Email Marketing Role is Changing, Says Pardot Survey

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Business-To-Business (B2B) Strategies

In the marketing world, email marketing in business-to-business (B2B) strategies is most effective today as a nurturing platform for acquiring leads, according to an online survey conducted by Pardot, a B2B cloud marketing automation software provider.

The survey was conducted in June 2012 and it covered topics ranging from email best practices to usage and testing. It was completed by more than 100 anonymous B2B marketers in the United States.

Survey Results Show

The survey results show that majority of B2B companies or 65% allocate less than 25% of their budgets to email marketing, while 9% are devoting more than 50% of their budget to email efforts.

Also, the survey indicates that 70% of B2B marketers don’t consider email marketing to be a primary lead generation business tactic.

“Instead of using email, most marketers are using a variety of other lead generation tactics to get that initial prospect information into their systems,” says Adam Blitzer, Pardot co-founder and COO. “Email marketing is then used to move new leads through the sales process or to re-engage dormant leads.”

Pardot

Email Still Has Role in Marketing Campaigns

However, email still has a role in marketing campaigns according to the survey. The survey found that more than 60% of B2B marketers are using email for drip nurturing, or when marketers send multiple emails to prospects. Of those, 65% are using targeted messaging by changing which emails are sent based on how a prospect responds.

“The fact that email is being used more for drip nurturing than lead generation isn’t that surprising,” says Blitzer. “We’re moving into an age that places more emphasis on communicating through various channels. While companies are still using email, they’re also using landing pages, forms, social media, paid search ads, and more to generate leads.”

Creating Successful Email Campaigns

To create successful email campaigns, trial and error are needed and many B2B marketers rely on testing to improve their marketing campaign efforts. Pardot’s survey shows that 58% of respondents test to see what type of content results in the best click-through-rates while 57% test for a correlation between subject lines and open rates. Another 46% test to see how open rates are affected by time of day.

“As email marketing tools become more powerful, we expect to see a greater focus on personalization, smarter segmentation, and an increase in the use of email metrics,” Blitzer adds.

Interesting Trends

There are also interesting trends from the survey, foremost of which is that 44% of respondents agree that sending emails on Tuesday results in better open rates, while 53% have had the most success sending emails between 8 AM and 12 NN. Another 53% say that Friday is the worst day for email open rates.

In terms of effectiveness, the survey shows that including an invitation to a webinar is the most effective email marketing strategy while white papers are the second-most effect when it comes to generating responses and then followed by case studies.

The less-popular content includes freebies, discounted services, limited time offers and personal text-based emails.

Testing to Improve Response Rates

While testing to improve response rates is popular, fewer marketers are conducting deliverability testing. Only 33% are doing SPAM analysis prior to email deployment, indicating that perhaps results could improve if more marketers checked content against major SPAM tools. In addition, only 25% of marketers test their emails for accurate mobile rendering.

Pardot is a B2B cloud marketing automation software provider that increases revenue and maximizes efficiency for companies with multi-touch sales cycles. Pardot’s platform features CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring and ROI reporting to help marketing and sales teams work together to generate and qualify sales leads, shorten sales cycles, and demonstrate marketing accountability. Pardot offers affordable pricing for the SMB market.