7 Steps To Better Email Marketing

by Amanda Anderson on October 8, 2010

Marketing messages are cluttering inboxes, websites, and even news sources. The ability to break through the clutter and be heard is more challenging than ever. According to Adam Blitzer, VP of Marketing at Pardot, “70% of your qualified but mishandled leads will buy from a competitor within 24 months”. Where are companies going wrong and how can we prevent lead loss? I mean after all, it seems simple right. We have a product that people can benefit from, so we send them messages telling them about it, and they should be convinced of this. Right? Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple and the method of push-pull is an ever-changing system with no set method. However, there are best practices of marketing communication to convert more leads and to increase ROI.

"Technology can really enable B2B marketers but it isn't a silver bullet. The most successful clients lay out their business processes in advance of implementing new systems. By teaming up with Epicom, a top SugarCRM and marketing automation partner, we ensure that clients have the best possible experience with their sales and marketing platforms." - Adam Blitzer, VP of Marketing at Pardot

As W-Systems continues to grow, it became apparent that we needed a more comprehensive system to manage our email communication. We chose to partner with Pardot, a marketing automation company that integrates with our SugarCRM system. The seven principles below are elements we follow, using Pardot to help break through the clutter.

Segmentation: Group or Suppress Prospects in Email Campaigns

Grouping prospects by category enables you to send niche market messages based on region, company size, opportunity status, etc. Suppression lists also allow you to pull out certain prospects without altering the list. For example, when sending out an announcement you may want to send to all customers and leads. However, if you did not want leads from certain states to receive the announcement, you could filter them out with a suppression list without altering the original.

Drip Programs: Nurturing Leads

Nurtured leads should be placed into a drip program so that your company stays top-of-mind. Email content in a drip program should be educational and more marketing than sales. It is also important to nurture lost leads and leads who did not qualify. Sending a “keep in touch” message can give your company an edge if that loss lead is unsatisfied with the competitor’s product or if something changes and the lead can now be qualified. “Companies that excel at lead nurturing attribute as much as 50% of new deals to older leads that have been nurtured”.

Web-to-Lead forms

Prospects that complete these forms are in the intent to purchase stage and can be converted more easily because they have reached out to you. It is important to contact a prospect shortly after they’ve submitted the form while you are top-of-mind and it is likely they are still at their desk.

Graphic Elements

People are naturally drawn more to images, so creating emails with clean formatting and graphics help to pull-in the reader. I have some HTML knowledge, but I spend most of my time using the graphics editor in Pardot, that allows me to design my email outside of HTML. There are a number of templates available as well that you can personalize to create your own newsletter.

Reporting: Tracking Analytics

My favorite aspect of marketing communications is the ability to analyze and form insights based on the messages you sent out. Understanding this data allows you to continue improving your messages to better target prospects. Pardot recently announced its collaboration with GoodData, expanding the reporting function, allowing users to slice and dice complex data sets and generate customized reports.

Synchronization: SugarCRM Connection

Pardot connects to our SugarCRM system and the tracking methods allow me to see all prospect actions from links clicked in emails to web pages visited on our site and what search terms were used to get them there.

Usability: Automation

Automation rules can be set-up to streamline the process of reporting these actions to the sales team. One example of an automation rule I set-up sends a notification to an assigned user (member of the sales team) when a prospect clicks on a link in an email. That action is synced into the history of the lead in SugarCRM and if that prospect is new, and wasn’t in SugarCRM, a lead is then automatically created.

Implementing an advanced marketing automation system will allow your company to grow and the software will have the power to sustain that growth. The Experts Say – In 2009, Aberdeen Group noted that 80% of the “Best In Class” companies will implement a Lead Nurturing strategy by 2010. To learn more about integrating Pardot into your SugarCRM system contact us today.

The video below is a metaphor for the problems present between purchaser and seller. While the example portrays a business to consumer scenario, the same principals can be seen in B2B transactions. Better communication and lead nurturing programs can prevent lead loss and ensure both sides are being heard.

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PRODUCT: SugarCRM

AUDIENCES: Administrators End Users