Your Complete Guide to

B2B Email Marketing

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Email is the digital multi-tool in your business-to-business (B2B) marketing toolbox. It integrates with every other marketing channel, from search to direct mail, banners to retargeting ads, even offline tools like direct mail, print, out of home and broadcast.

You can use email to greet new prospects, nurture the people already in your pipeline and qualify them for further contact by your sales team. Unlike other channels, email doesn’t have to wait for someone to discover it. You have permission to enter that most private space – your customer’s inbox. No other channel gives you the same opportunity to achieve such close one-to-one contact.

Like any tool, however, email is most effective when you handle it carefully and strategically. It requires proper care and handling to be most effective. Consider this post your user guide for getting the greatest value from your email efforts, whether you are launching a new marketing plan from scratch or want to strengthen the plan you already have.

As you read through the guide, you might have questions about the content and how to use it in your own B2B email marketing program. Post your questions in the comments section at the end of this email or contact us. Email is our specialty, and we would love to help!

B2C (business to consumer) email marketing is what most people think of when they think about email marketing – the messages they get from the brands they buy from in their personal needs. B2B and B2C share many similar characteristics, but they have one major difference, as you’ll see below.

The Similarities:

  1. Goal-driven: Both are most successful when they let company goals and objectives drive marketing decision-making through strategies and tactics.
  2. Customer-focused: Both must also focus on their customers’ needs, wants and preferences, not just what the company wants to talk about in email.
  3. One Channel to Rule Them All: Email should be the hub of all marketing operations for both B2B and B2C, and the marketing team should own as many customer-facing communications as possible to build brand equity.
  4. Building Loyalty: Retention is another shared goal, with the aim to keep more customers engaged with the brand after a sale and to bring them back to buy again.
  5. Diversifying: Both are beginning to incorporate other media into the content process, especially social media, video and chatbots – another reason why email should be the hub of your marketing program.
  6. Educate and Nurture: Email can do more than sell (for B2C) or qualify leads (for B2B). Once customers give permission to send email, marketers can use it judiciously to help customers get the most from the products and services they buy.
  7. Data Quality: Data is the lifeblood for both sets of marketers. Successful programs need a continuous stream of fresh, relevant data for effective messaging and strategic planning.

The Similarities:

  1. Different Goals: B2B and B2C have different goals. B2C marketing aims to drive sales and build loyalty. B2B uses marketing to shorten the sales pipeline through education and nurturing before handing prospects off to the sales staff, where the sale usually occurs.
  2. Education Over Selling: Content marketing has a higher priority in B2B marketing. It aims to educate the prospect through a buying process that’s usually more complex than a typical B2C product and then to retain customers after the sale.
  3. Longer Path to Purchase: B2B sales can often be far more complex, with more people involved in making decisions and more education needed to keep the company on the short list of potential vendors. That means B2B marketers need to develop a wider range of communications to meet a wider range of needs.
  4. Smaller Audience: B2C brands can have millions of email addresses in their databases. This gives B2C marketers greater latitude for everything from building personas and segments to targeting and testing. B2B marketers usually operate with smaller audiences that also have a narrower focus on priorities.

The Two Marketing Groups Have Much to Learn From Each Other:

B2B and B2C marketers used to think they had little in common with each other. But over the years, especially as email became a strong component for each, the two sides have discovered they have a lot to learn from each other. B2B and B2C share many similar characteristics, but they have one major difference, as you’ll see below.

What B2C Can Learn From B2B

B2B marketing has always been more data-driven than B2C, most likely because the path to purchase is so much longer. B2B marketers are more likely to ask for and act on data from prospects and customers and to use that data to shape messaging models such as drip and nurture campaigns. (See Section 5, “B2B messaging strategies,” for more on these and other models.)

B2C marketers also can learn how B2B email marketers use education to keep customers engaged when they aren’t in the market to buy. A consumer in the market to buy a new car might need just as much help making a decision as a company does when buying a new fleet of trucks.

