Email is key for both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers, but its role is different, and so is the way it interacts with other channels. Where consumer-focused email marketing focuses on making sales, complex B-to-B sales cycles demand email nurture leads to set up a salesperson to finally close the deal.
On Aug. 16 (tomorrow!), Reggie Brady will present the Spotlight Integrated Email session at the Integrated Marketing Virtual Conference 2012. While working on that, we had the chance to ask her a few questions about the present and future of email marketing. Monday she talked about how email is changing in 2012. Today she discusses how email's role differs in B-to-B and B-to-C multichannel marketing:
Target Marketing: What is email's role in B-to-C integrated, multichannel marketing? Does that change depending on the other channels being used?
Reggie Brady: I like to think that email is the "glue" that ties multichannel efforts together. Each channel has its own strengths and email can be used to complement other channels. Here are a few examples:
- Email can be used to pre-announce or follow-up a direct mail drop. Marketers may not be able to support an entire mailing. If there is a data link from postal address to email address, then the marketer can launch an email campaign.
- Marketers who have a social presence should promote their email program on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. And they should post and tweet offers and content sent via email. The power of sharing to social can be capitalized on in many emails. Not every email, offer or content clip is share-worthy—but there are many strategies for how email can be used to spur sharing.
- Search engine marketing can be integrated with email. If you are running a PPC campaign, make sure that email sign-up is on the landing page. And, if you have a special offer running in email, you might think about launching a PPC effort to support it.
TM: What is email's role in B-to-B integrated, multichannel marketing?
RB: For B-to-B, email's biggest role is in nurturing a lead. Sales cycles are long and it takes time to qualify a lead to the point that it makes sense to turn the prospect over to the sales team. A few B-to-B email service providers offer services that score leads.