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    07/02/2024 |

    How to Glow Up Your B2B Email Marketing

    Be honest: Are your email campaigns getting the mean-girl treatment? By that I mean you’re seeing fewer clicks, tanking open rates and more unsubscribes.

    I’m going to be honest, too: It’s not them, it’s you. Let’s shed that tired, dull, lockdown-sweatpants vibe and transform your B2B email marketing approach. 

    Think of it as a free makeover. You’re welcome!

    Out With the Old

    B2B leadership demographics are trending younger. That means your key decision-makers, for the most part, are digital natives.

    Email marketing has been a staple in B2B marketing strategies for years, but the landscape is constantly evolving. To stay ahead, it’s crucial to modernize and innovate your approach to reflect today’s complex buyer journey. If you’re doing the following and not much more, your email marketing is about as on-trend as skinny jeans. (RIP.)

    ​​Mass-Mailing Approach: You send the same message to a large list of recipients, regardless of their specific interests or stage in the buyer’s journey.

    Generic Content: Emails typically contain generic, one-size-fits-all content that might not address the specific needs or pain points of the recipient.

    Limited Segmentation: Your lists are segmented based on basic criteria like industry or job title, with little to no behavioral or engagement-based segmentation.

    Manual Processes: You haven’t automated redundant tasks like list management or email sending, leading to inefficiencies and potential errors.

    Minimal Personalization: Your emails include the recipient’s name in the salutation, without deeper customization.

    Simple Metrics: You measure success using basic metrics like open rates and click-through rates, without a deeper analysis of engagement or conversion.

    Rethink Your Strategy

    Before diving into specific tactics, look at making changes from a systems level. Modern B2B email marketing requires a shift in mindset from sending mass emails to creating personalized, value-driven experiences.


    Understand the Buyer’s Journey

    Today’s B2B buyers are more informed and selective. They don’t just pass through a linear funnel – they jump back and forth between stages while gathering information and evaluating options. Your email strategy should reflect this complexity with messaging and content that engages visitors, distinguishes you from your competitors and builds credibility for your solution.

    Leverage Data and Segmentation

    Data is king, unless you don’t treat it right. Then it’s the Mean Girl Queen. Use data analytics to understand your audience’s behavior and preferences and segment your email list accordingly. Some key categories include:

    • Demographics: Group your contacts by industry, company size, job role, etc.
    • Behaviors: Segment based on past interactions, such as webinar attendance, content downloads and website visits.
    • Engagement: Separate highly engaged subscribers from those who are less active to tailor your messaging accordingly.


    Embrace Personalization

    Personalization goes beyond adding a recipient’s name to the email. It’s about delivering content that’s relevant to their specific needs and interests. A couple of tips to get you started: 

    1. Use dynamic content blocks to show different images, offers or messages based on the recipient’s profile.
    2. Set up automated emails that are triggered by specific actions, like downloading a whitepaper or attending a webinar.


    Integrate With Other Channels

    Email should be part of a broader, integrated marketing strategy. Combine your email efforts with other channels to create a seamless experience for your audience. This should include value-driven content throughout the buyer journey, social media (as appropriate) and a synced-up marketing platform and CRM to align your marketing efforts with sales and revenue goals. 

    Specific Tactics: Your Step-by-Step Tutorial

    With your higher-level strategy in place, let’s delve into specific tactics that will help you modernize your B2B email marketing.

    Optimize for Mobile

    Your prospects are like you – they check emails on their mobile devices. Ensure your emails look great and are easy to interact with on smartphones and tablets. Use responsive email templates that adjust to different screen sizes. Keep your content concise and ensure buttons and links are easy to click on a small screen.

    Create Engaging Content

    Content is king, but engagement is queen. Create emails that not only inform but also engage your audience. Start incorporating: 

    • Compelling subject lines 
    • Interactive elements (polls, quizzes and surveys) 
    • Rich media (images, videos and GIFs)

    Sure, this is B2B, not B2C. But even if GIFs are not your target audience’s thing, I guarantee the leads you’re seeking want emails that aren’t just a block of text. 

    Test and Optimize

    Continuous improvement is key to successful email marketing. Use A/B testing to refine your emails and optimize performance. Consider starting with:

    • Subject Line Testing: Test different subject lines to see which ones drive higher open rates.
    • Content Testing: Experiment with different content formats, lengths and CTAs to see what resonates best with your audience.
    • Send Time Optimization: Test different send times and days to determine when your audience is most likely to engage.

    Automate Your Campaigns

    If you want scalable growth, automation isn’t optional. You need to free up your team’s time to analyze and improve your marketing, not get stuck on details. They’ll get bored and make mistakes. Maybe you don’t care if they’re bored, but your bottom line reflects all the mistakes. 

    Implement lead scoring to automatically prioritize and segment your leads based on their behavior and engagement. From there, you’ll get the data you need to effectively segment your campaigns within your CMS.

    Monitor and Analyze Performance

    Here’s another reason to automate – you free up your team’s time to mine insights from all that data. Go beyond open rates and monitor metrics like: 

    • Conversions
    • Bounce rates
    • Unsubscribes
    • List growth
    • Sharing/forwarding
    • Engagement over time

    Adapting to Your Unique Business Needs

    While these strategies and tactics provide a solid foundation, it’s important to adapt them to your specific business needs. Your unique integrations, data management processes and sales workflows mean that even this overview can’t be one-size-fits-all. Here’s what to pay special attention to when implementing an optimized email marketing strategy:

    Integrations: Ensure seamless data flow between your email marketing platform and your CRM for accurate tracking and reporting. This gets even easier when they’re one and the same – so that might be your first step here.  

    Data Management: Clean up and standardize your email lists to maintain accuracy and deliverability as well as to make the most of automated segmentation. 

    Sales Process: Create custom workflows that reflect your unique sales stages and buyer behaviors.

    Ready to Glow Up?

    Easy, right? About as easy as an at-home facial. If you’ve got a strong team, you can get past the growing pains and see lasting results quickly – not just opens but conversions. 

    And if your team could use a more personal makeover, you have options for that too. Either way, the tools are out there to transform your traditional email marketing into a modern, powerful system that reflects today’s complex buyer journey. It’s time to revamp your B2B email marketing and drive better results for your business.

    Heather Bowlan, Copywriter headshot

    Heather Bowlan, Copywriter

    Heather Bowlan's writing and editing experience has ranged from B2B/B2C website copy to travel guidebooks and poetry reviews to nonprofit fundraising campaigns. Her background in creative writing and critical thinking keeps her inquisitive and interested. Whatever the message or medium, she loves the opportunity to develop content with impact.

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