What B2B Can Learn From B2C

B2C email marketing has led the way in personalized, customer-focused messaging and in connecting channels to discover purchase intent and readiness – again, because consumers usually take less time to shop, use the products faster and are more likely to buy again quickly.

B2B emails often come across as institutional in tone, while B2C emails are more informal and conversational. Remember the old saying: “People buy from people, not companies?” By adding a human “voice” and using data to personalize their messages, B2B marketers can turn their emails from lectures into conversations.

We polled a group of email marketing leaders to learn the greatest misconceptions about B2B email marketing. Here’s a sample of what they told us:

“It seems many B2B marketers still believe that email is an acquisition channel, it’s not. Email is a great nurture, info/educational, sales, etc. channel. But buying a list and trying to engage that list 99% of the time it will fail and damage your domain and IP reputation.”

– Chris Donald, Inbox Army

“One I’ve encountered is a question of whether the same permissioning / opt-in standards apply to B2B as for B2C lists. I’ve even met some B2B list owners who still use discredited practices like web-scraping to build their email lists, which is nearly unheard of now in B2C due to its known impact on deliverability.”

– Kelly Dedman, Red Pill Email

“The biggest B2B misconception is that decision-makers/influencers, in organizations behave purely rationally and make all their decisions without emotion. People are people – organisations don’t buy, people do!

‘If you understand the needs and the state of mind of the person or persons making the buying decision, you’re in a better position to resonate with them. It is essential to shift your focus away from products, features and functions towards people and their needs within the context of the organization.

“Sure, specs are important in technical sales, but the decision will be as much if not more about how the organization you’re buying from makes you feel.”

– Mark Morin, President, Strategies

“If I make a decision to buy a new WiFi solution for home and it’s rubbish, I just get a look of disappoint from my son.

“If I make the wrong decision at work over a marketing platform, personal, financial and political elements all conspire – hell yes, it’s emotional. It reflects directly on me.

“I absolutely believe that relationships are the new B2B battleground. To paraphrase from the trusted advisor team, a competitor can copy your product, spend more on advertising or offer a lower price, but the one thing a competitor can never do is copy your relationships. It is personal, and it does differentiate you.”

– Nick Crawford, Owner, Twist Consultancy

One of the greatest things about email marketing is how easy it is to get started. It’s truly a low barrier channel. All you have to do is collect some email addresses (with permission!), find an email sending platform, create a message and off you go!

Right? Not quite.

Your marketing plan will work best if it evolves from the goals and objectives you have set for it. This guides your program, helps you use your marketing resources (time and money) wisely, create better messages and understand how to measure whether your campaigns have succeeded or failed.

Your marketing plan should include objectives, strategies and tactics. Each one serves a specific purpose.

Warning: It’s easy to let tactics lead your planning. But if you focus more on tactics than the objectives and strategies of your email marketing plan, you could end up wasting resources on things that don’t work because you aren’t using them properly.

Think of Your Plan as if You Were Organizing a Vacation:

  • Objectives are your destination.
  • Strategy is your road map to the destination.
  • Tactics are the kinds of vehicle that will get you to your destination.
  • Technology is the vehicle itself.

Objectives and Strategy Before Tactics and Technology: Sending messages is actually one of the last things you’ll do if you’re creating a brand-new marketing program. And, if you’re upgrading an existing program, adjusting your messaging properties like frequency, cadence and content will also be far down the list.

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Email Strategy and Audit

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Have a specific email marketing challenge you need met? Or have no idea where to start? InboxArmy’s corps of email marketing strategists provide actionable advice and suggestions to improve and optimize your email marketing programs to enhance ROI.

Email Strategy and Audit

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  • Channel Integration Recommendations and Strategies
  • List Growth and Nurturing Strategies
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3 Steps to Design an Effective Email Program

Set Your Objectives

Decide what you want to achieve, both for your overall email program and for each campaign or message you want to achieve. Write down your objectives and share with your team to make sure everyone understands your game plan.

To borrow a concept from email thought leader Kath Pay (Holistic Email Marketing), look for SMART objectives. These are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timed

Your objectives, whether broad or specific, will guide your sequencing, follow-up messages and even the tone of voice and images you use in your copy.

