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Email Marketing for B2B: Best Practices for Success

In this email marketing for B2B guide, you'll learn many best practices for marketing your business through the email inbox. Check the guide out today!
Parker Dietz
February 14, 2023
June 26, 2024

You've got mail! Email has become a critical part of our daily lives. In fact, as of 2022, just over 333 billion emails are sent every day around the globe.

With the near-universal use of the inbox, email marketing has grown to be one of the most effective online marketing tools today, especially for business-to-business (B2B) companies.

In this guide, we'll take you through our top email marketing for B2B tips so you can make the most of your strategy.

Table of Contents

What Is Email Marketing for B2B?

What is email marketing for B2B, anyway? Let's break down the key components. Email marketing is a form of content marketing that allows businesses to share information with customers on their contact lists via email.

Often email marketing campaigns consist of messages about new products, upcoming sales, or other important updates. The foundation of an email marketing campaign is the contact list. Businesses allow customers to sign up for emails that will update them on any important information.

Email marketing is used for a wide variety of businesses. Now that communication is mostly digital, email marketing has become an especially effective tool for B2B content marketing. B2B refers to the exchange of products or services from one business to another.

Generating leads and attracting potential buyers are key elements of B2B marketing, and both of those can be done effectively through email marketing.

B2B Email Marketing vs. B2C Email Marketing

B2B marketing refers to marketing aimed at customers that are other businesses. On the other hand, B2C (or business-to-consumer) marketing refers to marketing aimed at customers that aren't businesses, but individual consumers.

While email marketing can be an effective tool for both B2B and B2C campaigns, they must be approached differently. Here are a few key differences to consider:

  • Audience: B2B email audiences are typically owners, managers, or other decision-makers within a business. This is a much more specific group than a B2C audience, thus, they will have different needs that you'll need to consider. A B2C audience consists of individual customers, which is a much wider group.
  • Type of messaging: An individual customer in a B2C situation is often more likely to respond to simple information that can be understood at a glance. Because B2B marketing campaigns are aimed at other businesses, a B2B campaign is often more heavily data-driven.
  • Main focus: A B2B campaign will focus on saving another business time, money, and resources. How can you make the daily operations of another business run smoother? How can you help a business cut down on extra work or expenses? On the other hand, a B2C campaign is more focused on addressing and resolving pain points on an individual level.

Why Is Email Marketing Important for B2B Companies?

Because the world is so heavily digitized, digital content marketing has become more important than ever. With so many options to promote your content, it's important to nail down the platform that works best for you.

Email marketing is a perfect method to add to your marketing strategy because of the volume and depth of the information you can share for relatively little cost. A well-crafted email can secure business relationships and provide effective communication to your customer base.

Let's take a look at some of the top reasons why email marketing is such an important part of content marketing for B2B.

Personalized Content

When it comes to establishing relationships with your customer base, personalized content is essential. When you tailor content to the specific needs of your customer base, you'll be much more likely to see great results and returns.

Rather than sending one message to hundreds of potential users, you can segment a B2B email list into smaller, related sections. You can even send a 100% personalized message to a specific customer. You can personalize the greeting of your emails, which creates a one-on-one exchange between your business and the customer. Personalized content goes hand-in-hand with building strong relationships.

Cost Efficacy

Some marketing methods, such as social media advertising, can get expensive fast. Many platforms charge high rates to advertise, which can zap your budget quickly. Plus, B2B businesses tend to focus on smaller groups of clients and users, so spending tons of money to guarantee online impressions may not be the most effective way for you to achieve your goals.

However, email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your audience. Aside from the cost of email marketing tools that help you organize and structure your emails and lists, you can get started without much investment.

Customer Loyalty

It's good business to keep your customers coming back even after they convert. Email marketing is a great way to continue providing content to your entire customer base.

When you're consistently providing users with content that answers their questions and addresses their needs, you'll establish a base of loyal customers. The relationship you build will ensure your business is top of mind when your customers need your products or services again.

7 Email Marketing Best Practices for B2B Companies

Ready to get started? Here are some of our top tips and best practices for ensuring your B2B business can make the most of an email marketing campaign.

#1. Develop an Email Marketing Strategy

All effective content starts with planning. You'll want to have an email marketing strategy in place when you begin so you can make a strong start and improve even more along the way.

To develop an effective email marketing strategy, begin by defining your goals. What do you want your email marketing campaign to achieve? Make sure your goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Once you have your goals in mind, there are many things you can do to start planning. For example, you'll want to make sure you select the right email marketing platform and content tools. You'll also want to utilize a planner to plan out email content. A planner will allow you to stay organized and help you produce content consistently.

