B2B Email Marketing: Strategies, tools, and Examples

Written by Ravi Varman
- Updated: Dec 22, 2022
b2b-email-marketing
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I have been a Digital Marketer for over 4 Years. And I can say with all my experience, that email marketing is one of the best channels for getting B2B companies to try out your product or service. It is the most powerful marketing tool that you can use to reach and engage your potential customers.

And with email marketing, you don't need a huge budget to carry out effective campaigns - all you need is a valid email address and some good B2B email marketing strategy.

In this blog post, we'll be discussing the key strategies, best practices, and examples for email marketing for B2B companies. So if you're looking to UP your email marketing game, keep reading!

Oftentimes, B2B email marketing doesn't even require email broadcasting software like Mailchimp or Active Campaign.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • Why a B2B marketing strategy is required for B2B email
  • 7 Things to Consider When Developing a B2B Marketing Plan
  • The Must haves for B2B email marketing
  • 5 B2B marketing email examples that gets people to act

Why a B2B marketing strategy is required for B2B email

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies available, and it's especially useful for B2B companies. In fact, B2B email marketing is designed specifically for reaching a specific audience - business owners and decision-makers. This proves why email marketers a re quintessential for sales and retention in a B2B organization. Email marketers should work along side with content marketers to develop specific content for their B2B audience to make them super targetted to their potential customers.

There are several factors that must be considered when designing an email marketing campaign, including target market, content strategy, and follow-up actions. For example, you must determine who your target market is and what content they're likely to want to read.

Next, create a strategy for content marketing that will resonate with your target market. This content must be relevant and engaging, and it should be sent out according to the stage the customer is at in his purchase journey.

Last but not least, make sure to track the success of your email campaigns and take appropriate follow-up actions. Doing so will help you keep your subscribers engaged and loyal to your brand.

Email targeting

In email marketing, most campaigns are designed to reach individuals, while those that are designed for business-to-business (B2B) companies focus on reaching multiple individuals within a company. The purchasing process for a company involves a variety of people in different roles, whereas an individual receiving a business-to-consumer (B2C) email is responsible for every stage of their own buying journey.

When compared to social media marketing, email marketing has the greater ROI for every dollar spent. However, it is not as easy as social media to find your ideal audience. The targeting highly depends on the actions the user has action in the website and kind of email the user has opened from the past email campaigns.

When targeting B2B audiences, it's important to consider that you are targeting a group of individuals and to develop a strategy that takes into account the differences among these multiple contacts within a company

In Practice, this means: In order to effectively communicate with your target audience, it is necessary to send different emails to different individuals within the same company.

Campaign frequency

Individuals can often make a purchase quickly and easily by simply seeing something they like and deciding to buy it. However, the purchasing process for a company can be much more complex and time-consuming.

Studies have shown it is ideal to send no more than 4 email per month per contact. This ensures the target is not overwhelmed with your email, therefore, helping you with lead generation and building relationships.

It often requires coordinating with multiple departments and obtaining budget approval, which can be challenging and require a lot of effort and patience

Email Style and Tone

In business-to-consumer (B2C) email marketing, it is generally understood that the goal is to make a sale. Therefore, emails can be more straightforward and include content such as promotions, discounts, and sale announcements. In contrast, business-to-business (B2B) emails tend to be more effective when they focus on providing valuable information and resources, such as trend reports, industry benchmarks, how-to guides, and webinar recordings. This type of content helps to demonstrate the value of the brand to B2B subscribers

In Practice, this means: To create content for B2B campaigns, it will be necessary to use entirely new types and formats of content, rather than simply repurposing content that was originally intended for B2C campaigns.

7 Things to Consider When Developing a B2B Marketing Plan

To create an email marketing campaign that works, it's important to target your email list based on the needs of your business. Next, make sure your email content is both relevant and engaging. This way, your subscribers will not only open your emails but also stick around for more.

Email marketing remains an important and cost-effective solution to drive lead generation efforts and build long-lasting relationships with clients.

Here are 7 things to consider when developing your B2B email marketing strategy:

Segment your Target Customers

When you are targeting a B2B company, you are basically targeting a group of people who have a say on what product or service, the company is going to use. So, we recommend you categorize your efforts and content based on these target groups.

The Buying center includes these main roles:

Initiators are individuals in the company who seek out the solution for the existing problem and become aware of the products or service

Users are the people who will be using your product on a daily basis once the company purchases your product

Buyers are those who handle the actual purchase of the products, they take care of budgeting, contracts, and renewals.

Deciders are people who ultimately decide where or not to approve your product purchase request from the buyers

Gatekeepers are administrators who control the information shared between the buyers and other members of the team.

