Email continues to rule as one of the most effective tools for achieving B2B email marketing goals.
Whether you’re trying to acquire new customers or market your content, B2B email marketing offers a number of avenues for campaign success.
It’s already a hit in the B2B space with 78% of marketers giving importance to email marketing for their company’s success.
Having said that, do you find curating a winning B2B email marketing campaign easy? Many of you might not have an answer right now while most of you might say, “yes!”
Whichever party you’re at, you can always use some well-crafted advice for your next (or first) campaign. Let’s explore B2B email marketing with prime tips on how to do it right.
- What is B2B email marketing?
- Does email marketing work for B2B companies?
- How to do B2B email marketing the right way?
What is B2B email marketing?
B2B (business to business) email marketing entails email campaigns designed for promoting a business to its target audiences that are primarily constructed of business owners and brands. The campaigns are focused on generating leads, improving sales, retaining existing clients, etc.
The strategies employed by B2B email marketers are pretty unique as they have to pitch to business clients. Unlike B2C email campaigns, wherein the opportunity is wide and strong, email marketing efforts in B2B space can be quite constrained.
Considering the various marketing channels employed by B2B marketers, email marketing stands as one of the strongest ROI generators. A Content Marketing Institute study reflected that email newsletters are the most used form of content marketing for 81% of B2B marketers.
Following is an example of Instapage, a marketing software company pitching its potential clients (also businesses) for a demo of their product.
Does email marketing work for B2B companies?
Email marketing strategy has proven quite effective for B2B companies who employ smart strategies to attract business clients. Apparently, a Super Office survey found out that B2B companies send out one email marketing campaign every 25 days.
Another CMI research depicts that email marketing software is one of the top tools employed by 85% of surveyed B2B marketers.
In today’s world, where there are billions of emails flooding consumers every day, B2B email marketing has not lost its significance.
Most digital brands actively use email marketing for a number of use cases. We have listed the top b2b email marketing goals as envisaged by B2B marketers.
Top Email Marketing Goals for B2B Marketers
- Lead nurturing
- Content distribution
- Engaging existing clients
- Cold pitches
- Lead generation
- Latest announcements
- Promoting webinars
Your B2B email marketing strategy could align with the above list or look pretty different depending on what your goals are.
For instance, Moo sends out emails to all of its clients for promoting its own services. It’s a direct example of lead generation with a focus on the benefits to the client.
How to do B2B email marketing the right way?
B2B marketers must create a definite b2b email marketing strategy to get the most out of their campaigns. The core elements of strong email marketing strategies for B2B brands are smart customer segmentation, personalized content, and well-defined goal setting.
Whether you’re new to B2B email marketing or looking for bright ideas for your next campaign, we have some useful advice for you!
Follow along to create an engaging email campaign for your B2B clients.
1. Define your ICP (Ideal customer profile)
An Ideal Customer Profile or ICP is a representation of the common attributes shared by your customers in one of your market segments. It describes demographics, behaviors, professional background, etc, to help you identify who exactly you are marketing to.
An ICP goes a long way in giving your email marketing campaigns a unique voice and curating content that your target customers are most likely to engage with. It will also help you recognize if the segment you’re targeting, is a good fit for your brand.
At times, you’d want to try a different process (such as sales) for the segment that’s not responding to B2B email marketing. We call this Marketing Leads Qualification, wherein, leads generated directly via a marketing channel are qualified for nurturing.
Define your ICP using the following steps:
- Find out a market segment to market to – divide your target audiences into segments such as Millennials, Active Users, Corporates, etc, based on the data you have about them. Pick any one segment out of these.
- Gather the top customers from your chosen segment – slice and dice the data to pick the top customers in terms of size and spending capacity.
- Collect data points on these customers – collect critical data points on your chosen list such as sub-industry, location, revenue, team size, etc.
- Understand their buyer journey – if possible, interview these customers or talk to sales or customer support teams to understand the buyer journey of these customers.
In the end, you’ll get a tabular sheet consisting of all the key details of your ICP. This will help you understand who you are marketing to and what all elements must go in your email design to make it a success.
2. Segment your b2b email marketing list
Once we have picked a market segment, it’s time to segment our email marketing lists for better targeting. The process is all about dividing our current list of subscribers (or potential leads) based on their defining attributes.
