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The MSP’s Guide to Why Email Marketing Wins Contracts

By Crystal McFerran, CMO | The 20 

Email marketing can feel dated on the surface to people outside of marketing, but it’s still one of the most important tricks of the trade to turn leads into real contracts. In modern marketing, social media gets you an audience, but email gets you a deal. It’s cheap, easy, and scalable. This trend is especially telling in B2B (business to business) ventures like MSPs.

An email list gives you access to potential leads who are interested in you for some reason. This doesn’t guarantee a sales call, but it does increase your odds. You can spend less on marketing for better results statistically.

The move from social media marketing or similar to an email list is also a way to own your audience rather than rent it from a platform. When you’re on Facebook or similar, you’re getting attention based on what makes the platform money. There are also more people with casual interests passing by who have no intention of ever buying anything.

Once someone has bought in a little, they’re at least more likely to buy in more based on the Diderot Effect. If you get them to do a favor, you can most likely get them to do more down the line per the Benjamin Franklin Effect. Combine these techniques the right way and you can ask for an email to ask for a buy in.

Owning Email

You’re asking readers a favor to get their email. What are you giving them in return for said favor? Most email lists have some trade-off, the company gets an avenue of contact, the person volunteering their email address usually gets something. This can be a white-paper, an ebook, or similar. What you use to entice may vary, but you still get some form of buy-in. As an MSP, this can range from data about specific technical aspects to case studies and other productive advice.

When you market on social media, you’re basically renting your audience. Getting their email or some other form of contact gives you a direct avenue. You’re no longer lost in the sea of businesses and chatter on social media, but you now own a direct link to potential prospects. You’ll still get fake emails and people who just don’t care, but dollar for dollar you get much more (as we’ll explore). You now have a path to own first-party data.

Taking ownership also helps pull potential prospects into your marketing funnel. Email in B2B is a direct avenue into a business inbox which is monitored more closely than many personal inboxes. You also have someone who has wanted something from you (more often than not) so they’re probably willing to listen if it directly benefits them somehow. This gives opportunity to perform drip marketing.

The Value of Email in B2B Marketing

B2B marketing involves much less impulse buying ; you’re doing something to be involved in their business. A B2B sale isn’t a transaction, it’s an investment after forming a sales cadence.

Email provides an easy avenue in which can help you get more touches to get more conversions. It takes a lot of energy and effort to shift services, but it can be necessary. A no in sales isn’t always a no, it’s more a no, not right now. B2B sales aren’t the same as they used to be.

Your marketing process feeds your sales process. You can’t sell without leads, and you can’t generate leads (at scale) without marketing. The problem with lead generation is that some leads are just worth more.

When someone signs up with their email, you have a contact method, and you have some level of interest. It currently makes up 23.11% of MSP marketing methods for the average MSP, but it becomes essential to scale. With the right tracking methods and data, you can sift leads to find which are worth spending the most on for pennies on the dollar compared to most other active digital marketing methods. You won’t win every sale, but you will greatly reduce the waste of cold calling and blind outreach. They already wanted something, now show them what you have that’s more of an ask.

How to Drip Market

Drip marketing is the same for B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B; the difference is the scope. B2C can rely on more simple techniques for long-term leads, but B2B requires a bit more. You aren’t buying an individual’s approval, you’re trying to sell a group on your value. For an MSP, this is even more involved since you need your client to trust you with the most important parts of their business.

Drip marketing is basically the practice of contacting a potential lead or prospect multiple times to get them interested. Each email contains something to keep their interest and push them deeper into your funnel. A campaign can start with a problem, progress to solutions, progress through implementation, then progress through the problems with said implementation, and then finally progresses towards the harder sales pitch of why you avoid said process. You guide them through your reasoning towards why your solution has already solved the problem. This is just one example of many ideas which can make for a simple template for a drip marketing campaign.

Each touch can whittle away at doubts and even help weed out incompatible leads. A lead you can sell, but which you won’t retain past the onboarding is worth less than no lead at all. Drip marketing is all about having multiple touches to keep your audience engaged with your brand and your campaign. Sell them on your expertise and your solution while weeding out bad fits.

Applying Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the lowest cost ways to get more direct access to clients. Email allows you to send to many clients with a single email. Cold calling requires someone calling and the time to talk (as well as luck getting a hold of someone). Traditional ads require money and the risk of misclicks from phone and tablet users.

Email marketing can be near free with Mailchimp and similar, or you can leverage something like Hubspot. We use Hubspot for the features it offers over similar platforms, but the best platform is one which works with you. That said, Hubspot is near standard in many marketing efforts because of the power its CRM offers. Sign up with Hubspot to get the most out of your marketing process and see why we’re an affiliate.

Do you have a newsletter or some kind of blog with information that your customers or potential customers can benefit from? How do you get it to them? You can post it on social media, or you can ask for their emails, pull them in, and provide them with a more direct link. The more they interact with your platform, the better the fit they probably are.

Write what can help your customers understand technology, understand the industry, or understand the news about what you provide. What is PrintNightmare? How does it apply to their business and what would you do about it as their IT specialist?

As an MSP, you should be leading from a technical angle. What do you do for your client and how can you show them what you could do? Email marketing is about providing value and about showing what value your business provides. Some will bite, others won’t, but you get better quality leads and easier sales when done right.

How are you getting leads and where is email in your process? Does email help you or do you get lost making it into something which generates leads? Email is the lowest risk, easiest way to jump from passive marketing to active marketing. All your MSP needs to do is make the jump and target your clients.

Learn how we do marketing here at The 20 and how you can benefit from our marketing program by reaching out here.