Of all the available marketing techniques, email marketing is arguably one of the most cost-efficient, and, when done correctly, effective ways to get in front of the right audience.
It’s also one of the more underappreciated of all digital techniques. Skeptics would say that technology email marketing is a foregone conclusion, that the world has severe email fatigue, and that the last thing busy executives will pay attention to is yet another spammy message in their inbox.
In its 2020 study uncovering the marketing practices of high-growth technology services firms, Hinge Research Institute found that technology services email marketing was number two on the list of techniques high-growth companies plan to adopt in their overall marketing plans. In fact, high-growth companies are twice as likely to prioritize email marketing than their no-growth counterparts.
So let’s take a closer look at the benefits of email marketing for technology services companies, and some tips for how to do it effectively.
Tools and advice to help you find clients for your web development, IT, or computer systems design business.
Benefits of technology services email marketing
Here are some reasons why email marketing works — and is such a high priority for high-growth companies:
- It’s one of the few ways to reach potential customers individually. There is no better way to stay in front of a technology services lead or business opportunity until it matures. It is also an effective way to present an offer, like a trial run or a custom-demo, directly to a prospective client.
- It’s very flexible and allows you to reach just a single prospect when you want to, or everyone in your database when the occasion calls for it.
- It is very cost-effective. The ROI of email in the tech and software space is $40 to every $1 spent. It’s tough to see that kind of ROI from other digital marketing channels.
- It is totally trackable. No need to guess if it is working or not. You can test, then make necessary adjustments or tweaks based on findings to your heart’s content.
- Technology is making email marketing even more powerful. With the proliferation of marketing automation, it is very easy to set up predetermined email sequences that are tailored to prospects’ behaviors and interests. Download a whitepaper on IT security and you can receive a predetermined nurturing email sequence on that specific topic.
- It builds a powerful asset that you own. The email contacts on your list are yours for the keeping.
In short, emails can be used to nurture, qualify, and even close new sales.
Email series tips
If you’re doing it right, your email marketing will help you build a list of people who have said, “Yes, I want you to market to me.” And automation tools allow you to pre-schedule much of the communication based on whatever actions a contact or prospective customer might have taken, so the emails they receive feel timely and relevant. Automation assures that you get the right messages to the right people at the right time.
But how do you know what that right timing is? In general, you should aim to be more educational and informative over being sales-y. Expertise wins every time over the hard sell — and it helps all of your marketing, email included, rise above the noise.
If you follow the 80:20 rule that applies to so many other areas of professional life, where 80% of the time you educate and 20% of the time you sell, you’ll likely see more results and positive outcomes from your email strategy.
How many emails to send in a given week largely depends on your list, how mature your email marketing program is, and how much truly valuable content you have to share. Some firms send out one email a month, others send multiple emails a week. Use your analytics to see how your own audience is responding to the specific email strategy you’ve adopted, and adjust accordingly.
Here is an example of an email series you might want to consider:
- Send a welcome email right after someone becomes a new customer, inviting them to a free consultation — essentially a conversation that they’ll view as highly valuable to a major decision they’re trying to make. You’ll benefit from this direct contact and can use it as an opportunity to deepen the relationship, strengthen the loyalty, and ultimately expand the business opportunity.
- One to two days later, send an email inviting them to connect with you in other channels, such as your company’s social media platforms. If your customers and subscribers engage with you in these public forums, your business gets exposed to their connections, who are also likely to make excellent prospective customers.
- Finally, make sure you maintain consistent communications by sending a minimum of one email per month thereafter, letting your new subscribers know about relevant events you’re holding, like a webinar, or a relevant article you’ve written, and so on. You’ll make an impression that is professional and expertise-oriented. In other words, helpful.
As your email marketing grows and your list becomes more robust, you can get more advanced with automation by sending emails triggered by actions taken by your contacts like opening an email, downloading a piece of content, clicking on a link, or joining a list. Automation is where the magic happens, because it allows technology to do what it does best — map response to behavior — and allows humans the time to do what they do best — build relationships.
The bottom line? Email marketing works. It helps you get educational, informative, and therefore useful content in front of a captive audience. Automation tools help you personalize emails in such a way that each person’s action informs the next email they’ll receive.
Finally, email marketing works best when it’s part of a well-oiled marketing machine, so be sure to check out the Making Sense of Online Marketing guide for a comprehensive look at how to incorporate email marketing into your overall marketing strategy.