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B2B Email Marketing Examples & Styles



Introduction

When it is done well, B2B email marketing can be the most powerful tool in your B2B digital marketing arsenal. There are many factors to consider in putting together an effective B2B email marketing campaign. This can make the task seem daunting, but do not fear, with the right preparation, effective B2B email marketing is not difficult. Below we will outline what you need to keep in mind and the steps that you must take to build an outstanding campaign.

B2B Versus B2C Email Marketing

It is vital to understand the difference between B2B and B2C marketing. In B2C marketing, you generally appeal to a potential customer's emotions and subconscious drives to get them to make a purchase. 

Procurement cycles for businesses are long. B2B transactions are motivated much more by careful planning and rational motivating factors. A company's decision-making unit (DMU) will generally be composed of over half a dozen team members. Each will bring their own expertise and perspective to the procurement decision-making process.

Differences between B2B and B2C Email marketing

B2C

B2B

Focused on immediate sales

Focused on the long-term relationship

Appeals to an individual’s emotions

Appeals to rational decision-making units

Tapping into desire is key

Offering free, valuable content is key

Requires an attention-grabbing tone

Requires a more professional tone



Given these factors, B2B email marketing campaigns that focus on immediate sales will probably not be effective. They will be rightly viewed as spam by the recipients, who will ignore or unsubscribe from them. Unlike B2C, B2B email marketing focusing on sales will actually be counterproductive. B2B is about the journey, not the destination.

Why B2B Email Marketing is Vital

The statistics speak for themselves when considering the effectiveness of B2B email marketing. In 2019, Salesforce has found that the average return on investment (ROI) for B2B email marketing is thirty-eight dollars for every dollar invested. Webmarketing 123 notes that email marketing is by far the most popular avenue for B2B marketers, used by 97% of them. About a third (31%) of the respondents to that study, the highest proportion, found email marketing to be not only the most popular, but the most effective B2B marketing method. According to Hubspot, 86% of business professionals favor email over other forms of communication. The number of email users worldwide is on a steady increase toward reaching half of the world's population, as Statista outlines.

In the broadest terms, B2B email marketing is best used as a way to build a relationship with potential business partners, clients, or customers over a longer time. Client nurturing is a big part of that. This puts you in a better position when target companies' procurement cycles roll around, but also brings many other benefits. In business, as in life, trust is vital, and building it is the foundation of any B2B email marketing campaign. 

B2B email marketing is an efficient way to build brand awareness and brand preference by educating readers about your company and what it does. It is a great way to generate leads, build customer loyalty, and increase interaction over social media. For more information, check out Anyleads' guide to B2B Lead Generation. Ultimately, B2B email marketing will bolster sales and facilitate upselling, albeit rather indirectly.

Planning is Key

If your B2B email marketing campaign is poorly planned and executed, it can actually harm your business, besides being a waste of time and resources. There should be no excuse for failure. Although B2B email marketing requires planning and care, it is not hard to get it right. Like so much in business, it is a little bit of an art and a little bit of a science. For more planning your B2B email marketing campaign, check out Anyleads' B2B Marketing Plans and Templates.

b2b email marketing best practices

Steps in Planning B2B Email Marketing Campaign

  1. Set measurable goals

  2. Know your target: Segment and Personalize

  3. Prepare content valuable to your recipients

  4. Analyze and revise

Every B2B email marketing campaign will differ in its target audience and its goals. It is vital that every campaign is unique and tailored to specific, measurable goals and recipients; otherwise, the chance that it will be seen as spam increases.


Besides identifying the target audience and measurable goals, proper planning involves preparing unique, valuable content. You will also need to identify the ideal volume or interval between sending emails. 

It is always important to think a few steps ahead of the game, and the same goes for planning your campaign. You will want to continually analyze and revise your B2B email marketing campaigns to maximize effectiveness. To do this, you will need to to incorporate tools for analyzing statistical feedback from your campaigns. Various email service providers offer this functionality. 

Focus on Measurable Goals

Remember that your goals must be measurable. For example, you could offer a high-quality downloadable PDF guide to the conferences in a specific field that will take place over the following year. This can be a great idea as offering valuable information builds trust and a positive image for your company. Identifying your goal is the crucial first step. Reasonable goals include creating leads, getting more subscribers, informing about events or other news, building up your brand image, increasing social media interaction, spreading information about your company and more. Underlying all these surface goals is the goal of establishing and building a more trusting relationship with other companies.

Using the right tools, you will get a record of how many recipients opened the email and how many clicked the download link. You can even configure the feedback to find out how many recipients in specific categories took these actions.

Segmentation and Personalization: Know Your Target 

b2b email marketing examples

This brings us to the topic of segmentation. Segmentation refers to the act of customizing your B2B email marketing campaign to target specific categories of recipients. Not only should you consider the kind of companies you are targeting, but you must consider which team members in those companies you are targeting.

The categories into which you may segment your B2B email marketing campaigns are nearly endless. You will be seeking different kinds of relationships with different kinds of companies. After considering how to segment for different types of companies and areas of business, you should segment for the individual recipients in said companies. 

