B2B email marketing strategies & tips – a full guide

MarketingCategory
14 min read
Adem Asha

Of all the different marketing channels, B2B email marketing stands above the rest. In fact, email marketing, is a great business marketing strategy, it has been shown to produce a return on investment of $44 for every $1 invested because it stimulates both new and return sales.

Hold your breath, you cannot just start sending out emails and expect to get customers coming through the door. You must know your customer persona and personalize your emails to them.

What is B2B Email Marketing?

Let’s first unpack B2B. B2B stands for business to business, meaning the business activities that are carried out between businesses and end users have nothing to do with it. Eg; when a computer manufacturer purchases RAMs and processors from another business to use in their production.

Now that the terminology is not lost on anyone we can easily move on.

B2B email marketing is a strategy designed to drive and convert interest into sales in a specific product/service. It is the process of lead generation and turning the opportunities into sales through the marketing funnel.

blue and white logo guessing game

B2B Marketing vs B2C Marketing.

B2B marketing is very different than B2C marketing and that is why we have a specific marketing branch dedicated for B2B marketing. It is important to understand the main difference between those two.

It all lies in how the product is used, if the product is used to get consumed then it is a B2C. If the product is used in the production of something else afterwards then this is B2B.

Examples:

  • Car tires being sold to car producers is a form of B2B. However when your local mechanic sells you new tires, that is a B2C. It is B2B in the first case because the tires were used in the production of the car.
  • You buying a new couch is a form of B2C because you will use this couch for your personal use. However, a furniture manufacturer selling sets of couches to a construction company that builds apartments and rents them fully furnished is a form of B2B because the couches were not used by the buyer for personal use they were used to complete a full product, the fully furnished apartment for rent.

Given that both those business transactions are different it is fair to say that they require different marketing approaches.

B2B Email Marketing Strategy vs B2C Email Marketing

person pointing white paper on wall

There are a few different angles to consider when doing B2B or B2C marketing:

  • What is the buyer priority? In B2B they are usually looking for efficiency, expertise, and after sales service. In B2C they are usually looking for deals and quality.
  • The motivation behind the purchase? They are usually motivated by logic and the financial incentives. They want to know the smallest details about a product. In B2C it fair to say that consumers are driven by emotions. A shirt can fit the requirements of a shopper but they may not buy it because “they are not feeling it”.
  • The procedure? They tend to want to work with experienced salespeople or account managers who can provide them with all the information they need. In B2C consumers may try and run away from salespeople who in all fairness can sometimes be pushy.
  • Complication: Closing in on a sale can sometimes take years! There are lawyers involved and long-term contracts and negotiations in place. In B2C customers buy products off their phones from home with their morning coffee. (I couldn’t not include this: 10 million Brits said they shop on the toilet)

B2B Email Marketing Strategy

All of this leads to a slow, delicate, and patience-cantered relationship between the parties. Which is why you need to learn the B2B buying journey:

  1. Awareness: This is where you make yourself, service/product known to the buyer.
  2. Consideration: That is when your customers start looking for potential providers to solve their problem.
  3. Decision: The decision-making step. This is where your buyer starts comparing different solutions, products, and services to choose between you and your competitors.

Your B2B email marketing strategy should take all of this into consideration, that is why you don’t send one email and expect to close a deal. You must maintain a strong and close relationship with your customers/new customer. That is why you send them personalized emails.

B2C Email Marketing Strategy.

We have established that your B2C emails have to be entertaining, colorful, and fun. Your subject line has to be catchy and attractive. Your products need to be jumping out. And you must include some kind of a deal. And never forget your Call-to-Action.

Steps to a Successful B2B Email Marketing Strategy.

Here’s an actionable list of what to do to stay ahead of the game:

  1. Determine your customer persona.
  2. Select your email marketing provider.
  3. Focus on growing your database organically.
  4. Personalization is important.
  5. Carefully send some cold emails.
  6. Build automation and sales funnels.
  7. Build your B2B email template.
  8. Measure and optimize.

Let’s discuss them:

1.   Determine your customer persona.

It is the 21st century, you cannot expect to succeed in anything in business without knowing your buyer persona and focusing your effort on solving their problems.

person writing on white paper

If you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one.

