Despite the rise of flashy social channels and short video platforms, if you’re in the B2B space, email marketing is still one of the best ways to promote your business,
In this article, we’ll offer a few tips to help you ramp up your B2B email marketing game.
What You’ll Learn:
- B2B email marketing strategies:
Consider the following stats:
- Email marketing generates $44 in revenue for every $1 spent
- 93% and 83% of B2B professionals use email when communicating for business purposes
- B2B emails have a click-through rate of 3.2% versus 2.1% CTR for B2C emails and that CTRs are 47% higher for B2B campaigns
- 59% of B2B marketers say that email is the most effective revenue-generating channel
In other words, if you’re not taking your email marketing seriously, you’re doing a grave disservice to your brand.
Keep in mind, though, that B2B email marketing is just like any other aspect of marketing: it requires some studying and background knowledge in order to do it right.
1. Show ‘Em What You Got
For starters, approach B2B email marketing the same way that you approach content marketing: as an opportunity to show off how much you know about your niche.
Keep in mind, not everybody who subscribes to your email list is at the bottom of the sales funnel. Some of your subscribers are still in the middle or even towards the top.
That’s why you need to remember this phrase: “Telling before selling.”
You’ll have to tell people why they should buy your products or services before you can move in for the close.
One of the best ways to do that is to demonstrate thought leadership and provide the kind of content that they can use to do their job better. Use your emails to convince people that you’re an expert and you can help them become a major contributor at work (and look like an expert themselves, of course).
Then, when some of those folks need to turn to an expert for help, they’ll choose you.
Become an educator first. When you’ve successfully mastered that, you can move on to being an advertiser.
Also, prove that you’re an expert by sharing endorsements you’ve received and use quotes or content from fellow experts in your emails – and if it helps, you can get an endorsement or direct quote from them personally. That’s especially important if they’re from people who are well-known in the business community in general and in your in your industry in particular.
When a customer tells you how much you’ve helped him or her, ask for a quotation or testimonial that you can use as an endorsement. Then, include that quotation in an upcoming email blast.
2. Use Your B2B Email Marketing to Cross-Sell Your Services
If your business offers more than one service, then use your B2B email marketing to cross-sell your services.
Start by segmenting your email list into groups of people who subscribe to just one service or buy just one type of product. Make a separate list for each segment of service subscribers.
Then, promote one of your related services to people on each list. In other words, promote a service that those people aren’t using but could find particularly helpful.
The good news is that you can create a marketing message that appeals to each segment because you already know something about their interests, since they already subscribe to one of your services.
So here’s the B2B email marketing plan: develop a marketing message that will resonate with people who subscribe to each service. They’ll view it as a personalized email.
For example, let’s say you’re running a digital marketing company that offers a portfolio of services including conversion rate optimization (CRO), social media marketing (SMM), pay-per-click (PPC), and search engine marketing (SEM). People can choose one or more of the services that you offer for a monthly fee.
Here’s what you would do: create an email list including all people who are using just your CRO service. Send them an email showing evidence that landing page conversion rates can improve with better PPC campaigns. Then, promote your PPC service as well.
See what you did there? You promoted another one of your services to a segment of your market that’s already interested in another service.
3. Segment Your B2B Email List Based on Interest Level
Speaking of segmenting your list, you should do that based on how interested people are in your brand. This is one of the key B2B email marketing strategies that you can deploy.
For example, create a list that consists entirely of non-customers, another list of your best customers, and yet another list of all customers.
Obviously, there will be some overlap between the last two lists. That’s okay, though.
Next, create customized email blasts for each segment.
For example, show off your expertise to the non-customers who’ve subscribed to your email list (see Point #1). Try to lead them a little further down the sales funnel.
When it comes to your best customers, run a promotion that gives them some kind of discount or other incentive for referrals. Turn those folks into brand evangelists so you can build your business even more.
4. Advertise Special Promotions
One thing that a lot of marketers seem to forget about when planning their B2B email strategy is that people subscribe to email lists because they want to know about special discounts and promotions.
So, make sure you notify your subscribers whenever you’re offering something on sale.
In fact, a great way to use your segmented list of non-customers is to promote a discounted offer. That might be just the incentive they need to sign up.
Remember, though, it’s a great idea to add some “fear of loss” to your promotions. That creates a sense of urgency so people are more likely to pull the trigger.
For example, offer a discount that lasts for only 48 hours.
5. Send Invitations For Better B2B Email Marketing
Another one of our best B2B email marketing tips is to send out invitations to your email list.
If you have an upcoming event that you’re attending (or, better yet, hosting), be sure to tell people on your email list about that event.
