B2B Email Marketing Best Practices

B2B Email Marketing According to the Latest Research

According to iContact, customers who receive email newsletters spend 82% more when they buy from the company. So if you’re in B2B you have no excuse not to send regular emails to your subscriber list. You have expensive products, and you have lots of content. Email marketing is a prime place to share content and promote products.

B2B Email Marketing Best Practices

Encourage sharing

I have to wonder if these numbers are higher or lower in B2C marketing, but according to Earnest Agency, 72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from testing, testing, testing in social media, it’s that if you tell people to share your content, they’re more likely to do it. For example, one of our publishing clients had regularly been getting about 10 likes and 1-2 shares on their social media posts. One day they decided to add “SHARE this hugely comprehensive post with everyone you know,” and it resulted in 55 shares, and 44 likes. So if you want people to forward your emails to their colleagues, make it a dedicated, bolded call to action.

Email according to work schedules

Most business professionals work Monday through Friday, so these are the best days to send emails. B2C marketers send emails more often on the weekends with great results, but B2B marketers see higher rates of “spam” complaints on those days. Who wants to work on the weekend, right?

According to Experian, emails sent on Mondays have the highest ROI, but Get Response says Tuesdays have the highest open and click-through rates (Experian said Friday has the highest click-through rates). Pardot’s online survey found Tuesday to work well specifically for B2B also. According to Marketing Sherpa, Sunday is the worst day to send B2B emails, according to 55% of the B2B email marketers they surveyed. What’s funny is that in B2C marketing, Wednesday is a middle-of-the-road day to send, but B2B marketers from Marketing Sherpa’s Email Benchmark Study report Wednesday as their best days. Confused? Great! Test and find out for yourself!

Send during work hours

In terms of timing, you’re more likely to get a higher open rate during the work hours of 9-5 although some send early in the morning to make sure their email is in their reader’s inbox first thing when they get into the office. KISSmetrics says early morning (say, 6am) is best for click rates. MailerMailer says 10am. MailChimp says 2-5pm. Again, test and find out! The one time they can agree on, is to avoid sending at noon.

Test long and short copy, but don’t forget your calls to action

Long direct mail-like copy works well for Spotlight emails. In general, the more expensive your product, the longer the copy should be. People don’t read every word of a 2,000 word landing page or promotional email, but they’ll skim and find the answers to all of their questions. Providing those answers helps the purchase decision along. But no matter how long or short your copy, don’t hide your call to actions at the end, place it above the fold, and in the middle too.

Send spotlight emails (promotional emails)

Come up with a routine for promotional emails. Nobody buys a $3,000 event ticket after the first time you send them an email, but if you write a bi-weekly series of 6 many will have gotten enough information to convert into buyers. According to Experian, for every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment in B2B. If you’re shy about your email promotion, you won’t be once you start doing it more. Just come up with a schedule your subscribers can get used to.

RELATED: Why Email Marketing is Right for You

Get your calls to action right

The key here is testing to find out what people click on. Add on some very specific UTM codes to your links to find out which copy works best. According to B2B email marketing agency Admitter, when “more info” is tested against text like “try me now” or “buy now,” the “more info” text wins 90% of the time.

RELATED: Google Analytics URL Builder (Assisting Your UTM Codes)

Create a problem and fix it

This is something PHANTOM POWER Marketing truly preaches in all we do, especially content. You’re selling the hole-maker, not the drill. In your B2B email marketing copy, pinpoint your reader’s biggest problem. You may have several types of unique buyers, and so in that case, create a document that identifies your most common buyer personas.

RELATED: About Buyer Personas

Target each one individually according to their pain points. Use your products and services as their solution. Keep in mind too, that in B2B marketing, there may be many levels to purchase approval, and you’ll need to convince each layer, especially on pricey products.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Buyer Persona Interactive Worksheet

Your Turn

The great thing about B2B email marketing is that it’s fairly common sense. People are more likely to open emails during their work days, not their work lunches. They want to find out “more info” they don’t want to “buy now” without finding out more about the product or service. However, that could be in part to rarely writing long sales letters for emails. In that case, will “buy now” be sufficient? Test, test, test!

Are you using Email Marketing as part of your B2B Marketing Mix? What successes have you met with? What challenges have you faced? Sound off in Comments, on Facebook or on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly PHANTOM POWER Marketing eNewsletter for more tips, guides and articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

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