Four B2B Email Marketing Strategies for Sales Teams During COVID-19

B2B Email Marketing

This week, Hubspot released a COVID-19 performance benchmark tool based on aggregated data from 70,000 global customers. It tracks deals created and closed, sales email sends and response rates, marketing email sends and open rates and much more. The goal is to understand how these key metrics are being impacted by COVID-19. It shows a massive change in the sales email landscape for B2B marketers and sales teams.

Video: COVID Impact on B2B Sales Emails

In this video, we’ll talk through the Hubspot sales email data, including how to understand the benchmarks and uncover four key strategies for B2B marketers to implement into their email and broader marketing strategies.

If you’re a B2B marketer and not currently using personalization, data enrichment or moving beyond the inbox, request a consultation. We can help put together an Account-Based Marketing strategy to drive more qualified leads and sales.

Read the full transcript of the video below:

I’m really excited to talk to you today about some new data that HubSpot just released. They have a tool that they’re providing called the COVID-19 Marketing and Sales Benchmark Data tool. And it’s a really interesting set of data. It’s essentially looking at all their customer data to see how COVID-19 is impacting website, traffic, sales emails, marketing emails, all those kinds of things.

But I want to talk about one particular piece of data, which is the data up on the screen right now, which is their sales email data. So, some pretty striking findings, especially if you are doing B2B sales and marketing right now. So, the way to read these graphs is that the deviation up and down, so here we see sales email sends in orange and sales email responses in the blue line. The way to read this is the deviation up or down is essentially an increase or decrease from the benchmark.

So, if you see here earlier in the year from January through, let’s call it, February there wasn’t a lot of deviation from the norm. So, you see a little bit higher response rates in January, new year, new budgets, all that kind of stuff. And then, everything seems to be tracking along pretty much as normal but, obviously, with so many other businesses and marketers you’re seeing in the beginning of March what we see are two extremely important trends for anybody who’s sending sales emails out right now.

So, the first is that the number of sales emails being sent has increased pretty dramatically since the beginning of March. So, we see at its highest peak, almost 75% more emails than normal being sent, sales emails. And, at the same time, we see, again at its lowest point, call it, 25% decrease in email responses for sales emails. So, this is extremely important. What this means is if you are a B2B marketer right now and you’re sending sales emails there are almost twice as many emails in the inboxes of folks that you’re sending to. This has become an extremely competitive marketing channel because of the realities of COVID-19.

So, what are the implications here? So, ultimately, I think that’s what we want to talk a little bit about, and I’ve got some thoughts to share. Given this data, if you’re doing any kind of B2B sales emails these are some strategies for you to counteract this environment.

So, first strategy crafting compelling subject lines and testing them. This is really key, if we’ve got twice as many emails in our inbox, then your subject lines matter. Your open rates are being tested because of this current situation. And so, make sure those subject lines are really good. I can’t tell you how often we see brands not writing options, not testing their subject lines. And I think that’s a huge mistake. Really will help you get those open rates up.

The second item is a great subject line is awesome, but if you can add personalization into it as well you can really stand out. So, leverage all of those personalization opportunities to personalize not just your subject lines, but the email content itself as well. So, this is really dependent on the quality of your list, and the quality of your data.

So, my third recommendation is to use data enrichment to power that personalization. So, data enrichment is also something that we don’t often see a lot of B2B sales organizations leveraging. So, if you have a prospect list make sure that it’s as built out as it could possibly be. So, some of the ways that you build out that profile is by getting folks to download things, getting folks to interact. So, their behavioral interactions can help build out the profile. Or a lot of people just leverage their sales teams to build those profiles out. But there are a number of vendors that you can leverage, third parties that specialize in data enrichment. These are places not only where you can acquire lists, but you can enrich a current list with more data. Again, the more data you have, the more you’re going to know about them. Things like company size that can help tailor your email communications.

And then the last and final, I think, recommendation, and this one is really key is given the current environment with email you got to move beyond the inbox. A lot of the folks that you’re competing with may just be sending emails, that might be their primary sales outreach. If your B2B team, if your sales team is only leveraging email that’s a very one dimensional way to reach out to prospects.

So, I think this means a couple things. Almost all sales teams are also leveraging phone to do this. So, if you’ve got a prospect list you’re not only emailing them, but you’re also reaching out to them via phone. We know how hard that is today. This is really about leveraging paid media. We can take that same prospect list that you have, we can create a custom audience on platforms like Facebook, and LinkedIn, and other sorts of platforms to make sure that we’re really surrounding those prospects. And someone who sees your ad on LinkedIn and then sees an email in their inbox is going to be much more likely to click on that email and open that email when you’ve got that larger sort of surrounded shared voice.

So, incredibly important data from HubSpot, and these are just some simple strategies that should help you take advantage of the current dynamics to make sure that your message gets seen, make sure that you get some of those contacts. Obviously, this is something that we do for many of our B2B clients to help put in a strategy, an account based marketing strategy that moves beyond just an email outreach program.

John Keehler

John Keehler

Director of Strategy & Insights and Partner

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