Influencers refer to the rest of the people who are may influence the decisions and opinions of the people in the Buying center.

As your ideal customer for B2B is a group of people. You must expand your customer persona to encompass all the people in your B2B target group.

Step in your buyer's shoes

Now, you have your key role of the buying center. Now it's time to customize your campaign and messaging to better fit each role of your buying center.

For example, An initiator or a user will be more interested in how-to-guides and better implementation of existing features if your product is an alternative to an existing tool, they are currently using.

Similarly, the Deciders and buyers would be more inclined to trust the social proof of your product. so, it is important you add testimonials to their emails.

Email Segmentation is your North Star

With email segmentation found in almost all email marketing platforms, this should be a breeze. Emails segmentation can help you group your customers into different segments based on their roles, and characteristics.

You can also use tags based on their website activities, link clicks to narrow down the segmentation even further. With as little as 7 segments, you can reach everyone in buying center.

Understand Customer Journey:

The B2B email marketing cycle should be based on the B2B customer journey. We don't want to send "Free Trail" emails at the start of the customer journey when they are just hearing about your products.

This is a crucial part of B2B email marketing, failing which we could come across as spammy and might lose a potential buyer.

Here are the 5 Main Stages of the customer's Journey:

Awareness: Your potential buyer is just hearing about your product, so it is ideal we share How-to guides, eBooks, and product walkthroughs. It is important at this stage to educate the customer than to expect a sale

Considerations: The target is now interested in your product but is not ready to make the purchase as they need more information regarding your product. In this stage, we should consider sharing customer testimonials and case studies.

Decision Making: The target is interested to purchase the product, however, he is now considering the budget, and ROI (Return on Investment) in order to finalize the purchase decision. Free Trials, Discounts, and Free consultation with the sales team would be ideal content to send and push the target to make the purchase.

Retention: Once your prospect becomes your customer, we want them to buy again or upsell to a higher plan. We can share the additional quirks and features the customer might get by upgrading to a higher plan in these emails.

Advocacy: Word-of-mouth marketing is never dead. So it is now the right time to encourage your customers to refer new customers if they like using your product. Surveys help you get a gist of your customer liking the product and referral programs to help them to earn credit and refer your product to others.

Use Templates

Email templates are a great tool to master in your email marketing journey. Build a versatile library of templates can help you with cracking up effective emails and also helps you to keep a list of templates that truly move the needle in the B2B email marketing.

Most of CRM tools now have the ability to create and store templates for later use in the campaigns. So, I highly recommend you create highly target templates to make your life easier. Ensure that each template is visually distinct. The goal is to not make the user think it is a template.

Some of the templates you might like are

  1. Welcome emails
  2. Thank you emails
  3. Survey emails
  4. Curated content emails
  5. How to guide
  6. Newsletters
  7. What's new emails
  8. Educational emails
  9. Case studies and testimonials
  10. Events and webinar emails
  11. Unsubscribe emails

Automate Everything

Automation allows you to segment the audience on a more granular level based on several criteria including the open rate, click-through rate, website form submissions, and event attendance.

We also recommend you to keep an eye on the analytics of your past campaigns to check for trends and automate reporting.

With automation, you can easily update the contact details based on their form entry on our website.

You can also do more with automation including

  1. Segment them into less interest and more interested based on the email open rate
  2. Update tags based on their activity on our website
  3. Add new tags when they attend a webinar or an event

Once properly set up and tested. Automation allows you to take your mind off things knowing they are working to make your life much easier.

3 Must-haves for B2B email marketing

You can create a perfect B2B email strategy, but if your email ends in the SPAM folder. All your efforts might go in vein. So Here are some of the must-haves for bulletproof B2B email marketing.

The subject line is everything they see

Yes, the subject line is everything they see before they open your email. So make it count.

It's ideal for your A / B test your subject lines in the initial stages of your email marketing to ensure better conventions. The Ideal length for a subject line as per the email marketing grandfather "Mailchimp" is 60 characters or less.

B2C campaigns can get away with poor subject lines. When you are hungry in the afternoon and get an email from Uber Eats. I bet you don't even look at the subject line, you might immediately open the email and look for a discount code if any.

But frustrated people at work on a Monday afternoon don't even want to open their work emails. So, it is important to have a great subject line.

Take a look at these power words to use in your next B2B emails.

Giveaway the 1-liner of your email in the subject line with a clear call to action. Bonus: Include their company name in the subject line.

Personalization gets more opens and clicks

Yes, Personalizations get more opens and clicks. Because the last thing you want is an accounting software recommendation email when you are in the marketing department.

Use the merge field to display your target's company name in the subject line. We also recommend using other relevant information about your target in the email content to make the email not look like a templated one.

