I think that you’ll agree with me on this one:

We often tend to forget the great power of the oldest form of online communication – his majesty, the email. Email marketing is the thing, especially in B2B campaigns.

Here are some B2B email marketing statistics to open our eyes:

And though now you are impatient to learn effective, specific strategies to get your B2B email marketing back on track, I need you to hold on for just a little while.

The first and most important thing you need to understand is that B2B and B2C audiences are not the same. Let us see the differences between communicating with these two target groups.

Differences between B2B and B2C emails

Now, why would a B2B email marketing campaign be any different than a B2C campaign? After all, both B2B and B2C customers are people, flesh and blood, making their decisions based on emotions, right?

Not really. B2B is quite different.

1. Logic comes first

Even though in B2C you use an emotional connection to engage interest in your products or services, B2B requires a much more logical, cold-fact approach. You know, that CEO prospective client wouldn’t run a company if he allowed emotions to affect his decisions on a regular basis.

Using facts and data, try to make your prospective customers understand (not feel) how your product or service can actually help them achieve their business goals.

2. Send more emails

The next point that deserves special attention is that your prospects will have to be exposed to your offer as many as eight or nine times before they actually decide to buy.

B2B purchases require a much bigger investment compared to B2C. So, for instance, if you are in website flipping, don’t expect to sell a website in your first email, as it will take much more time than that.

This means that you will have to send multiple emails, intelligently, over a longer period of time. The number of emails you will have to send and the time period both depend on how much of an investment the prospect has to make.

3. Educate your prospects

Finally, as a result of the previous point, B2B emails need to educate their recipients. You don’t want to push a direct offer, but rather try to tell them about the product and how it can solve their problem. You can do this by inserting a ‘Learn More’ CTA link instead of ‘Buy Now’.

Click-through rate for B2B emails is 3.2%, while in B2C email campaigns, this figure stands at 2.1%. What does this tell you?

Don’t try to sell in your email, especially not in the first one. Instead, do it on your website later on, when prospects are ready to buy. And you can prepare them for making a purchase by enriching your email with useful, data-driven content like case studies, scientific research, etc.

Now that you understand why B2B emails require a different approach, there is just one more thing I want to tell you before listing the actual strategies for your best B2B email campaign ever.

Before we start, have you tried cold emails?

cold emails

Cold emails have a special place in the realm of business email strategies. And in your prospects’ hearts too – but not in a good way.

The main argument of marketers who write off cold emails is that they are ineffective. Why?

Because you send them to people who usually don’t know you. However, there are a few ways to get around this by creating persuasive cold emails.

How can you improve your cold emails?

1. Personalize

Remember, in spite of countless new communication channels such as social media and apps like Slack, email is still one of the most personal ways to communicate with people.

Just like regular emails, cold emails need to be personalized. And since they are sent to people you are not connected to, you have to personalize them even to a greater extent.

Make sure that you create a personal connection by mentioning something that will make your email stand out from the rest (and trust me, your email is far from being the only one that your prospects receive).

Mention a common interest you may have with the prospect or tell them what you think of the latest business decision they have made. Hint: compliment them.

Remember: A little effort goes a long way.

2. Mind your language

Speaking of personalization, try to write your emails in a conversational style. Avoid the following things:

  • complicated wording
  • long phrases
  • use of business jargon

Instead, talk to them as if you would to a friend – be direct and personal.

3. Make your offer clear

Cold emails often end up in the trash folder because they are sent to prospects by strangers. But your emails can avoid this fate if they include a clear and straightforward offer.

Your prospect needs to immediately understand how their business can benefit from your product or service. To do this, use numbers, social proof, and make sure to mention how your solution can help them solve a specific problem they face.

For more detailed tips on creating persuasive cold emails, check these tips to improve cold email outreach ROI and this Ultimate Guide to Cold Emails.

Strategies for boosting your B2B email marketing

Since you have demonstrated a great deal of patience, it is time to reward you by keeping the promise I made in the article’s title.

Check out: B2B Email Marketing Best Practices

Finally, here are the most effective strategies you should use to improve your B2B email marketing campaign.

Target the right businesses – the right way

Target the right businesses

Just like in B2C email marketing, in B2B you also need to understand your target audience and the challenges they are facing. This enables you not only to approach the right businesses but also to improve your product so that it provides tangible solutions for your target market.

1. Learn as much as possible about your target market

When you know your target market like the palm of your hand, you can create products that truly meet their needs. Let your prospects know that you have done your homework by showing them that you understand what kind of problems they face and how exactly you can help them.

Understand their pain points – this is crucial. When you know why the company’s CEO can’t sleep at night and tell them that your product can make their worries a thing of the past, you will be very close to converting them into a customer.

Once you know this, you will be able to answer the famous question:

  • Who is my target customer?

Yes, they are imaginary, but that doesn’t make them any less important for your business.

In brief, you need to know the following five points:

  • what challenges your ideal customer is facing and how your service can help them
  • the type of businesses you are targeting in your emails – company’s industry, size, number of employees, and so on
  • the job title of the person who is most likely to purchase your product on behalf of the company – role, level, job description
  • what that person’s goals and responsibilities are – their success and career growth within the company
  • how your B2B target persona interacts with other vendors – this is important since it helps you offer the right buying experience to them

2. Find out what kind of emails work in a particular industry

If you can add, remove, or improve a specific aspect of an email to increase your open rate in a particular industry, then make sure you do it. From email subject line to call to action links, you need to know it all in order to deliver a successful email marketing campaign.

