with products and services that don’t seem to have an ounce of sexy on their surface. In today’s post, I wanted to share a few examples from recent case studies of B2B email campaigns that used references to pop culture or “pop creative” to generate leads and win their battles with boring that you can use to aid your creative efforts. When new products and services are set for market, the pressure is on as Chris Hawver, Team Leader, Americas, Tennant, can attest.
Tennant manufactures and sells floor cleaning equipment, ranging from the office vacuum to a massive street sweeper. As Chris explained, its quarterly newsletter prior to the launch of two new products was on autopilot with no real strategy around the tactic.
Tennant added a few new members to its marketing team and brainstormed an email campaign using copy inspired by motorcycle culture that would appeal to the interest of Tennant’s customer base. Chris, who will be presenting at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 next week, also found appeal in the campaign as an avid motorcyclist and founder of a nonprofit rider’s safety organization.
If there is an unsung beauty of using pop creative, it’s in the flexibility as one IT disaster company discovered.
SunGard’s zombie survival campaign was a multichannel marketing effort that used emails, a landing page, direct mail and social media to generate buzz – and a few leads.
If you’re interested, Christine Nurnberger, Vice President, Marketing, SunGard Availability Services, will also be speaking at MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014, presenting more results from this campaign.


Or, we can look a little deeper and consider the idea that pop creative, although not the best strategy for everyone, proves the point that good marketing is about making a connection with real people. Storytelling technique combined with creative design is what you need to effectively tell this story. It is an integral part of any B2B marketing campaign, but to get the most out of what it can do, an awareness of its best practices is important.
Many servers aren’t going to allow an email marketing campaign because of the modern settings that help to protect companies from spam. Instead of spamming visitors, the B2B lead is going to opt into the email marketing campaign because they see value in what is being provided.
They might be willing to invest a few seconds of time to get on your email marketing list, but they’re not going to invest a few minutes.
To hit the bullseye, you’ll need to have knowledge about what each segment needs and what problems can be solved.
Filtering out potential leads that aren’t likely to buy is an easy way to automate a campaign to enhance results. When people are unsubscribing from a B2B email list, it means your message is not being communicated properly.
Know your customer segments, solve their problems, and use these tips to get the most out of your next campaign.
Gaille is one of the top business bloggers in the world, and he has founded several multi-million dollar companies. But according to a 2013 National DMA email report, 89% of marketers consider email important to their organizational goals. The nurtured leads became sales-ready after either downloading three pieces of content or just one piece of late-stage content. These questions even had the options of “none” and “other” so prospects didn’t even have to provide any meaningful information, but according to Christine, most did. Every lead nurturing campaign, every lead conversion, every sale depends on first generating a lead. Namely, this means diversifying your leads, establishing a schedule of when you’ll address said leads and testing every element in this process.
What you need to remember is that, ultimately, lead generation comes down to connecting with people. This requires a customer-centric approach that involves staying relevant and informed on what the customer wants to learn and then being helpful and building trust through effective nurturing content. Content marketing is an excellent way to introduce customers to your brand as well as to establish yourself as a professional in your industry, but in order to create the best content, you have to first listen to your customers. Creating a nice layout and clarifying your value statement isn’t going to contribute to the development of your client or your relationship with them. That’s what we really need to do instead of expecting to drive conversion from a single event or email.
Their creative and graphics-laden emails don’t speak to my concerns or motivations at all, and each non-relevant message I receive is basically programming me to ignore or delete future messages from them. At the same time, company size will give you a hint as to the resources they have available to tackle these challenges. What part to they play in the buying process (influencer, decision maker, information gather)?
Trigger events are a great way to change the physics of the buying process and yet another way that we marketers can go beyond the lead. First, they may indicate that the status quo in an organization is changing, and secondly, they can contribute to the development of timely and relevant sales and marketing messaging.
But, if you have more time, or if one really strikes you, click on the link for the entire article and supporting creative samples. Before this program was created, the company had a rudimentary Web presence – essentially no Internet marketing and no digital marketing strategy in place. Another major piece was ongoing testing and optimization on all the new online marketing channels. From there, the segmented group received an email with the goal of priming the recipients for follow-up calls instead of seeking a direct response to the email send. This email’s messaging featured a personal touch and referenced the earlier email and phone call. So, in today’s B2B Lead Roundtable Blog, I wanted to share the results of Chris’ email test that you can use to aid your testing and optimization efforts. The campaign was so successful, the company’s Australia team utilized creative in its own email campaign and a magazine ad. All of the campaign’s components served to deliver core messaging about SunGard’s products and services. You’ll need to chose an ESP or an automation vendor and then begin building a solid subscriber list. Up to 90% of the work of a sale is going to be completed on the prospect’s end before the opt-in even occurs. Having automated responses for opt-ins can also increase the speed in getting someone hooked up with your B2B campaign. Designing each email so that it can be effectively read on any device will help make communication lines more clear and ultimately this means a better message gets across every time. To ensure that this focus pays off, you must maximize conversions and clickthrough rates with every email you send.
One question asked recipients if they preferred to receive email on a different topic — a question that might change the nurturing track they were currently on. Lead nurturing involves providing prospects with relevant and valuable information and helping them on their buying journey, regardless if they ever buy from you.
You do this by consistently offering relevant content in the context of lead nurturing and delivering value. If they are at an early stage lead and they are just starting to get familiar with the business issues you solve, don’t send them the same copy that you would send someone who is on the verge of making a decision. Be sure to add this information to your marketing data often so that you can easily define your target segments based on these indicators. Although the team did test an email  following best practices that resulted in a slightly lower opt-out rate (under 1%), they ultimately decided they wanted to ensure that the recipients actually wanted to hear from SmartBear by using the more up-front version, resulting in a 2.5% opt-out rate. They did not want to annoy free trial users and decided that good will outweighed a large list and that a strong product would convert more users to a paid version.
It needs to catch the eye from start to finish so that cold leads can become warm leads with a simple message.
That’s why above anything else, it is essential to prove the value being offers so a marketing list can be built. You’ll want to have a solid privacy policy included with the process that can be read through a link or download at a later time.
Saving time and money are two common ways to show value, but they aren’t the only ways to promote goods, services or ideas. Use a program that will give you a history of contacts with a single click to stay more organized. This specialized treatment is much more likely to result in a conversion than sending out generic promotional emails.
We can spend more time guessing wrong, or we can just ask our future customers what matters to them.
Opt-in penalties can be severe if not handled appropriately, so make sure all appropriate laws are being followed. Without the personal touch, people will eventually grow wise to your marketing campaign and look elsewhere.
Answer these questions first and then look to improve open rates with better subject lines, the timing of email delivery, and how spammy the messages look.




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