Demand Generation. Sounds pretty simple, right? Take an action, generate a demand for you, your service, your company…it’s a basic tenet to marketing in the pursuit of sales.
But what does that mean really? Our clients work with us to create sales through a platform we call a trade show exhibit, or an event environment, or a retail store. And we all know just “opening shop” does not mean prospects will magically arrive!
So Image 4 focuses our client on preparing the marketing ground, on telling prospects what they will find and how it will better their businesses. We strive to quite literally “generate demand” on the part of the prospect to visit the environment we created for our client.
All good marketing and sales teams should be using broadcast email as a demand generation tool. Contrary to popular myth, E-mail is not dead. In fact, it’s growing more rapidly than social tools in the B to B sphere. Even with all the challenges of CAN-SPAM, bad addresses, server junk settings, etc, the opt-in email is a great way of letting people know who you are, when you will be where, and why they should come and visit you.
Here are some thing we guide our customers to consider when developing a campaign:
Look at your Mobile Device Stats
Our design team is continuously amazed at how many people are doing business on their device, and when. We are seeing campaign responses of 45-55% to B-to-B prospects read on a mobile device. You MUST design your content to be mobile friendly. Make your response buttons large and contrasty so you can easily use a finger on the phone. Don’t ask for a lot of feedback in text boxes.
Design your Positioning and Content Carefully
Before starting a mailer or an entire campaign, think through your sales goals. Do you want to drive traffic to an exhibit? Do you want to have people schedule a visit time? What precise action do you want your prospect to take?
Then work your content. Short, pithy, simple to absorb. Your prospect will judge your validity to his needs within seconds – don’t waste those seconds. Humor works, but be cautious of going to far or missing a social context.
Use First Names if You Can
Personalizing any communication tells the recipient that “you care enough to send the very best…”. We all like to see our name, we all appreciate the 10 seconds thought or planning or research that went into spelling it correctly. Your measures of email effectiveness will soar!
If your email manager has a programmable auto-responder, use it to close the communication loop. Thank the prospect for taking an action.
Segmentation and Targeting
Every prospect and customer has their own opinion of their specific need. You can (and should) broadly classify opportunities into segments of your list. Those prospects who share a need or opportunity should receive the same content. Other segments may be looking for a different solution – put thought into this.
Research tells us that a well-segmented email campaign creates 50% more click-throughs than a generic broadcast message. Opening rates are commensurately higher as well.
Social Sharing and Forwarding
Use the Twitter, Linked In and Facebook links within the email manager. By allowing prospects to share your content you gain mileage from your efforts, free! We have seen sharing rates increase over the past year from the single digits to the mid 20% range on B-to-B content that is well segmented and relevant to the audience.
Good luck with this part of the demand generation program. If you need help, feel free to connect with me or our client support team at Image 4. We can show you real-life programs and data to support the concepts here, and perhaps help you generate more demand.