Ask a Fractional CMO: Does Email Marketing Really Work?

Does email marketing really work?

This question came to us from a B2B leader who wanted to promote a new workshop, and assumed that the way to do that was through email marketing. But the company didn’t have email marketing set-up yet, and so they would be starting from scratch – and they wanted some assurances that email marketing really worked before moving forward. 

What we found interesting about this question is that it points to a common potential mistake many businesses make – and that is jumping right to a tactic to solve a marketing problem and not looking at the overall strategy first. 

Watch the video answer right here:

What we recommend in this situation is taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. What the company is really looking for is a way to fill their seats for an upcoming workshop. Is that solution through email marketing? Maybe – or maybe not. Or perhaps email marketing becomes just one element of a larger strategy. 

The important question to ask here is: What is the marketing strategy I need in order to fill the seats in my upcoming workshop? In order to answer this question, you first need to know:

  • Who are the ideal clients for my workshop? You need to know who your ideal clients are first before you can figure out where and how to reach them. 
  • How long do I have to fill the workshop? This can determine whether you’ll have time to target a colder audience who doesn’t know you yet, or whether you need to really focus on a warmer audience who is more likely to sign up quickly. 
  • What is the overall marketing strategy for the company (if there is one)? What types of marketing are we already doing that works for us? How do we leverage this?
  • What are all the potential marketing tactics I could use to fill this workshop, and which ones will give us the best return, the fastest?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of the high level tactics you will choose to fill your workshop. Whatever tactics you choose, you will then need to develop a marketing campaign strategy consisting of multiple steps to move your ideal clients into the workshop. 

So imagine that email marketing does end up being an ideal marketing tactic to use to fill your workshop, but you don’t have email marketing set-up yet. This means you have to make a number of strategic decisions:

  • What email system should you use?
  • Who will you be emailing (clients, prospects, partners, others), do you already have a list, and who are you legally allowed to add to your list?
  • What is your email campaign strategy? When will you send the emails, how many emails are needed and what will the messages be?

You can see how quickly a seemingly simple question, “Does email marketing really work?” can quickly become quite a bit more complex. Our simple answer is: Yes, email marketing absolutely works if you have the right strategies and systems in place – but no, it may not work if you don’t.

Next Steps: The CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Effective B2B Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World 

To help you make important decisions around your marketing investment, we’ve created a comprehensive eBook: The B2B CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Expert Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World

In this eBook, we walk you through the six most important questions B2B CEOs need to answer in order to build their first marketing team and choose the right marketing model for their stage of business:

  1. How Do You Know It’s Time to Invest in Marketing?
  2. What are B2B Marketing Best Practices?
  3. How Has B2B Marketing Become More Complex?
  4. What Are the Top Challenges in Getting Started in Marketing?
  5. What Does a B2B Marketing Team Look Like?
  6. Should You Hire In-House or Outsource?

You can download the eBook RIGHT HERE

Book a Marketing Strategy Consultation:

If you have any questions about this blog post or the eBook or would like to schedule a consultation with Jen Kelly, NIM’s Founder and one of the Fractional CMOs to get more guidance around your next steps in marketing, you can send her an email or book a consultation time.

Get the Ultimate Guide Now:



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