The light beams through your window, you hurdle yourself out of bed, slurp down a fresh-brewed chai latte, and direct your eyeballs to the 212 unread emails eagerly awaiting your attention.
Email marketing is still in full bloom.
In fact, 81% of B2B marketers create content in the form of email newsletters.
So, it’s no secret email remains one of the most powerful ways to nurture your audience, but for B2B specifically, it requires a different approach.
As every blog needs to be carefully curated, every single business email sequence must be utterly strategic.
Let’s uncover the best B2B email marketing practices you should focus on in 2022 (and beyond).
What is B2B Email Marketing?
B2B email marketing is sending email campaigns to businesses or professionals rather than individual customers or consumers.
So, why is email marketing important for B2B industries?
- A great way to say, “Hey, we’ve got something cool your business might dig,” regularly
- A straightforward way to measure ROI
- Conversion rates are usually higher as subscribers have already gone through extra efforts to be on your list
Now, let’s differentiate between B2B and B2C email marketing, shall we?
B2B vs B2C Email Marketing: What’s the Difference?
Here’s an analogy for you when we’re talking about B2B vs B2C email marketing…
B2C email marketing is like finding a significant other on a dating app like Bumble or Tinder.
You swipe, see what you like and get straight to the point.
B2B takes a bit longer. B2B email marketing is like finding a cute gal or lad at a bar and courting them for months on end.
You know, the usual… taco joints, meeting your parents, visiting art museums.
B2C’s buyer journey allows consumers to purchase directly from emails, while B2B’s buying cycle requires more trust-building.
To dive even deeper, the purchases made by a direct consumer aren’t typically as big of an investment compared to a purchase needed for a business. Think: an order of vegan burgers from Amazon vs. recurring social media services from a boutique agency.
B2B is also quite different from B2C for its type of content.
The majority of B2C newsletter subscribers look for promotions or new releases. B2B subscribers, on the other hand, are usually interested in company or product development, weekly industry updates, or thought leadership pieces.
So how exactly should you craft your B2B email marketing strategy? Read on.
B2B Email Marketing Best Practices
Personsonalisation, personalisation, personalisation! hand-clapping emoji
2022 is by far the year of content personalization because let’s be honest, who wants to be addressed as “hey you?!”
From audience segmentation to subject optimization, there are plenty of ways to tweak your emails so they’re oozing with a personal touch.
B2B marketing has a bad rap for being impersonal. So treat your recipients like individuals instead of just a subscriber number on your list.
Here’s how: Use their name in emails just like ‘We Are Women Owned’ does:
(A simple yet powerful way to speak directly to your audience members.)
Another way to personalize is to curate specific blog content.
For instance, Inside Design lets their users pick whatever they’re most interested in:
(Image Source: Mailerlite)
Clear up some time and get personal by utilizing automated trigger-based emails. Put simply, these emails are sent when users click a link in your email, haven’t responded in X amount of days, or if any other defined action has taken place.
This helps because each person on your list is unique and interacts differently with your business emails. So, if Kim opened your email but forgot to respond, she’d get a separate email from Tim, who opened and clicked a link.
See where I’m going with this?
If you’re still a bit lost, don’t worry!
It might help to rewind and finetune or entirely craft your buyer persona. By doing this, you’ll be able to send precisely what the recipient wants and needs without all the guesswork.
Now, let’s move on to segmentation.
Segment your Audience
Let’s be honest, long are the days one email sequence grabs the attention of all your readers.
By segmenting your list, you’re instantly personalizing what email sequences are sent to recipients at their place in the buyer journey.
At this point, you have a solid buyer journey, so you can use this as a guide to segment them based on where they are in the sales funnel. If relevant to your business, you can also segment them according to their location or their industry or profession.
Do quick web audit to determine the best segment.
In case you’re still wary about segmentation, here’s a fact worth noting:
Compared to non-segmented campaigns, segmented campaigns get 31% higher open rates, 100.95% higher click-through rates, and 9.37% lower unsubscribe rates.
