​A recent survey shows B2B brands have clear goals for their email marketing campaigns, but only look at surface-level metrics when gauging their success.

​Email content is a B2B marketer’s best friend. The practice, which many professionals thought was out of date, has come alive again and is impacting companies’ bottom lines. According to a March 2013 survey from BtoB Magazine, brands use email marketing to achieve a variety of goals. The most common objectives for newer campaigns are customer acquisition (29 percent) and lead nurturing (29 percent), followed by brand awareness (18 percent) and customer retention (15 percent).

To reach these unique goals, marketers have pushed their email marketing strategies in every direction, and BtoB highlights the most common tactics used today. Unsurprisingly, 47 percent – the highest volume of surveyed brands – said delivering custom content to the right audience segment was the No. 1 tactic to improve their marketing efforts. Forty percent also said content quality and volume impact their promotional efforts and achievements.

How email helps brands’ reach goals

Marketers see returns on their email campaigns when they focus on the components leading up to delivery. While list segmentation creates obvious audience targeting benefits, brands increasingly see messaging as the clear conversion factor for success. Without high-quality branding and compelling sales language in each email, companies will continue to talk to their prospects, but not resonate with them in the right ways.

BtoB Magazine found that 23 percent of marketers evaluate their email strategies by clickthrough rates. Brands have to take their content analytics reporting to the next level by delving into the writing behind email​s​. Perhaps the segmentation and timely delivery of each piece hits the mark, but the lack of editorial prowess keeps conversion rates low. Through simple A/B testing, and high-grade analytics, companies will see which outreach strategies generate the highest CTRs, and they can replicate their successes tenfold.

Brafton reported on four B2B content marketing challenges killing ROI, and a lot of the same obstacles also affect brands’ email efforts. Marketers must align their email marketing goals with how they grade their campaigns’ successes. Looking at CTRs is a great way to gauge effectiveness on the surface, but marketers must dive deeper to truly understand the impact their strategies have on audience members and why they may miss the mark.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.