Top 10 Tips to Deliver A Powerful B2B Email Campaign

In our digitally developing world, there’s no doubt that emails are one of the most effective ways to help build relationships with our leads. Communication through email can gather vital data to help your team boost its marketing performance and return on investment (ROI).

Here are our top 10 tips to help develop, execute and maintain a powerful email campaign, which will resonate with your audience:

  1. Know your audience with the use of a simple form

Start by identifying who are you going to send your emails to. Promote a simple sign-up form on your website homepage, through your social media channels, and blogs to kick-start the growth of your list of contacts. Keep the form simple, gathering data such as name, email address, job title and how they found out about your company is a great starting point to get to know your audience.

It really is a big open door to success. Finding out this information will enable you to answer many questions including; Who are our customers? What are they interested in? What are their most urgent concerns? What content do they want to see from us?

Once your audience is identified you can create buyer personas to help you deliver focused content, which will guide your audience through the buyers’ journey.

  1. Personalisation isn’t just another buzzword

Did you know that according to Campaign Monitor, personalising your email campaigns increases open rates by 26%?

Personalise your emails with the use of a first name or company name and include tailored content that will resonate with their persona. Keep your tone natural though, you don’t want to scare them off!

Once someone has signed up to receive your content, it’s always great to welcome your new lead with a friendly email telling them what to expect now that they have subscribed. You may find it beneficial to ask them to add you to their contacts lists, so that your mail doesn’t stray into their spam folder- this will help improve your email deliverability.

  1. Design your email campaign to fit your brand

Keep the delivery name of your emails consistent, so your recipients recognise who is emailing them. It’s also important to ensure that the overall design of your email campaign is consistent, so you can achieve maximum engagement and set a clear path for your audience. A different colour or theme for each email won’t help your campaign stand out. You want them to remember your brand and staying consistent will help you stay top of mind.

  1. Get the best out of your subject line

Make the most of your subject line. This is the first moment your audience will engage with your company and where you can really make your emails powerful, affecting the decision of whether your audience decides to open your email or just delete it immediately. Give the email a punchy subject line, or something they can engage with straight away. This could include a fact or statement, a question, or a general insight into what the content will provide them with. Make your audience want to open your email for the right reasons, then give them the right content to match…

  1. Make your content easy to R E A D.

This may sound obvious, but we’ve all seen emails that look so cluttered and full of content that we don’t want to actively read it. It’s fair to say that there is no point investing time and effort into writing a great piece of content if you’re not going to deliver it effectively. Divide your content into chunks so it’s easy to read, include images to support what you’re saying, and make your intentions obvious. If you really want them to download your piece of content, then make your call to action clear!

There’s nothing worse than sending content out without a purpose, this will only annoy your audience. You should only be sending an email when you have something valuable to say or share, and if it will be of interest to your reader. Without doing so could take its toll on the quantity of unsubscribes and ultimately, your ROI.

  1. Automate your messaging

Aiming for that added powerful impact, but just not enough time in the day? Using automated workflows in a marketing automation platform such as HubSpot, will help you deliver the right message to the right people, at the right time. With automation in place, you will simply be able to create tailored emails to your audience’s engagement history. If they enjoyed your previous email on social media, why not follow up with another email encouraging them to download a useful social media guide? Taking the small steps to engage with your audience in a natural manner will make your campaign feel less predictable, making your audience more likely to see your brand in a positive light, leave them wanting to know more, and as a result, progress through the customer journey.

  1. Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3…

As your audience evolves, so should you.

Did you know that according to emailMonday around 47% of people use a mobile device to open their emails? By not optimising your emails to be mobile compatible, you could really be missing out on some exciting opportunities.

So before sending out an email to your contacts, make sure you conduct a variety of tests to ensure it will work on a broad range of devices. Software such as Email on Acid, MailChimp, Delivery Doctor, or HubSpot will test your emails to ensure they make it into your contacts inbox and through their spam filter. Testing will also ensure that your content appears as it should across various devices.

  1. Include Social Sharing icons

Including social sharing icons within your emails gives the recipient the option to carry on the conversation with one or more of their friends or colleagues. Regardless of the content or offer, this opportunity would help spread the word and allow more people to enjoy your content. You never know, social sharing could also bag you some additional subscribers.

