B2B Marketing: Top 9 Email Best Practices

Author
Vladislav Podolyako
Published
Jun 07, 2022
Reading duration
15m

B2B marketing can be tricky. It requires deep research and analysis, careful targeting, the use of the right marketing tools, and lots of other marketing efforts on your side, all to help your leads convert into actual customers. But, no matter how challenging and tricky it gets, marketing is something a modern B2B business can’t survive without. So, all that’s left for you to do is to put up with this and find ways to set your strategy up for success.

One thing that is even trickier than promoting a B2B brand is marketing it via email. Although email is one of the most powerful marketing tools, it also requires lots of effort to use to your benefit.

From developing a strategy to writing a killer subject line and wrapping up your email with an effective CTA - every step in B2B email marketing for B2B is a challenge. But, Belkins has you covered! Explore tips and tricks to use in your marketing initiatives in order to drive the best results.

Read on to learn:

  • What marketing for B2B is and how it’s different from B2C marketing;
  • What marketing for B2B via email is and why does it matter;
  • Top practices to use for success;
  • Reasons to delegate marketing tasks to professionals.

Let’s dive in!

What Is B2B Marketing?

In order to understand the concept and value of email marketing for B2B, it is important to delve deeper into the concept of B2B marketing as a whole. 

So, what is B2B marketing in the first place?

Long story short, the term B2B marketing refers to a wide set of tactics, strategies, and content that is geared toward another business or organization, rather than a regular user. Therefore, B2B marketing strategies are typically used by brands that operate in the B2B sector, meaning that they sell products or services to other businesses.

The core purpose of any marketing, including B2B, is to boost brand awareness, generate more leads, and, as a result, drive more sales and revenues. That’s exactly what B2B businesses are striving for - they focus their marketing efforts on finding potential customers for their business, making them familiar with the brand, showing the value of the product or service they offer, and, eventually, converting leads into paying customers.

B2B vs. B2C

Now that you know more about B2B marketing, you might be as well wondering how it’s different from B2C marketing.

To figure this out, you should look at the essence of these two terms. B2B translates as Business-to-Business and, as was stated earlier, this form of marketing is geared toward business customers. B2C, on the contrary, translates as Business-to-Consumer. So, as you can easily guess, this form of marketing is geared toward regular (individual) consumers.

Knowing the definition of both terms, it is not hard to guess that B2B and B2C marketing are very different. They are different in the way companies build and apply their strategies. And, of course, they are different in terms of the target audiences they are trying to reach.

B2B marketing focuses on the pain points, interests, and needs of decision-makers who represent their companies and make purchases on their behalf. Respectively, the customer in this scenario is the organization. A great example of this is a software development company that offers, let’s say, marketing automation solutions designed to meet business needs

B2C marketing focuses on the pain points, interests, and needs of individual customers who are making purchases for themselves. So, the customer in this case is an individual interested in buying a particular product or service. You can see quite a few examples of this type of marketing too. Namely, a video streaming brand like Netflix is a B2C company and a retailer of apparel like Levi’s is a B2C brand as well.

What Is B2B Marketing via Email?

Now that you know what Business-to-Business marketing is as a whole, let’s move on to the main topic of this article.

So, what is B2B email marketing then?

In short, it is a form of marketing that leverages email as the primary channel for reaching and converting leads. It implies creating email marketing campaigns delivered through promotional emails. Email in this case can be used to generate leads, acquire new customers, inform them about your products or services, and convert them into marketing qualified leads that will be then converted into paying customers by your sales team.

The only difference is that, since it is a B2B email marketing, all marketing efforts are focused on delivering marketing emails to businesses rather than individuals.

Why Your Business Should Care About B2B Email Marketing?

B2B emails are a great way to remind customers about your services. It shouldn’t surprise you if we say that B2B brands leverage a wide variety of marketing channels to find and convert their sales leads. These channels include search engines, social media platforms, and many others. Among such a variety of available channels, email might seem not so significant and effective as others. But, this is a wrong assertion.

In fact, being around for such a long time, marketing via email still didn’t become outdated or less significant than other channels. On the contrary, it is still one of the most powerful marketing channels of all. So, having a solid email marketing strategy is a must for every B2B brand and we will tell you why.

First of all, it is worth noting that B2B and email really seem to be a match made in heaven. According to a survey by eMarketer, 49% of B2B marketers (out of 150 surveyed) in the US say that email is the best and most powerful channel for driving conversions.

Email offers marketers an unbeatable ROI (Return on Investment) of 4,200%. This is significantly higher compared to other marketing strategies and channels. For example, your business can gain $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, whereas email offers $36 for every $1 spent.

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The numbers speak for themselves. Email is the only marketing channel out there that can offer such a huge return on investment. Respectively, we can say that it is an irreplaceable part of business-to-business marketing.

