As an email marketing expert and consultant, I frequently run into business owners who approach their B2B email campaigns the same way they would a B2C campaign. In reality, however, B2B prospects react in very different ways to email marketing campaigns than their B2C counterparts. If you need to craft a B2B email or newsletter campaign and you're not sure where to even start, here are seven tips you need to maximize your B2B newsletter campaigns:
1. Restraint is key – Your reader is a seasoned business executive or manager, so they will be able to see right through any hard sell ploy, glowing customer testimonial artifice, or “special offer just for you, but you must reply today” gambit. Write your email content with the same tone you would adopt if you were making the proposal face to face. Your email content should focus on the serious, straightforward business-first aspects of the product or service you are offering, and never treat your recipient as a hormone-driven adolescent being lured in by base sales appeals.
2. Respect their time – When dealing with a B2B email audience less is always more. Excessive frequency will not be seen as a relevant progress update on legitimate business developments but as a high pressure snake oil scheme. Unlike an email marketing campaign directed to a generic audience where some must be bombarded with months or years of newsletters before they finally respond to the call to action, a proper B2B approach considers a handful of emails more than enough promotion. If your targeted executive does not reply in the first few emails, they’re best dropped from the campaign.
3. Cater to your specific segment - If you are sending an email newsletter to a segment of your B2B subscription list which contains network administrators and other technical executives, sticking to a text only message is a far preferable approach to weighing down your email with fancy but superfluous images and colors. Your missive’s entire “look and feel” should match the expectations and preferences of your subscriber, so strictly-business segments such as engineers and technicians must be catered to in a completely different manner than a general audience.
4. Send from an exec - Emails sent between executives will resonate to a much greater degree than any originating from some nebulous marketing department. The From: line should contain the name of a highly placed executive in your company with responsibility over the subject matter discussed so that the recipient vividly understands from the outset that the content is serious business and not just another in a chain of endless huckster promos.
5. Personal & compelling subject lines - The subject line should be curt and condensed but strategically devised to stand out in a cluttered email inbox. The best subject lines clearly and concisely provide an insight into the email’s content while portraying a driving reason why the recipient should open and read it at once. Dovetailing the concept of the subject line into the executive From: line will get the point across to the reader that this is a personally composed, but corporately high level missive directed specifically to them.
6. Present unique incentives - The executives you’re marketing to didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, so they are not going to be awed and motivated by garden variety discounts as in most cases they’re not spending their money but the company’s. Luxury, exclusivity, and a promise of VIP offers and treatment are the ways to an executive’s heart right alongside proposing a product or service which carries with it unquestioned value and positive impact for their organization.
7. Focus your message – Sell them one thing, sell it very well, and then move on. Don’t dilute the power of your message through secondary pitches and cross promotions. When they click on your link ensure that the landing and gateway pages they see are focused exclusively on the product or service you are promoting in your email. Intriguing an executive with an email focused on one of your offerings and then dumping them onto a catch-all catalog page is a great way to ensure abandonment.
Always keep in mind that the B2B audience is in many ways diametrically opposite from their B2C equivalents. Treat your B2B email recipients with business-like efficiency and respect so that your company may garner the most successful results.