  1. Accept unsubscribes and keep promoting to new leads

Although it’s not a great thought, we must accept that we can’t always please everyone and that we will receive unsubscribes. The latest GDPR laws stated we must give recipients the option to opt-out of receiving emails, and it’s better to have unsubscribes than emails that are marked as spam and affecting our campaign analysis. Having recipients that do not want to receive content anymore is only natural, their needs may have changed from when they first signed up. Look at it as a positive, you get to tidy up your database so you can focus on those who are still interested and left wanting to hear from you. Focus on your existing subscribers and keep promoting to try and gain additional subscribers.

  1. Analyse your results

By analysing your results, you will see just how well your email campaigns have performed. Metrics such as delivered rates, open rates and click through rates will help you identify just how well your emails are perceived by your audience. Over time you will be able to pull conclusions by comparing results, finding out which type of subject line works best for you, what time of day your audience opens emails the most, and what content they are most likely to download.

 

 


Did technology kill the journalist star?

It's been over a week since Gavin Sheriff and Darryl Smith shut up shop for their last ever Friday at the Dundee-based Sunday post in Fleet Street. As the last Fleet Street newspaper takes it final bow, we examine how changes in technology over the decades have had a direct hit on the way we receive our information and the professionals who provide it.

How times have changed. When the first British newspaper the Daily Courant was published in Fleet Street in 1702, news was printed using plates which had been engraved with the story before being inked and pressed onto paper. The newspaper consisted of a single page with advertisements on the reverse. As the century wore on newspapers were printed as little as once a month and government taxes were imposed to attempt to control the spread of information. After all, knowledge is power and the leaders of the country were unlikely to welcome any oppositional views. Nevertheless by 1767 the number of newspapers sold in Britain stood at 11,300,980.

 

By the 19th century there were 52 London papers and over 100 other titles with The Times beginning life in 1785 as The Daily Universal Register. Despite rising taxes, the tone of many newspapers was fiercely revolutionary and the productivity of newspapers increased greatly as steam powered the printing process. The speed of reporting also changed with the telegraph system in the late 1800s transmitting messages from across the country, easing the accessibility to breaking news and giving journalists a brisk writing style that is still used in news reports today. 11,300,980 English newspapers became 122,000,000 by 1854.

Radio gaga

By the 1930s over two thirds of the population was estimated to read a newspaper every day whilst the onset of radio broadcasts meant that the nature of journalism was to change again. Radio provided the fastest and most up-to-date coverage as stories developed. Journalists had to speed their reporting up and an audience that was used to getting yesterday’s news today would have access to breaking stories for the first time. Long-distance broadcasting furthered the globalisation of media coverage at a time when the planet was in the grips of the Second World War.

 

“Today’s news will be tomorrow’s fish and chip wrap!”

Of course, not long after radio came to the fore did television become the next big thing with actual faces on a screen reporting the news. The BBC’s Richard Baker broke the first daily TV news story about French troop movements in Tunisia.

 

For a time, newspapers, magazines, radio and television lived in relative harmony. Of course journalism was adapted to suit either medium but there was an established reliance and trust on these formats to provide the world with need-to-know information.

News 4.0

As the internet dial-up tone rang in homes across the country in the late 1990s print journalists should have heeded the warning. Before long instant access to news stories online via PCs, laptops and mobile phones via broadband and 4G saw newspaper sales drop astronomically. Print advertising revenues fell by 15% during 2015 and a further 20% drop is predicted over the course of this year.

 

Add to this the dormant mistrust in media corporations left resonating in the wake of the phone hacking scandal of 2011-12 and we’re left with an empty Fleet Street – or at least a journalist empty Fleet Street.

 

Cheeky tip – you can still visit the El Vino wine bar which was the first famous journalists’ drinking establishment and it still looks the same as it always did.

Journalist watering hole El Vino banned women until 1984

Where are they now?

Journalists still exist but today they have to be super dynamic. News has to be readily adaptable and available via a number of platforms such as YouTube, social media and personal blogs with televised coverage often spliced into videos that can be streamed online.

 

Journalism has also become anybody’s game. The ability to generate and self-publish news is now in the hands of anyone with an internet connection and digital reporters have to listen to the audience conversation to inform their next decisions. The audience decide what’s considered news-worthy, what tone to adapt and what issues and trends are going to receive the biggest surge in traffic to boost online advertising sales.

