I know, the very first thing you’re going to tell me is that I’m probably nuts to call social media ineffective for business growth. But hear me out!
While social media platforms have proven to be effective in acquiring and engaging customers, the results actually vary based on what your business offers or the industry it is in. Yes, if you’re in the B2B sector, you probably have been experiencing lower ROI from social media than what most articles on the internet claim.
While the channel is important for you to keep up on, the biggest mistake you have been making so far, is assuming it to be more effective than email marketing.
If you’re one of these marketers, here’s taking a look at why you should go back to email marketing – today.
Why email marketing is better than social media for B2B
1. Emails ensure engagement
Simply put, having 1000 fans on social media is not the same thing as having 1000 email subscribers. The latter are those who believe your business has something worthwhile to offer them and hence have shared their contact information with you. While social followers are merely people who think your business is interesting, had liked a post you had made a month ago or simply think you could be handy in future – definitely not your immediate customers.
When you send out an email to your subscribers, you can be sure of at least 45% of them opening the message and reading through what you’re offering. But if you go back to your Facebook page, you’ll see merely a like from the thousands that are following you on a post.
We’ll not go further; rather let’s show you an example on one of our posts on Facebook:
Whereas, according to a study by GetResponse, here’s what the engagement on emails look like:
2. Emails ensure deliverability
Continuing on our point above, the low engagement rates on social media are primarily because of the change in algorithms. For all you know, all the 1000s of followers on your page, don’t even discover the post you have just made – yes, there is a high chance that even the best of your content is getting lost in the volume of posts being made every day (unless you plan to promote each one of them in a paid manner).
With emails, the funda is pretty simple – a prospect subscribes to your newsletter or shares his contact details with your business, then you send across an email to him with information that he ‘expects’ and ‘is waiting for’. While we agree each one of us has thousands of emails coming in every day, at least the ‘deliverability’ of messages from businesses we are interested in, is guaranteed!
The only thing you need to make sure here is that you don’t land up in the spam folders.
3. Emails let you personalize communication
Let’s face it, can you message each of your 1000 social media followers separately with custom messages that are personalized to suit their interests? The answer is a big NO.
All you can do on social media is make a post or run ads for different segments – the lack of ability to address as per individual interests, is what makes emails more effective for lead nurturing and conversions on any marketing campaign.
For instance, when a prospect browses through what your business has to offer and then decides to merely subscribe to a newsletter before leaving. In this case, if you have been smart enough to track his website activity, you can follow him up on email with a more personalized message that is tailored as per his behaviour.
Did he spend some time looking at your features or the pricing of your products? Well, offer him a demo – because if he hasn’t converted, he’s most certainly looking for more information!
4. Emails can drive direct transactions
Unlike social media posts that can mostly redirect a customer to your website or a product page, emails can drive direct transactions. Why?
Because customers who have subscribed to getting emails from your business, are those are expecting you to send across offers, discounts, deals and look forward to making purchases from you. They are already in the buying frame of mind, making it easier for you to convert an interested prospect into a customer!
Better still, there are lesser things to distract a customer when making the purchase.
Now think about the ads you see amongst the pictures that your friends are sharing on social media. You often just end up liking the ads and moving forward because you saw a cute puppy video – for a business, that’s a lost customer.
5. Emails deliver a higher ROI
With all the above stated, it is pretty clear that email marketing campaigns can drive a higher ROI than those run on social media – no matter what channel you choose.
According to a study by McKinsey & Company, businesses that used email marketing in their growth strategy, acquired 40 times more customers than both Facebook and Twitter combined. Yes, email outperformed both the social channels that most marketers tend to swear by.
Emails have proven to deliver up to $40 ROI on every $1 spent for a campaign; whereas on social media, we all know how much it takes to even draw a customer’s attention to what your business is offering!
6. Emails are so much easier to build!
The modern marketer faces way too many challenges in keeping up on the ever expanding digital landscape. While he has to spend hours understanding the pros and cons, and the rules of each channel, emails are fairly easy to build – provided you choose the right tool to power your campaigns and incorporate personalization in your campaigns.
