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pardot-b2b-email-marketing-features-use-july2012.pngB2B marketers have an array of email marketing features at their disposable, but are not making use of all them to great degrees, according to [pdf] July 2012 survey results from Pardot. While most are leveraging features such as variable fields (86%), drip nurturing (61%), and behavioral segmentation (51%), spam analysis (33%) and mobile optimization (25%) are being virtually ignored. This despite recent research indicating that the share of emails opened on mobiles continues to soar, reaching 27.39% in H2 2011, according to Knotice.

Email Not a Primary Tool for Lead Gen

7 in 10 Pardot survey respondents said they are not using email marketing as their primary tool for lead generation, though 61% are using email for drip nurturing, with roughly two-thirds of those using targeted messaging, by changing which emails are sent based on how a prospect responds. This attitude towards email marketing as a lead nurturing rather than lead-generation tool may have an impact on budgets. 27% say they allocate between 26-50% of their budget to email, while 65% are allocating less than 25% of their budgets, and 9% more than half of their budgets.

Interestingly, a June 2012 report [download page] from Corporate Visions found that 8 in 10 B2B salespeople and marketers feel their demand generation campaigns are insufficient when it comes to helping them achieve selling success.

Tuesdays Said Peak Time For Email Opens

44% of the Pardot survey respondents agree that sending emails on Tuesday results in the highest open rates, while 53% report that Friday is the worst day of the week for email opens. Another 53% report the most success for email opens between 8 AM and 12 PM.

This contrasts with a MailerMailer report also released in July covering more than 1.2 billion opt-in email newsletters sent in 2011, which found that email open rates declined during the morning workday hours, before picking up in the afternoon and hitting highs of 18-19% at midnight. Even so, an earlier Informz study of its association clients’ email performance in 2011 suggested that email open rates were best in the morning. Neither the MailerMailer nor the Informz study indicated that they were limited to the B2B sector.

One area of commonality between the Pardot and MailerMailer study was in relation to open rates by day of the week, as MailerMailer also found high rates on Tuesday (though highest on Sunday). The Informz study, though, found no correlation between open rates and day of the week.

Marketers Test Methods To Raise Responses

Meanwhile, 58% of the Pardot survey respondents actively test to determine which types of content result in the best click-through rates. Another 57% test for a correlation between subject lines and open rates, and 46% test to see how open rates are affected by time of day.

In terms of the most effective offers to include in emails to generate response, the Pardot respondents found them to be, in descending order: invitations to webinars; white papers; case studies; and multimedia. Less effective content includes freebies, discounted services, limited time offers, and personal, text-based emails.

Other Findings:

  • According to Corporate Visions’ “Q2 2012 Sales and Marketing Messaging Report,” 65% of respondents believe their sales teams use less than half of the demand generation content produced by the marketing department.
  • 37% of respondents said that the single most important factor preventing them from having successful demand generation campaigns is content not being engaging enough. Not far behind, 31% complained of lack of sales and marketing alignment, while the remaining respondents tabbed budget constraints, lack of content, or lack of executive buy-in.
  • 3 in 5 respondents said their organization’s demand generation campaigns focused exclusively on their products, features, and services, rather than their customers’ problems.

About The Data: Pardot conducted an anonymous online survey in June of 2012 of more than 100 B2B marketers in the US. The Corporate Visions data is based on a survey of more than 440 B2B sales and marketing professionals around the globe.

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