Let’s say you’re a Paper Company that sells reams of paper to consumers across the country. You’d want to segment your list based on the following attributes.
- Geography – customers in a certain state or region of the country.
- Purchase Volume – segmentation based on the volume of paper they purchase from you.
- Industry – the industry your customer works in such as education, retail, FMCG, etc.
- Special Characteristics – any significant point that sets your segment apart such as “all purchase heads.”
Your segmentation can look pretty different than this but the core idea remains the same. It’ll help you align your email marketing goal to your given segment.
Let’s say you want to push a special Bulk Discount Offer. You’d want to target customers with high purchase volume and create a segment using your historical sales data. Does it make sense?
3. Execute personalized campaigns
So far, you’ve figured out who you are marketing to. Now it’s time to serve them what they’d like to read. In other words, it’s time to personalize your campaign.
It involves creating relevant content in accordance with your chosen audience. You can identify this by studying your content marketing analytics. If you have a company blog or content platform, you can obtain key insights into what kind of audience engages with what kind of content.
If your Millennial customers like engaging with blogs and technology advice, your email must contain these elements. Further, you must personalize the email with personal identifiers such as customer name, their chosen service, etc.
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4. Create measurable goals
Your B2B email marketing campaign can’t proceed without a definite goal and an objective way to measure it. If you want to drive leads, you would want to pin it as the primary goal and figure out the metrics that can help you track your goal’s success.
Let’s say your goal is to generate traffic for your website blog. The best way to measure the success of your email campaign is by checking the number of visitors your blog was able to attract from your email.
For this, you’d need to tag your blog’s URL with a UTM string to identify how many visitors were generated through your email campaign. This is an example of a measurable goal. Based on the results, you can further optimize your next campaign.
5. Choose the right email marketing software
An email marketing software gives wings to your campaign. There are a number of email marketing tools that solve unique problems for businesses. We have made a list of the best email marketing software.
- 1. Salesmate
- 2. BIGContacts
- 3. Mailchimp
- 4. ConvertKit
- 5. Hubspot
- 6. MailerLite
- 7. Salesforce Pardot
You can check out more details on email marketing software here – Best email marketing software.
Salesmate helps you with all the personalization and reporting needs that you’d need to create impactful email marketing campaigns. It helps sales teams harness the power of smart email automation for quick replies and lead nurturing.
6. Check and experiment with email frequency
The most suitable email newsletter frequency is something that can only be figured out using some bit of experimentation. Research by Marketing Sherpa shows a relationship between the number of times an email newsletter is sent and how many people opt for the same.
It’s evident that more than 80% of users are comfortable receiving monthly newsletters, whereas, about 60% of users wish to receive weekly newsletters.
The optimum frequency would ultimately lie between these two values. But what works out for your brand specifically, is subject to testing. You can try creating campaigns for various frequencies starting from weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly to check for user open rates.
In case you get too many unsubscribe requests or spam reports, it means you’re going overboard and your mails might land in the spam folder. But if the email engagement rates are healthy, you can continue with confidence.
7. A/B test your email marketing campaigns
All ready with the email content and the rest? Well, don’t forget the A/B test!
A/B testing is the process of trying two variations (A and B) of the same email design and checking which one works the best with the audience.
This helps you understand what kind of design or email content works with your audience so that you can push the winning variation.
According to Litmus, A/B testing can fetch an ROI of 48:1.
To properly put your email marketing campaigns through an A/B test, you can try variations of the following elements of your campaign.
- Email subject line
- Visual design
- Email copy
- Image vs no Image
- Length of the email messages
- Call to action buttons
Remember to have a few trackable variations in your A/B tests. Start with a hypothesis such as, “Maybe, adding an image will be better,” and then create variations. Don’t go for too many variations in the same email marketing campaign.
The best part about B2B email marketing is that you don’t require a mammoth marketing setup for generating envious ROI. Simple tools, an effective strategy that aligns with your digital marketing efforts, and a series of small experiments can help you win big.
B2B emails continue to hog revenue and retention for popular B2B brands as they research their audience deeply, and use the power of segmentation. Just remember to focus on making it relevant rather than stressing to make it attractive.