Common objectives are “Increase revenue from email by 20% in the next 12 months” or “Increase qualified leads by 10% in Q2.”

Choose Strategies to Achieve Those Objectives

If objectives are the “why” of your marketing program, strategy is the “how.” How will you increase revenue from email by 20% this calendar year or increase qualified leads by 10% in a quarter?

The answers will vary depending on your business, but knowing your ultimate goal will make it easier to decide which strategies would support your objective.

To increase leads, for example, you might launch a series of webinars to attract more prospective customers who have not gone through your marketing program yet.

Select Tactics to Carry Out the Strategies

Tactics are the “what” in your marketing plans. They are the specifics you choose to carry out your strategies and achieve your goals. This is where all the strategic and objectives planning you did earlier will pay off. You have dozens of tactics at your disposal when you’re planning an email program or a campaign, but not all of them are designed to do what you need.

A hammer and a screwdriver are two essential tools in a homeowner’s toolbox. Each one is designed for a specific use. You might be able to pound in a small nail with the handle of a screwdriver, but the hammer will do the job right the first time and every time.

Here’s a tactical maneuver: To attract more prospects to your webinar series you offer attendees a white paper with exclusive information they can use to do their jobs more effectively.

If they share their email addresses to get the paper, you can invite them to sign up for your email newsletter. That move can load them into a nurturing plan that you’ll use to gather more information about them and better target your messaging.

3 Steps to Design an Effective Email Program

  1. Set Your Objectives
  2. Choose Strategies to Achieve Those Objectives
  3. Select Tactics to Carry Out the Strategies
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7 General Objectives for a B2B Email Marketing Plan

These are the objectives common to B2B marketing plans. Below, you’ll see how email can help you achieve each one:

  1. Increasing Sales Leads: This is where most marketing plans start and end. As we pointed out earlier, B2B marketing focuses more on attracting, qualifying and nurturing leads and less on driving actual sales. Inviting prospects to sign up for your email newsletter can help you begin to qualify those leads, as we illustrated with the white paper offer above.
  2. More/better Customer Acquisition: Acquisition is more the province of search and social media and offline sources like trade show contacts, advertising and referrals. But email comes into the picture the moment a prospect enters your system. Offering high-quality information helps retain more new customers and move them down the path to qualifying for sales.
  3. Higher Customer Engagement: This is the process of keeping customers interested in your brand, products and marketing messages. How can you keep them opening, reading and acting on more of your message? Nobody is in the market every day to buy what you’re selling. So, the challenge becomes keeping them interested before they buy, after they buy and in the interval between purchases. This is another reason why “buy now” messages aren’t a good fit for B2B marketing in general and email marketing in particular.”Sure, specs are important in technical sales, but the decision will be as much if not more about how the organization you’re buying from makes you feel.”
  4. Improving Brand Awareness: Use email to teach your subscribers, prospects and customers more about your brand. This is where email can connect with all of your other marketing channels.Reach out beyond the inbox to connect channels and take your message to a wider audience. One example is writing blog posts and then adding a headline and the opening paragraph to your email newsletter.
  5. Better Customer Experience: Email contributes to the customer experience your brand offers when it becomes a valued partner in helping your customers and prospects achieve their own goals. These are two possibilities:
    • Sharing industry news, tips and advice, especially from in-house experts and thought leaders.
    • Helping your customers use your product or service more effectively and getting more value for their money.
  6. More/better Customer Acquisition: Most people think of search, both paid and organic, as the source driving website visits. But email content can give you more direct and guided searches by linking deep into the website from email newsletters, alerts and other messages.
  7. Building/Updating/Expanding Customer Data Profiles: we said earlier, fresh data is the lifeblood of any marketing program, B2b or B2C. The email address is the basic unit of data for most brands.Once you have a valid, up-to-date email address, you can use a system called progressive profiling to begin building a profile for every customer or prospect in your database. (See “Drip/Nurture campaigns” in Section 6 for more about progressive profiling.)