It is very simple, If you try to be all things to all people, you won’t be selling anything to anybody. You cannot make everyone happy. You have to change to according your customers’ needs and you cannot do any of this without knowing who your target audience is.

2.   Select your email marketing provider.

Email service provider means the platform you use to draft your emails and send them to your customers. And it’s not as difficult as it used to be. With the GoDaddy email marketing tool, your email marketing strategy has become a piece of cake.

GoDaddy Email Marketing — which seamlessly integrates with GoDaddy’s WordPress Websites and Website Builder — makes it easy to create professional email marketing campaigns for the retail industry in minutes.

This user-friendly tool features a drag-and-drop composer, sign-up form for your website or social media (Facebook page), and automatic removal of bad addresses, duplicates and unsubscribes

3.   Focus on Growing your Database Organically. (email list)

Given that email marketing offers a potential 4,200% return on investment. It might be tempting to take a shortcut and buy an email marketing list. But doing so could be a big mistake. And here’s a list of why you should never buy email marketing lists:

  • It is against the law.
  • You will get a negative response.
  • You will be flagged as a spammer.
  • You won’t be able to qualify the members of the list.
  • Engagement rates will below.

Here’s what to do instead:

  • Have all email subscribers opt-in.
  • Offer subscribers something in return.
  • Make it quick and easy to unsubscribe.
  • Monitor and trim your email marketing list.
  • Track and improve your campaigns.

4.   Personalization Importance.

person holding babys hand

I am a big believer in stats and numbers, so I will let them speak for once and by the end you will know why it is important to have B2B personalized email marketing campaigns in place:

  • Personalized Email subject line experience an increased open rate of 26 percent.
  • Personalized emails promote transaction rates by 600 percent.
  • Personalized email messages produced an 18.8 percent open rate compared to 13.1 percent open rate for emails without personalization.
  • 33 percent of marketers believe email personalization to be one of the most crucial elements to the future of marketing.

By sending personalized email content marketing campaigns, you are effectively breaking through the noise in the inbox and connecting directly with the business you are emailing, whether they are just getting to know your brand or are loyal customers.

5.    Carefully Send Some Cold Emails

Prospects don’t respond to offers for a variety of reasons, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on them.

Staying in touch -which is another B2B email marketing strategy- can help you catch these business people when they actually decide to buy something.

Segment unresponsive leads so you can slowly drip them offers and helpful emails that you think might interest them. This consistent contact keeps you on their mind, and it makes them more likely to buy from you when they find themselves needing a product or service.

Cold leads have value and it’s very possible that leads of this nature weren’t in the position to buy anything at the time.

6.   Build Automations & Sales Funnels

white robot near brown wall

Email automation offers a viable means of accelerating the success of your business, driving engagement, boosting your brand awareness, and expanding your bottom line in the process.

At its core, automated emails empower marketers or business owners with the ability to send scheduled or action-triggered emails to their target subscribers with relevant information, content marketing, offers and information.

Email automation can increase email open rates and click-through rates. Plus, its intuitive nature means busy entrepreneurs can enjoy the results of email marketing efforts while gaining more time to take on other essential business activities.

A real win-win situation.

7.   Build your B2B Email Marketing Templates

There are b2b email marketing templates, and they all depend on many factors like:

  • Is this the first time (welcome email) you contact that business?
  • Have you met them in person?
  • Have you spoken to them over the phone?
  • Do you know their name?

Try reaching the decision makers, you can find this information from LinkedIn.

There are plenty of aspects to keep in mind. However, no matter what the situation is, you must have a ready template that you can adjust to the situation at hand. Just keep it simple and direct.

8.   Measure & Optimize

This is your last step, there is always room for improvement and you can always do better. Keep measuring your success rate and keep tweaking your campaigns to get better results.

graphs of performance analytics on a laptop screen

You need to look for metrics like deliverability, open rate, and click through rate (CTR).

Marketing tip: Prepare A/B test campaign, this is where you test different types of emails, email designs. initiatives, and functionality. This can be a case study for you to understand how to better your b2b email marketing campaigns and efforts.

