Mailing still remains the basic form of communication in the B2B sector. More than two-thirds of marketers in this industry use e-mail to contact their subscribers. So, to build relationships and turn leads into converting customers, you need to know how to build a mailing list. Here are some ideas you can use – whether you’re expanding an existing list or building one from scratch.
High-quality gated content
First, you need to create incentives to get people to sign up for your mailing list. Gated content is one of the most effective incentives for generating B2B leads – it offers immediate value.
Gated content is educational or informational materials available to users after providing their email address and signing up to the marketing list. These may be e-books, extended product presentations, webinars, or entry to a private, closed discussion group.
A good example of gated content are the activities of some authors of popular podcasts. They survive on donations from patrons, who in return for their support offer, for example, access to special episodes that “ordinary” audiences cannot listen to.
Gated content should be valuable and exclusive. Take care of the quality of what you offer to the customer. Make him feel like he can’t get it anywhere else. Then the chance that they will register for your mailing list increases.
Sponsored research is popular in the B2B industry. If you have new statistics that could change your prospect’s business choices, invest your time and money to create a report and make it available for download.
Create a landing page for each type of content
If something is for everything, it is for nothing. The landing page should be concise and specific. So don’t cram information about every type of content onto one page.
The landing page must clearly present the benefits of downloading the content. Think like a customer, not like a salesperson. Focus on his expectations:
- Remind them of a business need/problem.
- Present content as a solution.
- Add a clear CTA.
If you’re not blogging, it’s time to start. A blog demonstrates authority in your industry and provides value to potential customers. Long before they talk to a member of your sales team.
Additionally, blog posts can be combined with mailing subscription offers:
- Create a short message “Receive the latest articles in your e-mail box.”
- Add a message at the end of each blog post.
- Add a pop-up message.
Thanks to this, the reader will subscribe to the newsletter and return directly to the article without having to leave the page.
Take part in industry discussions
Industry forums are perfect for niche and technical companies, from software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers to manufacturing companies and more.
Industry forums are the perfect place for niche or technical B2B companies. But not only that – many professional associations run forums for their members.
Try to find these places and force yourself to participate in at least a few discussions a week. No intrusive product promotion – act as an expert that readers can trust. There is nothing stopping you from asking readers to subscribe to your mailing list at the end of an extensive, professional post. This should be followed by a promise to deliver more interesting content.
Popular places to discuss industry topics include Facebook (closed groups), LinkedIn and Twitter. Of course, Google is still the most convenient way to find such places.
Request emails in live chats
If your website has a chat for customer service, configure it to collect e-mail addresses from as many people as possible.
Chat is the initial step on the customer journey map. Either they have just realized a business need and found your company, or they are considering potential solutions. In both cases, the potential customer collects information that will help make a decision.
So there is almost always the option to ask if they would like to leave their email address to receive more information. Play with the benefits, i.e.:
- Promise the customer detailed information about what interests him.
- Promise that you won’t go overboard with your marketing emails.
- Indicate that the customer can unsubscribe at any time.
Organize a webinar
A webinar is an ideal opportunity to present yourself as an expert and gather new contacts for your database. Participants have to provide details to register anyway, so why not ask them to check a box to opt-in to receiving marketing messages?
- Choose topics that interest your target group.
- Create a list of the questions you most often receive from new and potential customers.
- Check in web analytics which pages and articles on your blog are the most popular.
- Add a tempting box related to the topic of the webinar to the registration form, encouraging you to check it to receive more information on this topic.
- Promote your webinar in every possible place.
- Don’t forget about a special invitation for your current subscribers. You have to take care of them too.
Collect emails at trade fairs and conferences
It’s easy because people expect to make contacts at such industry events. Your task is to get ahead of the competition and convince potential customers that of all the companies asking to leave their data, you are the one who will best meet their expectations.
- The more specific the encouragement, the better.
- For leaving contact, offer a free trial of the product/service or exclusive downloadable content, such as an e-book or a special report.
At this point, the Marketing Automation system will be most useful. Thanks to it, you can design a communication scenario in which a welcome message (also a thank you for signing up) will reach the customer a moment after he signs up to your list.
Should I buy contact databases?
Ok, a piece of advice you often hear is: start your email marketing strategy by purchasing a database. Avoid this at all costs. This is often considered unethical, and professional email service providers usually prohibit it.
- A purchased contact database is a quick way to build a list. The benefits end there. Emails may be out of date or inaccurate. You also don’t know what these people want and are looking for.
- Contacts from purchased databases are many times more likely to mark unwanted emails as spam. Too many spam messages negatively impact your deliverability.
Building a B2B email list may take some time, and that’s okay. The more subscribers you get, the more relationships you build – and the more potential leads you can convert into customers.