7 General Objectives for a B2B Email Marketing Plan

  1. Increasing Sales Leads
  2. More/better Customer Acquisition
  3. Higher Customer Engagement
  4. Improving Brand Awareness
  5. Better Customer Experience
  6. More/better Customer Acquisition
  7. Building/Updating/Expanding Customer Data Profiles

This is one of the most hotly debated topics in all of email marketing. Do you need to get permission to send marketing messages to prospects and customers?

The answer: It depends, but when in doubt, get permission first.

Here’s why: In almost every country on the planet but the United States, marketers have to get permission from consumers before sending them promotional messages – anything other than an email related to business transacted with that brand.

In the U.S., you may contact people via email without permission, but you can’t scrape emails off the web, and you have to remove any email whose owner asks to unsubscribe.

B2B email permission is a little murkier, even in countries like Canada, which has one of the strictest laws governing email marketing and communications. That’s because the law does allow businesses to temporarily email people with whom it has a business relationship without getting permission first.

The best reason we can think of for getting permission first, and not using purchased or rented lists, is that permission lists perform better:

  1. Open and Click Rates Are Higher : Permission lists can have average open and click rates that are often 10 or 20 times higher than non- permission lists.
  2. The Return on Your Email Investment is Higher : Email returns $30 to $44 for every $1 spent on it – on a permission list. Rates for non-permission lists are closer to $1 to $2. Campaign Monitor notes, “Permission-based email lists have a 40x higher ROI than purchased or scraped email lists.”
  3. The Return on Your Email Investment is Higher : When you send to a permission list, maybe one or two people will click the “report spam” button, either on purpose or by accident. Mail without permission, and the chances that people will click the spam button go 10X. The more spam complaints you rack up, the more likely ISPs will block your emails.

The best source of deliverable and valuable email addresses is your own website, social media channels and other owned or paid channels.

Besides inviting site visitors to sign up for your email newsletter (be sure to explain the benefit of subscribing instead of just asking for the address) on your website, these can be excellent sources of email addresses:

  • Referrals from current subscribers
  • Opt-in invites on content downloads or information requests (but leave the opt-in box unchecked, please, to comply with some global email laws)
  • Event registrations
  • New-account registrations
  • In-person events
  • Sales calls or other contact with a brand
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Now that you have those addresses, you can begin messaging. Call on your set of objectives, strategies and goals to help you decide what kind of messages will align with them.

Many B2B email marketing programs rely on a combination of broadcast emails (one to everyone) and targeted messages that reflect customer activity, interests or position on the sales journey (that is, how close they are to buying for the first time or buying again).

How Personas Can Benefit Your Marketing Program and Messaging

Personas are people! Well, almost. A persona is a representation of one of your customer groups, based on gender, demographics, needs, wants, challenges, beliefs and other data that you collect or infer from preferences, polls, qualifying forms, web behavior and other sources.

The terms “persona” and “segment” are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same thing.

A segment is a group of customers in your database who share similar characteristics. Personas are fictitious characters you build to understand their emotional triggers, motivations and other psychological aspects.

The two concepts are complementary. You can use both for the most effective message creation and targeting. You can use segmentation data to help build your personas and you can segment your database by personas while writing copy that addresses the variables that make up each persona.

Persona in Action: Meet ‘Natalie’

Here’s how one email company uses personas to focus its messaging: The company, which provides services to email marketers, created “Natalie,” a persona that represents the group of marketers it is trying to reach.

Natalie is a lower-level email specialist rather than a higher-level decision-maker. She is a younger female, likely in her first or second email job and juggles a number of responsibilities, few of which tap into her creative and executive abilities. The company knows her struggles and targets its messages to relieve some of her more onerous duties and give her more time for creative thinking and planning. Each message the company sends sounds like a personal note to Natalie.

How to Build a Persona

Start by analyzing your data and looking for common patterns. You can use multiple sources – web behavior, usage trends, demographics, focus groups, user interviews – anything that gives you insight into your data.

Include characteristics that reflect their position in the decision-making process. Is your persona someone who has the final say, who recommends a purchase or gathers initial data?

