Closing deals or getting leads in the B2B space is a unique challenge. It’s very unlike B2C. You can do everything right but fail one step, which can destroy your campaign. For success, there’s little to no margin for error.
However, repeatedly, two factors play a critical role in B2B email marketing success. These are:
- The audience
- An offer that resonates with the audience
These two factors will determine your campaign’s success. It doesn’t matter if you follow all the best practices in the world; these will impact your email marketing the most.
As a result, before you even read the following B2B email marketing best practices, ensure you have these nailed down. This will make the following practices 10x more effective and save you many headaches.
Table of Contents
First things first, you need to establish goals for your email marketing campaigns. You can’t just pick objectives randomly; they need to be specific.
There are a tonne of goals you can target. The main three are:
- Lead Generation
- Brand Awareness
These are the main areas to set goals. However, don’t make goals like “get more leads” or “convert more leads.” This is too vague.
Instead, make goals like ” “Increase email leads for product XYZ by 35% and phone leads by 20% by December.” This approach gives you a clear target and a way to measure your success in B2B email marketing.
Next, understand Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and know which ones you want to measure. Ideally, these measurable metrics should align closely with your goals.
Here’s a list of the top 10 KPIs:
- Open Rate
- Spam Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Unengaged Rate
- Conversion Rate
- List Growth Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
- Click-Through Rate
- Engagement Over Time
- ROI (Return on Investment)
If you’re starting, don’t measure these stats in an Excel sheet. It’ll just cause headaches. Instead, invest in an email marketing tool that tracks these KPIs.
Alongside the above, you need to create personas. These personas are like detailed portraits of your ideal customers. They’ll help you pinpoint your ideal customer, understand who they are, what they like, etc.
To effectively create buyer personas, you need to:
- Identify who your customers are.
- Understand what they want and need.
- Figure out how they prefer to engage and make purchases.
Here’s an example of two different personas:
- Persona: Tech-savvy startup CEO
- Name: Alex Johnson
- Age: 32
- Job Title: CEO of a fast-growing tech startup
- Industry: Technology
- Goals: Streamlining business operations, integrating innovative tech solutions
- Challenges: Limited budget, need for scalable solutions, time constraints
- Preferences: Values efficiency, prefers quick, informative communication, relies heavily on email and LinkedIn for business networking
- Likely to Engage With: Emails showcasing cost-effective tech solutions, case studies of similar businesses, and easy-to-implement tools
- Persona: Experienced Manufacturing Director
- Name: Maria Gonzalez
- Age: 45
- Job Title: Director of Operations at a mid-sized manufacturing company
- Industry: Manufacturing
- Goals: Improving production efficiency, reducing overhead costs
- Challenges: Managing a large team, keeping up with industry regulations, finding reliable suppliers
- Preferences: Detailed, data-driven communication, appreciates personalized emails that address specific industry pain points
- Likely to Engage With: In-depth guides on industry best practices, new supplier information, and emails that offer tangible ROI predictions
For personas, the more you know about your buyers, the more targeted and successful your email marketing efforts will be.
Once you have created customer personas, you can start doing email segmentation. This is all about categorizing personas. For instance, persona group 1 might be CEOs, and persona group 2 might be business owners. Each group will react differently to emails and offers, and it’s your goal to find out these differences and take advantage of them.
Though email segmentation can seem tedious, we recommend doing it right from the get-go. In fact, segmented campaigns can lead to a 760% increase in email-generated revenue. It’s huge and could be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful campaign.
If you’re new to email marketing, signing up for industry newsletters is a smart move. It’s an easy yet effective research method. To sign up for these newsletters, simply go over to your competitor, see if they have a newsletter, and sign up. From here, you’ll get a flood of emails from them, which you can learn or get inspiration from.
You can even go as far as categorizing them for later inspiration. For instance, if you get a good “welcome” email, save it for a later date and refer back to it when you create a “welcome” email. The same can go for discount emails, promotional emails, and anything else you may come across.
Not all of your customers will be on the same journey. Some may be just finding out about you, while others are considering doing business with you. Being able to identify this and put them on the path to suit their intent is important.
Typically, there are five steps to a customer journey. Knowing these can help you identify your customer’s journey and the strategy that goes along with it.
- Awareness: Customers discover a need and learn about your business. They might find you through various channels like searches, social media, or ads. Identify how your current customers found you to target future prospects better.
- Consideration: Potential customers weigh their options. They explore your website, read reviews, and engage with your social media. Use automated emails to guide their decision-making, offering promotions or showcasing positive testimonials.
- Acquisition: More than just purchasing, this stage is about initiating a lasting relationship. Tailor your emails to engage new customers with special offers and valuable content.
- Retention: Once a customer is on board, keeping them is crucial. Offer ongoing incentives, solicit feedback, and provide engaging content to ensure they feel valued and stay loyal.
- Advocacy: Satisfied customers can become brand advocates. Use emails to acknowledge milestones, offer exclusive deals, and keep them active and engaged.
Mapping these stages helps tailor your email campaigns to each part of the customer’s experience with your brand. By understanding and responding to their needs at each stage, you can create more impactful and successful email marketing strategies.
Alongside the above, a well-thought-out plan for growing your email list is vital in B2B email marketing. Without it, your campaigns lack the foundation they need to succeed.
Here are key strategies for building an email list:
- Provide Valuable Content: Offer something worthwhile like whitepapers, webinars, or industry reports in exchange for email subscriptions.
- Optimize Website Sign-Up Forms: Place sign-up forms strategically across your website, especially on high-traffic pages.
- Engage on Social Media: Use your social media platforms to encourage email sign-ups.
- Networking and Webinars: Utilize events and webinars to expand your list.
- Cold Emailing with Personalization: Identify potential leads online and reach out with personalized content.
- Collaborate for Broader Reach: Form partnerships with other businesses or influencers in your industry to access new, relevant audiences.
When growing an email list, remember an organic list will always outperform a bought list.
With email marketing, email automation is your best friend. It’s the key to handling tasks that would otherwise be incredibly time-consuming.
By automating your email marketing, you can enhance your campaigns efficiently and cost-effectively. Imagine setting up a system that automatically tags contacts based on their actions, like joining your email list, or even their inactions, like not engaging with your emails.
This automation streamlines your process and provides valuable insights into your audience’s behavior, allowing you to tailor your strategies more effectively.
Something else you should never forget is A/B split testing. Simply put, A/B split testing is when you test a metric using two different strategies.
For instance, you’ll want to test your subject lines to measure open rates. To do this, you’ll create 2, 3, 4, or maybe even 5 emails, all with the same content but different subject lines. From here, you can see which one performs best and optimize from there.
This is just one example. You can test everything. Test subject lines, quantity, timing, design, templates, and everything. Those who perform extensive A/B split testing will be the ones with the most successful email campaigns.
Our guide, “9 B2B Email Marketing Best Practices for Beginners,” outlines the essentials. But, mastering B2B email marketing can be a big task. If doing it yourself seems daunting, leave it to us at Mailbox Labs.
At Mailbox Labs, we’re more than just experts; we’re enthusiasts in crafting effective B2B email strategies. We’ve helped numerous businesses, perhaps just like yours, to streamline their email marketing. This has led to impressive gains in engagement and generating leads.
We’re offering a free 30-minute consultation with our team. We’ll show you how Mailbox Labs can tailor a strategy that always hits the mark. Book your session now and focus on what you do best while we handle your email marketing.