A proven low-tech solution for your next email campaign

BY LEIGH-ANN CLARKE

There will be an estimated 139 billion business emails sent and received this year, according to the Radicati Group.

Breaking this statistic down even further, the average office worker sends 40 business emails and receives 121 business emails a day. Amongst all this digital correspondence lands your email marketing campaign. How will it stand out?

Unless your B2B email campaign can penetrate through the noise and has a viral-worthy headline or subject line your message will get lost or forgotten.

In our experience, a tried-and-true lead generation method is telesales. Using telesales to supplement an email campaign brings a low-tech solution to the digital-driven sales space.

The ups and downs of email campaigns

Email is quick, accessible and cost effective. It is the easiest and most efficient way to reach many people in many places with just a few clicks.

Apart from spreading your message or reaching out to prospects, email is also a good way to test headlines, copy and messaging to see what works for what targets. This insight gives you data that you can apply to other media used in lead generation or sales campaigns.

What is not guaranteed with any digital correspondence is engagement. Open rates across B2B email campaigns vary by industry, company size, and simply whether the recipients have time to open and read your emails something where there is no data or analytic assurance.

According to a 2017 report by HubSpot, if a company sends 16 to 30 campaigns (defined as targeted individual emails sent to a portion of a database and not an e-blast) a month, companies see a median open rate of 32.4%. The click-through rate averages at 6.5%. If a company however sends two campaigns or fewer, the open rate is two times less. This means companies must dedicate time and resources to roll out several email campaigns over a set period of time to not just get the desired clicks, but to have the recipient recognize the company in their inbox and open the email.

While an email campaign can blanket a large portion of your list or database, if it isn’t targeted to the correct prospect, the campaign essentially goes to waste or quite literally the junk box. What makes an email campaign successful–apart from a killer subject line and offer–is your prospect data or list. A poorly researched list or old data means wrong targets and bad prospects. 56% of executives said that bad data led to lost sales opportunities, reported a 2016 eMarketer survey.

Before the creative, copy and offer or call to action are even composed, your email campaign objective must be clearly defined and your list of targets vetted to ensure the people are actually in need of what you’re selling or offering.

In Canada lists must also abide under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). It is difficult to accumulate both a CASL approved email and calling list. Companies need consent to send a Commercial Electronic Message (CEM), there are few exceptions for expressed consent, but only in the context of an existing business or non-business relationship, or if recipients conspicuously publish their electronic contact information or voluntarily disclose it without indicating they don’t want to receive communications.

Companies must also consider this legislation when composing their lists of recipients and when planning email campaigns, or their efforts may be cut short. CASL fines can be as high as $10 million for businesses.

Telesales gives campaigns a boost

Telesales gets a bad rep, especially among certain industries who view it as old-fashioned, obtrusive or ineffective. In The Black Report, published in 2014 by 360 Leads, leading companies ranked telesales as the most effective form of lead generation at 44.7% with email marketing at second with 31.7%. Telesales can easily give email campaigns a boost if the timing is right.

Combining telesales and email campaigns gives an organization a number of different touchpoints to reach prospects. The Black Report also found that companies who communicate three or more times with leads are more than twice as effective at achieving their targets.

As companies are inundated with email and text messages, telesales offers a junk-free way of communicating with prospects. The State of Inbound 2017 report, published by HubSpot, found that the phone is the most effective and successful channel in connecting with prospects whether it is the CEO, manager, or employee making the call. While the report finds the majority of people prefer communicating via email for business purposes, picking up the phone is still the most effective when it comes to closing a deal or getting a meeting. It’s no wonder then that 70% of B2B sales come from human interaction, 56% of which come from telesales, reports Russell Meiselman in his LinkedIn article “Is Telemarketing effective?”

While the email can be seen as the first touchpoint or introduction to your prospect, a phone call solidifies a channel of communication. A phone call with the right introduction and targeted to the correct prospect allows you to have a personal and undisrupted channel where you can truly listen and understand what your prospect may need and want. This is the type of feedback you may never get from just an email.

360 Leads works with several high-tech companies on similar campaigns combined with direct mailers. From companies in the computer and IT industry to distributors of truck and trailers, we’ve seen integrated lead generation campaigns, combining telesales and direct mail have a 6,000% ROI and another that resulted in more than 1,000 qualified sales meetings.

It is the combination of researched prospecting, good lists, correct targeting and integrating channels of communications that give your message or offer the best chance to connect with your targets.

All businesses use email to communicate. However competition for attention in the inbox is rather difficult. Not only are people receiving more emails than ever, software, applications and algorithms are becoming more advanced in filtering out what they read as spam or junk mail.

For all the software-driven programs and digital services available to marketers today, the technique that truly works is the low-tech solution of a researched, planned outbound calling campaign that may be the missing, more personal piece in closing more business.

Leigh-Ann Clarke is Vice President and General Manager of Clever Samurai and 360 Leads. She helps drive high quality, client-centric services to support Clever Samurai and 360 Leads’ business growth objectives in marketing, communications and inbound and outbound sales.

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Lloydmedia, Inc is based in Markham, Ontario, Canada, and is a multi-platform media company which delivers a total audience of more than 100,000 readers across four national magazines, three industry directories, and a range of events and online marketing.

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