Customer loyalty as a sales success factor – email marketing in B2B

Suc­cess­ful cust­o­m­er loyal­ty is a key in Busi­ness to Busi­ness (B2B) mar­kets – espe­cial­ly in eco­no­mi­cal­ly deman­ding times. In the sear­ch for effi­ci­ent mar­ke­ting methods for sales and cust­o­m­er reten­ti­on, online chan­nels con­ti­nue to gain momen­tum. Lea­ding the­se is email mar­ke­ting with clear advan­ta­ges such as speed, effec­tiven­ess and low costs. And the pos­si­bi­li­ties of email sup­por­ted com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on are not restric­ted to the clas­si­cal news­let­ter. Cust­o­m­er acqui­si­ti­on and long-term streng­the­ning of indi­vi­dual cust­o­m­er rela­ti­ons are beco­m­ing the focus.

The use of email mar­ke­ting in B2B mar­kets offers spe­cial incen­ti­ves for com­pa­nies. One of the most imme­dia­te advan­ta­ges is the low cost. Accord­ing to a cur­rent sur­vey by For­res­ter Rese­ar­ch, com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on via email can save you up to 80% of the costs asso­cia­ted with postal direct mar­ke­ting cam­pai­gns. This also app­lies to lead time. Whi­le a print mai­ling usual­ly requi­res three months of pre­pa­ra­ti­on, email cam­pai­gns gene­ral­ly only need three to five days.

The poten­ti­al of emai­ling, howe­ver, lies in the capa­ci­ty of tar­get-pre­cise com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. The pos­si­bi­li­ty of cust­o­mi­sed infor­ma­ti­on results in low was­ta­ge. Rele­van­ce and sub­se­quent­ly suc­cess are the­re­fo­re signi­fi­cant­ly hig­her. This is reflec­ted by the res­pon­se rates, which accord­ing to the For­res­ter Rese­ar­ch stu­dy are four times hig­her than with postal mai­lings. Plus, the speed of the inter­net as a chan­nel results in 80% res­pon­se wit­hin the first 48 hours after sen­ding the mai­lings.

This advan­ta­ge by speed in the rea­li­sa­ti­on and res­pon­se, as well as the pos­si­bi­li­ty of high­ly pre­cise, cust­o­mi­sed infor­ma­ti­on offers B2B com­pa­nies spe­cial oppor­tu­nities in email mar­ke­ting.

Fro­zen food pro­vi­der ape­ti­to, for exam­ple, uses email mar­ke­ting in B2B for tar­ge­ted infor­ma­ti­on on new pro­ducts and pro­mo­ti­ons across the cate­ring sec­tor. Her­e­by, dif­fe­rent inte­rests and pre­fe­ren­ces, as well as the posi­ti­on of the con­tact are taken into account.

Automation to optimise sales

Howe­ver, email mar­ke­ting has ano­ther import­ant fea­ture: it is auto­ma­table. To streng­t­hen cust­o­m­er rela­ti­ons, many com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on occa­si­ons can be used, which would be too cost­ly with ano­ther means of com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on. Typi­cal examp­les are order and dis­patch con­fir­ma­ti­ons, invi­ta­ti­ons and remin­ders for events, sta­tus noti­fi­ca­ti­ons and fol­low-up cor­re­spon­den­ce for ser­vicing, con­fir­ma­ti­ons after web­site enqui­ries, as well as remin­ders for ser­vice appoint­ments and con­su­ma­ble mate­ri­als. In addi­ti­on to crea­ting a posi­ti­ve impres­si­on of a good ser­vice, you also have excel­lent oppor­tu­nities to attract the customer’s atten­ti­on to the sales, e. g. of cross and upsells.

ICT ser­vice pro­vi­der PC-WARE sup­ports, for exam­ple, mar­ke­ting ope­ra­ti­ons for a com­pre­hen­si­ve ser­vice and IT solu­ti­on port­fo­lio via email. In addi­ti­on, email mar­ke­ting also has its pla­ce in ser­vice com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with cust­o­m­ers and employees – with infor­ma­ti­on on soft­ware news and updates, spe­ci­fic IT topics and exclu­si­ve events. Invi­ta­ti­ons, remin­ders, con­fir­ma­ti­ons of par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on, event notes and fol­low-up cor­re­spon­den­ce can be defi­ned indi­vi­dual­ly or rule based, in order to be trig­ge­red auto­ma­ti­cal­ly for an event or a date.