 

The problem with this is that there’s now a profusion of news content online, some of which is terribly written and falsified just to get click-throughs. We can always rely on traditional news websites such as the BBC, The Telegraph and The Independent for reliable insights into current affairs but how long will it be before the nature of journalism metamorphosis's again?

 

Will the rise of virtual reality (VR) mean news broadcasts where the audience is immersed directly within the warzone? How will audience participation work in this format? When does the multitude of new stories become just too much news?

 

Is the digital world becoming, dare I say it, just too noisy?

 

I for one love to indulge in the quiet of a back-to-basics reading of The Evening Standard from time-to-time, don’t you?

Will self-checkouts ever speak like Michael Jackson?

It’s been over a quarter of a century since Marty McFly stepped into the DeLorean time machine to pay us a visit on October 21st 2015. However, things haven’t gone exactly to plan – or the way that Marty experienced it the first time round.

There really aren’t many people using fax machines anymore – instead the go to of communications technology is of course mobile phones. There’s also sadly nowhere to eat where a virtual Michael Jackson will take our order for fajitas. In fact, many of us still prefer to be served by a person at the supermarket rather than wrestle with the self-checkouts.

So how would Marty McFly feel about the technological innovations that we have made? As a technical PR company, we’re always researching and marketing the latest gadgets – we’re desperate to know what brilliant inventions the future will bring to our desks. We guessed that now is the ideal time to find out, and managed to catch up with Marty before he disappeared into an explosion of lasers, fire and smoke.

Ed: Hi Marty McFly, it’s a pleasure to meet you and thank you for coming back to the future to meet us.
Marty: It’s a pleasure to be here. Again.

Ed: Quite. On that note, let’s start by asking, is 2015 how you remembered it?
Marty: No way. It’s way different. Where are all the flying cars and the self-tying shoes? I was looking forward to seeing Jaws 19, so I was gutted to see that it finished at Jaws Revenge – what happened to the rest of them?

Ed: We’ve moved on….
Marty: You call Sharknado progress?

Ed: Ahem. Maybe not. What else is different?
Marty: What happened to all the hoverboards? I at least thought you’d have those by now!

Ed: Well, we’ve got the Swegway…
Marty: Yeah, but you’re not allowed to actually ride them are you? Did you see that story about the cop who got busted for riding one in London, England?

Ed: Very true. We see you’ve discovered hyperlinks though. You completely didn’t see the Internet coming when you first came back to the future did you?
Marty: Yeah, you’ve got me there. I have to say this Internet thing is neat. Much better than the dust-repellent paper the first time I came to 2015.

Ed: You missed out on mobile phones too…
Marty: True, but we did have flying cars, self-tying shoes and hoverboards. Did I mention that?

Ed: You might have. OK, so what DID you actually get right?
Marty: Well, we had something very like your Google Glass devices, with things like built-in cameras and even something very much like your Interweb…

Ed: It’s Internet…
Marty: Yeah, Internet. Plus we also had plasma screen TVs, 3D movies and even video calls, which I think you guys call Skype? As I’ve been here once already, I’ve had a good 25 years to teach my parents how to use it. 

Ed: Useful. So apart from flying cars, self-tying shoes and hoverboards, what one thing are you surprised we don’t have in our version of 2015?
Marty: Well, I think automatic dog walkers were a pretty great idea. And self-drying jackets, which would save you guys a fortune on tumble-drying. There were also remote control litter bins that could empty themselves.

Ed: Aha! Now that we might be able to do. There’s a plan to use the Internet of Things in Milton Keynes so that dustbins can tell the local council when they need emptying.
Marty:  Err yeah, that’s great. Real cutting-edge stuff. Let’s hope you find some other things to do with it too.

Ed: Like what?
Marty: No idea. Hey, how about I go find out and come back and tell you in 25 years.

Ed: Any room in that time machine for a passenger?
Marty: Nope. Sorry. Flux capacitor is taking up all the room. Cheerio. See you on 21st October 2040.

Ed: Give our love to Jennifer and the kids. And say hi to Doc for us. Oh, you’ve gone…

It would seem that Marty wasn’t all that enthralled with the advances we’ve made or perhaps he was feeling slightly bitter that he didn’t predict the rise of smart phone technology and social media…

If you’d like to experience just how far we’ve come since the decade of Back to the Future’s conception just take a look at how clunky the original Macintosh was in 1984 and then take a look at your iPad. Weighing 16.5 pounds, the original Mac had just 128k of memory and was cited for user-friendly developments such as its pull down menus, mouse and icons.

