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Throughout my career working with B2B email marketing data, I’ve noticed that even as technology and tools change at light speed, my clients’ bottom-line goals remain largely unchanged. They’re looking for results and a healthy return on their investment. Sometimes these clients run successful customer-focused email campaigns but hit a wall when trying to reach new prospects with a B2B acquisition campaign.

Unlike email initiatives aimed at existing customers, email acquisition campaigns are designed to reach new prospects with the goal of turning them into customers. Acquisition campaigns require an entirely different approach than customer campaigns and I’ve found that lack of an effective strategy can negatively impact clients’ revenue goals. Fortunately, I’ve also found that adhering to some foundational, time-tested principles of B2B email acquisition can fuel success.

Compare licensing contracts and one-time use contracts.

For long-term success, I advise working with an email data provider that will allow you to license their acquisition data. But pay attention, because many data providers will only give you the option to buy a one-time use list – which means you’ll only get one chance for success with your email data. Licensing the data can save you money and improve ROI by allowing you to use it over time. And it makes it possible for you to remove and attempt to replace an email contact when it is no longer valid throughout the duration of the licensing period. In addition, with licensing, your data provider will be able to refresh your list on a regular basis, keeping accuracy levels high. All the while, you’ll be able to leverage the email data to expand your own email list as you communicate with prospects on an ongoing basis.

Analyze your current customer list.

When planning an email acquisition campaign, first take a close look at your current customers so that you can best understand the types of prospects to include in your database. Who are your customers? What are their responsibilities and job titles? What types of organizations make up your installed base? Where are these businesses located and how large are they in terms of revenue? What are the challenges your solutions solve for them? By understanding the profile of your current clients, you will be better able to identify the organizations that represent your top targets.

Data quality is essential.

Quantity is nice, but I’ve found data quality to be much more important. With your acquisition data selections, be sure you can choose from a variety of fields to optimize your targeting efforts. These may include North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes; company size by employees and revenue; state, city and zip code; and other options. Also, acquire records that are as complete as possible so that you can leverage the data for marketing efforts across multiple channels. Most importantly, the email data you receive must be valid. If your data provider doesn’t offer you a written assurance of a 95% email data validity, consider another source.

Make your content helpful – not promotional.

Once your acquisition data is set, the next step is to design email campaigns focused on building a relationship with the prospect and winning their trust. Content that is helpful, insightful and relevant is key. Overly promotional messages will not only turn away your audience, but they are also likely to never get delivered. Instead, they’ll get stuck in spam filters and spam blockers. Your content should also instantly grab the attention of the recipient, starting with a high-impact subject line. Next, you’ll need to keep the reader’s interest, not only with engaging content but also with a professional design and a high-value call to action (CTA). The message can potentially zero in on industry statistics or trends that address the recipients’ business challenges or offer invitations to videos and webinars that provide insight into how other executives in their position have solved the same challenges.

Understand that winning customer trust is a process.

If you’ve followed the guidelines above, your acquisition efforts should drive interest. You’ll find that your CTA worked as planned, yielding new information on prospective customers. It’s important to plan for how you will handle all leads once they are received. An immediate phone call is one option, but a better choice is to assign them to a list that you have created specifically for lead “nurturing.” We also suggest that our clients nurture those prospects who simply clicked on the CTA – even if they did not fill out a form.

Finally, use a CRM platform to gain insight into the content that is resonating with each prospect so that you can target them accordingly in your follow-up communications. And as the sales cycle moves forward, provide the most relevant messages to your prospects as they continue on their journey with you. This process will allow you to build trust with the prospect.

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Customer Acquisition In Action

At OMI, we’ve put these principles into play many times, including with one of our biggest clients, a leading multinational communications services provider that lacked the email marketing data to target small to mid-sized businesses. (An added challenge with reaching this audience: Research from GoDaddy shows that 80% of small businesses choose to use a generic email address, one that ends in a domain like @gmail.com or @yahoo.com, making them harder to identify.) We were able to provide accurate reach as well as high volume, and 95% email validity. The client dug in, committing to a long-term campaign, allowing them to build quality in-house contacts over four years. In 2016, the client earned $55 million in revenue through the use of this data, doubling their 2015 numbers while achieving an ROI of 55 to 1.

These are some of the most basic, most effective pieces of advice that we give clients. I hope they can help you launch a successful acquisition campaign and reignite sales this year, too.

Article From: www.forbes.com

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