B2B Marketing Blog

Turn Down For What: 5 Ways B2B Marketers Can Achieve More From Less

By Jordan Con
Sep 29, 2015

turn-down-b2b-marketing

We often discuss new tactics and ideas to add to the ever-growing marketing toolkit with the goal of helping marketers drive more demand, more leads, more conversions, more whatever. While that’s important, we also need to remember the old adage “less is more.” In the frenzy of trying to keep up with new technologies, customer behaviors, and strategies, it’s easy to forget that refining and simplifying is just as, if not more, impactful.

With that in mind, let’s discuss 5 things B2B marketers need to “Turn Down” as well as “For What” a.k.a. why doing less of it will actually lead to more success.

1. Turn Down Your Inflated Subscription List

If you have a serious content marketing component, chances are you have a big list of email subscribers. Unfortunately, chances are also pretty good that a significant percentage of those subscribers never or rarely open your email. Consider trimming down your subscription list to those who have opened one of your emails recently, or down to just your consistent core readers.

Emails that don’t get opened don’t provide any value. They’re actually actively a bad thing. When a massive amount of emails (think: blog subscription emails) don’t get opened, it hurts your email spam score, which is detrimental to the rest of your email marketing.

It will also purify your data so that you can optimize your content for the people who really care. Your subscription list is essentially your data set. When there’s a large number of them who don’t care or who are just on the fringe, your data gets skewed. If you remove that data (delete them from your list), your data becomes more insightful and more actionable.

Start by identifying subscribers who have never opened an email since subscribing. Send them an email telling them that you’ve removed them from your subscription list and give them an option to easily opt back in. You never know exactly why people open or don’t open an email, so remind them why they initially subscribed and then leave the onus on them to re-connect. If they don’t open it, they’ve confirmed that they are not interested; if they do open it, they’ll appreciate that your intentions aren’t to spam them, and they may even decide to give your content another chance.

Anum Hussain (@anum) talks about removing subscribers in her presentation on growing the Sidekick blog (starting on slide 96).

2. Turn Down Your Generic Retargeting Campaign

Retargeting, as a marketing tactic, has really taken off in the last couple of years. It’s a great way to bring people back your website, but retargeting every visitor isn’t the best use of your money and, if executed improperly, it can even turn some people off to your brand for good.

When advertising on social media became widely available, marketers quickly jumped on board. They tried to take advantage of the massive audiences, relatively low prices, and went big. As marketers became more sophisticated with the social ad technology, they began to figure out how to more strategically target their audience and send specific content to specific people.

The same goes for retargeting. Take the next step in the evolution of retargeting, turn down the generic retargeting, and figure out smarter ways to retarget based on the information you know about your audience. For example, if prospects are already down the marketing funnel, set up a specific retargeting campaign with bottom-of-the-funnel content. When we switched to a funnel-based retargeting strategy, our results improved over 400%.

By turning down your broad retargeting, you’ll save money on wasted impressions and hit the right people at the right stage in their customer journey with the right content.

3. Turn Down Your PPC Mobile Bids

When it comes to PPC, a thumb is a lot less precise than computer mouse. According to Google, half of mobile ad clicks are accidental. As a result, B2B companies shouldn’t be bidding (paying) the same amount for a click on mobile as a click on a laptop or desktop. The true cost of a useful mobile click, if half of all clicks are accidental, is twice as much as what your analytics say a click costs. This can be remedied with mobile bid modifiers, which allow you to automatically adjust prices for mobile viewers compared to desktop.

The caveat here is that if your business has a natural mobile-centric connection (e.g. if click-to-call drives a lot of customer interest), than you might want to reconsider how you adjust your mobile bids.

4. Turn Down Your Low Quality Visitors With Negative Keywords

B2B marketing blogs often talk about how to optimize PPC campaigns by using the right keywords. On the other hand, marketers can also optimize their PPC campaigns by excluding important keywords that are driving low quality traffic. These can be words that mean something slightly different in the wrong context or you may just notice that a particular combination of words are driving low quality traffic.

How keywords drive traffic changes frequently, so this is something that needs to be continually monitored and experimented with. Also note that you can execute negative keywords at both the Campaign and the Ad Group level.

5. Turn Down Your Lead Gen Mentality

I’ve never heard of a business that optimizes for contacts -- they optimize for revenue. Therefore, marketers should optimize for revenue, as well. More and more leads don’t mean anything unless they ultimately convert. When you start thinking about the entire funnel, rather than just the top, you get higher quality leads who go through the funnel at a much higher rate.

Read more here: Leads Goals Are Dead And We Can Thank Pipeline Marketing

Closing Thoughts

With the growing capabilities that marketing automation affords us modern day marketers, it’s often tempting to think about how we can reach as many people as possible all the time with as many messages as possible. Instead, we should also be thinking about how we can be most efficient with our marketing -- creating strategies to engage with the right people with the right content.

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