Despite numerous communication channels appearing in the marketing industry, email remains the best option to market your products for both B2B and B2C segments. In this article, however, I will focus on B2B email marketing and explain how to improve it with 5 email types.
When it comes to product promotion and new customer acquisition, emails have the most appropriate format. It can include long enough texts, multiple images, videos, animation, blocks with customer reviews, charts and infographics. You can announce your offline and online events via emails, send white papers and promote reports, growing brand awareness and warming up the audience.
Emails are also irreplaceable for retention: onboarding, transaction confirmations, service messaging and updates notifications help users handle your product better and make their interaction with your brand as convenient. But retention marketing strategies deserve a separate article, so below I’ll speak about promotional emails that can help your B2B brand succeed.
A blog is often the main source of traffic for B2B brands. Apart from articles, it features reports, interviews, white papers, infographics, Q&A, webinar takeaways, press releases, guidelines and more. By sending regular blog newsletters, you keep the reader aware of what’s going in your company, raising awareness about your products.
In contrast to B2C newsletters that are often promotional copies aimed to generate instant clicks and sales, B2B newsletters are of more educational nature. Their tasks include:
- Deliver subscribers useful content directly or indirectly related to what you’re selling;
- Move prospects down the sales funnel, from awareness to interest and evaluation;
- Build your brand a reputation of an expert;
- Keep your brand top of mind. B2B companies rarely run sales or send promo discounts, so sending a blog newsletter once every two weeks is a smart way to remind of your existence.
How to Write
As with any other type of emails, newsletters should rather be short, concise and easy to navigate. Don’t overload it with too much content. Even if you have published 10 new blog posts since the last newsletter, there’s no need to include links to all of them. Three or four most relevant articles are enough to build one newsletter.
Although B2B newsletters don’t have to be boring and plain, don’t get too obsessed with new designs. Your target audience are professionals often immune to marketing tricks that appeal to excitement, emotions and thirst for originality. What they’re looking for is how to solve their current business needs. If the content inside doesn’t help with it, your email would most probably be ignored no matter how much time you spent on designing this gradient button or that illustration.
Emails notifying about new features and system releases are important for both new users and old-time customers. From them, new users learn about functionality they may otherwise not know about, especially when you sell complex products with multiple applications. And old-time customers can consider upgrading their plans or buying extra features.
How to Write
There is no need to send a separate message on every minor change in the system. Decide carefully what updates are worth an email and whether they affect how people use your product. It’s even better to send a digest of updates over a certain period, a month over even a quarter, depending on how often you roll them out. Of course, if the update is crucial for everyday usage, don’t wait too long.
Instead of writing long instructions inside the email, it’s always better to include a link to the corresponding blog post or support article. Keep your messages short and let people decide if they want to proceed with reading more.
For B2B, case studies are a great social proof of your professionalism and competence. They demonstrate your credibility as a company that helps real customers get results and solve different tasks. Being a powerful decision booster, case studies yet don’t look as direct advertising. They hide your product showcase behind storytelling and act as if written by clients themselves.
How to Write
Case studies are rather valuable information, so sometimes it makes sense to make them gated content. Gated content is content with restricted access. To read it in full, the user needs to perform a certain action.
You can send an email with the general description of the case (task, result) and add the link to the full study with the solution which will be available for reading under certain conditions. For example, the user can complete their profile and provide more info or leave feedback on the recent purchase.
B2B companies possess a big arsenal of marketing events that serve to promote your brand. These are webinars, masterclasses, educational courses, interviews with industry leaders, Q&A, expert battles and more. Events can be rather useful to bring subscribers to your YouTube channel and generate content for a blog. But to register for them, people first need to know about, and email invitations are an important part of the promotional campaign.
How to Write
Instead of squeezing all the information in one message, send a series of emails with a certain time gap between each. For example, send the first invitation 10 days before the event, then an early access promo 6 days before, and a last call reminder 1 day before the event. Prepare a separate series for those registrants: send them details, speaker info, a friendly reminder on the day of the event, and the record link after.
Feedbacks are very important for any type of business. When you work with a product for a while, you get biased regarding its advantages and drawbacks. Customers are who can help you see the real picture.
How to Write
Ask feedback from customers who have been with you for a while. They had enough time to examine and test your product meaning their answers will be less based on immediate (and often immature) judgments.
The procedure of giving feedback should be as convenient as possible. It shouldn’t take much time or consist of many stages. A simple form with checkboxes with already given answers to choose from is the best option. You may include a field where people would write their own responses but don’t expect too much. Nowadays, nobody has time for writing, especially if it’s product owners and CEOs who are always busy.
Email marketing for B2B has more email types in its arsenal than I mentioned above. Anyway, you choose what to send based on your business type, product, target audience, and current marketing goals. You can add or delete emails from your strategy if you see that some work better and others have stopped bringing results. And to see such a trend, you need to keep an eye on the analytics and don’t forget about A/B testing.
Iuliia Nesterenko is a technical writer at eSputnik. Her focus is on exploring current digital marketing trends and describing new strategies for email marketers.