6 best practices for B2B email marketing

A smart email campaign drives the buyer though the customer journey


B2B marketing of the past was based on funnel activities that drive demand. Today, it’s all about customer journey and being able to personalize interactions with your brand. Modern B2B marketing is complex. Companies must build trusted relationships while delighting customers with value-added information that keeps them active, engaged and interested in pursuing products and services across channels – and do it at scale.

Here are six tips for B2B to help you build an email campaign that delivers results.

Nail the Right Tone

The right tone for B2B email marketing is more about developing and fostering a relationship – providing a trusted solution for resolving pain points. It’s not necessarily formal, but it must be delivered in a way that the recipient sees the value in each and every email.

Personalize It

Personalization in email has evolved quite a bit since the “Dear (insert name here)” technique of the 1990’s. In fact, today’s marketer has access to a wide range of technologies and tools for keeping it personalized and pithy while building upon the consumer cross channel experience.

Timing Is Everything

The right timing is critical for B2B email marketing success. Look at the data to identify what makes sense for your customers. Data can help uncover the best day of the week or time of day that’s most effective. While there are differences of opinion as to the best time to communicate through email with customers, relying on analytics and email operational reporting is the most accurate way to collect information to inform your campaign.

Coordinated, Automated and Cross Channel

The most effective email is coordinated, automated, and cross channel. That means knowing when someone expresses interest by taking some action and being able to follow up that event, but also being able to automate when appropriate. For instance, did they open the email and did they follow up with something else? Having access to this information makes it possible to engage with the buyer in a nurture program designed to keep them moving through the journey – not only with email, but also using additional cross-channel strategies. Doing this at scale is critical for B2B marketing success.

Keep Messaging On Point

Effective B2B email marketing targets recipients with the right type of messaging, whether it’s sending a newsletter to someone in the early phases of the customer journey or promoting more focused messages to someone in an advanced nurture program. To be clear, messaging can be both broad and targeted depending on where the buyer is in the journey.

Measure Success

Finally, while operational-oriented metrics – clickthrough rate, who opened the email, who viewed it, etc. – are still important, it’s necessary to be able to connect the dots between the email being sent, pipeline contribution, or the email and revenue contribution. At Adobe, we look at Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), and the influence email has on these metrics to inform each campaign.

B2B marketers today are working with multiple channels pulled together around content. They recognize the value in email, while at the same time thinking about mobile or how to integrate with a CRM system. A smart email campaign drives the buyer though the customer journey. And done well, it speaks to the recipient with the right tone at the right time with appropriate messaging that resonates.

Bruce Swann is a senior product marketing manager for Adobe Campaign

This article originally appeared on Adobe’s Digital Marketing Blog.

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