How to Use Personas

This is where personas and segmentation come together in your database. identify customers whose records match most or all of your persona data, and form them into a segment. Give that segment an identity, and visualize your persona as a human representation of that data.

Segmenting Beyond Personas

If you’re just beginning to build your B2B email marketing program, you might not have a lot of data to call on to build personas. But you probably have more than you realize.

Here Are Some Sources of Customer Data You Can Use to Create Segments:

  • Time on list
  • Website activity
  • Attendance at events
  • Position in sales cycle based on progressive profiling or behavior
  • Contacts with salespeople
  • Decisionmaker versus information seeker versus interested bystander

Okay, you’ve done the first round of hard work. Now it’s time to put your strategic and tactical planning to work by designing the messages you will send as part of your B2B email marketing program.

All the work you did up to this point pays off when it comes to your messages, because you are sending only the messages you need to send to support your objectives and strategies. Those objectives and strategies become the guidelines you need to create the right kinds of messages to support your customers and promote your company at all points on their journey with your brand.

Each point on the journey where your customers or prospects come in contact with your brand should have a corresponding message.

We will be talking about messaging in conjunction with another essential element of a solid marketing strategy: message automation. You can’t really talk about one without the other.

Why Automation Matters

Your B2B email marketing program has a lot of moving parts. Automation allows you to send the widest range of messages most efficiently by managing everything from repetitive tasks to deep data integrations.

You’re probably familiar already with most basic email automations, like the confirmation email you get when you sign up to receive a brand’s email messages. The brand doesn’t have someone creating a new “thank you” message every time someone signs up. Somebody created a basic message, loaded it into the email platform, set the rules for sending the message and then hit “save” and went on to the next task.

Even the process of sending emails is an automation – you don’t have to send each issue of your brand newsletter or your transactional message out by hand. You created message templates and told the system when and where to send them.

As the saying goes, your work there was done. (Or was it? Keep reading to find the answer.)

Automation frees you up to spend your time doing more than creating, testing and sending messages. You couldn’t possibly do the kinds of complex personalizations and data integrations that today’s demanding B2B customer expects, especially those who are looking to your company for guidance and support in purchasing and post-purchase emails.

Note: Automation is Not ‘set It and Forget It

Your B2B email marketing program has a lot of moving parts. Automation allows you to send the widest range of messages most efficiently by managing everything from repetitive tasks to deep data integrations.

You’re probably familiar already with most basic email automations, like the confirmation email you get when you sign up to receive a brand’s email messages. The brand doesn’t have someone creating a new “thank you” message every time someone signs up. Somebody created a basic message, loaded it into the email platform, set the rules for sending the message and then hit “save” and went on to the next task.

Even the process of sending emails is an automation – you don’t have to send each issue of your brand newsletter or your transactional message out by hand. You created message templates and told the system when and where to send them.

As the saying goes, your work there was done. (Or was it? Keep reading to find the answer.)

Automation frees you up to spend your time doing more than creating, testing and sending messages. You couldn’t possibly do the kinds of complex personalizations and data integrations that today’s demanding B2B customer expects, especially those who are looking to your company for guidance and support in purchasing and post-purchase emails.

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7 Key Emails in a B2B Email Marketing Program

The Welcome Email Series

Why it’s important: This is the email you send out as soon as your system adds a valid email address to your database. It’s not the message you use to ask subscribers to confirm their opt-in request. Rather, it’s the email equivalent of you standing at your front door and welcoming guests to your email house.

Key features:
  • Arrives as soon as possible after opt-in and confirmation.
  • Reiterates your email values and benefits.
  • Encourages new subscribes to go back to your website by linking to resources or key features.
  • Begins the process of collecting information to build a customer profile and how to message the customer in the future.
Brand Email Newsletter

Why it’s important: The brand newsletter is where you begin to show your value to your prospects and customers. These are highly curated messages that focus both on educating customers and prospects with information about the industry to help them do their jobs better, and on how your brand is uniquely suited to help them

Newsletters in the past have been mainly broadcast emails (the same message to every active address on the mailing list). However, advances in email technology now allow brands to mix dynamic content that appeals to specific segments of the database with static content aimed at all customers.

