86% of businesspeople prefer email over other channels when it comes to business communication. That’s almost every single person who’d prefer you to land in their inbox than pick up the phone and call them–and who can blame them in today’s fast-paced world?
As well as being the most welcomed form of communication, email is also the most effective, with 59% of B2B marketers claiming it’s the most effective revenue generation strategy. If you’re not already running B2B email marketing campaigns in one form or another, now’s the time to do so.
What is B2B Email Marketing?
B2B email marketing is much like standard email marketing, except your target audience is other businesses rather than general consumers (B2C). Because of this, there tends to be a different set of pain points, wants, and needs to address and a lot more stakeholders to impress.
Think about it: when a consumer is buying a product, they simply weigh up their options and choose the best one for them. When a business is investing in a product, they might need to check with multiple departments, get sign-off from management, and pitch it to the C-suite before they can go ahead and buy.
As you can probably guess, this makes it a little more longwinded and tricky to attract sales, but B2B email marketing can make all the difference.
Why B2B Email Marketing is a Must-do
Creating successful B2B email marketing campaigns can reap a number of rewards, not least giving you the ability to attract new customers on autopilot. Knowing what elements make or break an email campaign is the key to success, but if you need a nudge in the right direction, here’s why B2B email marketing can be amazing for your business:
- Attract new leads: when new prospects sign up to your mailing list, you can serve them relevant content that keeps them interested in your brand and products
- Nurture existing leads: keep leads warm by sending educational content and staying front-of-mind
- Shorten the sales cycle: the B2B sales cycle tends to be longer than the B2C sales cycle, but sending well-timed emails can stop it from dragging out for too long
- Build credibility: standing out in the B2B world means being credible and an industry expert. Email marketing can help you show off your expertise and increase your chances of becoming the “go-to” brand in your industry
- Establish trust: trust plays an important role in the buying process, and sending relevant emails geared towards your target audience’s wants and needs can help cement that much-needed trust
- Discover audience wants and needs: email marketing can be a great way to get to know your audience. You can ask questions or use data points from your email marketing software to determine what kind of content they prefer to receive
- Identify hot leads: your email marketing efforts can make lead scoring much easier by identifying leads that carry out certain behavior, take specific actions, or interact more with your brand. Tools like Breadcrumbs can help in assigning accurate scores to your leads and customers!
5 B2B Email Marketing Best Practices For Success
1. Build Lists
It’s impossible to have a B2B marketing strategy without building your lists first. These are the people your emails will be sent to, and it’s worth taking the time to develop them with care, making sure you tag subscribers in the right way so you can send them relevant content for their unique needs.
To build your lists, you can:
- Collect details of old clients
- Add new leads and inquiries to your list
- Encourage signups via your website
How you decide to build your lists should be specific to your business or industry with a specific goal in mind. For example, the goal of collecting details of old clients might be to re-engage them so they remember you the next time they need a similar service or product.
2. Get Specific and Segment
Segmentation is grouping your subscribers into lists based on their interests, industry, behavior, and other signifiers so you can send content that’s relevant to their situation and needs.
For example, you can create a list of your best customers with who you share exclusive offers and the latest news, but you might also have a list of new prospects who are juniors in their company but in charge of sourcing new products to use.
You might decide to segment your lists by:
- Position in their company
- Job role and responsibilities
- Past purchasing behavior
- Interactions with your brand (have they used customer support or interacted with you on social media)
- Lead score
- Biggest challenges
- Key goals
- Their position in the sales cycle
Say, for example, you have a project management tool.
One segment of your audience might be project managers who are looking to map out projects for their team, while another segment might be individuals using the tool to manage their own side projects.
While each type of lead will find use in your product, they have very different challenges, wants, interests, and goals. The manager might prefer content around managing teams, while the individual might want to receive stuff about managing their time or organizing themselves.
Segmenting your list means you can provide the right information to the right people at the right time, making it far more likely to generate a conversion and secure a loyal customer.
3. Get Automated
Powerful automation capabilities today make it easy to run email campaigns on autopilot, eliminating the need for you to waste time and energy writing every email from scratch.
Automations can be triggered when a subscriber takes a certain action, like clicking an in-email link or making a purchase, which can help you create highly-personalised sequences based on a subscriber’s unique needs at any given moment.
Common automated sequences include:
- Welcome sequences when a subscriber joins your email list
- Post-purchase sequences to nurture recent customers
- Launch sequences to announce your latest product or features
- Re-engagement sequences for subscribers that haven’t opened or engaged with your emails in a while
Set these sequences up in advance and have them run on autopilot to stay in touch with subscribers and meet their needs depending on where they’re at in the sales cycle or in their relationship with you.
4. Regularly Verify Your List
Email is the perfect way to authentically connect with potential leads. This becomes tricky when the email addresses you have to hand aren’t authentic and don’t link you to a real person.
It might seem like you’re winning if you have a big list of subscribers, but if the vast majority of those email addresses are duds, you’re not going to get the results you want with your marketing.
This is why it’s vital to regularly verify your email list.
You can verify each email individually as it lands in your CRM but, let’s face it, this can be time-consuming and is open to human error. On the flip side, you can use Breadcrumbs’ email verification tool to check the health of your subscriber email addresses.
It takes into account the age of the email address, how long it’s been dormant, whether it’s a role-based email address, and whether it’s valid or not. When an address is flagged up, you can dig into it further and try to rectify it so that your list only consists of high-quality, verified email addresses.
5. A/B Test
There’s a very small chance you’ll hit it out of the park on your first try at B2B email marketing. Instead, it’s more likely to be a case of trial and error until you find out what works for your audience.
To help you figure it out, run some A/B (or split) tests.
This is essentially where you run two similar campaigns with a few tweaked elements to see what your subscribers prefer. For example, if you’re running a post-purchase sequence, you might switch up the subject line on the same email to see which one gets the most opens, or you might alter the call-to-action to see which one generates the most click-throughs.
Doing this will give you useful data you can use moving forward. If you learn that subscribers respond better to questions in the subject line, use more of those. Likewise, if they prefer a shorter, casual tone to the emails, do that. The more you experiment and make a note of what works, the quicker you will find a strategy that works for you and that you can replicate over and over again.
Get Started With B2B Email Marketing
If you’re not already implementing these B2B email marketing best practices, it’s time to get started. Setting up automations that are triggered by subscriber behavior can help craft personalized experiences for your target audience and foster deeper connections.
Remember to verify your list regularly so that you’re not firing off emails into the ether! Use Breadcrumbs’ powerful email verification tool to check the health of the email addresses on your list.