The first mobile phone also made its debut in 1984, weighed nearly 11 pounds and needed a car to be charged. We like things much lighter in 2015, and with the average memory of a smartphone at 16GB (that’s one thousand million bytes in comparison to the original Mac’s one thousand) we can only begin to imagine what the capabilities of mobile technology will be in another 25 years’ time.

In fact, the closest way of experiencing the destabilising effect of time-travel is to visit the National Musuem of Computing in Milton Keynes. Here you can awe at the size and mass of the first laptops as well as the first stored-program digital computer of the 1950s, the ‘WITCH’. We highly recommend a visit, but in the mean-time we’ll be waiting here patiently for Marty to come back and report from the future.


Find Ben’s Bear competition

Help us help children and families dealing with childhood cancer

Do you fancy yourself as the next Bear Grylls, taking a six-day-long walk in the desert? Well that's exactly what the Ben Trekkers are up to right now. They began their trek on the morning of the 20th April 2015 at the foot of the Brandberg Mountain in Namibia and will spend the next few days traversing grassy plains, dune fields, river valleys and sedimentary hills to raise money for children's cancer charity Brave Ben's Superstars Fund (BBSF).

BBSF's mission is to assist children and their families to help maintain a normal family life whilst dealing with the disruptive aspects surrounding childhood cancer. Although much fundraising is done to help research into fighting cancer, five children per day are still diagnosed with this terrible illness. BBSF assists organisations and patients directly, ensuring the children and families get the support they need and deserve to help them cope through their ordeal.

The charity was set up in memory of Ben Preston, who was diagnosed with a tumour when he was just six years old. After undergoing numerous operations, MRI scans, x-rays, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, and having been free of the disease for nine months, Ben sadly had a relapse and passed away on the 30th March 2007, aged just eight years old. He showed real courage, never complaining once and was happy and positive throughout. These superstar qualities inspired his family and all those that knew him to show equal bravery.

With your help, we'd like to make a donation to this excellent cause and recognise the determination and heroism of the Ben Trekkers this week. We'll be tracking their progress on our Twitter feed, but meanwhile we'd like all of our followers to get involved in the campaign. Simply tell us how many bears you can see below, and for every correct answer we'll donate £1 to BBSF. Of course, every donation counts so if you are as touched by Ben's story as we are, it would be great if you could donate as well, after completing the competition entry form below.

In addition, we will select one lucky entry to receive a £20 Build-A-Bear gift voucher, so you can create your very own furry friend.

Full name
Email
Number Ben's Bears Found

Remember to tweet us your answers @ArmitageComms with #BensBears to help spread the word!

Terms and Conditions
1. One entry per person. 2. The competition closes at Friday 24th April 2015 at midnight. 3. In the event of a tie, the winner will be selected by raffle. 4. There is no cash alternative to the prize offered. 5. The winner will be announced on Monday 27th April 2015.


Roll up, roll up, we have an opening for a sparky new PR exec...

Are you searching for a job in technical PR? Today's your lucky day as we have a position we need to fill as soon as possible. In fact, we are always on the look out for talented, bright and enthusiastic individuals, so have a go at the quiz below to find out if you'd fit right in here at Armitage Communications.

In order to take the quiz you will need to either sign up or log in via your Facebook account. You can also log in with the details [email protected], password: Armitage.

If you're a technical wizard or technical apprentice, please get in touch and email [email protected] with your C.V, quiz result and 200 words as to how you'd argue that tech PR is actually a fascinating, mentally-stimulating and up to the minute industry. Technical errors, we're sorry but our advice is to go back to the drawing board. Tech PR probably just isn't right for you.

But hang on, if you're on our blog then something must have taken your fancy...?


Share the love with great content this Valentine’s

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

And as if you haven’t already had enough reminders – great big love hearts in restaurant windows, pink lingerie in department store windows, Card Factory bursting at the seams with red envelopes – we decided to remind you even more how important it is to treasure the one you love, or more specifically, how to win over that client you’ve been trying to snag your whole career. In fact, we posted a blog back in September 2014 all about ‘A Courtship with content.’ Cupid would be so proud.

So admittedly, we got a bit carried away with the idea but if Armitage Communications could publish a book version, then we think the front cover would look a little something like this…

Click to view large version