How B2B Publishers Can Use Marketing Automation

February 22, 2011  |   Marketing   |     |   0 Comment

How do you show your potential subscribers the value of your products? Do you keep in touch with them throughout their buying cycle in a way that is both scalable and customized? Static web pages no longer work. Batch-and-blast emails treat everyone the same, unless you hire a team to parse out industry segments and content clicks. But a wide variety of platforms let you automate your marketing based on profile fields and activities.

Getting new subscribers

Picture the visitors to your website. They see your content and fill out a simple email form. Their activity history is pulled into a table that you can use to send emails. Each time they return to your site, you collect more demographic information via a progressive profiling form, making sure you have lots of data with very little intrusion.

Your visitors will now receive emails based on demographic, activity, geography or any other data you have collected. If they identify themselves as working for a financial firm, but download a whitepaper on CRM software, your platform automatically sends them an email focused on customer relationship management in the financial industry. Based how they react to that content, your program emails them again with something more. What you place on your goal landing pages also reflects these activities and demographics.

In this way, you sell your publications based on who your customers are and how they have interacted with your content. You recognize that different subscribers buy your newsletters for various reasons. With marketing automation, you can present your prospects with a specific value proposition that applies to them.

Cross-selling existing subscribers

How do you systematically present new offers to existing subscribers when you have multiple publications? For example, say a subscriber gets your lowest-priced, online offering. You know that those types of subscribers typically can be sold a print newsletter for more money 6 months into their subscription.

With marketing automation, you can schedule a series of three emails to all new online subscribers that sell them your print offering. Knowing which content they viewed in the online subscription will even help you tailor your cross-sell offer. You can also prevent prospects from receiving promotions on other products, keeping your marketing smart and focused.

Nurturing corporate-level leads

Depending on which leads your sales team values, you can set up rules for scoring and sending leads to your CRM for a follow-up call. Maybe a CEO who purchases subscriptions to two different publications is a definite target for sales, while a Marketing Manager who has a free trial is not. Maybe you want to narrow your prospects by which activities they take. You could include information on package subscription products in your emails. If a paid subscriber to two publications clicks on that information, then your CRM schedules a task for sales to follow up with her.


Marketing automation products are expensive and can take a lot of time to manage. Most are built for working with prevalent CRM systems like, not for the fulfillment databases many publishing companies use. But B2B publishers who sell their content should ask themselves how much it’s worth to develop and implement a clean, focused online marketing strategy. If it meant 4-5 more multi-user deals worth $100,000 each or an increase in cross-sell rates of 5%, then the revenue may be well worth the costs.


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