The idea of building an email list of interested prospects with whom you can build the know-like-trust factor is nothing new in the online marketing and solopreneur worlds.
But what if your target market is made up of decision makers who work for “real” companies — whether those companies have 50 employees or 50,000?
Not only is e-mail marketing plausible in the B2B market — it’s also highly effective. In fact, my very first ezine, The Corporate Communicator, had 2,500+ subscribers, most of which were the heads of communication departments at companies located all over the country. The ezine landed me several high-paying clients and twice as many speaking opportunities.
But with that said, there are some important differences to consider when building an email list made up of professionals in the “corporate” world versus a list made up of other small business owners. Let’s look at some of the keys to being successful.
Key #1: Up the ante. These days, there is so much information available online that information alone has become a commodity. If you really want to attract the attention of insanely busy professionals (who, don’t forget, have a big budget to buy from you), you need to offer them something irresistible.
So forget your run-of-the-mill how-to e-book or special report and instead think up an indispensible resource or tool that will make a real difference in their workday. One of my all-time favorites is the “Smart Chart” that was developed by Spitfire Strategies. Check it out here.
Key #2: Collect more information. Unlike most small biz owners who are loathe to depart with even just their first name and e-mail address, corporate professionals aren’t nearly as protective of their information. Be sure to ask them for things like the name and size of their company, their job title, and their phone number.
You can even ask them about their biggest challenge as it relates to your area of expertise. (Imagine how much you’ll learn about your target market!) A great example to model is the way HubSpot.com collects information for its free e-books. Check out how they do it here.
Key #3: Use a sophisticated customer relationship management tool. There are many free and low-cost tools on the market that allow you to capture contact information and manage your email marketing. However, if you’re after the bigger fish, you’ll want to invest in a tool that not only presents you in the best possible light, but that also is sophisticated enough to let you customize the precise way you follow-up with warm leads.
Here at The Corporate Agent we used Infusionsoft. You can learn more about this invaluable tool here.
Key #4: Don’t over do it. Professionals are so busy these days that they barely have time to take care of the urgent items on their to-do list, let alone think about things that are further down the line. So making time to read an ezine or newsletter is simply not a priority for them.
As opposed to sending informational articles on a pre-determined schedule, instead consider communicating only about things that are time-sensitive, such as live webinars or newly published reports or resources. If you’re looking for a good example, Vocus does an excellent job of keeping its clients and prospects in the know about upcoming webinars via its email marketing strategy.
Key #5: Mix it up with the phone. It may not make sense to make a follow-up phone call to every home-based business owner who signs up for your e-newsletter. But it’s a whole different ball game when you are attracting bigger companies that are ready, willing and able to pay you top dollar for your expertise. In this case, it’s a smart idea to make an introductory phone call within 72 hours to every qualified prospect who opts-in for your valuable content.
By applying these strategies you can begin to develop a pipeline of decision makers at companies who are your ideal prospects. Over time, the know-like-trust factor will grow, and you’ll be in a prime position to turn these prospects into paying clients.
If you liked today’s article, you’re welcome to use it in your own ezine or blog as long as you include the following blurb:
Known as The Corporate Agent, Angelique Rewers, ABC, APR, teaches micro business owners and solopreneurs around the world how to grow their small business by working with Big Business. Get her FREE CD and articles at www.TheCorporateAgent.com.