Lessons B2C Marketers Can Learn from B2B Marketers

In the email industry, we often treat B2B marketers as a whole different type of marketer than B2C email marketers. As a previous customer success manager and a deliverability enthusiast, I have found that although B2C and B2B companies deal with different lists and different messaging, the recommendations I give to B2B marketers work well for B2C marketers too 

Images: Don’t overuse!

It always surprises me how image heavy many B2C emails continue to be. With the increased use of mobile devices and the default in most email clients to have images turned OFF, B2C email marketers could look to their B2B counterparts for some inspiration. The goal is not to remove all images, but to create a balance with your text so that you can effectively get your message across and still use images to enhance the overall customer experience. It’s also important to ensure that the call to action is clear and you don’t have to scroll too much to find it (think of the mobile experience).  

Look at this example from Trello – Even with images turned off, there is text defining what the email is about and an easy call to action to click on: 

Additionally, a nice mix of text and images can help support the main message of the email so the message can be opened, read, and clicked even with images off. Get ahead of this by using Return Path by Validity’s pre-deployment Inbox Preview tool to ensure your email still looks as it is intended with the images turned off.  

Message Types: Optimize them all

B2B marketers need to generate a great deal of content (videos, white papers, webinars, how-to guides, etc.) to work their potential customers through the sales cycle. B2B email marketers craft and optimize all different types of emails to support this content and to drive conversions. 

While a great deal of time is often spent by B2C marketers developing visually appealing marketing messages, it is easy to forget the importance of other types of messages (i.e., welcome messages, shipping notifications, reminders, etc.) that subscribers receive as part of your email program. Don’t neglect these supporting messages. Ensure they continue to portray your brand and get creative when considering how they can help conversions and promote the benefits of your email program. 

Consider this email from Pluralsight – The email shows catchy images with a good text ratio and a clear call to action. They even added an embedded video to amplify customer engagement: 

The Buying Cycle: It differs

Unlike B2C, B2B sales cycles are much longer and that is why email messaging is so critical to their business as mentioned above. You can’t simply drive your subscriber to a website to get something at a discount or take advantage of free shipping. You truly have to understand where your buyer is in the sales cycle and what cues might indicate it is time for the next step in the process. 

While many B2C marketers send abandoned cart reminders or upsell emails after purchase, more of this data-driven activity could be done. Does a customer only purchase from you at a certain time of year? Send a timely offer to encourage conversion again. Did a customer just make a purchase? Consider pausing your discount emails for a certain amount of time and add up-sell or cross-sell suggestions to the transactional messages. Paying more attention to your subscribers’ buying behavior can help ensure they are getting the most relevant messaging to help drive conversions. Need more data to send relevant content to subscribers? Check out Return Path by Validity’s Email Client Monitor pixel tracking tool that will track more data like location and dwell time to enhance your customer experience.  

These are just a few examples of ways B2C marketers can gain inspiration from B2B marketers. I encourage my B2C marketing friends to sign up for B2B emails to further gain email marketing inspiration and gain a few more tips on how to improve your overall email program.  

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