Email has been a major boon to business. Companies can use email to market, to sell, to communicate, and more. Especially when a company is selling products and services to other companies, and thus lacks a brick-and-mortar store that sells wares, it wouldn’t be surprising if every employee in a company went a whole day, or even a whole week, without communicating with clients on the phone or in person. While email has certainly made business easier, it is a dangerous tool when it is overused.
Too many business-to-business companies rely too heavily on email to find and nurture their sales leads. A new study reveals that more than 90 percent of marketers use email marketing strategies to attract new leads. However, this method has severe downsides, like that the sales team can only reach prospects they know about and that email databases are insecure and fallible. While email is a valuable tool in many aspects of business, there are better ways to reach a wider audience with your marketing tactics.
The old strategies are still good ones. Paid advertising has the potential to reach members of your audience you never dreamed of. Through advertising in magazines and newspapers or even on billboards and cars themselves, you can spread the word about your company, including its products and services, and have the sales prospects coming to you. The best part about print advertising is it is rather flexible, meaning you can experiment with the strategy that works best in each space. While content like stories may be effective in the newspaper, visual branding like logos might look best on vehicles.
Social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and others have demonstrated their invaluable use for brand building. By investing in social media marketing, you gain the ability not only to advertise to your potential clients, but you have the unparalleled opportunity to inspire communication between you and your customers. Your happy clients can form a community singing your praises, while interested parties can come to learn more about what exactly you provide. Once again, your marketing strategies are encouraging your prospects to come to you.
This might seem like the worst direction you can take — everyone hates a telemarketer interrupting their day — but remember that your audience is companies, not people. While they’re at work, employees are more than willing to learn about products or services that could make their job easier and more efficient. In addition, the stigma of telemarketing has significantly decreased cold-calling efforts, so this risky strategy could set you apart from the rest in a big way.
Phone calls tend to be more personal than email, and if you establish the precedent of speaking on the phone, you could show your clients that you really care about them and their businesses. However, keep in mind that cold calling has many of the same pitfalls as email: You will be working off lists of known prospects instead of attracting the unfamiliar.
You can weigh the pros and cons of each marketing strategy against the budget and capabilities of your sales and marketing teams to find the best methods for your B2B company. If you’re looking to find more, better leads and stand out from your competitors, it’s best to leave email behind and experiment with other strategies.