Consider how big a given company is and which position within it you want to target. Keep in mind that even DMUs have a diversity of participants with different roles. You may already have varying levels of engagement with personnel at target companies. There are obvious distinctions between ongoing and prospective clients, customers, or partners. 

Companies come in all sizes and delegate tasks such as decision making on procurement in different ways. It is vital to address your target audience in the most personalized way possible. This means doing your research and, as much as possible, tailoring your emails for the individual recipients you are targeting. The more personalized your emails are, the less they look like spam, and the less likely your recipients are to ignore them or unsubscribe.

Automated personalization has come a long way recently. This leaves you in an endless race to stay ahead of the curve and make your B2B emails stand out from the automated pack. The more research you do about the companies and individual recipients, the more you will be able to personalize your email campaign and make it stand out, even if you do use automated personalization. 

Remember that even though we're talking about B2B communication, the people reading your emails are individuals. Overly formal language and heavy use of business jargon will cause their eyes to glaze over. Keep your use of language dynamic and free of cliché. Address your recipients as people, professionally but warmly.


Segmentation involves:

Personalization involves:

Optimizing your campaign for different recipient categories

Differentiating your B2B email marketing campaign from spam

Considering different types of companies, various positions within those companies and your relationship with them

Researching your recipients as much as possible

Using different email templates for different groups

Customizing specific variables within email templates for each recipient


Volume

Carefully consider the optimum interval between messages. The default option, backed up by research, is to send one email per week. You will have to be the judge, though. The sweet spot will be different for each campaign. 

The next most common option is once a month. The key is that you don't want your recipients to unsubscribe because they feel overwhelmed or pestered. But, you don't want them to forget about you either. We all occasionally receive email newsletters and suspiciously wonder how the sender got our address. Recipients are as likely to unsubscribe if they forget who you are as they are likely to unsubscribe due to excess volume.

In conjunction with volume, timing is a vital consideration in any B2B email marketing campaign. As with social media posting, the time of day and day of the week can greatly affect your click-through rate. Solid defaults are Tuesdays and early in the morning, even 6 A.M.

Content is King in B2B Email Marketing
Content Is King, b2b email marketing

You can get away with higher volume B2B email marketing campaigns if you are offering content that the target audience finds to be valuable. Rather than only focusing on what you want the company to know about your services or products, consider things from their point of view. 

Targets are likely to welcome concrete information on how to make their jobs easier. While this may involve a call to action to explore your company's products or services, consider offering content for its own sake. This bolsters the B2B relationship in the long term and improves your brand image. 

This content can take a wide array of forms. Articles or videos are obvious examples. An invitation to a webinar is another popular option. Downloadable case studies, how-to guides, info on market trends, white papers, or free ebooks work great too. Consider these options before going for the more directly self-interested forms of content, such as news about your company and products. That's not to discount them, news about your company or invitations to your events can be key parts of a B2B email marketing campaign. 

Some email service providers offer RSS to email functionality, which automatically sends out an email when you publish something on social media. Use infographics to catch the attention of a target audience with limited free time. Demos or free trials are another popular option for B2B email marketing content. These can boost sales and upselling, but content that is not directly pushing your company, products or services will help establish you as a thought-leader in your field and greatly benefit your brand image.

Types of Content to Consider:

  • Article

  • Videos

  • Invitation to a webinar

  • Invitation to a live event

  • Summary of a transpired webinar or event

  • Case study

  • How-to guide

  • Market trends

  • White paper

  • Ebook

  • Company or product news

There are a few key tips on how you format content in your emails. Always include a call to action (CTA) both at the beginning and end of a message. People will click something if it is right in front of them, but hoping that they will scroll back up or down a page is, in reality, wishful thinking. If your emails are not formatted for mobile platforms, there is an 80% chance that recipients will delete them, as noted by 99firms.

Likewise, if you are holding an event or webinar, send out emails both before and afterwards. Obviously, you want to give your targets the opportunity to attend, but if they don't, they may still appreciate a summary of what they missed. If it appears valuable to them, there is a greater chance that they will participate next time.

B2B Email Marketing Best Practices, Tips and Tricks

The Most Important Things to Consider:

  1. Play the long game

  2. Spark curiosity

  3. Offer valuable content

  4. Segment and personalize

  5. Canvas content contributions from your targets

  6. Use a well-designed email signature

  7. Analyze and revise

  8. Automate

One of the essential tricks for ensuring an effective B2B email marketing campaign is simply to spark the curiosity of your target audience. The trick is to offer them new or unexpected information on a topic that is important to them. The expectation that clicking through will reward them with new information on a familiar topic will get you the results that you want. 

Don't be afraid to ask your target audience to contribute content of their own. This can be done in various ways, especially through surveys. Recipients may have valuable insights on market trends that you want to highlight. They will likely be grateful to you for increasing their exposure by including their input in your B2B email marketing campaign.

