Despite the allure of social media, email marketing remains the linchpin for sales and marketing strategies. This indispensable part of the B2B processes can deliver solid and long-lasting results.
Still doubting? The proof is in the numbers:
- 93% of marketers still use email communications to promote and distribute their content effectively.
- 87% of marketers use email marketing to generate leads.
- 59% of marketers say that effective email marketing can skyrocket revenue.
These statistics reveal one thing: email is the undisputed king of B2B marketing.
But B2B email marketing shouldn’t be treated the same as B2C marketing. Understanding their differences helps you appreciate the importance of B2B email marketing and how to do it like a pro.
B2B vs B2C Email Marketing
So, you’re ready to begin the journey to email marketing success. But before getting to work, here are some crucial differences between B2B and B2C email marketing:
B2B Has Longer Buying Cycles
B2C sales are based on emotion. You can easily sell your customers small items like shoes and clothes thanks to impulsive buying.
On the other hand, building B2B relationships relies heavily on logic. Your potential customers won’t purchase that thousand-dollar software impulsively, so you need to give them rock-solid reasons to move to the next step and finally purchase it.
Apart from having a higher monetary value, B2B purchases serve a more practical purpose, unlike B2C items, which are often bought for more material or emotional reasons.
B2B marketing must focus strictly on the buyer’s needs. The customer is looking for relevant content, testing products, and comparing those products with competing offerings.
Logic, utility, and ROI are three factors that drive B2B buyers’ purchasing decisions. That means your communication should convince them that your product excels in meeting those needs. Email marketing is the perfect opportunity to do so.
Because of all this, the B2B buying cycle typically takes between 3 months and 9 months. Don’t expect buyers to fish out their wallets and click that “Buy Now” button right after landing on your page. Be sure you’re ready to stay in the lead nurturing game for a long time.
B2B Content Is Logical
B2B purchases are logic-driven, so be sure to provide industry-related guides or other helpful content that informs your prospects about your offerings.
However, remember to keep your engagement game strong. The fact that B2B buyers tend to use logic doesn’t mean you can’t unleash your creative combo in your emails.
You want to be a step ahead of shallow and boring B2B content jamming busy people’s inboxes, right? Try spicing your emails with illustrations, graphs, tables, and infographics.
B2B Marketing Often Targets a Chain of Decision Makers
In B2C, only one decision maker tends to purchase the product. But in B2B purchases, you’re usually dealing with a chain of decision makers.
Sure, you might be sending your emails to an individual account. But the person will most likely have to deliberate with departmental managers, the CEO, and other key decision makers before making a substantial purchase.
All of these individuals have different profiles and information, so your best bet is to target the company as a whole. In your emails, include detailed features and benefits that aren’t just targeted to one employee. Show them that your product can solve the entire company’s pain points, and you’ll be a step ahead of the competition.
Segmenting is another area where B2C and B2B part ways. In B2C, segmentation is based on buyer behavior and demographics. On the other hand, B2B segments business customers along their industry, location, and company size.
The Importance of B2B Email Marketing
The importance of email marketing cannot be stressed enough regarding the lead nurturing process. Let’s dive deeper and see how integral it can be within the entire sales cycle:
You’re looking for prospects that are a perfect fit for your offerings, and email marketing will help you do exactly that.
Here’s the drill: ask people to opt in with their email addresses in exchange for valuable gated content. When this is done right, you’ll get subscribers who are predisposed to be highly engaged with your brand. That way, you’ll be able to start your customer relationships on the right foot.
But a subscriber isn’t the same as a high-quality lead.
Don’t worry. With email marketing, you have multiple opportunities to engage these people and cement your relationships with them.
Play your cards right, and a significant number of subscribers will turn into qualified leads and, eventually, long-term clients.
Building Your Brand
Social media marketing is a buzzword in almost every industry. But by now, you’re aware of how it can restrict your brand.
That’s where email marketing steps in to save the day.
Unlike social media, email marketing doesn’t restrict your formatting and content. You enjoy a great level of flexibility hunting down and nurturing potential customers.
Plus, your audience’s expectations don’t limit how you do your thing. This flexibility doesn’t exist on social networks. For example, LinkedIn expects you to remain professional, whereas Instagram likes more informal and eye-catching content.
Email marketing throws these unwritten rules out of the window and allows your brand to be whatever it needs to be.
Email is also a bridge that can link various sales strategies for a unified experience. With it, you can target your audience with newsletters, follow-up email campaigns, general marketing, and content distribution to pull more people through multiple entry points.
This harmonious working of channels helps you make the most of every outlet and build your brand story consistently. Customers also get a chance of connecting with you in their most preferred way.
