Shifting from Sales Emails to Blog-Form Emails:
1. B2B SALES-CENTRIC EMAILS ARE DEAD (not just mostly dead).
To support increased virtual selling driven by the pandemic, marketing organizations ramped up their email marketing to support the sales team. The majority of the emails marketing teams are sending are sales-oriented.
You’ve received them. You might have signed up for free content or a newsletter, and then you start receiving webinar invitations and product promotions.
Or maybe even one of your current suppliers/vendors begin to send you emails to cross-sell or up-sell new solutions.
The thing is, most of us hate being sold to.
2. SALESPEOPLE NEED TO ENGAGE IN MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS
Most salespeople recognize that sales success increases with a meaningful initial conversation with a customer or prospect. Initial meaningful conversations happen more often when the person you are speaking with has an impression that you understand the industry or business challenges they face.
Marketing plays a central role in helping customers and prospects develop the best impressions of the value your organization brings to their business. Done well, this increases the number of meaningful conversations salespeople can initiate.
Many of our clients are prioritizing selling new solutions to existing clients in addition to signing new logos. The bulk of the sales enablement effort for these clients focuses on helping salespeople prepare, initiate and manage an initial meaningful conversation.
Sales-related emails are minimally effective in cultivating a meaningful conversation with a contact.
3. SHIFT TO BLOG-FORM EMAILS
2-Bullet Tuesday is an example of blog-form email content. Some of you are reading this in your inbox, others on our website and others on LinkedIn.
You’ll notice that my content is B2B sales and marketing focused and designed to provide insight and perspective on topics that you or your organization find relevant. I’m not selling services with 2-Bullet Tuesday. Your organization can create similar content.
Salespeople spend a large portion of their time working on active opportunities. Most don’t allocate enough time to expand the conversation with their contacts or cultivate additional connections within their customer or prospect accounts.
Instead of sales-related emails, marketing teams should consider developing blog-form content that salespeople can select, edit and send directly from their email address (most marketing automation tools have this capability).
A salesperson needs the ability to choose current blog-form content from the marketing library and then tailor it to what she thinks a contact may find relevant. Sharing relevant content with contacts sets the foundation for meaningful conversations.
The intention of blog content isn’t to sell but to help. If a sale happens eventually, that’s fine. But selling isn’t the goal. Most customers and prospects are interested in discovering emerging trends or insightful ways to address persistent challenges and keeping up with peers and competition.
4. HOW TO GET STARTED WITH BLOG-FORM EMAILS
- It’s simple, but it’s not easy.
- Keep it short – 500 words max.
- Blog-form content should come from front-line subject matter experts that engage with customers and prospects daily, not a marketing agency.
- There should be no mention of your products or solutions.
- Blog content must be fresh and relevant. Regurgitating generic marketing content won’t cut it.
- It would be best to identify at least one internal sales subject matter expert to provide the content, ideally multiple experts.
- Appoint an individual in the marketing team to own the effort, and be accountable to the sales team for creating the blog content they need.
- Get sales teams involved to identify content areas they want to tailor to prospects.
- Establish a reasonable content creation cadence, monthly, weekly, etc., and stick to it. Blog content once a quarter won’t cut it.
- Create templates in the marketing automation or CRM tools.
Emailing blog-form content instead of sales-centric emails will help salespeople build relationships with their customers and prospects. Cultivating meaningful conversations is much easier after a contact finds value in relevant and meaningful content that addresses business challenges.
Give blog-form email content a try. Remember, sales emails are dead.
For more Tips to Improve B2B Marketing, Click Here to Subscribe to Two-Bullet-Tuesday