B2B email marketing best practices
The best way to make your B2B email marketing campaign perform well is to get noticed. 72% of B2B buyers share valuable products and information via email, which makes for an incredible opportunity to tailor content that will be shared with multiple businesses and influencers, as well as company decision-makers. Before spreading brand awareness over email, make sure to create good subject lines for your emails, the ones that will attract attention early on.
Opt-ins are also a very good way to create actionable B2B email marketing campaigns. This is an extra chance to get prospects to engage with your content and reach out to your business. Remember that in B2B marketing, it is two people talking to each other instead of automated emails, so when sending another email, make it as personal as possible. Sign off as the person who has really written the email instead of ‘customer support’ or ‘info’; this will give you a higher chance of conversion and building partnerships. Below are a few more tips for successful B2B email marketing campaigns:
1. Focus on the right roles
Although this seems relatively straightforward, a lot of B2B email marketers tend to overlook it. This is because it is much easier to focus on the customer when doing business-to-consumer marketing. In B2B, you have to make sure to target the decision-makers, not the individuals.
Your email reaching a small-time manager of a large corporation is not enough, it must reach someone who has the power to take action and make large-scale business decisions. It’s often smart to focus on each decision maker separately rather than crafting a uniform email with minute changes, as the one-size-fits-all approach will not be appreciated by the recipient, making it seem as though you didn’t put enough effort into your B2B email marketing campaign.
2. Mind your subject-lines
An office worker usually receives 121 emails per day, and your target decision-makers receive even more, so they will not spend a lot of time paying attention to an email with a poor subject line. Although most subject line tricks have already been seen, it does not mean that you shouldn’t try to impress your recipient with a catchy subject line.
In 2023, the best way to create a good subject line is to make it concise yet informative, make sure to exploit the FOMO concept (Fear of Missing Out), subtly, and of course, add a touch of personalization to every subject line that you create. Keep in mind that when adding links to your newsletter, the standard practice is to add three links or fewer to avoid over-crowding/stuffing, as well as not more than 1-2 images to personalize your newsletter.
The golden rule is to remember that stuffing your newsletter with images and links will have adverse effects, and implementing the less-is-more approach will be highly beneficial and will lower the chances of your email going straight to the spam folder.
In addition, mind the DKIM, which is a technical standard that helps protect email senders and recipients from spam, and phishing. It is a type of email authentication that permits an organization to claim responsibility for an email in a way that can be legitimized by the recipient.
Remember to check the list of spam triggering words before sending out emails, although these words may seem ordinary, they may activate the spam filter and send your mail right to the junk folder.
3. Accentuate lead nurturing
It so happens that B2B marketers are faced with a much longer sales cycle, which means that keeping your leads close is extremely important in the long run. Make sure to take each lead carefully through the sales cycle, answer their important questions, provide necessary content, and make the right offer at the right time, which should all improve conversion rates.
Email marketing is incredibly useful for lead nurturing as it offers direct communication with potential customers, nurturing leads smoothly without having to push them to make a decision. Coincidentally, business decision-makers tend to trust email a lot more than they do social media channels. Forming good relationships with potential leads can one day transform into much-needed customer loyalty.
4. Work on responsive design
Some great B2B email marketing campaigns fail because of seemingly insignificant issues such as design errors. Nonetheless, the responsiveness of your email is an important factor, as the design must be fully responsive regardless of the tech your recipient is using. Most of your leads will open their email on their phones. According to recent surveys, 59% of Millennials mainly use their smartphones to check their inbox, followed by 67% of Generation Z mobile users.
It’s a B2B email marketing best practice to optimize your emails for mobile devices. This includes using a responsive design that adjusts to the screen size of the device and keeping the content concise and easy to read on a small screen.
You should also make use of clear, readable font size and style, and organize the content in a way that is easy to scan and navigate. Additionally, you should also mind the design of your CTA button if any. It may look good when you’re designing it on your computer, but not prominent or clickable on mobile screens.
If your email lacks responsive design, it will go straight to the bin so remember to pay extra attention to every image in your email and how it shows up on a phone screen.
In addition, your subject line should be around 60 characters in order for it to show up in full on a phone screen and your call-to-action should be in the center of the message so that it is easily seen by your recipient.
5. Use appropriate tools
To get the best out of your campaign, you need to use proper B2B email marketing tools that will help you reach your targets. To boost your email marketing productivity, consider using customer experience automation tools.
These tools are used to manage, track and analyze email campaigns in a single place. When using email marketing automation tools, you can create impressive newsletter templates, test user responses, set up sending sequences, and manage live chat communications.
6. Segment your email list
Segmenting your email list means dividing it into different groups based on factors such as job role, industry, and location. This can help you create more targeted and relevant content that speaks to the specific needs and interests of each group. (We will discuss targeting in the next section)
For example, if you sell software solutions to both small businesses and large enterprises, you might want to create separate email lists for each group. This way, you can send more targeted content to each group that addresses their specific needs and challenges.
To segment your email list, you can use tools such as form fields or surveys to collect information about your subscribers. You can then use this information to create segments within your email marketing platform. Segmenting your email list can help increase engagement and conversion rates, as it allows you to send more personalized and relevant content to your audience.
7. Personalize your emails
It’s a good practice to address and speak to the email recipients as directly as you can. This makes your emails more engaging and relevant to your audience. Consider using merge tags to add personalized elements such as the recipient’s name or company name to your emails.
For instance, instead of using a generic greeting like “Hello,” you could use a merge tag to insert the recipient’s first name, like “Hello, [First Name].” This simple change can make your emails feel more personalized and increase the chances that the recipient will open and read them. Most email marketing tools allow you to utilize such merge tags and have clear documentation for using them.
As earlier stated in the previous point, with a properly-segmented email list, you can go further with personalization and send relevant emails to specific segments.
8. Use a clear call-to-action
Your call-to-action (CTA) button or link prompts your audience to take a specific action. So, you should use actionable language and make it clear and prominent within the body of your email for desktop and mobile (as discussed in the previous point). Your emails may have great open rates, but they may not be of much value to your business if the recipients aren’t clicking on your links.
It’s also crucial that your CTA stands out visually within the email. You may want to make use of a contrasting color or button style to make it stand out from the rest of your content.
9. Keep it professional
As we will discuss later in this article, this point is perhaps the key difference between the best practices for B2B email marketing and those for B2C in the sense that your emails should be business-like in tone and appearance. Hence, avoid using slang or overly casual language (except that is what you’re going for in the email). A few tips for maintaining a professional tone in your B2B emails include:
- Use proper grammar and spelling
- Use a professional email design or keep it plain
- Use a formal tone
- Optionally use industry jargon
10. Test and optimize
It’s important to regularly test and optimize your emails to ensure they are performing as well as possible. Test different subject lines, layout and design elements, and CTAs to see what works best for your audience, and use that for future emails to get better results. When testing, be sure to know the specific metric you want to improve.
For example, to test subject lines, you might send one version of an email with a subject line that says “New Product Launch” to a segment of your email list, a second version with a subject line that says “Introducing Our Latest Innovation” to another segment, and a different variation to a third segment. Next, compare the open rates for each subject line, and then it’ll be clear as day which subject line was more effective.
You can also use this method to try out different email formats, calls to action, and other elements of your email marketing strategy. By regularly testing and analyzing the results, you can continually improve the performance of your emails and get better and better results for your email marketing campaigns. Note that A/B testing is a process of continuous learning and optimization, so you have to regularly test and optimize all the time.