Tag Archives: EMAIL

Promoting your blog

Thousands of blogs are started each and every day whether they are for business or personal reasons. Setting up the blog and writing entries is only the easy part though. There are many important steps to take when it comes to marketing your blog and letting internet users know that it exists. One of the best ways to do so is to produce great content, post often, and share through various social networking sites and email. Below, you will find a list of some other noteworthy tips to help you get started.

  • Write a press release and send to relevant readers
  • Add a link to your website- especially if it’s a company blog
  • Submit to blog directories
  • Consider guest posting. This can be useful if there are other useful blogs in your industry
  • Add a link to your blog in your email signature
  • Have a company newsletter? Announce it
  • Most importantly, network!

What Motivates Buyers to Receive and Engage with Vendor Email?

NOTE: ALTHOUGH THIS RESEARCH WAS BASED ON VENDORS SELLING IT PRODUCTS TO LARGE COMPANIES, THERE ARE STILL SOME IMPORTANT LESSONS TO BE LEARNED HERE=DP

At last month’s MarketingSherpa Email Summit, Bob Johnson, VP and Principal Analyst, IDG Connect, presented exclusive new research into technology buyers’ email opinions and habits. Topics included factors that influence buyers to opt-in and open vendor email, and how specific content and offers affect subsequent actions, such as pass-along and clickthrough.

We’re now highlighting key takeaways from that research. First is a look at the value buyers place on email as an information source, and which factors make them more likely to receive email from a vendor. Includes four new charts and insights into what the numbers mean for marketers.

The good news for B2B marketers is that buyers still consider email one of the most valuable sources of product and services information during a purchase process.

But to make the most of this opportunity, marketers need to understand what makes buyers more likely to sign up for (and open emails from) vendors — and what buyers say are the biggest weaknesses in the emails they currently receive.

The data below helps answer such questions. In partnership with MarketingSherpa, Bob Johnson fielded two surveys on the subject of B2B marketing email. One asked buyers about specific factors that motivate them to receive, open, or engage with vendor email. The second presented the same questions to B2B marketers, but asked them to specify what they believed motivated buyers who receive their emails.

The gaps between what buyers say and what marketers believe represent great areas for potential improvement. Here are four insights Johnson offers from the data on what motivates buyers to receive and open email:

Insight #1. Buyers rely on email more than marketers think

View Chart Online

Marketers and technology buyers both identified search and email marketing as the two most valuable channels for receiving information about products and services. But marketers are underestimating how much weight buyers still place on information delivered through email — especially compared to social networks.

– 32% of buyers said email was their favored method for receiving product/services information, compared to 20% of marketers who believed email was a buyer’s favored method.

– Only 12% of buyers said social networks were their favored method of receiving information, compared with 18% of marketers.

So, if you’re working to integrate social media into your lead-generation strategy, don’t assume that social media activity can replace email outreach. Johnson’s research has found that buyers tend to use social media most heavily at two stages of the buying process:
o General education
o Business-case development

In and around these stages, well-timed emails that deliver relevant content, and offers that prompt prospects to take an action, are crucial touches that help move them to sales-ready status.

Insight #2. Provide offers that direct readers to take the next step

View Chart Online

Underwhelming offers are the biggest weakness of most emails, according to buyers. Marketers also identified lack of compelling offers as a significant weakness, though with less emphasis than buyers.

The effort to provide relevant content in an email message might cause marketers to overlook the importance of tying content to a compelling offer. In this case, Johnson says, the offer should be a call-to-action that offers a clear next step — or options for next steps — that helps readers build understanding of an issue, and to make buying decisions.

“Marketers can always ask themselves if the email represents an island, in that there are not different directions the user can move as a result of reading it,” says Johnson.

Insight #3. Personalized sender information can increase engagement

View Chart Online

Buyers cited “known sender” as the most important factor in determining whether or not they open an email. But making the most of this opportunity means more than just using your company’s name in the “from” line, says Johnson.

Marketers should consider personalizing B2B email communications with an individual’s name — preferably, a name connected to a particular business area, job function or area of expertise that’s most relevant to the prospect. For example, emails aimed at IT prospects could come from a member of the organization’s technical staff. Likewise, emails related to a specific business function, such as finance, should come from a team member who is an expert in those topics.

In fact, marketers may be able to increase their email communication with prospects by using multiple personalized senders. When the survey asked about senders from which buyers were most likely to open emails, two different types of vendor personnel were ranked #2 and #3 (behind industry peer):
o Vendor subject matter expert
o Vendor product/service support

“You are trying to build up individuals to have not a guru status, but some level of personal contact,” says Johnson.

Insight #4. Appeal to buyers’ personal, not just organizational, motivations

View Chart Online

Marketers and buyers were largely on the same page when it came to naming specific factors that motivate buyers to receive more email from a vendor. Both groups picked the same factors as the top two motivators:
o Email that helps buyers in their jobs
o Email that offers fresh insight and ideas

But pay close attention to buyers’ third ranked choice: An area I want to learn about.

This response reflects the importance of personal and professional aspiration in buyers’ decision-making processes. “Buyers want to do good job for the organizations work for, but they’re also looking out for number one,” says Johnson. “So much of an investment decision, no matter how rational and practical people say it is, is really more emotional.”

By contrast, marketers ranked personal learning areas dead last as a motivator. The discrepancy represents a common mistake often made by marketers, says Johnson. They tend to focus email copy and content on the benefits offered to a buyers’ organization, rather than to the buyer him- or herself.

