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Communication in B2B is different than in B2C. A basic difference is that dealing with other businesses is more complicated and multiple parties are engaged in the conversation, which takes time. To close a sale, you have to rely on presenting the right arguments and benefits rather than appealing to emotions.
Email marketing is an important tool for building trust and establishing your brand in B2B. The fact that 81% of B2B marketers use email marketing to distribute their content tells you how important and effective it is.
B2B email marketing mistakes
Let’s look at the cardinal mistakes that can make it hard to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns and impact your bottom line.
Mistake #1 - skipping the welcoming message
Imagine a situation where someone is looking over your website, sees the form to sign up for your newsletter, joins and then...nothing. That’s what happens when you don’t use a welcoming message for new subscribers to your newsletter. After joining your mailing list, no one knows if maybe the signup form wasn’t functioning properly or you simply have nothing to say. It’s a bad way to start.
The first and most common B2B email marketing mistake is not using a welcome message for new subscribers. And I’m not just talking about a quick “Confirm your subscription” message - that’s still no way to start building a relationship with anyone.
If you were to step into a room full of potential customers, you’d start out by introducing yourself, right? You need to have the same mentality when that “room” is a customer’s inbox.
On top of that, it’s important to remember that welcoming emails are opened more often than just about any other type of message. According “The Welcome Email” report from Experian, the Open Rate for these messages is over 50%!
Setting up and running a welcoming autoresponder is very easy and leaving it out just diminishes the potential of your email marketing campaigns.
A welcoming email is the first step in the process of building a long term relationship and sets the tone for your communication with subscribers. To start on the right foot, set up a plan that includes a welcoming message for all new subscribers.
First of all, if you haven’t done it already, make sure to use the double opt-in model for collecting new addresses. It lets you be sure that the addresses added to your mailing list actually exist and that you are operating in accordance with regulations regarding gaining consent for sending commercial messages.
Next, prepare both the content and layout of your welcome message template. Use the header to make it clear the purpose of the message is to thank and welcome new subscribers. In the body of the message, you can include various elements about your brand, including:
- A short description of your company - what you do and what your values are
- Reviews and well-known brands who buy from you - social proof helps to enhance your image in the eyes of new subscribers
- A present or reward - it could be a discount on a first purchase, an e-book with valuable content or a guide. Who doesn’t like a present?
- Contact info - make it easy for new customer to know how to get in touch with you
- Members of your team - put a human face on your brand
- Links to your social media sites - everybody’s on social media and many companies run pages on several different platforms - make it easy for subscribers to find you with links to your social media presence
When your template is ready to go, set it up as an autoresponder for new subscribers.
A welcome message is the absolute minimum at this stage in your communication with B2B customers. The decision-making process in B2B is longer and it takes time to build relationships that lead customers to the comfort level they need to reach the point where they are ready to buy. This is why it’s a good idea to use a series of welcoming autoresponders in addition to the first message thanking and welcoming new subscribers.
A paid FreshMail account allows you to send more than one autoresponder. This expanded functionality means you can take an advantage of the full possibilities of the FreshMail system.
Autoresponders should be logically integrated with each other and delivery useful content to recipients. They can feature product information, reports, statistics or news about trends. You can also use them to further acquaint subscribers with you and your brand. The more they get to know you, the better the foundation for your cooperation.
Mistake #2 - failing to build a business relationship
If you always put the focus on making the sale or you only send campaigns that are based on some kind of promotion or new products, you need to change your way of thinking if you want to succeed in B2B.
The rules of the game are fundamentally different here. It’s not like the comparatively short decision-making process in B2C, where things are often driven by emotions and impulse. In B2B, you can’t just communicate with customers when you want to sell something and then disappear until next time.
Instead of focusing on sales on the time, concentrate on building a relationship with subscribers. Send newsletters regularly or set up cyclical autoresponders that focus on valuable content rather than sales pitches. You can turn to the sales aspect further down the road after a foundation has been built. This is what lead nurturing is all about.
To be a valuable partner in B2B, you have to focus on educating subscribers. Take the time to establish yourself as an expert and give subscribers a reason to open your mails. You have to convince them that you’re sending newsletters because it helps them to make a good purchasing decision.
Be aware of expectations and problems in your field, so you know what concerns to address in your communications. Present clear solutions to the challenges they face and communicate the value your offer delivers.
Personalise your message - don’t send the exact same message to everyone. Use names and other information in your mailing list to craft personalised messages.
Mistake #3 - The wrong graphic layout for your marketing message
A well-designed and visually attractive message is fundamental to your email marketing communication. The wrong look, color scheme or font can be just the thing to tell your subscriber that something is a bit...off. Make sure that the artistic side of your message matches the business side!
Your content needs to be well integrated with the overall concept of your brand’s marketing efforts. If subscribers feel some disconnect, it can affect their impression of you as a trusted business partner. Both style and substance count.
If you want potential customers to view you as a serious professional, pay careful attention to how you present and convey content. Try to ensure that your primary template remains the same and change the “middle” part of the content to adapt to different purposes. This keeps your message consistent and makes it easy for subscribers to instantly recognize your brand.
Use a template that is well organized and easy to read but still with design that can make the most important information stand out.
Use colors and visual elements from your brand identity and website to make your email template visually consistent. Use whites and greys as a background and keep the number of colors you use to a maximum of three.
Creating great looking template by yourself is easy with FreshMail Designer. Just pick a ready-made template from the library and customise it or start from scratch and make it just the way you want it.
If you have no experience in a self-creating templates, find someone who can do it for you.