From your sales funnel’s awareness stage to advocacy, content should reign. But how can you distribute this content to ensure your leads and customers see it?
Robust email marketing is the answer.
With email marketing, you can send relevant pieces of content like announcements, links to your latest blog posts, insights, breaking news, webinars, and invites to social media events.
Deliver relevant, informative, and engaging content, and your email subscribers will see you as an authority in the industry. That’s the beginning of a long-term business relationship.
Email marketing also helps in building B2B relationships. Has a contact subscribed to your email list? Don’t wait—send them a welcome email. About 82% of receipts will open it, allowing you to make a stellar first impression.
The marketing and information-sharing game can then begin. But don’t go overboard. Subscribers have given you intimate access to their inboxes, so be sure to respect them and their time.
Personalize every message and refer your subscribers to content you think they’ll find valuable. Remind them about an upcoming event, send them follow-ups with useful downloads, and ask for feedback to help you meet their needs. How about a happy birthday message with a coupon code? Your creativity is the only limit.
You’ve converted several leads into actual buyers. Congratulations!
But don’t stop pursuing them with email marketing. Real money is in the pockets of returning customers and their referrals (and they’re easier to convert than new customers).
With emails, you can thank your customers for purchasing from your company. Email can also help you improve the customer onboarding process, a key part of customer experience.
Through drip email sequences, you can educate customers on how your product or service works. Don’t forget to answer their questions, send them renewal offers, and introduce other offerings.
Email marketing also helps you run re-engagement campaigns so you can win back some of the lost customers and re-engage leads that cooled off.
You want to make brand ambassadors out of your customers. Email marketing will make this happen.
Your customers may want to convince their fellow employees to try your offerings. Craft information that will help them do just that, and share links to that content.
Make that information more shareable, and the brand advocacy job will be a breeze for your subscribers. Continue crafting valuable, customer-first content to help your expanding audience solve their pain points.
Your Sales Team Can Focus More on Closing Sales
Email marketing can optimize your sales team’s time if done properly, so it can focus more on meeting and closing sales rather than nurturing leads.
The trick is to use effective email marketing automation that makes reaching many prospects easier. With an automated email campaign, you can schedule large portions of your customer experience using triggered workflows and say goodbye to wasting your team’s valuable time emailing every subscriber.
But that doesn’t mean it’s time to blast out cookie-cutter emails to everyone. Automation plus personalization equals magic.
Thanks to email marketing, you can collect data that will help you personalize your messages and serve your clients better. We’re talking about open rates and clickthrough rates. You can also determine the topics that interest your customers the most and the calls to action and subject lines that work like a charm.
How Can You Develop an Effective B2B Email Marketing Strategy?
Your email marketing strategy should be a perfect picture of your business goals and resonate well with your customers’ needs. Here are our proven tricks:
Know Your Target Customers
Pinpointing your target audience is the first step towards creating a results-oriented email marketing strategy. The deeper you understand your target market, the more precise your campaigns become.
Identify your prospects’ pain points and how your offerings can solve them. Some potential customers may not even know they have a certain problem or hindrance. Grab that golden opportunity to point out the issue and raise awareness.
Focus primarily on educating your audience. Don’t hard-sell them before they’re ready to part with their hard-earned money.
Define the Customer Persona
The customer is the top priority. So from messaging them to supporting their product usage, you should always strive to make them comfortable.
But you can only do that effectively if you know their personas. A customer persona represents the main characteristics of a large portion of your audience.
Paint a clear picture of who your ideal customer is. What are their ambitions and the challenges they face? What are they doing currently to address their problems? Answer these questions right, and you’ll come across as a true thought leader.
Define Achievable Sales and Marketing Goals
A rewarding email marketing strategy relies on SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals. With these, you’ll have greater clarity regarding your business growth. When setting these goals, aim at solidifying your brand’s position and reputation in the market.
Plan in Advance
Every marketer in your team needs to communicate ideas, customize emails based on the target company’s industry and replies, test campaigns to improve responses, follow up with prospects, reply to questions, segment customers, and more. Without a uniform plan, a clash of interests will ensue.
Every sales and marketing crew member should fully understand your email marketing plan and its implementation. They should grasp the process and understand all approaches from A to Z.
Sapper Consulting, Your Lead generation Experts
Email marketing is necessary for any serious B2B company. Don’t fall behind as other businesses continue to achieve excellent lead generation and ROI through this immovable channel.
But your plate is already packed full with other equally important tasks. You may not have enough time to build a predictable pipeline of prospects.
That’s where Sapper Consulting steps in. We’re experts at helping B2B businesses spend less time cold calling and more time closing deals. Request a demo today.