Email first, daylight second, when it comes to B2B demand generation

Using email is vital for marketers looking to drive engagement and conversions, survey finds.

B2B marketers shouldn’t underestimate the power of email. A global survey of B2B marketers has found that email is the most effective demand generation channel for both early stage engagement and driving conversions.

The survey, commissioned and published by US-based website Demand Gen Report, showed that B2B marketers still rely on multiple channels to drive leads. Two in three respondents said they use email to push leads into the pipeline, followed by their website (60 per cent) and search (50 per cent).

They said email is undoubtedly the most effective of these channels: 81 per cent of B2B marketers said it drives conversions and 59 per cent said it pushes early-stage engagement.

The channels they rated highest for driving engagement are email followed by search (56 per cent), their website (51 per cent) and social media (44 per cent). The four top performers for driving conversions are email, website (50 per cent), telemarketing (45 per cent) and retargeting and online ads (both 27 per cent).

The B2B marketers said the top demand generation priorities for this year are focusing on lead quality over quantity, improving conversion rates/campaign results and generating increased lead volume. They are an optimistic group, too: this year, 70 per cent said their demand generation budgets will grow and 63 per cent expected their company's revenue to bulge by more than 20 per cent.

They also believe that in-person events will continue to be their best engagement tactic. They said the top ways to generate qualified leads in 2017 were events (68 per cent), webinars (61 per cent) and lead nurturing campaigns (57 per cent).

As far as tactics that help convert and accelerate leads further down the sales funnel, the most successful are case studies (73 per cent), lead-nurturing campaigns (63 per cent) and events (55 per cent).

The survey also found that B2B marketers are planning to try and use some new tools in 2018. Exploring account-based marketing was nominated as a top priority by 49 per cent of respondents, followed by multichannel lead nurturing (41 per cent), and content planning/syndication and retargeting (both 37 per cent).

Of the 160 respondents to Demand Gen Report's survey, 5 per cent were from APAC.

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Further reading: The artificial intelligence pushing sales and marketing together

Photo: Dylan Nolte on Unsplash