A few months ago, one of our customers put in a request to integrate an email marketing feature on to his B2B Wave platform. We were happy to do that; we were already thinking about updating our platform with such a feature. So we passionately undertook the task and, after days of hard work and endless testing, we had finally made it happen.
Now it was time for us to communicate to our patient customer that his email marketing integration dream has indeed come true. As expected our client was excited with the news. Yet, he was a bit puzzled. Why? Because he wanted to know how he could exploit it to reach its fullest potential. So he turned to us for advice – and today we’re sharing with you our tips and faux-pas when it comes to B2B email marketing.
You may think that email marketing is an effective tool for B2C companies. And it’s true that a B2B email marketing campaign is quite different than any such B2C campaign. For example, unlike B2C campaigns, B2B campaigns are not looking to tap into your emotion; they need to speak to your head and logic. Although the target and setup is by default different, this doesn’t mean that email marketing cannot be as effective for your wholesale business as it is for any retailer out there.
If your mind is not set on using it as a business tool, you may need to rethink your denial. And here’s why: a well-executed email marketing campaign can significantly increase a wholesale business’s revenue. In fact, according to Experian, for every $1 spent on an email marketing investment, a B2B business has a $44.25 return. Even more, email marketing seems to spike engagement among a company’s buyers with 72% of them declaring more likely to share useful content via email – meaning that it is also paving the road for lead generation.
In other words, a B2B email marketing strategy is something your company needs in order to grow.
In the beginning of this blog post we promised to give you our tips. Below you will find simple techniques that will help you set up your email marketing campaigns and foster your relationships with your B2B customers.
If you have taken the time to map out an email marketing strategy, one thing is for sure: you do not want your content to end up in the spam folder. Here’s how you can avoid being “blacklisted”?
B2B commerce is built upon personal relationships and your email marketing campaigns should be too. In general, it is highly suggested that should target customers you have established contact prior to your emails through them.
In other words, use valid email addresses and send emails to people whose addresses you already have. Email marketing may be a great channel for indirect lead generation (meaning that your existing buyers can refer you to prospective clients), but you can easily be filed under spam, if you are not on your recipient’s email list.
So take your time to build your email lists – do it with care and make sure you tag them appropriately. For example, you can have one list containing all your customers, one list containing your old and new buyers, one list for customers based in your country, etc.
This ancient Latin strategy may be famous in politics and sociology as a means of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. Yet, it is equally useful and effective when it comes to B2B email marketing too – yet here it is known as segmentation.
Target specific customers more effectively by segmenting your lists.
Why should you consider this process? If you divide your email lists into segments then you cany. Let’s say you are a wholesale manufacturer and that you have a group of retailers who have a chain of women’s clothes. These buyers will not be interested in finding out about your latest men’s line, but they would like to know all the special offers for the products they are intersted in buying.
Bottom line: Share content (blogposts, news, special offers, etc.) that is truly relevant to your customers. This way, you can enhance their engagement, nurture your leads, increase your sales, and ensure that your click-through-rates remain high.
Creating content that your readers find fresh and valuable is key to the success of your email marketing campaign. According to research most recipients of B2B newsletters crave for enganging content. What is deemed as engaging content in the eyes of your customers? Entertaining, and solution-driven and industry-specific content – think industry trends, case studies, etc.
In this respect, your content should be aligned with your readers’ interests and needs. Imagine the questions they may be asking and how your content can provide solutions for them.
You may think that email marketing is all about words, words, words. And words create noise and may not lead to action. Yet, email is one of the most powerful tools in the hands of any smart B2B marketer as it can help you bring in more conversions, add value to your wholesale company and, most importantly, prolong your customer lifecycle.