How to Get the Most Out of B2B Email Marketing
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Email marketing can generate new sales, increase order volumes, and even help build your brand. Here is what you need to know to get started.
A few months ago, one of our B2B Wave customers put in a request to integrate an email marketing feature with his B2B Wave eCommerce portal. We were, of course, happy to fulfill that request, and, in fact, we had already been thinking about adding that very feature to the B2B Wave platform. So, we passionately undertook the task and, after a few days of hard work and endless testing, we made it happen.
Now that the work for adding an email marketing integration feature to the B2B Wave eCommerce platform was completed and ready to go (for all our customers), it was time for us to let our patient customer know that his email marketing integration “dream” had indeed come true. Of course, our client was excited with the news, but he was also a bit puzzled. Why? Because he wanted to know how he could exploit the new email marketing integration to its full potential! So, he turned to us for advice. Now, we’re sharing our tips and faux pas’ for effective B2B email marketing with you.
Why do B2B businesses need email marketing?
You may have only previously thought about email marketing as being an effective tool for B2C companies, but it’s also equally effective for B2B. There are differences though — unlike B2C campaigns, B2B email marketing campaigns are not looking to tap into a customer’s emotions, but instead, largely speak to logic and fact. Although the target goal and set up is different, B2B email marketing can be just as effective for your wholesale business as it is for any retailer.
Before Pressing “Send”
If your mind is still not 100% convinced on using email marketing as a business tool, you may need to rethink your denial. 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.
Furthermore, email marketing seems to spike engagement among a company’s buyers with 72% of them declaring they are more likely to share useful content via email, meaning that will also pave the way for lead generation. In a nutshell, a B2B email marketing strategy is something your company needs in order to grow.
3 Tips to Optimise Your B2B Email Marketing Campaigns
At the beginning of this article, we promised to give you our tips and faux pas’ for effective B2B email marketing. Below you will find some simple guidelines that will help you set up your email marketing campaigns and use them to foster relationships with your B2B customers.
1. Steer clear of the spam folder.
Once 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 your reader’s spam folder. Here’s how to avoid being “blacklisted”?
B2B commerce is built on personal relationships and your email marketing campaigns should be too. In general, it is highly recommended to have established prior contact with your target customers prior to your emailing 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 (where your existing buyers refer you to prospective customers), but you can easily be classified as spam if you are not on your recipient’s email list.
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.
2. Divide and conquer.
This ancient Latin strategy is 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, the “divide and conquer” strategy is equally useful and effective when it comes to B2B email marketing. And it is known as segmentation.
Definition of segmentation: Targeting specific customers more effectively by segmenting your customer lists.
Why is it important to use segmentation? Let’s say you are a wholesale manufacturer and you have a group of retailers with a chain of women’s clothes. These customers will not be interested in your latest “men’s” line, but they would like to know all about the special offers you have on the “women’s” products they are interested in buying.
Bottom line: share content (i.e. blog posts, news, special offers, etc.) that is truly relevant to your customers. In this way, you will enhance their engagement, nurture leads, increase sales, and ensure your click-through-rates remain high.
3. Focus on your content.
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 engaging content. What is deemed as engaging content in the eyes of your customers? Entertaining, solution-driven, industry-specific content – think industry trends, case studies, etc.
Just remember to align your content with your readers’ interests and needs. Imagine the questions they may be asking and how your content can provide solutions for them.
Isn’t an email just an email?
You may think that email marketing is all about words, words, and more words — words that are simply noise and that may not lead to action. But the reality is, 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.