Chief Editor, Follow Your Buyer
You might know me as a writer, coach, content marketer, dog lover, editor, golfer, sales strategist, Diet Coke enthusiast, speaker, Allegheny alum, project manager, feminist, networker, or St. Louis Cardinals fan.
Skip to the content
B2B email open rates have reached historic lows. Yet the amount of B2B content being produced is at a historic high.
But what's the point of having content if you can't get your buyers to engage with it? How do you cut through the noise and get your content on the screens of the right buyers at the right time in their buyer's journey?
"Custom newsletters" are our answer to those pressing questions. Custom newsletters are like a steroid injection to your audience access and content syndication program. These simple yet effective content delivery mechanisms enhance your share of voice on our platform while increasing your insight into the buyer's journey.
B2B buyers spend 83 percent of their time doing something other than directly interacting with potential suppliers (this isn't just an opinion; it's backed by research such as this study from Gartner). Today's buyers are more likely to tune out a supplier's sales message than ever before.
Buyers are resistant to reveal themselves to a supplier by signing up for your corporate-branded newsletter or filling out a content gate on your website. The reader experience on our platform is seamless: Your buyers will see your content in a trusted third-party's newsletter they are familiar with, will click on a piece of content, and will instantly be able to access it. Our proprietary technologies capture more than a dozen data points about that content engagement without the reader hitting a gate.
Our base audience access program guarantees your content is included at least 2x per month in the Industry Insights section of our regular newsletter. That means your content could be alongside up to eight other pieces of competitor content. It's also important to remember that our readers have diverse content consumption habits. Some prefer content packaged by themes like in a custom newsletter. And while our regular newsletters are a key source of information for our readers, they still are in line with typical open rates in our respective markets. Think about the newsletters in your own inbox: You don't open every single one and read every single piece of content in each edition.
Since custom newsletters contain only your content, your expert voice reaches prospects with clarity, allowing your overall share of voice on our platform to increase.
This "share of voice" concept isn't just a buzzy phrase in B2B marketing. There's a reason this is principle number one in LinkedIn's "5 Principles Of Growth In B2B Marketing" study. Their research finds, "Brands that set their share of voice (SOV) above their share of market (SOM) tend to grow (all other factors being equal), and those that set SOV below SOM tend to shrink. The rate at which a brand grows or shrinks tends to be proportional to its 'extra share of voice.'" This study found that a 10% extra share of voice for B2B companies causes market share to rise by 0.7% points per annum.
As B2B marketers face more and more pressure to show ROI, custom newsletters provide a path to do just that by increasing share of voice in a measurable, sustainable way.
Keep in mind that even though our sites cater to a specific audience, our regular newsletters are designed to appeal to a broad set of readers within that audience in terms of company sizes, titles, and buying interests. With custom newsletters, you have full control over the content and, even more importantly, the subject line. This subject line is crucial for getting exactly the right kind of buyers to open your newsletter. When the subject line of your custom newsletter aligns with a specific topic or market interest, a reader is going to be more likely to open it.
Our business development and audience engagement teams will work with you to ensure the content in your newsletter is aligned with the buyer's journey. We want to make sure you're sending the best content to our readers. We'll work with you to choose an optimal subject line and write effective content descriptions. We'll ensure your content is mapped with the stage of the buyer's journey most appropriate for your goals and messaging. The most effective custom newsletters present two to six pieces of content around a cohesive theme. That way, you are the undisputed thought leader on that theme.
You can use the same content. In fact, many of our partners use audience access content for their custom newsletters. Our data shows that a single piece of content can be presented to our audience many, many times while continuing to get new readers to engage with it. Of course, we can help you create content too (more on that here).
You'll see all of the engagement data that comes with your audience access program. When a reader accesses your content through a custom newsletter, we capture full contact information (name, title, function, email, phone, etc.). You'll also know the date, type of interaction (download, share, etc.), type of content (white paper, case study, etc.), and what stage of the buyer's journey that content falls in. Additional reporting includes a list of readers who engaged with your content for the first time via a custom newsletter. We'll then help you track those readers throughout their buyer's journeys as they engage with additional content. You'll also be able to see when a reader engaged with content in a custom newsletter versus in a regular newsletter.
You can't be a true thought leader with just a handful of attempts to reach our readers – it needs to be an ongoing effort that coincides with an audience access program. This consistent presence is important because of the timing of our readers' buyer journeys. No two buyer's journeys are the same, and every buyer's journey starts at a different time. We explained this in another Follow Your Buyer article:
Here's what research cited in Selling To The C-Suite says about active buyers: "According to Vorsight, at any given time only 4 percent of your market is actively buying, 40 percent are ready to start looking at options, and 56 percent aren't ready or don't have a current need."
Our standard audience access program allows you to continuously capture high-quality leads so that you are always ready to engage the 4 percent of active buyers and 40 percent of buyers ready to start looking at options. At a minimum, you need to have this constant presence to build trust and awareness among our readers. Only then can you effectively layer on custom newsletters. Better yet, we often see readers who engage with your content for the first time via a custom newsletter, and who then continue to read your content through our audience access program. This gives you the insight needed to follow the reader's buyer's journey.
The data below shows unique lead engagements with Life Science Connect readers over a 10-month period for six different companies. This supplier's content is capturing the attention of different readers at different times throughout the year with multiple pieces of content. Imagine if this supplier would have run only one or two a la carte custom newsletters in January or April. They would have missed the majority of unique lead engagements and would have no insight into the buyer's journey after those custom newsletters ran.
Yes, we can send a version of your custom newsletters to each site you have purchased audience access to (for a small upcharge). Each version will be sent with that site's branding, so the reader receiving it will be familiar with it. We'll work with you to make sure the content is relevant for different audiences.
Our audience development and circulation teams closely monitors engagement metrics for all of our newsletters. What we've seen is that, as the number of custom newsletters on our platforms has grown, so have these engagement metrics. Because custom newsletters are topical in nature, and because each edition reaches different segments of our readers, we can send them frequently. Generally, we will only send one custom newsletter per day per audience.
Under normal circumstances, we ask that you schedule your custom newsletter at least 21 days in advance. This gives you ample time to select content, ensure your content is correctly formatted on our platform, and approve a final draft.
Background: In 2019, a total of 11 Contract Research Organizations (CROs) syndicated content on ClinicalLeader.com. Engagements with these 11 suppliers' content generated nearly 28,000 reader engagements.
Share Of Voice: Of those 11 CROs, only five ran custom newsletters. But these five suppliers accounted for a 78% share of voice among all CRO content on ClinicalLeader.com. This 78% share of voice was generated through fewer than 25 total custom newsletters. Conversely, none of the six CROs who only had a base audience access program (meaning they did not have custom newsletters) generated more than a 6% share of voice.
We will not be great by what we accomplish, but by what we help others accomplish.How does this apply to your work as a B2B marketer?
Visit our Knowledge Center for helpful resources and guides that support any great content marketing strategy. You'll find tactical articles, customizable exercises, and more.
Learning to follow your buyer is a change in mindset
A transition from selling buyers on what you do to helping them accomplish what they do.