B2B Email Marketing: 10 Steps to Success
Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Despite the increasing volume of e-mails, B2B email marketing continues to enjoy very high acceptance. As one of the most effective marketing tools no company should do without it. To make this as successful as possible, take these ten steps to professional email marketing.
# 1 What is the long-term goal of B2B email marketing?
Of course, the long-term goal in B2B companies is usually the sale of products or services. However, in order to fulfill this, there are also goals in other areas to be achieved.
As a supporting tool for lead generation, the maintenance of contacts and the retention of customers a newsletter is usually very effective. But here's the biggest challenge for many companies: should only one goal or all goals be tracked? B2B e-mail marketing is always to be integrated into the entire marketing mix. And potential new customers should not be contacted without consent.
It should be clearly defined which goal an e-mailing should reach and how it can contribute to the overall goal of B2B online marketing. This can be, for example, the raising of brand awareness, change of the image of the company or higher customer loyalty.
# 2 What should be the guiding theme of the e-mailing?
A goal has to be achieved somehow. Now the question arises as to how customers should be bound to the B2B company? How a brand can be strengthened or a change of image is
best supported. Why should customers open the newsletter and read it regularly?
A guiding theme should add value to the reader. Information that is always on your own website anyway does not necessarily need to be included in your email shots. Right from the beginning, it has to be determined what exactly is the added value for the recipients and what exactly should be addressed.
There are many different topics that customers might be interested in. For example, the latest developments or projects of the company can be presented. Expert tips for using products, special promotions and discounts for particular segments of your customers may also be of great interest in this context.
It is important to realize that a consistent and well-thought-out implementation is needed.
# 3 How is the subject line constructed and formulated?
The subject line should be short, crisp, and factual; it is very important for a good opening rate. If the email is not opened, no clicks will be generated and no visitors, leads, sales or downloads will be generated.
To stimulate the reader to open the B2B email marketing message, the topic of the e-mail should be factually or emotionally a teaser ad - enticing and arousing curiosity. The length of the subject should be limited to a maximum of 35-40 characters. Anything longer than that, depending on the e-mail client, it will be truncated and not read.
In the first mailings, A/B tests can also be performed to get a feel for the right tone. In such a test, the mailing is sent to two small parts of the total target size. Each group is targeted with a different subject line. The better opening rate wins and is sent to the rest of the recipients.
# 4 What is the structure and tonality of the text?
The text for an e-mail should describe the main USPs and aspects of the topic. It is best if the reader understands at first glance what it is about and in no case must fight through a long interlaced text.
This is for a very simple reason: the goal is to direct the recipient to your own B2B website. The topic must therefore be described briefly and invite them to read on your own homepage. Too much text can scare off the reader and offers no incentive to click on any further links.
# 5 Which and how are images used?
With good pictures, B2B e-mailing can always be always be improved and be given a good structure. Often here, simply a nice picture is used, which the sender just likes. This does not always have to be bad. But a positive effect should not be expected either. The recipient quickly notices when an image is selected arbitrarily. It is important that an image emphasizes the content and does not distract from it. Randomness is immediately recognized by the reader.
When reporting on products, show the products. If stories are told by employees, they should be shown. The picture should be authentic and professional. Another important point is the image size. If it is embedded, make sure that it is as small as possible. Too many mailings end up in the spam folder too often or are not even delivered. Images are always perceived in front of texts. The right mix of text and image as well as the appropriate gaze and perception by the recipient is essential for success in B2B email marketing.
# 6 How and where are Call to Actions used?
To direct the reader to the B2B website, you must invite them to do so and offer them the opportunity to do so. And a click only happens if the added value is recognized and users are actively managed.
This works best with Calsl to Action or CTAs. So concrete calls for action are needed on texts, pictures, buttons and links. This call to action should not only occur at one point in the e-mailing. Depending on the structure of the B2B e-mailing, it must be carefully thought out at which position the call to action is placed and how it is formulated. It can always be helpful to have links to different sections of the website. The interests of the readers are different. Keep this in mind when linking to the start page or matching subpages in your website.
# 7 How did the typo creep in?
Yes, it is time consuming. Yes, your colleagues are also busy. BUT, if you are working on a mailing for several days, you will not notice this embarrassing headline spelling error until you have sent the mailing. Everyone knows the moment they have submitted a univertsity or school work and then it is there, the mistake in the name of the professor. You probably will not blame anyone, "that can happen". But you represent your business with this spelling mistake. Therefore, take this necessary time and read the e-mailing, preferably printed format, and with a colleague in peace.
# 8 How often should a newsletter be sent?
In general, in the B2B area, through experience, a newsletter should be sent at most once a week and at least once a quarter. However, the planning involved in creating it should not be
As a result, the dispatch frequency of a mailing also depends on the resources within the B2B company. Before mistakes occur due to time constraints, external support should be sought. In addition to internal resources, the "news" factor should always be taken into account. Mailings with invalid or outdated content have no added value for readers or for the company and simply drive the unsubscribe rate. Furthermore, the question arises as to whether mailings should build on each other, complement each other or be sent according to user behavior.
# 9 When should a B2B e-mailing be sent?
In the B2B sector, the general working time should be addressed. That's the way it has been for years. Recent studies have refuted this. Inxmail's Email Marketing Benchmark 2015 study found that Sunday morning was the most promising delivery time for high opening rates. Also, the assumption of a dispatch in the morning was the most promising was refuted.
During the week, B2B e-mailings should be sent in the evening between 05:00 and 06:00 pm. The highest clickthrough rate, according to Inxmail, is obtained on a Thursday. If
the content is not interesting enough, the response suffers. Take a close look at your recipients and find out what their working / daily routine is and when the dispatch
seems ideal. Do not hesitate to test different delivery times to find out the ideal time for you. Depending on the B2B target group, a Saturday or Sunday can also be a sensible send time.
# 10 Which legal aspects have to be considered?
The most important and highest rule is: Mailings may only be sent to persons who have expressly given their consent. Legally, it is sufficient to enter the e-mail address for a newsletter once. However, this e-mail permission is always valid only for the particular occasion for which the recipient has granted permission.
In case of doubt, the sender is responsible for submitting proof of this permission. Therefore, the double opt-in method is usually used. Here a link in the confirmation email is sent, which the user has to confirm again. If he does not do this, this e-mail address will not be included in the address list.
The distribution of e-mail addresses is only permitted in certain circumstances. In terms of content, there are a few points to consider. For one, an imprint (details of the sender) must be included or it must be reached from the e-mail with a maximum of two clicks. In addition, there must also be an easy way to cancel the newsletter or the receipt of any future emails. It is advisable that every B2B e-mailings contain a link to the unsubscribe button that can be reached with one click.
Conclusion: Successful B2B email marketing is the combination of many little things. From subject line, to time of dispatch, to the correct Call to Action, much based on experience.
Here it means testing, testing, testing and collecting the important metrics. The highest priority is and remains relevant content. You should provide the customer with as much value through your email as possible. And it's not about a material value. Share your knowledge with them and provide outstanding service.
Newsletters are an excellent tool that just needs to be used. So get started and start the first step towards effective B2B email marketing