Why you should keep personal emails when marketing to small fleets
We often think personal emails are bad for B2B marketing. We set forms to force only business emails. We ask list providers to suppress hotmail, gmail, yahoo and aol from B2B lists.
But sometimes personal emails are useful. Even critical! Here are two cases:
- Small businesses with fleet vehicles
- LinkedIn ad campaigns
First let’s get something out of the way. I know you might be thinking this, because I’ve done it, and you might do it too … Yes, personal email can be throwaway email that you use only for form fills and conference badge scans, and you never look at that account.
But sometimes, personal email is used daily for business. Keep reading to see why.
Real quick, you should know, here are assumptions I’m making:
- I’m assuming that you are looking closely at your prospect, lead and customer data. (Because, this is where your future revenue comes from, we should all be looking at this.)
- I’m assuming that you know the personal emails are not spam, and they are emails for people you know are at companies in your addressable market. (Because, you can tell the difference between spam and real, so keep that data clean.)
Small business and SMB fleets
Many business owners with small fleets and “company cars” use personal email. Even if they have a website. If you’ve ever set up a website with domain email, you know you need techie know-how. SMTP, IMAP, errors, how to fix them?! It gets overwhelming fast. I can understand small businesses saying, forget that, let’s keep using our gmail. It works.
With small business, you’ll often see gmail and yahoo emails on their websites and Facebook pages.
Especially if the personal email is on their website, you don’t want to throw out that email. They are checking that email for customer communication.
And, many small businesses don’t even have websites. So they don’t have a custom domain for business email.
This is common for small business fleets or “SMB” in the trades, towing & recovery, facilities services, owner-operators of trucking businesses.
On LinkedIn, many people use personal emails for their profile. Because people change jobs. Their personal email won’t change when jobs change, so they can still get into their profiles. You can use several emails for your LinkedIn account. For most people, a personal email is among those emails.
If you want to run ad campaigns on LinkedIn, you can reach your audience in a few ways:
- You can target people with LinkedIn’s filters. For example, choose people in the construction industry who are director level and above, at companies with 51+ employees, in California.
- You can also upload a list of specific people to match with LinkedIn profiles, like your prospects and leads. This is where you can use the personal as well as business email addresses.
When we match emails to LinkedIn profiles, and we include personal emails on the list, we get significantly higher match rates. So, if you advertise through LinkedIn, you might want to keep those personal emails.
But as I mentioned above, be sure to look at your data, know the difference between spam and a good email, and keep your email data clean. Don’t use spam emails from form fills to target ad audiences.
Director of Marketing & Customer Success at Valgen
I am passionate about communications that influence action. From convincing people to drive safer, to helping marketers and sales teams connect with their customers. The common thread is helping people’s lives and careers.