But, even that’s not all! Apart from offering truly exceptional ROI, email as a marketing channel also excels in the following directions:

  • Email offers plenty of opportunities for lead generation. All you need is to deliver high-quality content and you will be able to exchange it for opt-ins and email addresses of your prospects.
  • Email is also a very helpful medium for extending your outreach and, thus, building brand awareness. According to stats, over 4 billion people across the globe are using email actively.
  • Email is probably one of the most effort-free ways for distributing marketing content and making sure that it reaches your target audience. Thus, if you want to improve your content marketing, you should consider using email as one of the major mediums for its distribution.
  • Email also contributes to building trusted and lasting relationships with your prospects. An average open rate of welcome emails is 82%, so, it is a great opportunity to present your brand and start building relationships.
  • An email is a great tool for moving prospects through the sales funnel. It helps improve the buyer’s journey, provides top-quality customer support, and, thus, improves retention.
  • Email helps build trust and engagement. Therefore, it is also a powerful tool for turning regular customers into real advocates for your brand. This is what happens when customers receive messages from companies they trust on a regular basis.

Now, you should agree that these are some weighty reasons to improve your B2B email marketing efforts right now! The only question is - how do you do that?

B2B Email Marketing Best Practices in 2022

After reading the previous sections of this article, you should already have a very clear idea of what email marketing means for business-to-business brands. Now, you might be wondering what B2B marketing strategies for email will work best for your business.

What does effective B2B marketing via email look like? It all starts with leveraging your landing page and other opt-in opportunities to generate leads and create a solid mailing list. 

Selection of the right email service provider follows the landing pages stage. And then you just implement your strategy and start sending emails.

But is there anything in between?

In fact, creating winning marketing emails is much harder than it seems at first glance. From an email subject line to a CTA, from the email design to the marketing tools that you use, every tiny detail of your B2B marketing strategy matters. And it’s crucial to do everything right.

Let’s look at some of the best email practices to integrate into your business-to-business marketing strategy to drive better results!

1. Killer Subject Lines

A subject line is basically a business card for every email that you send. It is the first thing your recipients will see even before they open your email. Therefore, a subject line has a direct impact on whether they will actually want to open and read what you want to say. This brings us to the first best practice that you should use - writing killer subject lines.

The subject line of your email is pretty much like a trailer to a movie. It should offer a sneak peek into the content you are going to share. But, at the same time, it should make a person curious about what they will see inside. Thus, it has to be related to the content of your email and attention-grabbing.

Also, a perfect subject line should be personalized. Looking at it, the reader must feel that you are appealing directly to them. If you fail to do this, your emails may look spammy to recipients, which will significantly reduce your open rates. But, if you can craft a subject line that meets all the aforementioned requirements, you can win over your readers and ensure great ROIs.

2. Educational Content

Just like in content marketing, in business-to-business email marketing, content plays a key role. But the type of content is a bit different. So, here is another best practice to use - focus on educational rather than sales content.

According to the customer data in B2B sales, users always want to make a well-informed buying decision. Thus, in order to engage a potential client and jump-start the buying process, you need to center your emails around high-value educational content that helps prospects learn more about your products and brand as well.

3. Email Segmentation

In a nutshell, email segmentation is the process of dividing your entire email database into smaller lists based on certain recipients’ criteria. For example, you can segment your contacts by location, age, gender, interests, customer behavior, and other factors. And this is one more top practice proven to be effective in B2B email marketing.

Why is it so important? The main reason for that is that not all of your email subscribers are the same. Depending on their location, gender, age, and other criteria, they might have different needs and pain points. And segmentation enables you to recognize these unique needs and cater to them. Simply put, email segmentation is the key to delivering relevant content.

What will happen if you don’t integrate this practice into your email strategy? In short, if you don’t do this, you will deliver generic content to your leads and existing customers. Sooner or later, they will notice this and decide that you are not giving them anything valuable. As a result, this might harm your open rates, ROIs, and retention as well. Therefore, email segmentation is a MUST!

4. Responsive Designs

While it is surely important to deliver engaging content via your email campaigns, content isn’t the only thing that affects the outcomes. In fact, the design of your emails matters no less than the content.

Of course, your messages in the email campaign must look appealing to the readers. The design should highlight your brand’s individuality and drive attention. But, that’s not all. Speaking about B2B email marketing best practices, we can’t avoid stressing the importance of responsiveness.

These days, more than 80% of users open their emails from mobile devices.

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If your email design isn’t responsive, these 80%+ users might not see your emails correctly. Typically, such email messages either go to the spam folder or get deleted. Respectively, non-responsive emails won’t do any good for your B2B email marketing strategy. But, if you start using responsive email templates, your chances for success will skyrocket.

5. Personalization

It is long known that modern consumers love personalization. Therefore, it is one of the most popular tactics used by B2C marketers. But, the truth is that it is no less important in B2B marketing.