Want to learn more about creating an effective content strategy? Check out our guide.

#2. Write Engaging & Compelling Emails

An important part of content creation is making sure the content itself is readable and engaging. This is true for all types of businesses, including B2B.

How do you write engaging emails? There are endless ways to engage your email list. For example, you could pose a question to your readers or even start out with a joke. You could send an email discussing your newest products, services, or an up-and-coming trend within your industry.

All of your emails should begin with a subject line that intrigues your audience and inspires them to continue reading. For example, try teasing some of the content the reader will find in your email.

Once you've compelled your readers to click, you must retain their attention throughout your email. To do so, speak to the reader as if they were a close friend or colleague. Don't be afraid to inject some personality into the message.

As you write, make sure you're using plenty of whitespace without big blocks of text. You should also avoid other pitfalls like overly "salesy" language and run-on sentences. The result will be an email that's concise, easy to follow, and enjoyable to read.

Adding a personal touch (such as a "Hi, [Recipient Name]!") to fit each subscriber is another way to engage your audience. Establishing and reiterating your relationship with your audience will create a sense of trust.

#3. Utilize User-Generated Content

User-generated content, often referred to as UGC, is an innovative and cost-efficient way to connect with your audience. User-generated content is created by your customers and is often in the form of reviews, videos, or photos. UGC allows your most loyal customers to provide a real-world example of how your product or service operates.

There are many ways to use content generated by your users in your emails. For example, try adding a customer video review to the body of your next email. A customer's personal experience is relatable to an audience, creating a hook for users to keep reading.

#4. Brand Your Emails

Consistency is key when it comes to marketing. That means your emails should be consistent with your brand. By including elements such as your business logo and brand colors in your emails, you increase your credibility and build trust.

Plus, branding can help your email stand out from the rest of the emails hitting your customers' inboxes. You can simplify the use of your branding by creating a template you can use each time you send a new email.

#5. Use Visuals in Your Emails

Visual elements are important assets to include in your emails. Think about what your own eyes tend to be drawn to. Would you rather read a block of text or a smooth message with eye-catching photos or videos? Striking visuals that are pleasing to the eye will keep your readers engaged.

There are many ways to incorporate visuals into your emails. For example, you could include user-generated video reviews of your services. Or, you could insert compelling photos of your products. The opportunities are endless here.

After you press send, it's important to ensure your visual content is connecting with your audience. Cohley's integration with Klaviyo enables you to test the images inside your emails to see which ones are gaining the best click-to-open rates.

When you're able to test to determine the most effective visuals, it will make creating subsequent emails a lot easier.

#6. Allow Readers to "Unsubscribe" Easily

As contrary to your goals as this may seem, a no-fuss "unsubscribe" option is a critical element of any successful B2B email marketing campaign. Allowing customers to unsubscribe easily will improve the customer experience. And if your customers have a pleasant interaction with your content, they'll be much more likely to return.

Make sure that your unsubscribe button is easy for users to find and that the process is straightforward. It's also important to note that an unsubscribe link is actually required by law. For example, the US CAN-SPAM Act and the EU GDPR require a simple opt-out option.

#7. Test Your Emails

Not every email you send will inspire recipients to become customers. However, you can boost your chances by testing your emails to see which content works best for your audience. Testing emails is a great way for you to experiment with your content to find new and effective methods and strategies.

For example, you can easily run A/B tests on your emails to pinpoint the messaging that inspires the best results. An A/B test is an experiment that involves the comparison of two variants.

How does this work? Here's an example: Start by sending an email with one subject line to a set of customers and another email with a secondary subject line to another set. Next, dive into the open rates of each to see which subject line spoke to your audience the most.

Tests like these allow you to optimize the content inside of your emails. The more frequently you test, the more refined your results will become. You can reach your goals quickly when you've discovered the content that your audience responds to best.

You should also test the visual content inside of your emails. Cohley's integration with Klaviyo helps you do just that so you can see what images are inspiring customers to click. As a result, you can boost your open rates and conversions.

Learn More About Marketing Your B2B Business

Email marketing can help you build relationships with your B2B customers while providing them with engaging content. From a catchy subject line and engaging body to the incorporation of visuals, email marketing is sure to catch your audience's attention.

Want to learn even more about marketing your B2B business? Our blog is chock full of insights, tips, and tricks you can use to reach your goals. Check it out!

Parker Dietz
Head of Content
With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.