At the DMA Annual event this month, I spoke with many B2B marketers about the particular challenges they face in these rough economic times. Basically, the economy is a mess, budgets are squeezing, our clients are all afraid to make investments.
The good news is that email marketing is a great tool for building relationships and adding value to your customer relationships. Instead of just sending more product announcements, send “Recession Buster” ideas to your clients and prospects every week (or, if appropriate, every day for a limited time). Create a simple design and adopt a tone that is serious (this economy is nothing to cheer about) but still upbeat. Include one or two simple, actionable tips that help your clients be more productive, get more out of their existing vendors and build stronger relationships with their own customers. Tailor the tips to be about the business you are in, and the benefits you provide, but not sales pitches for products. So if you sell technology, offer productivity tips easily solved by advanced features of your software. If you sell services, send tips on managing meetings or how to read data from disparate sources.
In fact, you could encourage them to steal your own idea, and forward the same tips on to THEIR file (where they have permission, of course). Customize the email based on geography, firmagraphics and customer status (definitely segment customer vs. prospect). Oh yes, and every message – regardless of tone or content – can have a call to action about your business, too!