Personalized subject lines, email content, and even CTAs belong to the best practices you can use. Studies show that personalized emails show 202% better outcomes than those that are not personalized. So, be sure to integrate this practice into your strategy.

6. CTAs

A CTA (or call-to-action) is one of the most important elements of email content. It is a direct appeal to your recipients that can make them take the required action, such as subscribe, share their contact info, book an appointment, and even make a purchase. Therefore, including CTAs in your marketing emails is not an option but a necessity. But, you have to know how to do it right.

The next top practice used by email marketers is providing only one CTA per email, but a really powerful one.

Some emails are packed with CTAs. Marketers mistakenly believe that more CTAs mean better lead generation and conversion. But, in fact, they get the opposite effect. Too many CTAs in one email message can cause confusion, when email recipients just don’t know which link to click first and, eventually, don’t click on anything at all. Besides, such emails look too spammy and even annoying, so click-through rates are typically very low there. So if you’d like to improve your click-through rate, stick to 1 CTA.

Thus, if you want your readers to take action, focus their attention on just one CTA in every email. This can really take your B2B email strategy to the next level!

7. Email Marketing Tools

Long gone are the days when businesses were running their lead generation and marketing email campaigns manually. Today, automation is a new big trend. So, the next top practice to use is email automation.

Pick the right email marketing tools to put your campaigns on autopilot and achieve notable results. There are plenty of options available these days. All you need to do is find something that works for you.

8. Cold Emailing

Reaching out to prospects who know nothing about you and haven’t shown any interest in the first place always feels uncomfortable. Still, cold emailing remains one of the top practices used in B2B marketing. So, you shouldn’t be afraid to use it to your benefit.

It is not easy to create effective B2B marketing strategies for cold email outreach. Such strategies have to be incredibly sophisticated and well-targeted. But, if you manage to create a cold email campaign that targets the right leads and delivers the right message, you should be able to drive more prospects into your sales cycle. So, don’t disregard this opportunity.

9. The Right Timing

So, we’ve already covered some of the most effective practices and tricks that can help you boost your open rates, engagement, and, hopefully, sales. Still, there is one last top practice that we should never forget about. We are talking about choosing the right time to email a client.

In B2B marketing, you know that you are reaching out to people who are extremely busy and value their time high. Thus, if you send them an email at the wrong time, you might just miss them. What’s more, your prospects are receiving tons of emails every day. So, if you miss them initially, chances are that your email will get lost in a pile of others and you will lose a potential deal. But, there is a solution.

Send your B2B marketing emails to potential and existing clients at the right time - this can really help. According to experts, the best time to send is right before your recipients are most likely to check their inboxes. For business clients, this is somewhere around 10 AM. So, sending your emails between 8 and 10 AM is a good decision. Also, you can try to reach your business customers after lunch (at around 1 PM) or closer to the end of their working hours (at 4-or-so PM).

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Pro Tip: You can start sending emails following these general recommendations. But, then, be sure to keep an eye on your leads’ open times. This will help you tune your B2B email marketing strategy and drive even more potential deals for your sales team.

The Perks of Using B2B Marketing Services

Now you know about the biggest B2B marketing trends in 2022 and can start leveraging them to boost your brand’s success. But, what if you are too short on resources to do that?

If you lack experience, skills, or other resources for developing and implementing a solid B2B marketing strategy, there is a solution! In this case, turning to professional B2B marketing services might be your best bet.

So, what are the main reasons for using professional B2B marketing services? Let’s look at the core benefits to answer this question:

  • Access to broader resources - Depending on the size of your business, you might lack certain human, marketing, sales, or content resources. If that’s true, you might find it hard to develop and implement an effective B2B marketing strategy. And expanding your in-house team might not always be an option. But, if you turn to a professional marketing agency, you will get access to the top talents, the needed marketing tools, and other resources that you might lack.
  • Time economy - Delegating B2B marketing tasks to pros also helps you save plenty of time. While dedicated specialists will do their best to get you more leads, your in-house team will be able to focus on closing deals rather than finding them.
  • Better outcomes - Finally, professional email marketing B2B services typically provide certain guarantees. If you choose a reliable partner, you can create better strategies and drive more seizable results with ease.

The Bottom Line

As you now know, email is one of the most important, powerful, and versatile channels used in business-to-business marketing. Not only does B2B email marketing offer the highest ROIs, but it also enables businesses to achieve a wide range of their goals, including building awareness, ensuring retention, and many others.

However, the only way to gain all these benefits is to build a winning B2B email marketing strategy that keeps up with the time and trends.

Want some help with B2B email marketing? Belkins has you covered! Our team has been in the lead generation and email marketing online business for years and knows exactly what it takes to achieve success. So, don’t hesitate to turn to our experts for help and let us take your business to the next level!

Vladislav Podolyako
Author:
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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