BTB Marketers Should Apply DM Concepts to E-Mail Marketing

SAN FRANCISCO — Business-to-business marketers would do well to apply what they know about direct marketing to their e-mail marketing campaigns.

That was the advice given by Regina Brady, vice president for strategy and partnerships at FloNetwork, and Elyse Tager, principal of, a list brokerage, both of whom spoke Friday at the 14th Direct Marketing to Business conference.

“All that you learned in direct marketing you should apply to e-mail marketing,” Tager said. “Take those lessons and move them over to e-mail.”

Tager noted that many business-to-business marketers have a wealth of information in their house files that is just waiting to be tapped. With e-mail marketing, she said, the line between marketing and sales is blurred.

She also said that the market for e-mail lists is softening, though more so in the consumer market than in the BTB market. Tager noted that BTB lists can be obtained for about $200 to $300 per thousand.

“Prices are definitely softening,” she said. “There are few actual buyer files, however. Lists are built from Web site registrations, controlled circulation magazines and qualification cards.”

Brady said BTB marketers should give serious consideration to hiring an inhouse person who is dedicated to e-mail. She also stressed the need for targeted, more personalized e-mail.

“You don't want to be a one-size-fits-all marketer,” Brady said. “It's all about targeted marketing.”

She suggested that companies increase their use of HTML in e-mail and rich media. Click-through rates for HTML e-mail, Brady said, are about three times higher than for text-based messages.

Viral marketing is another area BTB marketers should explore, Brady said.

“It's all about looking at what types of links people click on,” she said. “We see about three-tenths of 1 percent of people pass along messages because they are interested in it. You can often get up to 20 percent higher click throughs if you encourage people to pass your message along.”

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