Look for opportunities to frame product and service descriptions around the personal benefits a buyer will reap — or the threats and concerns they face. For example:
o Presenting concerns in a peer-to-peer manner — “Did you know that 65% of IT managers are concerned about X?”
o Highlighting managers’ personal responsibility for inefficient processes or system downtime
o Describing how managers can benefit when they improve their department’s efficiency and financial performance

“infomania” — addiction to email and texting — can lower your IQ by twice as much as smoking marijuana

It’s a challenge of modern life: email, Twitter feeds, instant messaging, text messages, and other snippets of information are coming at us so fast that it’s hard not to feel under digital attack. Sure, some of it’s important — and that’s precisely the problem. Turn it all off and you might as well quit the workforce. But read it all and your mind becomes so drained that it’s a challenge to get anything else done.

In some ways, technology has evolved in a way that puts mere humans in a bind. Consider the email conundrum. From the moment you wake up, it seems the inbox is calling your name. And if you’re like most of us, you answer its call pretty quickly.

“The brain hates uncertainty,” says David Rock, the CEO of Results Coaching Systems and author of “Your Brain at Work.” “It’s literally painful to not download your email the moment you arrive at your desk in the morning. But once you’ve processed 30 or 40 emails, you’ve ruined your brain chemistry for higher level tasks that are going to create value.”

In fact, a University of London study done for Hewlett-Packard found that “infomania” — a term connected with addiction to email and texting — can lower your IQ by twice as much as smoking marijuana. Moreover, email can raise the levels of noradrenaline and dopamine in your brain by constantly introducing new stimuli into your day. When those levels get too high, complex thinking becomes more difficult, making it harder to make decisions and solve problems — key roles for all managers.

In short, the brain’s capacity for decision-making evolved at a time when people had less to think about. Great, so now you have an excuse for not keeping up. But you still need a game plan.

1. Take control of email.

Don’t start your day with email. Set your email so it doesn’t download new mail automatically or, at the very least, turn off any alert system. Instead, set a time to check for messages manually — preferably later in the day, after you’ve used your brainpower for more important things.

Equally important is that others at your business know how you want email used. “Emails should be short, concise, and used only when a conversation is not an option,” says Adrian Moorhouse, managing director of executive coaching firm Lane4. “The easier communication is to digest, the more likely it is that the messages will be delivered effectively.”

Some colleagues seem unable to help themselves. We all know the type. They send too many emails; they gossip or forward jokes. Get them to divert their personal chatter online by allowing them to use social media at work (even if it’s just at set times of the day). Or talk to the worst offenders one-on-one. Peter Taylor, the director of the project management office for Siemens and author of “The Lazy Project Manager,” says when he’s cc’d on emails, he tells the senders to cut it out. “If people had to produce single sheets of paper and hand them out every time they wanted to communicate, they’d be a lot more conscientious. I educate everyone who I communicate with and as a result, the emails I do receive are pertinent to me. I restructure those emails, copy them into ongoing documents, and keep my inbox very small.”

If you’re reaching a breaking point, do the email equivalent of filing for bankruptcy. Simply wipe your inbox to start afresh. It seems drastic, but it can work. Send a message to all contacts letting them know what you’re planning, select all emails, and delete or archive them. If you’re planning a new regime of folders, rules, filters, and information-sharing disciplines, starting from scratch isn’t so crazy.

2. Prioritize your prioritizing.

To help you prioritize, start by setting clear goals. We all tend to do this subconsciously, according to Lane4’s Moorhouse, but writing them down helps you actually achieve them. Here, too, time of day really matters. Prioritizing is one of the brain’s most energy-hungry processes,” writes Rock in his book. That means it’s best done when your mind is fresh and well rested. Allocate time to order your thoughts — dashing off a to-do list of tasks that are “front of mind” is easy, but it won’t break the back of the work you need to cover.

Try organizing your thinking visually. One great way is with Mind Maps, diagrams of ideas linked together in a tree system that help you visualise all of them in context to each other. That way you won’t forget any of your ideas when you have to decide which ones are the most important.

3. Blindside the data (approach it from an unexpected direction).

Break down complex information into sub-groups. Once you’ve determined a goal, you can “chunk” your work into groups to achieve it. You can also do this with your to-do lists.

According to an experiment at Wilfred Laurier University, (It’s About Time: Optimistic Predictions in Work and Love, European Review of Social Psychology) people are generally very bad at estimating when they’ll finish their own work, but good at guessing for others. So gauge your timing by using someone else’s experience. You’ll be less stressed if you’re realistic about your workload.

4. Do less.

To do less, you should delegate more. Too many managers can’t resist the temptation personally to get involved in everything that’s happening. But effective delegation means limiting the amount of information you have to process, as well as empowering those around you. Then, ask for regular briefings.

5. Unplug.

Many managers feel they can’t shut off the fire hydrant of information. But they can take a break from it. “It’s tempting to think that more information makes for better decisions,” says Penny de Valk, CEO of the UK-based Institute of Leadership and Management. “But in most cases, it just erodes your focus. You need time to synthesize information and generate real intelligence.”

That takes discipline, of course, but it’s useful to stop thinking when you are stuck on a project so your brain can recover. “You do need to switch off and rebalance your brain chemistry if you’re going to come up with new ideas,” says Rock. Stefan Sagmeister of New York-based design firm Sagmeister says he so much believes inthe power of time off that he closes up shop for 12 months every seven years to pursue “little experiments” that he doesn’t have time for in his daily life.