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In the last few years, you’ve almost certainly heard other marketers say something like this. “Email marketing is dead. Most people delete emails before they open them. Millennials don’t even use email. Social is where it’s at.” 

But while there are now a number of ways for companies to engage with prospects and customers, the figures say otherwise. Email marketing is still the most effective way to nurture leads and move them through the conversion funnel. In fact, email is a very direct way to be able to reinforce your brand, educate and inspire, as well as being a good way to check your metrics and see if your message is cutting through. And how well your emails perform can have a huge effect on the success of your company’s marketing efforts and the effort to turn your leads into customers.

Editorial planning

In this post we’ll look at:

  • Why email marketing isn’t dead
  • B2B email marketing statistics to measure engagement
  • How to automate email marketing with workflows
  • How Plezi’s Smart Campaign can give you even better result

1.Why email marketing isn’t dead

Email is still the best tool marketers have to nurture prospects through the conversion funnel, reactivate old leads, and to qualify new ones. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t be giving up on email marketing just yet:

1.1 Email is the preferred channel for B2B communication

Email is still seen as a more professional medium than social media. Contrary to popular wisdom, a vast majority of people are happy to receive promotional content from businesses via email. And that doesn’t look set to change anytime soon. Far from only using social media, 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come via email.

1.2 Email is a channel you own

Used correctly, social media can be a great place to engage with prospects and customers. But your ability to do so is entirely dependent on the algorithms of social networks and their continued existence. Just 2% of a company’s Facebook followers see their posts in the news feed.  Think also about what happened when Facebook went down recently. Something we talk about often on Plezi, is using your site, and your channels to talk to you customers. Mail is another way Meanwhile, more than 90% of emails get delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox. And a permission-based email list is an asset your business will own forever.

(An example of our welcome email from Plezi)

1.3 Email lets you personalize your message

You can target social media posts to different buyer personas. But email marketing gives you a much greater ability to personalize the content you send to prospects. By segmenting your email list based on previous interactions with your company, you can send them content that is much more relevant. This will improve both the open and click-through rates of your emails. 

1.4 Email lets you accurately measure the impact of a campaign

Social media analytics have developed a lot in recent years, but they still can’t match the data available for email. Marketing automation software like Plezi gives you access to check real-time information about how effective your email marketing is and what actions users take as a result. This data can help you further fine-tune your email campaigns and increase conversions. Whether it be click-through rates, subject lines, CTA’s, to see who has read to mail nor not – there is a lot of information to learn from. 

1.5 Email marketing has the best ROI

The ROI channels like social media can be notoriously difficult to measure. But email marketing has an estimated average ROI of 4,400%. That means for every pound you invest in email marketing you get a staggering £44 back! Email marketing has also consistently generated one of the highest average ROIs of any marketing channel for the last decade.

2. B2B email marketing statistics to measure engagement

So, now you’ve seen the advantages email marketing has to offer, how do you measure the effectiveness of emails you are sending? Fortunately, marketing automation software like Plezi gives you access to a range of metrics that let you track the performance of email campaigns in real-time.

The most important of these are:

  • Average open rate
  • Average click-through rate
  • Average unsubscribe rate
  • Average bounce rate

We’ve already written a post that summarizes the results of four studies of B2B email marketing statistics carried out between 2018-2020. In it, we’ve broken these figures down by industry so you can see how your email marketing efforts compare to average rates in your sector. 

Below, let’s look at some average statistics across all B2B industries.

The average open rate for B2B emails is 22.22%

This figure represents the percentage of people on your email list who open a particular email.

The average click-through rate for B2B emails is 3.06%

Also known as the click rate, this is the percentage of people on your email list who click on an image, a link, or a call to action contained within a particular email. It is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks an email receives by the total number of emails that were delivered. The formula looks like this:

Click-through rate = Total clicks / (Total emails sent – Total bounced emails)

Now, if you think these figures look underwhelming, try comparing them to current average engagement rates for different social networks:

  • LinkedIn average engagement rate: 0.35%
  • Facebook average engagement rate: 0.27%
  • Twitter average engagement rate: 0.07%

The average unsubscribe rate for B2B emails is 0.21%

This figure measures the percentage of subscribers who choose to opt-out of receiving any more emails from you after receiving a particular email. It’s important to look at the unsubscribe rate of your mails to see if you are sending too often, if you are sending -irrelevant things, or if your subject line, or the time of sending your mail is not the best. We give some tips on how to write different mails in this article

The average bounce rate for B2B emails is 0.96%

This is the percentage of emails sent to your email list that could not be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. An email can “bounce” in two main ways. Soft bounces occur when there is a temporary server failure or because your email has gone to someone’s spam folder. Hard bounces happen when you have the wrong email address, or when an email address is no longer active.

3. How to automate email marketing with workflows

The best way to improve the open and click-through rates of the emails you send is by segmenting your audience and email list. This lets you send prospects personalized content that is much more relevant to their interests and position in the conversion funnel. One common way to do this is to use marketing automation workflows. 

A workflow is basically a set of automated marketing actions triggered by an event. Typically, this is when a prospect does something like viewing a webinar, signing up for your newsletter, or creating an account on your website. 

For example, at Plezi we use a workflow comprised of two or three emails to welcome prospects when they sign up to our newsletter. The first introduces our company and outlines what leads can expect from us. The next provides links to the various resources on our website. While the third email presents our product in more detail.

Worklows UK

(The workflow we created to welcome prospects)

Workflows can save you a great deal of time and effort. Used in a targeted way and with a specific objective in mind, they can be a great way to automate email marketing campaigns. But they also require you to think about the different paths a prospect might take on your website and the actions you want them to take as a result. This can often be tricky to get right, and having a large number of workflows running at once can soon become counterproductive.

4. How Plezi’s Smart Campaign can give you even better results

At Plezi, we automate most of our email marketing using the key feature of our software, the Smart Campaign. By using our system of tags, the Smart Campaign can determine a prospects position in the buyer’s journey, their interests, and intention. This lets you personalize the emails and content that you send them to a very high degree. It means it is impossible to send a prospect the same piece of content twice or send content to the wrong prospect.

The Smart Campaign frees up time for our marketing team, who no longer need to create and manage several different workflows. But it also greatly increases the chances that prospects will engage with the emails that you send. You can control a range of parameters that let you tailor a smart campaign to your specific needs and requirements.

(View of the Plezi Smart Campaign dashboard)

And the figures show that our Smart Campaign is a much more effective way to send emails to prospects than workflows:

  • Emails sent by our Smart Campaign have an open rate which is 10% higher than emails sent using workflows, and a click-through rate which is 50% higher.
  • Smart Campaigns enable an average of 14 times more marketing qualified leads (MQLs) to be passed on to sales
  • A Smart Campaign shortens the sales cycle of our prospects by an average of 20 days. 

To find out more about Plezi’s marketing automation software and our Smart Campaign, why not ask for a product demo today?

Statistics prove that B2B email marketing is still very much alive and kicking. But to be truly effective, it needs to be done properly. The best way to improve email engagement rates is to segment your email list. By using Plezi’s Smart Campaign to personalize the emails you send to prospects, you know that you can both increase conversion rates and save valuable time for your marketing team.

How do you think email marketing compares to other channels you use? What results have you seen from using Plezi’s Smart Campaign? Why not tell us about it in the comments below?

Adeline Lemercier

Adeline Lemercier

Adeline is our Marketing Manager at Plezi. With 4 years of experience at Sage in the acquisition marketing department, her role is to develop the inbound marketing strategy at Plezi.