It’s also a great idea to give your audience an added incentive to come to the event. For example, promote a contest that involves only people subscribed to your email list. Whoever wins the contest has to be present at the event to claim the prize.
That should get you a few more attendees.
If you’re running a webinar in the near future, be sure to promote that on your email list as well. Again, offer some additional incentives such as a helpful ebook, tutorial video, or white paper for everybody who participates.
6. Make Your B2B Emails Scannable
Here’s another tip you can pick up from content marketing experts: make your emails scannable.
You probably already make your blog posts scannable. They have subheadings so that people can quickly understand the point of each section without reading the whole thing.
Your emails should follow that pattern. Create subheadings using a larger font. Make them brief and to the point. Use as few words as possible.
Remember, your email recipients are busy. They have a lot of competing priorities just like you. That’s why you should make it as easy as possible for them to get the main points of your email without forcing them to read the whole thing.
Keep in mind that your audience is likely reading your emails on their smartphones or tablets while they are busy at work and between calls or meetings, so don’t make them have to try too hard to get your point.
Your emails should follow that pattern, and you can probably use a lot of the existing content from your blog posts to create them.
7. The Key Aspect Of B2B Marketing: Picking the Right Time To Send
When it comes to your B2B email marketing strategy, the when might be more important than the what. In other words, when you send your email might be more important than its contents.
That’s why you need to find the right time to send out your email blasts.
And when is that?
Your target market isn’t the same as the target market of other businesses. In some cases, sending emails out early on a Monday morning might be perfect. For other brands, it might be best to blast emails after business hours. Or maybe you want to send emails when you know people are on their way to the office or heading out to lunch.
According to Entrepeneur’s collection of email studies, the best time to send B2B emails varies widely depending on your target(s). 10 AM or 11 AM seems to be the best time to blast out emails, especially on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday for 9-5ers.
On the other hand, reaching entrepreneurs and start-up team members often works best after hours or on weekends, when they have a bit more time to pay attention.
Keep in mind, though, your business might not fit into that pattern. That’s why it’s best to use split-testing to determine the day of the week and hour of the day that gives you the best open and response rate.
Also, your best time might be affected by the number of emails you send out every week (or even every day). If you send a lot of emails, you’ll probably see a lower CTR per email no matter which time you pick to send them.
8. B2B Email Marketing: Send With a Familiar Name
Do not send out a marketing email with the “From” attribute set to something like: “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
That’s the best way to end up in the spam folder for sure.
Even if your email doesn’t end up in the spam folder, you can’t expect your open rate to be very high. Remember, one of the first things people see when they’re going through emails is the “From” address.
Instead, use your real name. That’s an especially great idea if you’re running a professional service that’s tied to your work as an individual (for example, if you’re a dentist).
9. Don’t Forget the P.S.!
If you’re old enough to recall the days when direct mail was more popular, you might also remember that almost all direct mail letters had a “P.S.” at the end. Marketers would use that P.S. section as another opportunity to “set the hook.”
It must have worked because the P.S. strategy was so widely adopted. In fact, some direct mail letters went on to use P.P.S., P.P.P.S., and so on.
You can put the P.S. trick in your emails as well. Use that section to give your readers one additional incentive to click on your call to action (CTA) and visit your landing page.
10. Send a Welcome Email For Better B2B Email Marketing
Remember: first impressions matter. That’s why you should send out a welcome email.
Fortunately, that’s easy to do. You should be using an autoresponder that can be configured to send out welcome emails to people who subscribe to your list. You’ll have to contact your autoresponder support team for specific details on how to do that.
Once you’ve got the logistics figured out, compose the welcome email. Make sure that it really makes the new subscriber feel welcome.
Of course, if you promised any freebie as a reward for signing up, your welcome email should make good on that promise.
If you didn’t promise anything, go ahead and give them something for free anyway. You can make it an ebook or some other type of digital download that people in your target market can appreciate.
11. When in Doubt, Repurpose Your Best Content
What do you do if you have a B2B email scheduled and you’re drawing a blank?
If your email deadline is coming up and you have absolutely no idea what to send out, curate some of your best content and send out links to it.
Go through your analytics to find your top blog posts from the past year. Add the titles (as links) to your email. Provide a synopsis of each article so people will know what they’re about.
Then, send out that curated list as an email. That will keep your brand alive in the minds of your subscribers for another week while providing them with some valuable info.
In fact, curated lists make great email content even if you’re not out of ideas. You should use them from time to time.
Wrapping Up B2B Email Marketing
This list is by no means exhaustive. There are plenty of other “tricks of the trade” that apply to B2B email strategy. You’ll find that many of them are unique to your brand.
However, these B2B email marketing tips generally apply across the board. Pick some of the ones that you’re not using and start putting them into practice today.