Talk to them like a Human

When you are writing B2B emails, it is easy to get into a professional tone and may end up coming across as stiff and non human.

Remember, you are still talking to people and you need to stand out to get their attention. Leading your campaign empathetically lets you connect with your targets.

Make them easy on the eyes

Keep the email content brief. Business people are busy and they don't have time to read your email that packed with text.

Here are some golden rules of thumb

  1. Keep text to a minimum
  2. Use visuals or video embed
  3. Format the email to improve scannability
  4. Have 1 CTA

Best Tools for B2B email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to connect with customers and drive sales. But it can be tricky to get started, which is why it's important to find the right email marketing tool for your business. emailBench is a great tool for doing just that. It provides benchmarking and tracking data, so you can see how your email marketing is performing over time. Additionally, a powerful autoresponder can automate custom messages based on your customer data. Finally, automated email campaigns can be set up with popular automation platforms like Salesforce or MailChimp. So, there's no excuse not to start email marketing for your business. It's an essential marketing channel that can help you connect with your customers and grow your business.

  1. Litmus
  2. Streak for Gmail
  3. https://www.outreach.io/
  4. Mailchimp

Types of B2B emails that get them to take action

We all subscribe to so many emails from B2B brands. Most of the emails, you don't even open. However, you open some of brands emails more often than other. When you think about it. All it comes down to is whether a brand's email content is worth reading.

Not all great brands send out great emails. So, keeping this in mind. Your email campaign goes is not only to make your target to take action in the short term. But it is also to make them understand that your content is valuable, well-curated and highly targetted to keep them opening more emails from you. Because, as you know the customer journey is longer in B2B compared to B2C

Here are a few emails, that we have curated that are not only open-worthy but also provide a great content that is worthy of your time.

New User Email

Buyer persona: User

Journey stage: Retention

It's ideal to communicate with your customer, that your emails hold value whenever they see them in their inbox. New users have purchased your products and you know what them to talk about their initial few steps in getting started. The First few emails let them know whether or not to stop caring about your email. So, it is paramount for you to nail these first few conversations.

Framers is a no-code website builder that lets users easily create sites and make changes easily ideal for businesses that don't have a dedicated development team. Framer new user email started with an Actionable heading, a large image, and a clear CTA to get them to follow the tutorial to build a prototype.

They use critical design elements like big heading and short actionable paragraphs to get users started with their first project.

"What's New" Email: Userback

Buyer persona: User, Influencer

Journey stage: Awareness. Retention

Company updates are the email equivalent of a person walking up to your desk and starts talking about themselves. If you are in the mood for it. It is a perfect way to start a conversation. If you are not, you will not only dismiss the person but will start avoiding the person in the future.

The key to "Update emails" is to connect the new feature to how it will improve the user or potential user. Userback is a user feedback tool for SAAS, website and other web applications. With their update email, they have clearly placed the major update at the top and made other less significant updates to the user below the main one. They also have clearly stated, how it will improve the usability.

Newsletter Email:

Buyer personas: Gatekeeper, User, Influencer

Journey stage: Consideration

Email Newsletter are always boring to start with. So to make your user open your email. You always want to start with value first. Explaining clearly why they want to read this newsletter in beginning will help them take the action and read further.

Better in their newsletter started with a banger headline enticing the user to read further and listen to what they have to say. They have use clean design to put focus on things that matter and made the entire email easily scannable.

Trend Report:

Buyer persona:  Influencer, Initiator

Journey stage: Awareness, Consideration, Decision-Making

Trend reports help you project yourself as the thought leader in your specific industry and convince your user that no one other than you has the resource and knowledge to predict the future of the industry.

Klaviyo here has demonstrated this by having an enticing title and asking them to read. Their subheading clears tells the user why their report is worth a read by giving a clear reason for their study in the first place.

Curated content email:

Buyer persona: User

Journey stage: Retention

It is important to keep in mind the struggles your user may face on a daily basis and to educate them on how to resolve their issues. A trend report is a groundbreaker. With these emails especially, you can experiments and show how much you care about your audience.

Calendly in this email, has shared a useful PDF on how to hit the sales target, users might have set. They have also added other useful resources, their potential customers might be interested to take a look.

Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies available, and it's definitely worth taking the time to learn how to do it right. In this blog post, we've outlined the key strategies and best practices for designing a successful B2B email campaign. We've also included helpful tools and examples to give you a starting point. Make sure to read through the blog post carefully and then use the strategies outlined to create a campaign that will help your business grow!

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Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase a paid plan. These are products I’ve personally used and stand behind. This site is not intended to provide financial advice and is for entertainment only. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

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