For years, marketing techniques have been moved online. If you aren’t using language that resonates with your prospects or addressing issues in their industry, you aren’t going to set yourself apart from the competition. Jargon, yardsticks, metrics, and segment-specific “sound bites” connecting energy solutions with what your prospects actually care about are key to effective online outreach.
For example, if you’re trying to send an email that will be opened in a B2B setting, there needs to be some segment-specific language in the subject line. Several years ago we released our Segment Guides to help our students with this and it has been proven to work. One of our first clients to use it in their mass emails saw a 30% increase in their open rate, a 30% increase in their click-through rate, and a 290% increase in their lead form completion rate within their carefully tracked 120-day pilot. Needless to say, they were very pleased with those outcomes!
Similarly, one of our utility clients used segment-specific information to make an award-winning ad with the tagline: “Sell 15,000 bushels of peaches or switch to LED lighting. Same results, your choice.” This was published in Progressive Grocer magazine, where it turned a lot of heads and significantly increased the flow of rebate-eligible lighting projects from grocers.
Considering its success, why did this ad succeed? Here are three reasons:
- Equating savings to something measurable, or what I call moving from digits to widgets, elicits a more compelling visual. In this case it was the equivalent of more than 2 million peaches. While a grocer might not immediately grasp the significance of LED lighting, they certainly appreciate the effort involved in sourcing, labeling, stocking, and selling that many peaches in a given year!
- I heard that the requests for LED installations among grocers went up by 200% within three months of this ad campaign. All of this based on a few sentences grounded in segment-specific jargon!
- The headline was short and to the point. Within seconds a potential customer had gotten the message and could take action by clicking on a link or sending an email for more info. Moreover, the message was not only direct, but also segment-specific.
There’s another thing to consider: if you look into how a business owner makes decisions, it revolves around concerns salespeople often don’t take into account. Seth Godin’s “hierarchy of B2B needs” is a helpful breakdown of what is foremost in their mind:
- Avoiding risk
- Avoiding hassle
- Gaining praise
- Gaining power
- Having fun
- Making a profit
Notice that money is at the bottom of the list. It isn’t top priority! So, keep this in mind when you’re coming up with your messaging.
And remember, you have so many more avenues to explore than ever, regardless of the pandemic. You can send emails. You can make contact through LinkedIn or Facebook. Some businesses are appealing to customers through Instagram or YouTube.
Regardless of what communication route you choose, there needs to be a human patina to your pitch. It needs to resonate with your prospect. Keep it interesting, humorous or personal instead of just pitching services and sending price lists. Believe me, many of us have experienced that ourselves. The last thing you want to do is seem as if you’re repeatedly shilling a product. It’s an immediate turn-off.