One of the most important--but less flashy--subsets of email marketing is B2B (business-to-business) efforts. Many brands that have a focus on business-to-business solutions put email marketing to use, for good reasons that we’ve outlined before: it is an approved way to stay in contact with potential clients, it’s cost-effective, and it creates a personal touch that other forms of marketing simply doesn’t. But one of the major issues in making B2B email marketing efforts successful is getting contact data that is either meaningless or incomplete--which takes more times and costs potential leads and conversions. At Site Impact, we’re well aware of the issue and want to take a moment today to discuss strategies that brands can use to get the best possible data for their email lists.
The first thing to keep in mind when creating forms for list-building is the fact that forms aren’t the most instinctive way to ask for information. When you’re introduced to someone, you might ask someone for their last name--but a form can make this need ambivalent, especially if it only asks for “name,” since most people conversationally consider their first name to be the response to that question. By not giving enough thought to the way that people typically instinctively answer the kinds of questions you might ask on a form, your email marketing efforts may lose a lot of opportunities for personalization and a customized experience before you’ve even started.
By increasing the specificity of your form questions, you can get much better information: instead of just having a field for “phone,” specify that you need a certain type of phone number. It seems obvious, but many brands miss out because they want to create a form that is as apparently easy as possible to fill out. Another consideration to keep in mind is what information you actually need. Some brands put together their list registration forms on a blind level, putting in fields that they think “should” go on such a form--but not all that information may necessarily be relevant.
Now, of course, we need to discuss why this is important overall for email efforts. When you have bad--incomplete, or inaccurate--data on your list that hampers your ability to effectively segment as well as to target your marketing efforts. B2B marketing is following the trend of B2C marketing in becoming increasingly personalized; knowing how to get good quality data to use in your marketing is absolutely vital to that priority. Without that data, your email efforts will always be just slightly less effective than they would otherwise be--and accordingly, they’ll give you a lower ROI than they would if your company had taken the time to formulate a properly effective form for data collection. If you aren’t sure how to get through the process of auditing your list registration forms, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced and dedicated email marketing company that knows the ins and outs of not only B2C marketing but also B2B, and who understands how people interact with these forms. Contact Site Impact to find out how we manage customer and email list data, and how we work hard to make sure we have the best quality data to use for marketing.