Email marketing has long been a favorite of both B2B and B2C strategies. Although the core principles of this tool never change, marketing to businesses and consumers is not one and the same, so members of these verticals must approach it in a different manner. In addition to comparing and contrasting the two, this post will explain how B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) tactics can both use email marketing effectively.
Lead Nurturing Crucial for B2B Email Marketers
B2B and B2C email campaigns usually share the same goal of converting sales in the end. However, the mere makeup of the target audiences requires different paths to be traveled in order to reach that goal.
B2B email marketing calls for a more subtle approach, one that sees you building interest in your products or services over time and, more importantly, working to build relationships with your fellow companies or partners. Therefore, the steps to reaching your goal must somehow involve the kind of lead nurturing that convinces them to stick around (and maintain full faith in your services and abilities without feeling strongarmed). Successfully marketing to other business professionals can be harder than marketing to consumers; getting their attention may in fact be less of a challenge than broaching a sale.
A B2B email marketer can dramatically simplify the conversion process by realizing that the path to success follows a longer sales cycle. And of course, making a commitment to building the relationships it takes to get those conversions. And because Business to Business interactions take place in the professional environment, your goals will typically be suited to the long term (in contrast to the shorter term single sales of B2C interactions). For your company, offering free white papers or getting contacts to sign up for a monthly newsletter is an excellent start to B2B success. Through nurturing, you can turn leads into prospects, and prospects into loyal clients.
More Direct and Focused with B2C Email Marketing
B2Cers take a more direct approach to email marketing. Here, you are often trying to push a huge sale, promote cost savings or get rid of your overstock. Although the relationship building aspect is just as important, the mindset is more immediate. These are not sales that will be determined by the greater sales cycle. Your audience already knows you’re out for a sell, so it’s up to you to not blow it.
Doing B2B email marketing right requires healthy, up to date knowledge about your prospective client. It necessitates open communication, so let readers know they can speak their mind by replying to your emails. Encourage them to provide their feedback through a survey. Invite them to join the discussion in one of your social communities and provide opportunities for cross-promotion. This is all engagement that can help you get to know them better.
In both cases, knowing your audience is the ultimate key. Whether targeting a single prospect or a whole industry, working knowledge of their marketing preferences is essential, and comes with the added benefits of a focused message, fewer complaints and better overall results.