Email marketing in indirect sales

A par­ti­cu­lar app­li­ca­ti­on field of email mar­ke­ting are indi­rect or decen­tra­li­sed sales. This is not about con­vin­cing a part­ner of one’s own pro­duct, but to put him in the posi­ti­on and sta­te of mind to active­ly con­vin­ce his cust­o­m­ers. It is essen­ti­al the­re­fo­re, to offer the busi­ness part­ner the necessa­ry sales sup­port in the form of know how, argu­ments and incen­ti­ves.

Pump manu­fac­turer WILO uses email cam­pai­gns to pro­vi­de pro­fes­sio­nal tra­des­men as inter­me­di­a­ries to the end cli­ent with tar­ge­ted sales sup­port – with great suc­cess. The long-term activa­ti­on and infor­ma­ti­on of inter­me­di­a­ries for sales pro­mo­ti­on pur­po­ses sup­ports sales and helps to turn resel­lers into part­ners.

Integration and serious approach as a precondition

The exhaus­ti­on of the poten­ti­al of email-sup­por­ted cust­o­m­er reten­ti­on requi­res serious inte­gra­ti­on into the busi­ness pro­cess. Auto­ma­ted email mar­ke­ting nee­ds to be lin­ked to the cor­re­spon­ding trig­gers.

High­ly indi­vi­dua­li­sed com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on can­not be crea­ted manu­al­ly each time. Here, inter­faces for ERP and CRM sys­tems, as well as an under­stan­ding of the pos­si­bi­li­ties in the cust­o­m­er dia­lo­gue are in demand.

To con­struct this under­stan­ding, is ano­ther basic capa­bi­li­ty of email mar­ke­ting. The pos­si­bi­li­ty to deter­mi­ne, whe­ther emails are read and cli­cked, does not only pro­du­ce an effec­tive suc­cess con­trol of all com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on, but can also turn into spe­ci­fic know­led­ge about cli­ents and their indi­vi­dual inte­rests. Toge­ther with the infor­ma­ti­on from other touch­points, a com­pre­hen­si­ve under­stan­ding of the cust­o­m­er and the cust­o­m­er rela­ti­on can be esta­blis­hed.

“The poten­ti­al of email-sup­por­ted com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on as a tool to crea­te and streng­t­hen B2B cust­o­m­er rela­ti­ons has not been opened up suf­fi­ci­ent­ly, yet. In a pha­se of con­so­li­da­ti­on and reor­ga­ni­sa­ti­on of mar­ket shares, com­pa­nies now recognise the scope of working ECRM. This is becau­se the pre­cise know­led­ge of each indi­vi­dual cust­o­m­er rela­ti­on is a stra­te­gic value, a func­tio­n­ing mecha­nic for the cust­o­m­er dia­lo­gue and a mas­si­ve com­pe­ti­ti­ve advan­ta­ge”, sum­ma­ri­ses ECRM expert and artegic CEO Ste­fan von Lie­ven.

Potential analysis uncover options

The app­li­ca­ti­on fiel­ds of email mar­ke­ting are very diver­se; B2B com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on today is main­ly run elec­tro­ni­cal­ly. Howe­ver, many of the oppor­tu­nities email-sup­por­ted CRM holds are still not explo­red to their full poten­ti­al in many cases. Regar­ding cust­o­m­er loyal­ty and the acqui­si­ti­on of a com­pe­ti­ti­ve advan­ta­ge, a lot more could be achie­ved and simul­ta­neous­ly costs lower­ed. A good step towards tap­ping this poten­ti­al are work­shops, whe­re requi­re­ments and oppor­tu­nities are com­pi­led. This ana­ly­sis of poten­ti­al is, for exam­ple, offe­red by ECRM con­sul­tants artegic. Fur­ther, the­re are prac­tical trai­ning ses­si­ons and user semi­nars for the star­tup and exten­si­on of email mar­ke­ting, as well as soft­ware solu­ti­ons for the crea­ti­on, address manage­ment, sen­ding and ana­ly­sis of pro­fes­sio­nal emai­lings.

Contact artegic for more information on workshops and potential analysis.