Segment

A study by CampaignMonitor revealed that marketers saw a 760% increase in revenue from customized, properly segmented email campaigns.

But even marketers who only want to keep their existing email subscribers engaged know that list segmentation is necessary. It is an integral part of every successful email marketing campaign.

Is this enough to convince you that you should practice email segmentation on a regular basis?

Here are things to consider when segmenting your B2B email list:

  • Customer’s journey stage
    Is your prospect researching how to solve their problem or are they already your customer? You’re not going to send the same email to these two people, are you?

  • Type of buyer persona
    Are you sending an email to a company’s CFO or head of IT? The former will give more consideration to matters like initial purchase and recurring costs, while the latter will be more concerned about technical aspects of implementing your solution.

    Now, in the B2B world, it’s slightly more difficult to write emails with this in mind, as there are usually more people within the company who will make a decision whether or not to buy your product together.

    Therefore, even though you need to segment your emails based on buyer personas, sometimes it also helps to have in mind each person who has a say in the decision-making process, especially if you are sending emails to a medium or large business.

  • Industry
    This goes without saying. If you know that you have customers or prospects across different industries, send them targeted emails about their specific industries. That way, your email messages will have much greater relevance.

  • Website behavior
    Lastly, one of the most effective segmentation approaches is to send emails based on the activities your email subscribers engage in while on your website. This includes how visitors find your website, how much time they spend on it, what pages they visit, and most importantly – what type of content they download from your website.

Get your timing right

Get your timing right

Everyone agrees that there are certain times during the day that give the best email open rates. So, when are your customers most likely to open your emails, and when should you send them?

According to a study by GetResponse, there is a window between 11 am and 2 pm (just before or after lunch) or after 6 pm (when people get back home from work). These times give the best results, so you should aim for them.

When it comes to what days are the best for sending emails, the same study shows that Tuesday is the best for click-through rates (3.61%), while Friday takes a landslide victory when it comes to open rates (23.64%). It goes without saying that you should not send your emails on weekends.

Still, things may be different in your particular industry, as it all depends on your audience and their habits. So, even though these stats can help you find the best time to send your B2B emails, there are no universally accepted rules.

To find your own pattern, try experimenting. Divide your email list into a few equally sized groups and send the same email at different times of the day. Repeat this process for different emails over a month to find the best time.

Nurture your precious leads

Nurture your precious leads

If you have experience in B2B or even B2C email marketing, you know that getting people to subscribe is not the most difficult part. Keeping them subscribed is.

Not that you want to keep all your subscribers, as some of them are irresponsive and inactive. Let’s face it, you want only quality leads.

Having a long list of high-quality, relevant leads requires a long-term, continuous investment on your side – lead nurturing.

How to nurture your leads? Here are some of the most effective ways.

1. Send a welcome email

First impressions are the most lasting. When you send a welcome email to the person who has just subscribed to your newsletter, you let them know that you are happy they are a part of your business family. You can do this easily by setting an autoresponder to send out welcome emails to new subscribers.

This is one of the most important emails that you are ever going to send to a prospect, so make sure it is crafted with great care. Also, offer them a freebie even if you didn’t promise it as a lead magnet – they’ll love it.

2. One email is not enough

If you are serious about your lead nurture campaign, you need to create a series of emails and send them out over a period of time. The purpose of these emails is to engage and raise interest in people who are not quite sure about your product.

You can send out as many nurture emails as you want to and use blog posts or other content to keep the prospects coming back for more and investing their time in learning about your product. For example, if the prospect is in the e-commerce or dropshipping industry, you can send them valuable resources such as this dropshipping guide.

Remember, the main purpose of your lead-nurturing emails is to educate your potential clients and keep them curious.

Nail your CTA

Your CTA is the icing on the email cake. If you have done everything correctly, but failed to include a call to action that converts, you may as well not have written the email in the first place.

What are the elements of an effective CTA?

  • First, it needs to be personal and attractive. If you are sending a plain text email, the CTA has to fit in within the broader style of your email. Make sure that it is short and avoid marketing jargon.

    There is a great trick that you can use for writing and positioning your email CTA. Apart from making it fit in with the overall tone of the email, add the CTA as an effortless afterthought. Hint: Try adding your CTA as a P.S.

  • On the other hand, if you choose a graphic CTA in an HTML email, make it a least 44 pixels so that all your subscribers can tap – even those with bigger thumbs.

    Also, make sure that you use vibrant colors so that your CTA is eye-catching.

  • Don’t stuff your email with CTAs. With B2B emails, it is enough to have 1-3 dynamic CTAs that point to valuable content or further campaign touchpoints.

Final word – analyze

Don’t make the same old mistake like everyone else. If you think you have come up with the best B2B email marketing plan ever, you’re probably wrong. Even if your emails work for a period of time, a day will come when your open and conversion rates will start to drop.

This is the day when you will have to be honest with yourself and your team. This is the time when you will need to analyze your B2B email marketing strategy and make necessary changes, which may be huge. By that time, you will have probably done some irrevocable damage to your business.

And why? Because you didn’t analyze your campaign on time.

So, why not act right away and prevent this from happening? You can do this by regularly analyzing your B2B email campaign performance and always making little tweaks to enhance each aspect that leaves room for improvement.

Try Albacross

Igor Zagradanin

Igor Zagradanin

Writer and Content Strategist at Contentised

Igor is a content marketing expert with a proven track record of helping businesses by adding value to their brands, developing content marketing strategies, as well as educating and connecting with their audiences on a personal level.
In his spare time, he plays guitar, produces electronic music, does yoga, and (with more or less success) tries to get in touch with his inner child.