Airing Thoughts on Email, Phone Calls, Video Calls and Low-Code Tools

Summer is the time to relax — and think about video, phone, email and low-code marketing tools.

Ah the lazy, hazy days of summer — well not really. I’m still attached to my computer working long days. Even with the long hours there’s just something about the summertime that provides extra headspace to spend time thinking and not just acting.

Maybe it’s the longer daylight hours, time spent lying on a lounge chair at the weekend, or the absence of colleagues and their demands on my time as they take a much-needed break. Whatever the reason, I find that the summer gives me mental energy to think about strategy and all sorts of things.

In the category of “all sorts of things,” I’d like to share some of the things that I’ve been pondering this summer and would welcome feedback if these topics have invaded your headspace as well.

Email Marketing Best Practices: What’s the Sweetspot?

We’ve finally gotten to a place where we have a logical interconnected set of email flows that shift and change in response to customer behavior. It’s taken us a long time to get here, and we’re still at a pretty basic level, but nonetheless, it’s a big step forward.

Now with that in place we’re looking at how we refine what we’ve got and take it to the next level. To that end, I’ve recently responded to some of the promotional emails I’ve received from agencies and vendors about advancing our email marketing.

I had a conversation with one agency that I can’t stop thinking about. In discussing our requirements, the agency representative asked me about the frequency with which we send emails. We are a B2B SaaS company and typically send two to three emails a week, which if you do a search for best practices for email frequency seems like too much.

However, the agency rep responded with “that’s nowhere near enough!” His position was this — everyone is being bombarded with emails so it’s likely that the emails we send are getting lost among the long list of vendor emails in our prospects’ inboxes and that the answer to this problem is to “out email” everyone else in terms of quantity of emails. While I appreciate the logic behind this, you can easily imagine how this quickly becomes a nightmare scenario.

After our conversation I started searching for information on email frequency and while most articles were in the “less is more camp” and focused on best practices around segmentation, subject lines, send time and day etc., I did uncover a fascinating article that looked at email performance related to email frequency, and then business performance related to email frequency. They showed email performance (open rates, clicks etc.) decreased as email frequency increased, BUT order conversions increased as email frequency increased. This data is for B2C companies, and it makes sense to me as a target audience of one. I see promotional emails fly by all the time and very rarely click on them, but when I’m looking to shop, the brands that have been emailing me are top of mind, and I generally go searching for one of their promotional emails when I start to shop. It’s really the email equivalent of retargeting.

Does this translate to B2B? I think at some level it does. How many times have you said to a colleague, “What was the name of that company that does XYZ?” If that company was flying across your screen on a regular basis, it would be top of mind. On the flip side, the price point of our product doesn’t lend itself to a direct conversion so it’s important for us to drive engagement with our emails, we need our prospects to actually read them. For a low-cost SaaS product that may not be the case and a “more is better” may actually be a good strategy. For now, I’m going to keep analyzing our results and researching best practices as we refine our email marketing strategy and cadence.

Related Article: 10 Common Email Marketing Mistakes That Are Easy to Fix

The Cold Calling Dilemma

In the same vein as emails, internally we’ve been discussing our approach to cold calling. This is another dilemma; my team would prefer to de-emphasize them since “no one ever answers,” but I’ve noticed that when someone I can identify by name or company name calls and texts me multiple times a day, for several days in a row, I’m likely to eventually respond with a text or have a conversation.

My son is a B2B SaaS sales director, and his team makes on average eight calls per day to a contact they are targeting and they’ve found that to be effective. Again, I appreciate the logic behind this, but this too can quickly become a nightmare scenario — imagine if every vendor tried calling you eight times a day — yikes! We’ve started to experiment with call frequency to see if that produces any learnings, and I’m re-evaluating our customer journey in the context of both email and calls to see if we can land on a methodology that makes sense.

We definitely aren’t there yet with the basics and haven’t added SMS messaging to the mix, we’re still very adhoc in our approach so the first step will be to define a methodology that is consistent across the organization and that lends itself to testing and analysis.

Related Article: How IoT, Automotive and SmartTV Are Changing the Digital Customer Experience

Setting Guidelines for Video Camera On, Camera Off

Long before Covid, video calls were the primary way we interacted with prospects and customers. Today, it’s how we interact with everyone.

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