What are the three critical success factors that ensure your b-to-b email campaigns fulfill their potential?

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Many b-to-b marketing executives are settling for email response rates much lower than what are possible and desirable. Applying these three strategies will ensure your email initiatives deliver their full potential:
  1. Integrate email into the right mix of multiple media. We're hearing from marketing executives at companies engaged in complex sales that many email campaigns and other inbound initiatives are resulting in responses mostly from lower-level decision- makers and at smaller deal sizes. Best practices dictate that the right mix of multiple media—calls, voicemail messages, email and direct mail—is required to improve results. For example, situations where outbound calling is critical include a complex buying landscape with C-level or multiple decision-makers and a longer sales cycle.
  2. Multiply touches to connect more frequently. Consider increasing the number of touches as the importance of contacting prospects multiple times cannot be overstated. Analysis of our program results over time revealed it is essential to reach prospects with at least 12 individual touches. Why 12? That's the number of touches, delivered over a period of time through a combination of quality outbound calls, emails, voicemail messages and direct mai, needed to achieve the greatest level of response.
  3. Bridge multiple sales cycles to overlap with the window of need. The initial contact cycle—the first time you touch your audience with a combination of 12 phone calls, emails, voicemail and direct mail—will yield only 40% to 50% of the total opportunities. Continuing to touch the same prospects on a regular basis can identify other opportunities and overlap with emerging windows of need.
Multiple media, multiple touches and multiple sales cycles—integrate them into your b-to-b email campaigns and you'll realize significantly higher response rates. Dan McDade is president-CEO of PointClear (, a prospect-development company.
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