At Alpha Generation, channel marketing is a big part of how we add value.
Using our experience and expertise, we can move product intelligence through the channel – to people who are likely to become customers and help our resellers and vendors grow.
And when it comes to the channel, we’re big on email marketing. That’s right – the apparently dying marketing platform that’s largely ignored. Because while email is often misjudged and maligned, we think it’s the perfect match for the UK IT channel.
Four common misconceptions about email
There are around 100 billion spam emails sent every day, and many of them are marketing messages. That’s a lot of competition to reach people.
But, even with its competitive nature, the truth is that email is a powerful way to reach people, despite some common misconceptions.
1. Email marketing is dead
Email marketing isn’t dead, it’s just very difficult to do well. There’s a difference.
Yes, some email campaigns may be dying a death. Old, outdated approaches to email that adopt the hallmarks of your classic direct mailer fall on deaf ears (and got thrown into Junk folders at lightning speed).
But email brings with it some unique advantages over other channel marketing activities, namely cost and reach. For a negligible cost per email, you can reach an astonishing number of people – not only on their desktops but also on their tablets and smartphones.
2. An excellent email wins business
Even if you create a compelling, attention-grabbing email campaign, that isn’t enough to guarantee useful leads.
Email should be just one component of a much wider campaign, combining phone calls, web content, and more. Everything you can do in channel marketing comes with its own strengths and weaknesses – that’s part of what makes it so difficult.
So, when you combine different methods together, you can cover every base and really maximise your impact.
3. Email is all about content and nurturing
As email has evolved in the past few years, there’s been a strong move toward nurturing leads gradually through a series of emails. But it’s a misconception to think that’s the only way email can be used.
Sometimes, an email simply needs to inform. A carefully designed email with great content can tell our resellers’ customers and prospects about the latest developments in a fast moving market space, striking a chord with a decent percentage of recipients.
In a market where consumers and decision makers are increasingly informed about their needs and the potential solutions, that’s often enough to stimulate a relevant lead.
4. A great list delivers great results
It’s true that the quality of your list will play a vital role in determining the success of your email campaign. But there’s a twist.
A list is only as good as it is on a given day. Right now, your email list could be full of useful contacts with a potential interest in your products, and the decision-making power to buy them.
But fast-forward just six months. An alarming number of people will have moved on. They will have taken up new positions in the same organisation, new roles at different organisations. They might have retired or even died! Everything’s different and your email list is decaying in front of your eyes.
A great list can deliver great results, but only with maintenance. Regular list cleaning, segmentation and updates make sure you’ve always got a relevant audience to reach out to.
Why use email in the UK IT channel?
As you’ve seen, email brings with it some unique advantages and excellent possibilities. However, it’s vital that the type of channel marketing you use matches the people you’re marketing to.
I think email remains the perfect fit for the IT channel. Buyer empowerment means people are close to decisions before they even engage with the channel, using self-service information from white papers to independent reviews. Most of your customers have a decent sense of what they need and why.
So what email does is gently reach out to them, providing a fast, direct route into buyer consciousness. It puts your name – and the products you offer – on the list of possibilities.