The answer is yes.
No matter how big or small your business is, there’s no doubt it’s encountered some unusual challenges over the past COVID-riddled year (or two…? Who can keep track anymore?). A lot of unforeseen financial hurdles may have come your way, and a great way to bounce back from that as we enter ‘normalcy’ is to focus on your marketing strategy – and whether your resources, limited as they may currently be, are being invested wisely to drive greater ROI.
Unfortunately, one of the knee-jerk business reactions to this past year may be to focus resources on immediate revenue-generating activities, such as sales. This is where the idea of a B2B newsletter may seem disadvantageous; it’s not easy to tie sales to a quarterly or monthly newsletter. After all, you already have the customer information, so is the newsletter really driving any ROI?
Well, there are real reasons why newsletters have stuck around as more glammy marketing techniques developed. They’re a cornerstone element of a successful marketing strategy, able to boost sales while helping grow your audience.
Let’s take a look at some of the post-pandemic (so to speak) benefits your B2B newsletter may offer your business, even if they don’t seem to flip into hard ROI at first glance. Patience, in mounting a B2B newsletter campaign, is something that typically pays off.
COVID-19 has only made email more popular
Before we even dive into the advantages of a newsletter, let’s take a look at how the pandemic affected email marketing. It’s been shown by several studies that screen time went up drastically throughout the pandemic, with 50% of US residents surveyed spending most of their day in front of screens. So how much of this impacted email?
Omnisend analyzed email data from over 2.5 billion promotional emails sent from their marketing platform. They analyzed open rates, click rates, and conversion rates to look at pre-COVID (January 1st – March 15th) and post-COVID (March 16 – April 26th) data trends. Year-over-year open rates for pre-COVID were up 2.44%, while post-COVID saw a whopping 31.54% lift.
These statistics clearly show that email marketing played a significant role in driving purchasing decisions, and will continue to do so in the future. While this may speak more to B2C retailers, the simple fact is that email marketing has gained prominence as people moved from face-to-face meetings to digital interactions.
Maintain and strengthen your relationship with customers
Newsletters have always been a fundamental part of establishing and building trust with your clients. This is particularly important today, when a strong relationship is key in making your customer feel comfortable and secure. For instance, as the Harvard Business Review explains:
“Covid-19 has placed a new emphasis on relationships, particularly in B2B sales. Faced with a virtual sales environment, teams with existing relationships have been able to maintain revenue momentum, capitalizing on the strength of their prior bonds. In contrast, prospecting for new customers has required an evolved set of skills focused on selling solutions, not products.”
Brand loyalty is facing new challenges as COVID-19 has caused a deep shift in what customers look for in a brand. The Future Consumer Index by EY shows that while convenience, quality, and price still matter, other factors like social responsibility, trust, and sustainability are increasingly important to customers. If your organization is taking these new factors into account and making the necessary changes, email marketing – including a regular, content-rich B2B newsletter – may be the best way to communicate your values to your customers.
Remember – keep it personal
A well-executed B2B newsletter is not a generalized smorgasbord of random content. As we’ve mentioned time and again, personalization at some level is key to any good content marketing, and post-COVID is no exception. Your newsletter should be a dialogue between you and your customer, providing them with content that is relevant and helpful.
One way of doing this is to segment your newsletter subscribers. You can do this based on different factors, including but not limited to demographics such as job title, geographic location, age, or buyer persona. If your customers are well-segmented, they’ll only receive the content they care about – which means they’re more likely to appreciate your newsletter and click on something.
Customers today expect a seamless experience. Beyond ensuring your newsletter is filled with pertinent, well-written, and engaging content, you should incorporate technology to offer the best interaction possible. Not only email platforms but CRM platforms (like HubSpot, for instance) can help you track your emails to gauge customer engagement, enabling you to understand what’s really grabbing their attention. Once you have those metrics, it’ll be time to tailor your future newsletters to make sure your content is really hitting home.