Once you’ve segmented audiences based on location, here’s how you can target them easily:
- Tailor the needs of specific places to increase local brand awareness and conversions
- Identify shared traits of customers in that area and present emails in a way that resonates with them
- Send emails at the most optimized part of the day
- Recognize significant challenges in specific areas and address how your brand handles those objections
Once you’ve done this groundwork, it’s time to dive into everyone’s favorite email element: subject lines!
Optimize Subject & First Lines
The goal of the subject line is to urge recipients to open your email. When that does not happen, all your hard work designing, crafting copy, and doing brand research go down the drain.
So you can see that this is the most crucial part to consider before sending out an email.
Here are some tips for creating subject lines that your readers would want to click on:
- Keep the subject line short - aim for 20 to 50 characters
- Consider using an emoji to add some humor or create intrigue (but don’t overkill with emojis)
- Ditch sketchy words/phrases like ‘one-time-offer,’ ‘this isn’t junk,’ or ‘one-hundred percent guaranteed.’
- Use the CURVE approach - curiosity, urgency, value, relevance, emotion
- Use A/B testing to find what works best for your audience
Let’s take a closer look at some subject lines in action:
- [INSERT NAME] – Don’t publish another blog post without this… – This one works because it prompts curiosity
- [READ] How to fill, nurture, and convert leads (for agencies!) – This provides a guide for a specific audience
- Calling all lazy (and smart) business owners 📣– This one speaks directly to a specific type of business owner, and it has an emoji
- 27 Lessons Learned from Analysing 325 Different FB Ads – Because there are numbers, people are more likely to open them
To sum up, remember to keep it short and clear, appeal to self-interest or curiosity, and use numbers or an emoji where you see fit.
Include a CTA
Not so fast; we’re not done yet. Don’t forget to include a CTA (call to action)! Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder of what a recipient needs to do at the bottom of your email sequence to seal the deal.
So, whether that’s:
“Click here to read more.”
“Book a free discovery call.”
“Download your free case study” or
“Reply to this email”
Your chances of prompting engagement are 1000% times more likely if a CTA is present than if it’s not.
Follow these reminders when formulating your CTA:
- Structure your email so that there’s only one CTA (if you need more, then it’s probably two emails worth of content)
- Remember to A/B test your CTA’s too (here’s a quick guide on how to do that)
- Like subject lines, keep your CTA simple
- Use personal pronouns like “Count me in!”
- Use discounts or promos as a CTA
Keep emails short and to the point
With the state of the world, the overall attention span is like that of a cat.
Be strategic and mindful of your subscribers as they too have families to tend to, businesses to run, and most likely hundreds of other emails screaming their name.
Think about these points before finalizing an email sequence:
- Could an 8th grader read this?
- Does it have between 50-200 words of text?
- Is it optimized for mobile? (81% of people prefer to check email on their phone)
- Is it easily digestible with large text, broken up into bullet points, or visually appealing with images?
- Did I proofread it for grammatical errors?
- Is the content relevant to my audience?
- Is it personalized?
- Did I include my signature?
Now that you’ve checked all those items off the list, it’s time for a recap!
Craft your B2B email marketing strategy with your user in mind
Personalization is the name of the game this year, so if you aren’t keeping up with the Joneses on this one, you’ll be left in the dust!
Crush your email goals by personalizing the type of content you send out, using trigger-based emails to get the most out of every email, segmenting your audience to speak directly to specific groups of people, and appealing to emotion with subject lines and CTA’s.
And most importantly– keep it short, sweet, and to the point.
With these tips, you have all the tools you need to fully execute a goal-crushing 2022. That or reach out to us at AS Marketing for support. We can help you every step of the way.
About the author
Adriana Stein is the Founder and CEO of AS Marketing, an agency that specializes in creating holistic online marketing strategies for B2B and B2C companies worldwide. Adriana and her multilingual and multicultural team specialize in developing strategies that incorporate various techniques like native-speaker level SEO, LinkedIn content marketing, and marketing automation. She has also shared SEO content marketing guides on Moz and Hubspot. Follow her on LinkedIn for more tips on how to take your online presence to the next level.