8 Tips for Better B2B Email Marketing

October 21st, 2009 | By Adam Holden-Bache | No Comments

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Business to Business (B2B) email marketing should be approached differently than Business to Consumer (B2C) email. However, many B2B marketers find difficulty in creating successful B2B campaigns. We find the problems are mostly due to two misconceptions:

First, many of us assume that a Business-to-Business email needs to be corporate-y and approached with a business-like mentality.

Second, most of us, even marketers, see more B2C messages than B2B ones, so we unsuccessfully try to implement B2C style tactics in our approach (design, layout, copy, etc.).

So, to get on track with B2B emails, here are eight tips:

1. Be a human. Consider writing your B2B email in the same way you’d approach a personal communication. Show some personality. Write it like it’s a conversation. Be upbeat. A lively writing style from a person and not a brand can be a game-changer. At worst you’ll be remembered for being unique.

2. Have a goal. Too many messages are sent simply because someone is covering their ass. The sender’s only goal is to make sure they don’t get blamed for not sending the email. If that’s you- stop it. Have a reason for sending your email. If you don’t know what it is, don’t send it.

3. Think about the recipient’s goal. Most likely, your B2B email isn’t about branding or a special offer. It’s there to help recipients with a vital function of their job. Put yourself in their shoes and position your communication for the audience.

4. Segment. If you’re trying to reach multiple audiences, you may want to do it with multiple iterations of the email, allowing each to be short, focused and goal-oriented.

5. Not everything needs to be a newsletter. You don’t need to send a newsletter-style email with 5 articles and 100 links every time just because you’re a business. Try testing different amounts of content- maybe its better to send 1 article at a time, 3 days a week than one monthly newsletter with 12 articles. Mix it up. Try to be different. Stand out.

6. Send your messages at appropriate times. Try to reach recipients when they are at their desks with a clear inbox. So this usually means don’t send before 9:30 am or after 5:00 pm. – and never on weekends. And don’t forget to segment to allow for time zones differences. For more on this read When To Send.

7. Be consistent with delivery. When recipients see your emails arriving consistently at the same time each day, week or month you’ll get a higher open rate. Why? Because it makes you look like you know what you’re doing. And if you give off that impression people will notice and react.

8. Elicit Feedback. If all else fails, ask the recipients what they want or allow them to select it themselves. Surveys are also a good idea. Ask users how much content they want and when they want it. Just be prepared to implement or act upon the feedback you receive.

B2B email marketing isn’t rocket science- if anything the audience is more consistent than B2C recipients. So take the initiative to adjust your B2B approach- you’ll likely see the effort in your improved campaign results.

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