How to Write a Perfect B2B Professional Email?

Email marketing, done right, is an amazing way to create and maintain relationships with your clients and prospects.

That’s why we need to write professional emails that nudge our clients in the right direction without scaring them away. The key is patience.

Here’s a few email marketing tips:

(1) Don't Focus on Selling.

I like to think of email marketing as meeting someone new for the first time. Do you go up to people you just met at tell them that you are what they need in their lives? Absolutely not!! Then why do you do it in an email?

Do not focus on selling, listen, learn about your potential customers, keep that information in mind and ask them about it next time you meet them, build a genuine personal connection with your clients. Who knows, you may become best friends.

person holding eyeglasses

(2) Don't Focus on yourself.

Another thing you never do when you meet someone for the first time, YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOURSELF ALL THE TIME. You simply do not go up to people and tell them that you graduated from Harvard with a high CGPA. Same thing for an email, you cannot email new users your company’s history.

(3) Focus on your target customer’s needs.

Focus on your demographic. Listen carefully and ask them open ended questions, never yes or no. Here’s how to do it:

Change your question from “Are you happy with your current (product) supplier?” to “Please tell me, what do you like and dislike about your current (supplier)”.

The first question is a yes or no and will probably end the conversation in 3 seconds. However, the second question can stretch into a 20 minutes Q&A session.

(4) Write Very Personalized Email Copies

Remember when we said “learn about them”? This is when it comes in handy. How would you feel when someone you met once at a conference and told him about your son’s soccer practice sending you an email a few days later saying (it was a pleasure to meet you mr. Mohamad. I am sure your son, Ahmed can do very well in his practice. Here’s the phone number of a professional physician I know who can help with Ahmed’s practice and can help him have a personalized diet, tell him I say hi and he will do his best to help you).

Trust me, you will never forget this guy and you will go out of your way to buy from him next time you need his product because now there’s a personal connection.

Yes, this assumes that you have met the person you are reaching out to but it still applies to when you do not know them. Here’s how you do it.

Look them up online (LinkedIn) and learn their position at the company they work for and add that into your email.

Here’s a b2b email marketing example:

Dear mr. Mohamad,

I am aware you are the purchasing manager at (name of the company). I am also aware your competitor (name of the competitor) have purchased (name of the product).

I would like you to please take a moment and check our website and I can assure you a higher quality and better prices.

I am available tomorrow for a quick call to discuss your needs over the phone.

I look forward to hearing from you.

This shows them you have done your homework which means you will provide them very personalized service, you know their name, position, company, competitor. product, and their struggle.

(5) Be Clear & Concise

No one has time to go through 600 words essay of an email to learn what you want or what you offer. Be clear and direct, do not tell them your company’s history in an email. Your email should not be more than 150 words unless you are specifically asked for details.

people holding shoulders sitting on wall

(6) Use Clear CTAs

Your call to action is very important here, always tell your reader how they can reach you at the end of your email.

You can leave a phone number, tell them to reply directly to the email, or have a very clear colorful button they can simply click on and get directed to WhatsApp link to chat with your on the spot.

A B2B email marketing best practice is to prepare a landing page to direct your readers to. This could be displaying information about a new product you are trying to push.

(7) Focus on the Values you Offer

In my example above the value of my offer was better quality and price than what their competitor got to incentivize them to se my services to get ahead of the competition.

Your value could be better customer service, longer warranty, instalment payment option. Whatever it is, you need to make it clear.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Answers to some of your frequently asked questions:

Is email marketing good for B2B?

In short, yes. It is very good and here’s some numbers to support my claim: email marketing, in general, has been shown to produce a return on investment of $44 for every $1 invested because it stimulates both new and return sales. Your b2b sales team would be thrilled to have fresh customers ready to buy because you sent the right email.

What are the four types of B2B markets?

Here’s a list of the 4 types of B2B companies/B2B buyers:

  • Producers.
  • Resellers.
  • Government.
  • Institutions.

Which email marketing platform is best for B2B?

The GoDaddy e-store comes with an integrated email marketing system to help you send and schedule email campaigns as well as measurement and optimization tools to follow-up and stay on top of things.