If you’re reading this, you probably have been investing in content marketing for some time. We assume that you also have a website, a blog, a bunch of posts and case studies that are really fun to read and should be shared with everyone across the industries you work with. That’s a great start! You’ve prepared plenty of fuel for your inbound sales channel.
Therefore, your #1 question right now must be, “How do I turn on the ignition?”
Inbound marketing is the result of transformation that decision-making has gone through. We’re no longer influenced by TV ads or newspapers when it comes to choosing a vendor or product. Modern decision-makers know how to use the Internet and do their homework diligently before choosing a brand. Moreover, those decision-makers don’t like to be taken lightly. B2C buyers won’t like an ad that basically says, “Don’t think, just consume” while B2B clients will reject any vendor who sends them a crummy sales offer that offers generic info.
“But wait!” you might say. “Isn’t email marketing used for outbound? Are you sure you got this right?”
This is what makes email marketing so awesome: It goes with everything. Inbound and outbound, B2C and B2B — there is nothing you can’t do with the right campaign, message and settings.
But let’s outline several clear distinctions between outbound email marketing and inbound email marketing.
Of course, modern outbound marketing is designed to be as non-interruptive as possible in order to establish a natural and frictionless conversation. However, inbound marketing interacts with prospects on another level. It doesn’t need them to respond or to write back; it merely encourages them to research, explore and make conclusions. It also means working with prospects who:
a) have already visited your website;
b) subscribed to your newsletter, i.e., interested in your content;
c) expressedtheirconsenttogettingemailsfromyoubysharingtheir contact data;
d) created an account on your website or inside tool.
Now, let’s take a look at the key principles behind inbound email marketing.
Does it work? Well, the stats speak for themselves.
- Unstable deliverability. Many B2B senders get dangerously comfortable with their B2B outreach. By “dangerously” we mean believing that campaigns targeted at opted-in recipients don’t require as much monitoring as outbound campaigns do. It’s important to remember that no campaign is a piece of cake. Pitfalls can catch anybody by surprise.
- Sudden spam issues. Emails that seemingly disappear from inbound outreach, never landing to any inbox, are a common problem. Inbound messages aren’t an exception. So before you launch a campaign, you need to know how to run spam tests.
- Creativity isn’t aligned with the rules. When it comes to sending promotional and informative emails, some brands let their marketing departments go wild with creativity. Images, videos, even mini-games — everybody tries to present their content in the most imaginative way possible. Some senders, however, get carried away and risk ending up under the strict supervision of spam filters.
All those things considered, building an inbound marketing email campaign is not a walk in a park. But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it. Every approach becomes a lot more understandable once it’s laid out, step by step — and this is exactly what our guide does.