Business-to-Business Email Marketing – An Overview
Business-to-business email marketing (or b2b email marketing) should be approached with the same strategy and care you apply to the rest of your marketing plan. Therefore, a successful B2b email marketing campaign will require a clear game plan and a precise delivery method. Further, your message should be written and delivered in a way that makes your readers feel as though each email was written specifically for them.
Clearly, an effective business-to-business email marketing campaign takes planning, preparation and thought, but with a few simple tricks even the newest marketer can enjoy successful results.
First, when planning a business-to-business email marketing campaign, be sure to pay attention to the design of your message. Using too many or too large graphics in the email can be counter productive. Bear in mind some of your readers will only be able to receive a plain text message verses a more graphics-rich HTML version. Also, some email programs may block images for security reasons, so focus more on the message than on the images. For important images, include “alt text” as this will display text which describes the image while it is loading.
The message itself should be clear, succinct and positive. Avoid long, rambling passages with overly flowery language as this may distract your readers. Also, make sure the subject line reflects the actual content of the message. It is irritating to the reader to be ‘tricked’ into opening a message because of a misleading subject line – not to mention unprofessional of the sender to employ this tactic.
Once the email is ready to send, you can ensure that more of your readers receive your b2b email marketing messages by making sure the “From” address either includes you as an individual or your company. Be consistent in how you do this each time rather than going back and forth. This helps set expectations with your audience and helps build a relationship with them. Also, provide an email address they can send messages back to and avoid putting too many exclamation marks or using all CAPITAL LETTERS in the subject line as this is a classic rookie mistake and will ring alarm bells for spam filters.
Finally, in compliance with the Can-Spam Act, you must include your postal address at the foot of the business-to-business email marketing communication and there must be a clear method of opting-out of future communications. Reputable email marketing companies including aWeber, Constant Contact and iContact provide this feature as part of their service.
If, however, you are conducting your own business-to-business email marketing campaign be sure to provide this option, as well. Your readers have come to expect it and the law requires it.