B2B Email Marketing: What Is It and How Can You Improve Yours?

B2B Email Marketing: What Is It and How Can You Improve Yours?

CTR, CRM, SEO… Marketing throws lots of acronyms at us every day. 

But two acronyms we will focus on — B2B and B2C — impact how you should market your products and services to customers.

First, let’s clarify what these mean: 

  • B2B marketing: Your business’s customers are other businesses, Business-to-Business.
  • B2C marketing: Your business sells directly to consumers, Business-to-Consumer.

But why do these acronyms matter to you and your marketing plan?

Your marketing tactics should change depending on which category you fall in, because your audience is vastly different. 

This audience difference especially can impact your email marketing. Specifically, we’re here to help explain the differences between B2B and B2C emails and, if you’re a B2B business, give you some ideas to improve your email marketing.

How Are B2B and B2C Email Marketing Different? 

Difference 1: Who is getting your email

When you are emailing a business, your reader is one person representing that business and making decisions that will include multiple people or the company as a whole.

This is different from emailing directly to the consumer, who is making the best decision for themselves.

Difference 2: What they expect from your email

In a B2C email relationship, readers are looking for convenience, speed, and a quick fulfillment of a want they have. 

In a B2B email relationship, readers expect those things, too — but also expertise, efficiency, and return on investment (ROI). What can you offer their business and what can they pass on to the rest of their team or company?

Difference 3: Expected path to purchase

The path to purchase is different for every business, but there are differences between a business-to-business path and a business-to-consumer path. 

The ideal B2C path to purchase is usually quick. How quickly can you get them to buy what you’re selling? How interested or invested can you get them right away?

A B2B time to purchase is usually longer. The goal for B2B paths should focus on long-term relationships and nurturing future possibilities. How will you prove your product or service’s value to another business? 

They might not need your services now, but you want to stay top of mind for when they do. This is referred to as the 95-5 Rule for marketers. This rule says that 95% of your audience isn’t ready for your product today, but will one day and therefore still worth your time and attention.

Difference 4: Language to use

The language you use with B2C marketing aims to be as simple, effective, and engaging as possible for consumers. Emotion will also play a larger part in B2C language and copy. 

While contacting other businesses in B2B, you’re allowed to use more industry jargon (not too much, though) and higher-level ideas because you know your reader will understand. 

Overall, you want to match the language and tone of your reader in any marketing campaign.

What Does This Mean For Your B2B Email Marketing?  

The biggest thing to remember when making a B2B email is that your reader is part of a business. They’re mostly interested in how you can improve their job or their team’s job.

Email Focus

The total focus of your email should be education and information-focused. Don’t be afraid to add metrics and numbers, and show the exact value your company would bring their business.

Subject line

Subject lines are one of the first things your reader sees, and therefore an important part of the email creation process

Make sure your subject line is clear and straightforward, and don’t be afraid to just say directly what’s in the email you’re sending. 

Most employees and management receive many, many emails every day. If you don’t say exactly what’s in your email right away, they probably won’t even bother opening.

Email content

The main content of your email can include more “technical” business terms and language, but make sure everything is still useful and clear. 

Since you are dealing with people representing a business, the audience is probably a bit more critical (or should be). If you want them to consider working with you or using your services, your emails should look professional and be error free (grammatical and informational).

woman sitting at a table building a marketing email in Hubspot
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B2B emails are more about nurturing relationships and less about opens and clicks. 

It’s normal for B2B email campaigns to have low conversions or lower click-through rates (compared to B2C) because the emails you’re sending are just one piece of a larger puzzle. Keeping track of clicks and opens are more helpful for immediate sales-focused content.

If you need some visual examples, here are 50 B2B emails for you to check out for inspiration.

Want More Help With Your Email Marketing? 

Whether your main email audience is consumers or other businesses, the 9 Clouds team can help you make the most of those marketing emails and dollars.

We have experience with both B2C and B2B email marketing, and our email specialists can help you nurture leads, maintain that top-of-mind awareness, and ultimately get more sales.

Check out our site for more helpful information, but for one-on-one support, contact our team for help with your email marketing strategy.

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Infographic of the differences between emailing b2b and b2c audiences.