The following is an excerpt from “The Essentials of Email Marketing,” a new white paper authored by our founding partner, Dave Manzer. In the paper, Dave distills the lessons he has learned from over 10 years of email marketing for B2B technology brands.
An editorial calendar will keep your drip marketing campaign on schedule. It also helps you plan your content around any upcoming marketing initiatives including new product or service launches, trade shows, sales promotions, thought leadership campaigns, etc
Be sure to link your editorial calendar to your blogging and social media calendar to ensure your other marketing channels are in sync. This is where more robust marketing automation software can really pay off. Apps like Hubspot allow you to set up multi- channel campaigns to automate the posting and seeding of drip marketing content. From creating landing pages and blog posts to executing organic social media and email campaigns, a marketing automation platform will ensure your entire campaign stays in sync and on schedule.
The best tools on the planet won’t do you much good unless you have assigned ownership of the drip marketing campaign to a person with the proper skills and knowledge. In most SMB tech companies, that means finding an experienced marketer with a grasp of B2B lexicon and a proven ability to write great copy on deadline. If your company has a marketing team, then it’s entirely possible several marketing professionals will share responsibility of various functions. For instance, one might manage the newsletter while another manages the weekly customer / prospect email stream.
The marketer you hire should also be fluent in the basics of marketing automation. As mentioned above, running an effective email marketing campaign requires some form of marketing automation. How elaborate the app is will depend upon your budget and need for additional features, as well as your bandwidth and ability to effectively execute the process.
Graphic design skills are also extremely helpful, although not always necessary, as there are plenty of affordable ways to outsource design. Familiarity with easy-to-use design apps like Canva can actually allow novices to add design elements to stock art, thereby giving a more customized look-and-feel to your visual communications.
Video is a format that is growing in popularity among B2B tech brands. The SEO value of placing video on YouTube combined with the ability to drive click-throughs and increase time-on- site certainly argue for its use. The cost of video, especially if you want the production quality to be a good representation of your brand, is not something to take lightly, however. Video can easily cost up to $5-25,000 for a 90 second piece, depending upon the sophistication of the production. Hiring voice talent, acting talent, multiple cameras with illumination technology, green screens, directors and editors, — it can add up fast. Animated video can cost less, but there are degrees of quality with animated video and spending less may yield a poorer quality product. That, and animation is not always the best approach to take for every marketing communication as it may be taken less seriously or have a cheaper connotation than well-produced live video.
While finding a single marketer who can write amazing copy and at the same time create graphics and shoot video is a pretty tall order, it’s something you should be willing to invest in to make sure your drip marketing produces results over time.