Some B2B marketing best practices are costly or complex. For example, B2B lead generation that uses direct mail is a best practice as it’s always proven to work better than email marketing. But it is much more complex and costly than email. I understand it when B2B marketers do not follow best practices because of budget or time constraints.
However, there are many instances when B2B marketing best practices are not followed — but could easily be without additional cost or effort. Frankly, that drives me crazy. Here are just three of those practices.
A colleague forwarded me a link to a 17-page white paper on the topic of email marketing. The copy consists of long, heavy paragraphs of information all printed in a soft gray color. I need a magnifying glass to read it. Even then, the experience won’t be pleasant. To be effective, content should be not only informative, but readable. That means dark type on a light background.
A B2B marketing contact of mine wanted his company’s sales phones to ring and decided to offer a “free assessment” to help make that happen. He added a gift incentive for a qualified call to make the offer even more powerful. This offer stands very nicely on its own and can be communicated quickly and easily. However, the powers that be at his company insist that there be product sales material in the package and in the message. This addition makes the mailing package come off as a product pitch and not a “no-strings-attached” offer, which does not follow best practices and is likely to reduce response.
I lost an argument this week over putting more than one call to action in a lead generation email. Offering case studies is great. Also offering a Webinar in the same email effort is sure to diminish response to both the content and the Webinar. Everyone who has tested one call to action versus two has seen this result; thus, one call to action is always the best practice.
True B2B marketing best practices have been tested and proven to maximize response and/or achieve an acceptable cost per response based on the potential sales revenue. When these practices are not followed, but could be, B2B marketers do more than just drive me crazy, they reduce their company’s bottom line.