Newsletters also have slimmed down considerably, especially as the email population has transitioned to reading messages online. Content-heavy newsletters laid in two or even three columns with 10 or more clickable items packed into the page are hard to read on mobile screens and often contain nothing of interest to customers who are focused on one aspect of your brand.

  • Provides a mix of content, some of which reflects what the company wants customers to know and what customers would want to see in the message
  • Features a format that reads well on all screen sizes
  • Includes at least one feature to encourage customers to interact with or contact the brand (survey, poll, “click to find out” teasers, etc.)
  • Should be published frequently enough to keep the brand top of mind (e.g., more often than monthly)
Drip And Nurture Campaigns

What they are: Automated programs that sort subscribers into different tracks based on their behavior, preferences, purchasing needs and time to purchase or any other relevant characteristics.

These programs run on data collected from as many sources as possible. Behavior can be one of the motivators that move customers through the messaging track or from one track (such as “browser” to “motivated buyer”).

Key features:
  • Highly personalized to reflect customer intent, time to purchase, role in the buying process, needs and challenges, etc.
  • Progressive profiling tactics designed to elicit more data, moving from general data early in the relationship to more specific data as the customer relationship builds.
  • Content is specific to the customer’s place in the drip or nurture program and gradually moves from mostly general/promotional to specific as the customer’s intent becomes clear.
  • Always gives subscribers the opportunity to raise a hand and jump to another track or to go right to sales conversations.
Product Announcements

What They Are: These can be part of your brand newsletter, but they also can go out to customers whose interests match the product’s capability, who have signed up to hear about this specific product or service or who have bought it in the past but would benefit from new versions, added enhancements or user tips and tricks.

Key features:
  • Product or service news with information angled toward the benefit it provides as well as or in place of features.
  • Opportunity to have customers try out the new offering.
Check-in Emails
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What They Are: These are highly personalized messages that go out over the signature of a salesperson who has received a qualified lead from marketing and focus on moving the prospect farther along the path to purchase.

They also can be post-purchase follow-up messages from an account rep or other company employee assigned to work with the customer.

Although the messages can go out from individual salespeople, they must be coordinated with the marketing team for several reasons:

  • Avoid making customers feel as if your brand is bombarding them with messages
  • Reduce the chance that salespeople will share information that doesn’t align with company objectives, brand equity, tone and voice
  • Gives the marketing team insight into where the customer is on the path to purchase.
Key Features:
  • Can appear more like a personal letter from the company rep to the customer.
  • Must retain branding and look and feel of company email templates.
  • Include an unsubscribe option.
  • Coordinated with or populated with information from the marketing team.
Surveys and Polls
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What They Are: Emails that go out in mid-cycle between newsletters and other scheduled (that is, non-triggered) messages. Participants’ answers can help you decide whether to move them from one track to another, such as from a track for customers who are ready to be contacted by salespeople or to those who need more nurturing.

They have three main purposes:

  • Elicit more data on customer intent, preferences, identity and time to purchase
  • Help marketers shape message content to be sure it more closely reflects what customers need or find interesting.
  • To keep subscribers engaged between other message contacts.
Key features:
  • Short questionnaires, quizzes and surveys or one-question polls
  • Questions ask about relevant topics that reflect customer interests, either in their work lives or as they related to your products and services
  • Immediate results showing how respondents compare to their peers
Post-purchase Follow-ups

What They Are: Similar to post-purchase emails sent by B2C companies, these emails aim to stay in touch with clients, to make sure they are successfully using the products or services they bought. They can coordinate with or supplement more informal check-in calls with account reps or managers.

Key features:
  • Sent automatically at specific time points following purchase, installation or activation
  • Content that varies according to the time point sent post-purchase
  • Messages can trigger following a customer’s contact with a service request, call to an account rep or customer-service team.
  • Content also can trigger if the product can detect inactivity or declining use.

