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Managing B2B Customer Relations: Advice From An Executive

B2B E-mail Marketing: A Business of Relationships

20Jun

As strange as it may sound, e-mail marketing has never been more popular. With the online advertising market struggling and more users employing whatever strategy they can to avoid being pitched in their browsers or phones, many businesses have adopted the platform option for acquiring, maintaining and cultivating customer relationships.

These practices rapidly found their way to the business-to-business marketing world, where customer engagement is at a high premium and retaining customer accounts can be the difference between company growth and bankruptcy.

Here are some things to consider if you want to grow your business with techniques like email drip marketing, cross-promotions and content marketing.

Personalized Relationships

As nearly any agent will tell you, sales often come down to personal relationships. Cold selling and conversion rates simply can't compete with a long-standing and mutually profitable business-to-business alliance.

The reason e-mail is so powerful is because it allows sales, business development, and executive personnel a chance to speak directly to their customers. This can be far more compelling than just being handed a copy of a brochure or being shown a Powerpoint deck. It makes customers feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, and it also makes them feel like they are participating in the development of a product.

No Guesswork

When a customer signs up for a mailing list, the question of whether they are actually interested in the product or service is already answered. Gone is the necessity to qualify the customer, learn what their expectations are, or potentially make an account ending mistake due to a misunderstanding.

This can be extraordinarily powerful knowledge for the company itself. Freed from the expensive and time-consuming process of introductory sales, the executives can focus on tailoring their presentation on an account by account basis, leading existing customers to more profitable and more effective purchases.

This can have an amplifying effect on a company's revenues. More profitable sales can lead to more effective R&D, more focused sales cycles and an increase in institutional knowledge company-wide. Any or all of these things can easily lead to a positive-feedback loop, which is one of the most powerful forces in growing a business and capturing more market share. All other things being equal, this is one of the things executives should pursue above all else, since it can easily put a company on a frictionless path to market dominance.

Shared Benefits

Very often, customers are just as interested in what a company knows as what it is selling. This is the fundamental value proposition for content marketing. Imagine, for example, what a highly competent intellectual property attorney knows about the patent process. A client of that attorney looking to protect an invention or a formula would likely be highly interested in what they can tell them about obtaining a patent. Including that information in an e-mail could turn an on-the-fence client into a highly motivated client and lead to increased opportunities for the firm, increased profitability for the client and future growth for everyone.

When businesses realize their expertise is quite often just as valuable as their products or services, this kind of mutual benefit, delivered via e-mail, can be employed to produce considerable success.

E-mail marketing is not the strategy for the impatient. It can often take months or years to build the kind of relationships necessary to start seeing significant results. But like any kind of sales, units sold, revenue earned and awards won are all permanent signposts on the road to success. No customer is as invested as one that is willing to listen to what a business executive or account executive has to say on a regular basis. Utilizing that relationship leads to the kind of success that all businesses need.

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