Email marketing:
issues and best practices

Email marketing is a widely used method of prospecting by companies.

From mass emailing to personalized marketing emails, the use of the email channel has adapted to consumer behavior.

Also email always has a high ROI, which makes it a must in an acquisition strategy.

What are the challenges of emailing? And above all, how to build an effective emailing strategy?

Summary of the article

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What is email marketing?

Email marketing is the activity of sending marketing messages to a group of people (leads, prospects or customers) using the email channel. 

It includes any use of email for :

  • to promote products or services.
  • to develop relationships with prospects or customers.

The challenges of emailing 

The use of the email channel in marketing responds to 4 major issues:

  1. Improve knowledge and awareness of the brand
    The attention of decision makers is saturated. To engage a prospect, you need to initiate more interactions. Email remains a low-intrusive way to familiarize prospects with your brand.
  2. Generate traffic to your website
    Email marketing is used to attract visitors to the website, provided that it includes a call-to-action to a new offer or a link to a content.
  3. Raise the maturity of your leads
    Most leads generated by a company are not mature enough for a sales contact. To accompany them and move them along the acquisition funnel, personalized email sequences are used. This practice is called lead nurturing 
  4. Build customer loyalty 
    Email also meets the challenges of loyalty. It can be used to make cross-sell or upsell and increase the average basket of its customers.

The place of email in commercial prospecting

Email marketing has a special place in the commercial prospecting of companies. It is halfway between traditional prospecting techniques and modern digital prospecting methods.

Therefore, it is a channel that is used by the vast majority of companies.

However, the use of emailing has evolved considerably over the last ten years.

Before, email was used for mass mailing, without any real thoughtful prospecting plan. Brands were sending generic messages to a large base of contacts, purchased or acquired. 

If mass emailing still exists, it does not really meet the expectations of prospects anymore. Email services have erected spam filters that send unwanted emails directly out of the inboxes of their recipients.

From now on, email is part of a marketing conversation. It generally relies on the consent of the recipients and is positioned as a relay point in an omnichannel logic.

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Why is email still essential for companies?

Contrary to other traditional techniques, emailing has remained unavoidable for several reasons.

First, it is inexpensive and therefore accessible to all types and sizes of companies. It meets a wide variety of marketing challenges. Also, email marketing offers a very advantageous ROI.

Finally, emailing is not very discriminating. Most consumers, both B2C and B2B, check their email at least once a day.

Another advantage is that it is not considered an interruptive practice as the recipient can choose to view the message at any time. It therefore adapts to the new uses of consumers.

The different types of email marketing

When we talk about email marketing, we must distinguish between the different types of messages that a company can send.

Transactional emails are automated messages sent to a single recipient as part of a purchase: purchase confirmations, password reset messages…

They are part of the buying cycle but are not strictly speaking email marketing. Nevertheless, they can contain a marketing message such as an additional sales proposal on a purchase confirmation.

Conversely, marketing emails take on the appearance of individualized messages but are actually addressed to a whole segment of recipients based on their preferences, their profile or their interactions with the brand.

This category includes for example newsletters, lead nurturing emails or promotional campaigns.

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What are the steps to an effective emailing strategy?

Build a contact base

To be successful in email marketing, you need to send the right message to the right person. An effective emailing strategy relies above all on the quality of the contact base.

To constitute it, two options are possible:

  • The purchase or rental of a contact database
  • Building an internal contact base through online or offline lead generation actions

Update your database regularly

A contact base regularly loses its value. It is therefore necessary to constantly clean it up by ensuring the validity of the contacts and by deleting erroneous, obsolete and inactive addresses.

Segment your emailing database

To improve the KPIs of your emailing campaigns, it is better to avoid generic messages in which nobody recognizes himself.

Personalized messages offer better open and click-through rates.

To refine messages, it is essential to segment the contact base, i.e. to compartmentalize it into groups of contacts with similar characteristics or behaviors.

Optimize the content of the message

The email marketing is a group mailing but we will do as if we were addressing it specifically to the recipient.

To do this, we will use segmentation to write a message that responds to the problems and expectations of the person we are talking to.

By means of an emailing software, we can also insert personalized fields to show for example his first name or a specific information concerning him.

Testing messages

Which formulation, which call-to-action or which object offer the best performance? What is the ideal time of the week or day to send this email?

To find out, the best solution is to test several variations of an emailing. This is called A/B testing.

At the end of this test phase, we keep only the variant that guarantees the best opening and click rates.

Measuring performance

In a “test & learn” logic, each campaign will serve to improve the following ones.

To do this, it is important to analyze your emailing performance and to use this data to manage your email strategy.

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The KPIs of email marketing

The opening rate

The open rate of an emailing campaign corresponds to the number of opened emails compared to the total number of delivered emails.

On average, the opening rate in B2B is around 22%, with strong sectorial disparities.

How to optimize the opening rate of your email campaigns?

Several criteria influence the emailing opening rate:

  • The quality of the contact list
  • The campaign’s kick-off time
  • The sender
  • The subject of the message
  • The pre-header
When is the best time to send an email campaign?

Regularly, studies are published on the ideal time to send email campaigns. What should we think?

In general, these studies are published by emailing solution providers who aggregate and analyze their customers’ data.

They are therefore a kind of average.

Nevertheless, it is better to rely on a good knowledge of its audience and on tests carried out internally to determine the optimal niche.

The click rate

The click-through rate (CTR) is the percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one of the links in the body of the email.

On average, a click-through rate is considered good when it exceeds 3%, but again, this depends on the sector.

How to optimize the click rate of your email campaigns?

The click-through rate reflects the relevance of the message, the quality of the content and the copywriting.

An email marketer can play on 3 levers to optimize the click rate of an email campaign:

  • The content of the message: storytelling and copywriting techniques can be used to encourage the recipient to take action
  • The design of the email: in addition to the content itself, the way the email is designed can play on the click rate: the presence of blocks (images or videos for example), the fonts used have their influence
  • The relevance and visibility of the call-to-action: if you want to generate an action, you must skillfully encourage the recipient to perform it. The CTA must be clear, precise, relevant and visible.

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Marketing automation according to Magileads

MagiLeads’ automation solution allows you to easily create automated scenarios to send personalized messages to your leads.

With automation, you know exactly how prospects interact with your content. You collect information about their behavior. This way, you can better qualify your leads.

Finally, with the lead scoring feature, you can automate the transmission of hot leads to sales teams to initiate a first sales contact at the right time.

Email marketing is always a channel of choice in commercial prospecting. But, to remain effective, it is now necessary to gain in finesse in the creation of sequences, the content of messages and the analysis of results. Adopting an email automation solution like Magileads will help you optimize your campaigns.

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