Five Steps to Effective Building Product Email Marketing

Fine-tuning your building product email marketing campaigns will increase deliverability and return on investment. 

Aug 4 5_steps Effective emailIt’s the biggest driver of new leads and has the highest return on investment of any marketing medium. If email marketing isn’t one of your marketing team’s top priorities, it should be.

Statistics continue to show that email is the preferred mode of communication for the majority of consumers. How successful are your email marketing efforts compared to your other building product marketing activities? Being able to create, deploy and track email campaigns that work takes a lot of practice. I’ve assembled five steps to help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts.

Step 1: Have a robust online presence. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? You’d be surprised the number of building product organizations that still have a ho-hum web presence. Make the most out of your website because a great one can do the job of 100 salespeople. While you’re at it, add an email submission form on your home page to help build your list.

Step 2: Maintain a clean and current email list. Create a list based on people who’ve already expressed an interest in hearing about your building products. In order to keep your list clean of bounces and unsubscribes, you need to routinely remove the people on your prospect list who no longer read your emails. The quality of your list is more important than the quantity of prospects on it.

It’s also important to keep lists current. People’s addresses change, as do their interests. If you aren’t sending to your list at least quarterly, then you may be at risk of getting blacklisted or blocked. Once that happens it’s very hard to get your emails delivered. Sites like Barracuda, Spamhaus, Spamcop, Spamcannibal or Lashback can be searched using your domain and IP address to see if you may be blacklisted.

Step 3: Engage your audience with content. To really connect with your building product customers and prospects, provide them with insight that they can turn into action. How do you do this? By publishing research and engaging external experts to validate those ideas are great ways to engage with prospects.

If you’re needing help assembling a content strategy, you may want to check out What’s the One Key Ingredient Your Building Product Content Marketing Needs?

Step 4: Test your campaigns. Divide your lists and test campaign content using A/B or split-test functions to get a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t.

Step 5: Track campaign performance. Use data such as open rates and click-through rates to track growth and success. It will provide insights into the type of content and subject lines that are resonating with your building product audience and can help improve your approach.

Photo credit: Donald Judge via flickr

Two Simple, But Critical, Types of Website Content in Building Product Marketing

medium_2807150797Building product marketers need to make sure even the simplest website content is accessible because it can play a huge role in whether buyers move forward with your company. 

In a recently released web usability report, B2B buyers were asked what factors would cause them to leave a website. Respondents reported across the board that a lack of contact information was so annoying, it caused them to leave a website.

  • 55% answered that “no contact information/phone number” reduces the company’s credibility
  • 37% said a lack of contact information wastes their time

With statistics like these, be sure you’re making it easy for your prospective customers to contact you. Don’t bury your contact information and make them hunt for it, because most won’t go to those lengths to find it.

68 percent of survey respondents say that they consider “Company Address and Contact Information” to be “Critically Important” with regard to moving forward with a vendor.

Another mistake many companies make is leaving off their physical address. As research shows, not having complete contact information will lower your credibility in the eyes of your buyers. Avoid having your website visitors thinking you are hiding something or that you may be operating out of a garage.

More than likely, your buyers are sourcing their vendors online. If you are on the short list of suppliers, they’ll send your name to a purchasing agent, or will send an RFQ. If your information isn’t readily available to include in the RFQ, then you are out of the running. Building product buyers use website content they find to pre-qualify vendors and suppliers.

Lastly, make sure the “About” page on your website is being fully  utilized by featuring your company history, team bios, press rooms, etc. “About” pages are one of the first interactions a website visitor makes when visiting a website, after viewing “Products and Services” pages.

View the entire Web Usability Report here.

Photo credit: Chelsea Gomez on flickr

It’s Time to Transform the Funnel in Marketing Building Products

sales funnel for building products

With the proliferation of online channels available and buyers’ attention spans shrinking every day, marketers of building products need to be rethinking their traditional sales and marketing processes.

Let’s ask ourselves… does a sales and marketing model that dates back to the early 1900’s still apply in today’s fragmented, ADD world? Marketing used to be pushed on buyers, driven by companies through traditional advertising and marketing channels. An approach that often failed to reach the right buyers at the right time.

Selling has changed. Businesses have changed the way they buy. Prospective customers are no longer following the long, drawn-out, linear sales process known as the “sales funnel,” the model that’s been employed in sales and marketing for more than 100 years. But in today’s sales landscape, buyers are demanding that these two functions work with each other to address their needs.

The two-part, siloed approach to sales and marketing is too slow and too clunky for today’s buyer who is erratic, finicky and much too distracted to wade through the traditional purchase channel. There’s been a big shift in buyer behavior over the last decade, which is what’s driving the transformation in business.

Today’s consumer-driven approach to marketing is becoming more important as buyers take control and pull information from their multitude of resources to help them down the path to purchase. A widely known fact that you need to be aware of is that buyers have completed 60% of the purchase decision before they engage a sales person. The assumption that they are following a linear path to the sale is an outdated notion.

If your business marketing hasn’t evolved in response to this shift to an “empowered consumer,” then you are losing potential sales. Aligning efforts with the buyer’s decision path requires an understanding of how they make decisions. With that knowledge, strategies and spending can then be focused where the most influential touch points occur.

Rather than continuing to focus on one end of the funnel – awareness or loyalty – marketers need to shift focus to the touch points in between that help influence buyers as they move through it.

photo credit: Scott Ableman via photopin cc

Content Marketing Can Drive Building Product Sales

touch points building product marketing

Lead your buyer’s journey through the sales funnel, by creating high engagement touch points that accelerate the buying cycle.  

First, establish thought leadership in the building product industry. The primary marketing goal is lead generation, therefore you will target a large audience by casting a wide net. The content should have broad appeal with a broad theme, but should remain vendor agnostic. Metrics gained will be basic registration data such as industry, job title and company size.

When your organization is positioned as a thought leader, then it’s time to move on to becoming a trusted advisor. With this effort, lead generation is still your primary goal, but you will also begin to identify prospects, so you will still target a large audience. Content will need to address specific pain points and will still need to remain neutral but you can be somewhat leading with it.

Now that your prospects have had two to three touch points with your content, you will begin to position solutions for them. Your audience will dwindle some but the buyer’s full buying center should be in attendance to qualify your solution. Your content will introduce products that provide solutions and positions a value proposition to attendees. Data to look at will be attendance time, the questions asked during presentations.

At this point, sales can be engaged to demonstrate value and the goal is to prove the product and build preference. Content should be detailed with product demos and case studies available. This audience will be comprised of small, but mostly highly qualified leads who should be the key decision makers.

In business marketing it takes nine marketing touch points to drive a lead from prospect stage to revenue. By bundling content such as slide presentations, videos, white papers into your webinars, you can deliver multiple touches at one time and take control of the buyer’s mindset as they’re moving through the buying cycle.

Be sure to follow your buyer’s digital footprint in order to create behavioral profiles. You’ll want to look at:

  • Registration data
  • Viewing time
  • Social media engagement
  • Questions submitted
  • Interaction with polls, surveys and chats
  • Downloaded content – this will determine where a buyer is in the buying cycle and you can decide which content to send them next

Remember the end goal is to drive toward sales with fewer engagements and more touches per engagement.

photo credit: aguscr via photopin cc