B2B vs. B2C Email Marketing

B2B is significantly different than B2C, so you need to take different approaches to your email marketing campaigns based on whom you are talking to.

Here are some reasons B2B is different than B2C: 

1. Highly focused target market. 

In B2B, generally speaking, you have a smaller and usually more well defined target audience; negatively speaking you have fewer prospects. You need to make every bit of your communication count, because your prospects are limited. It is important to provide value in order to set your self apart from your competitors.

2. Longer sales cycle.

The process of converting a prospect to a lead to a paying customer is quite an involved process. B2B sales cycles can take place over the course of several weeks or mores, some cases up to a year or more. When emailing B2B, you need to prepare proper practices and tactics for each stage of the cycle.

3. Education required. 

In B2B, the business mat interact and communicate with the prospect or lead multiple times in order to educate the potential customer and really inform them. Email marketing can be a big help in this situation as it can be a source of continuous educational content that could potentially influence the final decision.

4. Information needs to get to the right person.

In many email based, business focused marketing campaigns the goal isn’t an immediate click-through and purchase but rather getting the email forwarded to and read by the person with the decision making abilities and power.  Often times your messages are going to a receptionist or a data gatherer, unless you collected the information from the actual purchaser in the company.

5. Relationship driven.

B2B is all about building relationships. In B2B, the longer sales cycles mean that forming a relationship with the prospect is very important. Sometimes the relationship is actually the deciding factor in the final purchase. Email marketing can add value to a relationship with a potential customer. It can also integrate with other prospect touch points like social media, person to person, telephone based or direct mail marketing practices  and communications.

6. The decision making process.

B2B prospects and marketers alike conduct a lot of research before sending a message or making a purchase. Prospects often research data and do some competitive analysis and get third party reviews before purchasing.  Email marketers looking to tap into this research part of the purchase decision process can provide links to relevant web-based information and help them do the research they are already planning on doing. You can also lead them to the content that is most favorable.

7. Big purchases.

B2B purchases are usually researched and the sales cycles are often longer because the purchase can be a significant investment for prospective business. Price isn’t the only factor businesses consider before making that big purchase. Quality of service and support, compatibility and other factors are things besides price that businesses think about before committing to the purchase. Try to help your buyers fell as informed and comfortable with you, your product and your company.

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