This is a question you need to ask yourself when considering any marketing tool. It is a timeless fact in the B2B world that customers only buy from someone they know, like, and trust. And if you are not doing everything in your power to meet those expectations, it is time to reevaluate your strategy.
I hope that this next statement will not be as timeless. We must all learn how to adjust to a #newnormal in the time of COVID-19. One of those adjustments is the intense focus on email marketing for demand generation. Especially right now, we are finding that a strong email campaign can make or break your marketing plan.
When the end goal is demand generation, it is imperative that you follow the following three-step plan: nurture, educate, convert.
Are you known?
If you enroll someone in a campaign immediately focused on selling, they will get turned off. You do not want to be a sales pusher -- you want to be a known and liked brand. Especially during the COVID-19 crisis, marketers have a responsibility to be empathetic. Ask yourself what people are going through and address it.
Remember to be vulnerable and confront topics that could be easier to avoid.
Are you liked?
Here is a test: is your own team excited to consume the content you are putting out?
This doesn't mean talking about your product. This means aligning your content with your customer's mindset, so the information you provide is valuable. If you are not telling a story that shows how you are relevant, people will stop listening before even getting to your product.
For example, even if you are a technology company, your customers could benefit from learning more about PPP loans right now. Hosting a webinar with leaders in the accounting space will build appreciation and help to move you over the "liked" hump.
Are you trusted?
By building strong relationships through the nurture and educate portion of your email marketing plan, you are now ready to convert. As I said earlier, people only buy from those who they know, like, and trust. It is up to you to determine how to responsibly and relevantly build those first two layers.
However, this conversion point can be a make or break for the entire foundation. We have seen many businesses work to build recognition and appreciation, just to lose it all by sending an easy "20% off" email.
If there is one takeaway I can provide in this blog, it is to not make that mistake. Your sales pitch must be relevant to the times and appropriate for the customer. A blanket discount also offered at other times is not what you need to reach that final point. Instead, think through the relationship you have built over the entire campaign and determine what can help those in need the most right now.