Getting started with email marketing
1. Growing your email list
This one’s slightly tough – or that’s what most marketers believe!
Instead of focusing on getting just traffic to your site from social media, focus on trying to convert these visitors into subscribers.
One of the most effective ways is to let subscribers browse through your site and consume the information you have offered, and then retarget them on-site with a gentle reminder that they could subscribe to your newsletters for more or ask for a quick demo of your product.
Exit Bee is an exit intent technology that lets you do exactly that! It tracks your website visitor’s movements, analyses his interests and predicts when he is about to leave from any of your web pages. This gives you the chance to re-capture the leaving visitor’s attention again and nudge him into subscribing to your newsletter or encouraging him to make some sort of interaction.
For example, a great way for the B2B sites to nudge a visitor into sharing his email address, is to offer them a demo of the product. Since it is a smaller commitment wherein only more value will be added to this visitor, he becomes more likely to convert on such a campaign.
2. Smart segmentation of your audience
Lead generation shouldn’t be the end of your conversion optimization strategy. The idea behind tracking a visitor’s movements on your site is to understand them as an individual – this will only enable you to create highly personalized email marketing campaigns.
So move beyond the general demographics of subscribers while creating lists, segment them based on their on-site behaviour, the pages they have visited, the elements they have interacted with, the technology they are using, previous purchase triggers, stage in the customer life cycle and others.
Since we make use of Exit Bee to capture our website visitor’s email addresses before they leave, we recommend using the product’s smart segmentation feature here. It helps you get a holistic view of the visitors and identify them as individuals with different needs – you can them export this data to your email marketing tool to fuel your campaigns for better conversions!
3. Choosing the right tool for email marketing
If you have been one of those businesses who have been counting on social media for a miracle and now realise the importance of email marketing, a great tool to get started with is Mailer Lite. There are definitely more options like MailChimp, SendGrid and others in the market, but we recommend this tool for its ease-of-use and the ability to scale seamlessly with increasing needs.
Mailer Lite enables you to create custom emails for each of your marketing campaigns, letting you personalize the communication with your target audience. The features of this nifty email marketing tool include:
- Free email design templates
- Easy drag and drop template editor
- Rich text editor
- Built – in photo editing (great for those who want to create a theme in their emails as well!)
- File manager for storing all your images and previous emails
- In-depth insights into email marketing campaign performances
- Email marketing automation
- Campaign auto re-sending
- A/B split testing
- Easy integrations with popular CMS and marketing tools. (See them all here)
The tool practically makes it easy for you to create and send your emails in a timely manner, track the results of each campaign and optimize them further for better conversions.
But what we love the most as a modern marketer, is the fact that it has an application to manage email marketing campaigns as well. From creating drafts to pushing out campaigns while you’re on-the-go, and tracking the results in real-time, the app is a nifty addition to the marketing toolkit.
The tool offers a forever FREE account as well as plans that start from a mere $10 per month – if you’re a scaling B2B business trying to optimize resources and marketing spends, this one is certainly for you!
4. Creating email campaigns that convert
There are no hard and fast rules to creating email marketing campaigns. Each campaign varies in what its end goal is, who you’re addressing and how you want the subscriber to perceive your brand. Keeping a customer first approach in mind, make sure your email campaigns are not promotional or out-of-context at any time.
Use the consumer data you have collected from social media, on-site and other lead generation campaigns, to create customer personas and then define the emails you’d like to engage them with. Here are some nifty resources to help you create an email campaign that actually brings you the ROI you deserve:
- A beginner’s guide to successful email marketing
- Drip Marketing 101 – What is it and how you can implement it
- 16 types of emails you should be sending to boost your engagement rates
Ready to get started with email marketing or have any questions in mind, feel free to drop us a message and we’ll be more than happy to discuss some campaign ideas with you!