Email marketing has completely transformed the landscape of business communication, and as the trend for online discounting looks set to continue, its growth as a retail marketing platform will accelerate even further. But how does this translate to the business to business sector? Where as retail consumers are accustomed to being marketed to in a creative way, on the whole, entrepreneurs and professionals have far simpler needs when it comes to marketing. They are not interested in clever gimmicks and strap lines; they want to know about your product, how it will benefit their company and crucially how much it will cost them. In this post we explore how to apply the principles of a successful retail email campaign to the business to business sector.
The key to a successful email marketing in the b2b sector is to add value. From the point of company formation, entrepreneurs and business owners are bombarded with emails offering products and services to their company. For your piece of communication to be heard above the noise, it must offer business intelligence and become a point of reference for all information about your sector.
Here are four tips on how your email can stand out from the crowd:
• Go beyond promotion. Remember that most business professionals are excellent sales people; they know all the tricks of the trade. Therefore, instead of using emails marketing merely as a sales platform use your email to inform the reader about what’s going on in your sector as a whole; how is it holding up in the recession? Are you noticing any key market trends? What is coming up in the social diary? Business professionals tend to be interested in areas outside of their sector, so let them know. They may find the inside information you provide relevant to their sector and are much more likely to open the next email, if they found the first relevant and engaging.
• Make them feel part of your business. The demographic profile of a business executive is different to that of an every day retail customer. Obvious, outside of work it may be similar, but while they are working they need to be marketed to differently. One of the best ways of doing this is making the b2b customer feel like they have a voice in your company. Tell them you value their business experience and ask them to take the time to tell you about how they experienced your brand and what can be improved.
Begin the email by saying ‘You are one of the business executives we have chosen to take part in a business study.” Follow up the email with a summary of the results, explain the significance of the findings for business as a whole, and define how you plan to implement.
• Be aware of aesthetics. Recent reports have show, that most b2b subscriber look at an email in the preview pane and often do not open it as a result. Try to optimise the preview pane and make it as targeted and relevant to the reader as possible
• Get mobile! A lot of business executives consume marketing on the move, therefore, it is vital that you make sure your email renders correctly for mobiles and that you include a link to the entire communication which they can bookmark and read at their own leisure.