With over 81% of B2B marketers admitting that email newsletters are their most used form of content marketing, it’s understandable that email marketing has such an excellent reputation in the B2B space.
The ability to reach out to highly targeted businesses at low costs and scale gives marketers the scope and scale they’ve never had before.
However, amid a hyper-competitive landscape in which an estimated 319+ billion emails are traveling between inboxes daily, it can be challenging for businesses to run profitable B2B e-commerce marketing campaigns—despite the low barriers to entry.
Crafting simple yet highly effective B2B emails can help businesses such as yours prosper and thrive at scale, all while standing out in a sea of competition.
And writing such effective B2B emails ultimately boils down to mastering the following principles.
8 Elements of Winning B2B E-Commerce Email Campaigns
When you are starting out, creating B2B emails can feel intimidating.
However, when you master the eight fundamental rules of highly effective email marketing e-commerce campaigns below, you will nurture precious B2B relationships, while monetizing them for high-ROI outcomes.
Without further ado, let’s get started.
1. Listen to Your List
While it is essential to convey your business message to your list of loyal subscribers, it is equally paramount to listen to what they have to say about your business and what it does for them.
When using an email marketing tool like Sender, it is as simple as dragging and dropping a Feedback block into your email design.
It helps you conduct a survey or poll asking someone who’s interacted with your business how they feel about it—for example,product purchases, new feature feedback, etc.
2. Craft a Masterful Subject Line
Did you know 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line, while 69% of readers report emails as spam based solely on the subject line?
In a highly competitive inbox space full to the brim with must-read emails from colleagues and vendors, a compelling subject line is your only chance at drawing in the reader’s attention.
Going back to basics,, the sole purpose of a B2B email subject line is to grab your prospect’s attention in a way that gets them to open the email.
More opens translate to more clicks, which leads to better views, signups, or sales.
Here is an easy checklist of dos and don’ts when crafting subject lines for your B2B e-commerce email campaigns.
- Personalize using your prospect’s first name
- Keep it 40 characters (3-5 words) max length
- Inject curiosity
- Create intrigue
- Include a number
- Ask a question
- Use scarcity or urgency factors
- Use social proof or celebrity names (the latter, if relevant)
- Use clickbait subject lines—these quickly destroy trust and may end up in the spam folder
- Use special characters such as “!,” “%,” etc., (the exception to this rule is “?”)
- Use words that could trigger spam filters, such as “Buy,” “Free,” “Money,” “Bargain,” “Best Price,” “Cash,” “Income,” “Profits,” etc.
Subscribers will only open your email if they find the subject line intriguing. Be prepared to test subject lines, too.
We suggest brainstorming the top 10 subject lines for each email and then finalizing one from among them. Also, maintain a file of your top-performing email subject lines, so you can periodically curate and recycle them.
- What no one tells you about (Audience Pain Point)
- 9 (Insert your field) trends you must know now
Indeed uses an email subject line that piques readers’ curiosity.
3. Perfect the Preheader Text
The preheader, also known as the second subject line, is the short block of text that is visible to the right side of the subject line while your email still lies unopened in the inbox.
The best way to use the preheader text to your advantage is to add another layer of intrigue that could further convince readers to open your email.
- Have a clear call to action
- Expand upon the subject line
- Tease and invoke curiosity, scarcity, or urgency
- Repeat the subject line
- Leave this field empty
- Summarize your entire email
Another tip is that If you haven’t used your prospect’s first name inside the subject line, do it here.
Subject line: Our exclusive lead gen workshop is now LIVE
Preview text: Parker, you don’t wanna miss this!
Here’s an example:
5. Write Emails People Actually Care About
It would be a significant achievement if you managed to get your reader to drop everything and read your email. However, the world’s most engaging subject line is useless if the email content doesn’t deliver on the promise.
