Earlier this year, I implored you to stop cold-calling sales prospects. Today I will convince you that cold emails are just as futile and beg you to spare your contact list from this annoyance.
B2B Technology Email Marketing Best Practices
Before we dive into “worst practices” and expose some of the cringiest communication, let’s review the 3 best and most acceptable times to email a prospect:
1. As Soon as They Have Converted on Your Website
This might seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. A relevant web conversion from a “right-fit” contact is someone who deserves immediate outreach. The nature of your communication should be based on the offer they converted on. If someone downloads content, you should follow up with another piece they might find interesting and include contact info for someone who can discuss the topic in more detail.
If they subscribed to your newsletter, you can thank them for their interest and send them a “middle-of-funnel” offer (perhaps a complimentary risk assessment). If they converted on your Request a Proposal/Quote CTA, then your best rep should send a personalized follow-up ASAP to schedule a discovery meeting.
2. To Share Industry and Role-Specific Content
No, not that boring white paper that you’ve been repurposing for the last few years. And no, not that generic blog post either…nobody has ever stopped what they were doing to consume “The Top 5 Reasons You Should Move to the Cloud”. For content to be worth emailing to a stranger, it must be hyper-focused on the needs of the recipient: Customized to their industry, relevant to their role, and providing solutions to specific challenges faced by that job function.
3. When You Can Reward Tech Leader Intelligence With an Incentive
There is a way to get the attention of a prospect who doesn’t know you, but it isn’t free. TSL has had great results when executing survey campaigns, where the contact gives 5 minutes of their time (not to mention great business intelligence) in exchange for an attractive incentive. It can be a digital gift card, cool gadget, or useful item…anything to get their attention and appropriately reward them for participating.
This can be a great door-opener with someone who fits your buyer’s persona but hasn’t yet engaged with your company.
Avoid These B2B Tech Email Marketing Mistakes
Those are the “Do’s”, now let’s dive into a few “Don’ts”. We could make this pretty simple and just have one rule: Don’t send pointless emails to strangers. However, since some of you insist on trying, please don’t make these mistakes:
Don’t tell me that you came across my profile on LinkedIn.
Don’t act like you were perusing the site, noticed my beard, checked out my job experience, and thought that both the beard and experience were so impressive that you just had to send me a personal email about some solution that I don’t need. You pulled a generic list of thousands of contacts in Marketing with Director in their title. That’s how you found me.
Don’t forget to properly fill in your automated email template
There is nothing sadder than receiving the classic “Hi (First Name), I see that you are an executive at (Company), which is why you’d be a perfect fit for DataListAiNonsense!”
Don’t use AI to take a datapoint from a contact profile and turn it into an anecdote.
For example: “Good Morning Michael, I see that you graduated from Ithaca College in only 5 years, that is very impressive!” or “Since you live in Massachusetts, I would love to buy you lunch at Boston Market!” Nobody is buying it.
Don’t act like we’re friends.
Cool it with the informal “Hey man, I know how busy you are at TSL, but wanted to just try for a 7th time to schedule that meeting we’ve both been dreaming about.” You’re spamming me about a product that I will never buy, just back off.
And finally, don’t try to be funny…
Subj: Why Did Old MacDonald Work With a Headhunter?
He needed to hire a CIEIO!
…OK…this one is actually growing on me. I guess you can try to be funny.
Outsource Your B2B Tech Marketing Efforts
If you would like to learn how to engage your audience without annoying them, I would love to talk about it. Schedule a meeting with me here. Or don’t…I promise I won’t email you.