According to one study, B2B email marketing yields a click-through rate of almost 3%, compared with an average click-through rate of between .6% — .8% for other types of emails. Another study revealed that B2B marketing email tends to have a high ROI of 4300%. That’s 3,200% higher than social media, paid search, and other forms of online advertising.
B2B email marketing is used to communicate with other businesses and corporations in order to promote your services. It’s a great way to build new relationships, nurture old ones, and increase your revenue. In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of B2B email marketing, best practices for executing a program from scratch, and hands-on tips for creating emails that people actually look forward to opening.
What is B2B email marketing?
B2B (business-to-business) email marketing is when you use email to promote products and services to other businesses for professional purposes rather than to individuals for consumer purposes.
Historically, B2B marketing lacked creativity and personality. That is changing! Businesses are realizing that communicating their values with a distinct personality can be extremely effective. You’ll see in the examples below how some B2B email marketers are infusing creativity into their messaging.
B2B email marketing best practices
Start with a B2B email marketing strategy
Email marketing is only effective when it’s done right. To make sure your audience likes what they see and clicks your call-to-action, you need an email marketing strategy that:
- Defines clear goals – What do you want your audience to do?
- Identifies your audience – Who are you talking to? What are they interested in?
- Establishes a clear plan – How often will you communicate with your clients? How will you measure your efforts?
Without these elements, you will have no way of knowing whether your B2B marketing campaign is having the desired effect. We’ve made you this handy email marketing cheat sheet to make sure your strategy ticks all the right boxes.Handy cheat sheet to creating your email marketing strategy
Use email marketing segmentation
Oftentimes, there are several decision-makers and influencers on your email list. Instead of sending them all a mass email, you have a much better chance of winning their trust, loyalty, and business by speaking to each person’s specific needs. Personalization in emails generates a median ROI of 122% and you can accomplish this through subscriber segmentation. You can tailor emails specifically for certain audiences, or include dynamic content blocks within your general email campaigns that are only visible for your target audience.
👉 Tip: There are different ways to use email segmentation. Check out the video below, which shows you how to do it with MailerLite. https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/wND8BU9xykc?enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mailerlite.com
If you work in a B2B company that uses a CRM or other software tools, you should be able to access data on your product life cycles, customer behaviors, and other insights into your target audience. Use this information to help segment your email list.
B2B segments can include:
- People in different business sectors
- Job roles within a company
- Different business relationships (e.g. people that know you well)
Regardless of the type of segment, the main thing is to ensure that the right message goes to the right person.
For example, an IT manager and a CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) may both have input into a purchase decision for new technology, but they will probably care about different elements. Your task is to make sure you know who you’re talking to—and tailor your email content to suit.
Welcome email template
Example provided by Buffer
First impressions count. A lot. Therefore, if a subscriber signs up to something, whether it is to receive future blog posts or a series of email tips, it makes sense to thank them and welcome them. By doing nothing, you make it difficult to create a strong impression. When you sign up on their web form, Buffer’s welcome email includes links to their support email address and a link to their Twitter profile. Simple yet effective!
How to implement: Whether you use auto-responders or send the emails manually, welcoming new subscribers to your company email list is a great way to build a strong relationship from the beginning. In the email, make sure you introduce yourself and company. You can also provide helpful links to content such as most popular blog posts or white papers, or links to your social media profiles
When to send: Each time you get a new subscriber
Curated content email template
Example provided by Hiten Shah
Each week, CrazyEgg and Kissmetrics founder, Hiten Shah sends a roundup of his favorite posts on topics that include SaaS, marketing, sales and growth. Hiten is able to deliver great content directly to his readers without them having to search the content out online. He’s helping his readers do better, which adds a lot of value to his subscribers.
How to implement: Whether you’re in customer service, social media, banking or the automotive industry, you can create a list of the best content you’ve read and share it through email to your subscribers with links to this content. You don’t need a fancy design either! In doing so, you’re delivering value without being self-promotional.
