When it comes to B2B digital marketing there tends to be one channel that most people will agree works and that is email. Forget social media, trade shows or print advertising; email is said to be the most effective marketing channel according to 59% of B2B marketers (Source: BtoB Magazine).
Alienate your recipients
Have you ever received junk mail from a company who personalised the envelope with a message about how you were pre-approved for a loan or credit card? Maybe it had a free pen inside. You may have even willingly took the pen and used it happily for many years, writing letters to loved ones, completing crosswords and signing cheques to UPVC double glazing companies.
Did you use the pen to sign the pre-approved credit card agreement? Probably not. Do you remember the credit card company fondly? That seems unlikely.
You probably don't even remember the company name (unless you have the pen in front of you, of course). That's the reality of bought recipients. To them you're just another company trying to sell them something without knowing their challenges, their needs, their requirements and they aren't likely to be warm to your sales approach.
Get blacklisted or marked as spam
A key factor in email marketing campaigns is the deliverability rate of your emails because simply pressing send on the email doesn't ensure it was ever received. This is due to a number of different factors; firewalls, spam filters and low quality data to name but a few. However, according to return path, non-delivery is down to the issue of sender score 83% of the time.
You don’t ever want to negatively affect your deliverability rate. Sending emails to people who are not familiar with your company will increase the likelihood of your emails being blocked or marked as spam.
Opt-in recipients are warmer than bought recipients
There is also the issue of quality that sits at the heart of this discussion. Click-through rates are dramatically worse with 3rd party lists than opt-in lists, but even when recipients do become leads by downloading your content, the quality of lead will typically also be much worse.
People generally aren't that happy to receive emails with irrelevant ads or marketing messages from companies they have never interacted with. On the other hand, leads generated through inbound marketing, where they seek you out due to your content, have the opposite experience. Being interrupted creates annoyance and few, if any, quality leads. In the long run, this is only going to harm your inbound marketing campaign development.
To find how you should be doing email marketing, download our Best Practice Guide to B2B Email Marketing.
By Martin Broadhurst