- Keep things short and sweet (aim for no more than 200 words if possible)
- Tell a relatable story
- Describe solutions to your prospects’ pain points
- Write simple, readable paragraphs, not more than 2-3 lines each
- Use friendly, conversational messaging that lowers defenses
- Ramble or beat around the bush
- Make irrelevant small talk
- Spend too much time describing your business’ products, services, features, etc.
5. Use Segmentation
Segmentation is when you group users or potential users of your product or service into categories based on predetermined criteria—for instance, people who have done business with you at least once, versus those who haven’t. Or, identify the highly active subscribers who are opening and clicking your emails the most.
Segmentation is critical because not everyone is at the same point in their buying journey. While some of your prospects are more at the awareness level, where they are still trying to understand their problems, some others could be at the solution level, where they are actively comparing your product against your other competitors.
Your email message should identify and reflect this context. That is when your messaging becomes irresistibly relevant and highly actionable.
6. Include Crystal-Clear Call-to-Action Elements
Your email is not an end experience unto itself.
After reading your entire message, your reader is now looking for direction on what to do next. The CTA is how you will get them to click on a button or a link that takes them to the next step of their customer journey.
- Use branded domains only to foster trust
- Keep the CTA short and relevant
- Make the button text legible against a contrasting background
- Have one CTA toward the beginning and another near the end
- Use urgency, scarcity, or curiosity
- Use URL shorteners
- Repeat the CTA with the same text—for example, “Click here to download now”—throughout the email
- Include a link or button more than twice inside the email body
7. Keep it Social
Even in a B2B email, you can promote your social media platforms.
Your B2B prospects are human beings too, and they’d love to check out anything relevant and interesting you might have posted on your social media profiles.
If you’ve put in a lot of effort to grow your social media presence, this is the perfect opportunity to get more follows and likes.
- Uniformly size your social media icons with the same height, width and resolution
- Space them evenly
- Include a maximum of 3-5
- Add in order of priority, with the most robust audiences first
- Always place the icons inside the footer
- Oversize icons to avoid distraction
- Promote irrelevant platforms (for example, a defunct company Facebook page that has no current posts)
Adding social media icons to your emails involves walking a fine line between keeping a low profile (because this is not what you want your customers to notice first) and being there when some business decides that they want to get to know you better through your socials.
8. Keep Satisfied Customers Happy, Unsatisfied Ones Happier
If a prospect or a customer doesn’t like your product or service, there’s very little you can do about it.
However, if they want to opt out of your email communication, make it as easy as possible for them to do so by including a prominent Unsubscribe link at the bottom of every email you send out.
Since email marketing laws require companies to include an opt-out or unsubscribe button, you can comply with regulations and ensure future emails make it through to your customers’ inboxes.
Providing an easy way to opt out of future emails will prevent unhappy subscribers from reporting you as a spammer, thus protecting your domain reputation and guaranteeing better inbox placements for other genuine subscribers on your list.
A Quick Word on Email Landing Pages
While your B2B e-commerce email can’t make every sale for you, it will gently guide the reader onto the next phase of their buying journey by linking them to a fully message-optimized B2B landing page.
Here are some points to remember when designing your B2B email landing page:
- Include a clear, benefit-driven headline in the hero section
- Embed a brief video demonstration of your product or service in action
- Expand on the features and link them to the benefits
- Include a logical call to action that leads to the next possible step toward sales. For example, link to a niche-specific case study, book a meeting with a sales rep, sign up for a demo, etc.
- Display social proof, previous client logos, and testimonials, especially those from the same industry
- Avoid header menus and other navigational elements that will likely distract the viewer from their viewing experience
- Don’t use gaudy or irrelevant graphics
- Set up remarketing to enable future touchpoints
Most importantly, ensure the visuals and messaging on your email landing pages are congruent with your emails. Also, if your B2B landing page is not converting, A/B test your email CTA and B2B landing page components, one element at a time.
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere. To ensure your B2B email marketing campaigns engage subscribers and bring in conversions, stick to the eight fundamental tips discussed in the post.
Creating B2B emails with these best practices will help you see the positive impact a well-executed campaign can have on your subscriber base and its responsiveness.