These certainly don’t run the full gamut of email messages that a B2B brand can send to prospects and customers. However, they make it clear that you have many more messaging options than a basic email newsletter.

7 Key Emails in a B2B Email Marketing Program

  1. The Welcome Email Series
  2. Brand Email Newsletter
  3. Drip and Nurture Campaigns
  4. Product Announcements
  5. Check-in Emails
  6. Surveys and Polls
  7. Post-purchase Follow-ups
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  1. Do Lead With Benefits : Everything from a product launch to an opt-in to your email to company news should answer the reader’s unspoken question: “What’s in it for me?”
  2. Do Get Permission ASAP : The law might permit you to contact prospects without waiting for them to opt in, but a steady barrage of unsolicited email will hurt your program far more than it will help. Always include an opt-in offer with every message or phone call.gram far more than it will help. Always include an opt-in offer with every message or phone call.
  3. Don’t Send Email Just Because the Calendar Says So : Regular email contact is important to establish a recognizable presence in the inbox and to give your customers more chances to contact you, but it’s more important to get news out quickly if it will help your customers. If you send a monthly newsletter but have great news to share a week after publication, don’t wait three more weeks to send it.
  4. Do Watch for Bouncing and Inactive Addresses : Either one can indicate that the email address owner no longer works for that company. Remove bouncing addresses immediately, but move inactive addresses into a segment for reactivation campaigns.
  5. Don’t Talk About Just Yourself : B2B subscribers are looking for tips, advice and news. Stay on top of what’s happening in the industry and report on news that subscribers need to know to succeed in their own work.
  6. Do Use Data to Segment, Target and Track Subscribers : Use progressive profiling to gather data bit by bit instead of overwhelming newcomers with requests for personal information.
  7. Do Update Your Templates for Mobile Viewing : Use an email rendering service to see which platforms your subscribers use to view your emails. You might be surprised!
  8. Do Clean Your Email Lists Regularly : Also, don’t buy email lists (they are potentially dangerous and could be against the law), and be careful about sending to rented lists.
  9. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Personality : People buy from people, not companies. Share relevant company news and photos. Write as if you were chatting with your customers, not speaking from a lectern or pitching.
  10. Don’t Rely on Broadcast Email : Your subscriber list has everyone from newcomers to longtime customers. Use dynamic content modules to display content that’s appropriate for customers at different points in the buying cycle to create personalized messages at scale.

10 Do’s and Don’ts for B2B Email

  1. Do Lead With Benefits
  2. Do Get Permission ASAP
  3. Don’t Send Email Just Because the Calendar Says So
  4. Do Watch for Bouncing and Inactive Addresses
  5. Don’t Talk About Just Yourself
  6. Do Use Data to Segment, Target and Track Subscribers
  7. Do Update Your Templates for Mobile Viewing
  8. Do Clean Your Email Lists Regularly
  9. Don’t Be Afraid to Show Personality
  10. Don’t Rely on Broadcast Email
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Just like its counterpart in B2C email, B2B email has come a long way in the 25 years that email has been a viable commercial channel.

B2B email is no longer just a digital version of the old print campaigns that marketers used for decades to attract, interest and convert their business clients. B2B email has shed its stuffy, stodgy past and often looks and sounds as consumer-friendly as the jazziest consumer emails.

Work correspondence has become less informal and more conversational, and B2B email marketing has evolved to echo it. Streamline communications to highlight benefits, not just features. Use animation, video and even audio content to reach out to time-compressed executives, many of whom are facing internal revolutions in their own industries.

One feature has not changed – B2B email aims to educate and guide prospects, not just sell. Uncertain economic times are leading B2B buyers to seek out more information, guidance and advice from the brands they are considering.

Is your brand positioned to offer this assistance without turning every conversation into a sales pitch?

Brands that can combine news, advice, tips and guidance along with gentle, logical nudges to qualify leads for sales contacts will provide the greatest service, both to their customers and to their companies.

We hope this guide helps you to create, clarify or update a workable B2B marketing plan for your company. Post your questions in the comments section at the end of this email or contact us. Email is our specialty, and we would love to help!

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