As with all business communication, your B2B marketing emails should have a professional and eye-catching email signature. These can be customized for specific categories of recipients or campaigns using templates. Check out Anyleads' how-to guide to making an email signature template.

Analyze and Revise

As noted above, the goals of your B2B email marketing campaign must be measurable. The best practice is to analyze and revise your campaigns on an ongoing basis. This, of course, requires statistical feedback to help you understand what is effective and what is not. Such customized feedback will be a function offered by any good email service provider. 

Many variables can indicate the effectiveness of your campaign. For example, if subscription rates don't meet your target, consider revising your lead magnet. Likewise, you will want to track the unsubscription rate. 

The click-through rate is probably the most significant indicator of how appropriate your content is. It is rivaled only by the conversion rate, the number of recipients who clicked through and fully completed the desired action. 

If there are problems with your delivery rate, you are likely getting marked as spam or need to update the addresses your recipient lists. If it is the former, some major rethinking of your B2B email marketing campaigns is in order. If, on the other hand, the delivery rate is fine but the open rate is down, meaning targets receive your emails but don't open them, you'll have to work on your hook.

B2B Email Marketing KPIs:

  1. Delivery rate

  2. Open rate

  3. Subscription rate

  4. Unsubscription rate

  5. Click-through rate (CTR)

  6. Conversion rate

  7. Return on Investment (ROI)

Whether you run your B2b email marketing campaigns yourself or delegate the task to competent personnel, revision should take place on an ongoing basis. Again, each campaign will be different. 

Based on the statistical feedback, you will want to adjust any of a long list of variables in your campaign. Subject lines and email intervals are just the most obvious tips of the iceberg. Everything down to formatting and the use of images is fair game. Subtleties such as the tone and terms of regard you use can make all the difference. 

If in doubt, always try to raise the level of personalization. It bears repeating that staying ahead of the curve of automated personalization is a constant battle.

Variables:

  • Subject line

  • Email intervals

  • Formatting

  • Use of images

  • Tone and personalization

  • Terms of regard

Automating your B2B Email Marketing Campaign

Anyleads offers a suite of products including a powerful editor for automating B2B email marketing campaigns. The editor makes it easy for anyone to set up an automatic email response. The editor allows you to create a scenario as simple or complex as you need, including many follow-ups. Simply drag and drop actions in a visual editor environment to design your campaign. To see how it works, check out Anyleads' automated emails.

Other tools from Anyleads include an email template editor. This saves you time when you need to write near-identical emails to many recipients. The big danger is that it will come out looking like spam, but there are plenty of variables to use to personalize your templates for any segment or recipient. Follow the link above to see how easy it is.

B2B Email Marketing Examples

Here is a great example of a B2B marketing email from Myemma. It is an invitation to a webinar on social proof. Notice how the email has multiple calls to action formatted in different ways. No matter where the recipient has scrolled to throughout the email, she has a way to opt-in right in front of her. 

The use of color is minimal, tasteful, and designed to attract attention right where the sender wants it. The information offered is clear, concise, and not cluttered. The email also has a clear and elegant signature with all the key contact information.

b2b email marketing 

This fantastic example from Mail Bakery makes cunning use of cute cartoons to grab the recipient's attention. A short and positive introductory paragraph grabs the reader's interest with the promise of a happier inbox. The email goes on to introduce plenty of valuable content in both video and article forms. 

Excellent visual design spaces the content out while leading the reader's eye on for more. Just the right amount of introductory caption for each video or article is offered to spark the reader's curiosity.

 b2b email marketing examples

Here's one more example from Shawn Graham. This one takes a more direct approach to sales than is orthodox in B2B marketing, but offers a solid rationale. With an energy efficiency regulation coming into effect, companies will need to replace their lighting options by the date given. All the relevant information is laid out as clearly as possible. 

Frankly, the color scheme and layout of this example leave something to be desired. But a couple of calls to action are offered, including 'shop now', and instructions on how to share products with colleagues in a DMU. There are also plenty of links to all the information that the recipient could ask for. Oddly, information that would usually go into the signature is found at the top, that is, the row of social media links.

 b2b email marketing best practices

Conclusion

B2B email marketing should be the cornerstone of any B2B marketing campaign. Just remember to play the long game. Focus on building up trust and a sound relationship by offering high-quality content. Set measurable goals and continuously analyze and revise your campaigns for greater success. You will quickly find that the more segmentation and personalization you employ, the more successful you will be. B2B may differ from B2C in crucial ways, but anyone can do it and succeed.


Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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Enrichment data software to find emails

The perfect product to generate high quality leads from B2B to B2C.

  • Access / extract from more than +15M B2B companies.
  • Extact local businesses from Google Maps.
  • Find company domains from names.
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  • Send all the data to your CRM via Zapier.
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Extract emails, phones on the page of websites and download it to Excel or CSV.

  • Upload a list of websites to extract emails.
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  • Export to CSV or Excel in one click.
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  • Create unlimted lists, filter by country, industry, size and job title.
  • Hyper targeted lead generation.
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  • Super fast emails generation.
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