When to send: Weekly or monthly, depending on how often you can curate content
Events generate the most leads in B2B marketing. If you’re attending conferences and business-to-business events, let your audience know about it! Share what’s happening, and help your clients to get even better at their jobs. Here’s how to do it:
Before an event:
With so many different speakers, topics, and stands, big conferences can be overwhelming. Help your clients by sharing a guide on what’s happening. You could even use the event to invite your potential customers to join the conversation, just like Influence & Co did here:
Pre-event email newsletters like this will reinforce your image as a connected, informed member of the business community, and tell your email subscribers where you’ll be so that you can have more valuable face-to-face interactions.
After an event:
Chances are not every member of your audience was able to attend your event. So it’s up to you to be their eyes and ears, deliver valuable insights and build your reputation as a thought leader who understands the market.
Even if your post-meeting email only contains a few key thoughts, it shows your audience that you’re up to speed and that you care about the industry.
Below, the Charity Ball newsletter summarizes everything that happened with a 2-minute video and a link to a photo gallery of the event.
“We need your opinion!”
As a business that serves other businesses, you have access to the best source of information in the industry: Your clients!
Most of your existing or potential customers would probably love to be recognized as thought leaders. So why not ask them to share their knowledge by sending them a survey invitation email? Check out the example below:
The Uberflip content marketing manager makes the recipient of the email feel credible – and at the same time, attracts material for exclusive content. Anyone who shares their insights will gain exposure, which can lead to greater brand recognition.
The Product Announcement Email
Product marketing is an important arm of B2B email marketing for tech startups. You want to keep your contacts up to date with the great things you’ve been doing, and let them know about the specific benefit your product or service could offer to keep them hooked.
Here’s an example from Invision:
This email focuses on value for the B2B buyer. It does this by highlighting the benefits ‘easier to use for the whole team’, and by providing examples upfront of what can be done with the new feature. As it’s a long email, they’ve cleverly placed a clear CTA at the top and the bottom of the email to not lose anyone’s attention.
The ‘meatier’ content marketing email
When it comes to sharing your longer form content, your email approach is key. This could be a white paper, a report or just something you’ve created that deserves its own campaign.
This email from Litmus promotes their ebook. The winning element of this email is the way they break the content down. They give the option to download the ebook, then ask if the reader ‘just wants the highlights’, linking to an infographic. They’ve even included a few snippets of the infographic to give a preview of what to expect.
“Just for you!”
Success in business is about knowledge, and one way your B2B audience tries to stay ahead of their competitors is by gaining access to the latest information.
So if you have access to information or insights that your customers can’t get elsewhere, make the most of it! Generate a report or other content, and use an email marketing campaign as one of the distribution channels.
In the B2B email example below, Hubspot offers exclusive access to a ‘Marketing Agency Growth Report’ – for free! By offering valuable content, they help their B2B audience stay on top of their game.
Similarly, DigitalMarketer shares a guide and a tracking sheet to help their subscribers optimize their email marketing strategy. Again, it is offered as a free gift to their subscribers.
New article email template
Example provided by Gerry McGovern
Gerry McGovern has long been sending new articles that he publishes in his weekly “New Thinking” email series. The email content, which is a copy of the article content that is published on his website, is a great way to update his email subscriber list of new content, without the subscriber having to visit Gerry’s website. It’s not promotional in anyway, other than providing the reader with some thought-provoking content.
How to implement: Whether you use this example for new blog post content or article content, you can copy and paste the content directly into the email, like Gerry does, or provide a link to the webpage and drive readers to your website.
When to send: Each time a new blog post or article has been published
Webinars are a great way to deliver insights that your customers find valuable and relevant. Use your B2B email campaign to make a date with your audience so they can catch your live stream.
In the B2B email below, NewsCred entices their subscribers by implying that unless they attend the webinar, they will miss out on a marketing performance metric. When sharing a webinar invitation, a bit of ‘FOMO’ (Fear Of Missing Out) never hurts!
Don’t forget to use your webinar emails as an opportunity to stay connected with any subscribers who missed the live webinar by sending them a follow-up link to the recorded version so they can catch up. If you have ever registered for a MailerLite webinar, you’ve probably seen this email.
Email marketing is the best way to generate more leads and customers. Looking for a trusted B2B Wire email marketing solution? Best B2B Email Marketing is your answer!