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A Guide to B2B Marketing Emails – What Works and What Doesn’t

Feb 20, 2023

It is hard to ignore the positive boost a successful B2B email marketing campaign can bring. That is why many companies use this tool as a part of their more comprehensive marketing strategy and why there is so much research into what works and what does not.

This guide looks at B2B marketing emails and their function in the broader company plan. If you engage with a strategy, you have to do it right. If not, it becomes obsolete and a waste of time and budget. So, before getting started, read the following tips and tricks to create a wholly successful endeavour.

What is A B2B Email?

A B2B email is different to a B2C email. It stands for business-to-business, as opposed to business-to-client in the first instance. The core purpose of creating a sales connection remains congruent between the two, but the methods of getting there are varied. The B2B email opportunities are much vaster, as the recipient party has more authority, more budget, and more at stake for their engagement decision. They are designed to move B2B connections further along the sales funnel and ultimately conclude in an engagement or established relationship in some format.

How to Make it Effective

The main question to be answered is how to make B2B marketing emails effective, especially when there are so many of them and so many companies use the format. How do you stand out? What works and what doesn’t work? What strategies are worth trying?


The B2B email must be part of a more extensive campaign. Marketing is an essential focus for businesses as it drives sales and yields results from both a B2B and B2C perspective. Therefore, any strategy has to be multi-channel. The email has to highlight these other channels, so they are all interweaving and holistically centric. Otherwise, one will fail after the other, and the whole strategy may unravel.

Creativity is Key

Play to your strengths and play it smart. Being creative is called for in these circumstances because you want to stand out from the crowd and draw interest. Otherwise, what’s the point? Creativity can look like many things, from the choice of font to including graphics and even which colour scheme you decide upon. The email should be in the plain text wherever possible, as that has proven to impact the best results in a B2B context, but that doesn’t mean it has to be plain in its essence. Don’t be afraid to get creative with language, theme, and even format (though make sure it’s still accessible and readable).

Personalise the Experience for the Business

It’s a given that this business is not the only one you’re sending out your campaigns to, but that shouldn’t mean that they are made to feel like one of the crowd. There is value in making people feel special, and incorporating this into the wider strategy is worth doing as they count to your process.

Your Sender Reputation

This is a score that is highly traceable amongst campaign platforms. It dictates how you are perceived in the broader world of commerce and is still relevant to this context. This score dictates the chances of your emails being read, so ensure you comply with all the policies and don’t come across as harassing.

The Subject Line

The main goal of the subject line is to grab attention. But if you grab attention with a compelling snapshot only to provide an email with no relevant context, the effect will be lost, and your reputation will be harmed. To avoid all this, keep the theme relevant and stay within your lane. The subject line is the crucial first impression, so make it count.

The Readability Factor

It also has to be readable. The layout, the navigation, and how user-friendly the chain is will ultimately decide whether or not someone reaches the bottom of the content. Don’t annoy people by making it fidgety or hard to access; it should be plain text focused and run smoothly from start to finish. No glitches, annoying gimmicks, and no jumping from one space to another with no relevance.

Pick the Best Day to Send

Mondays and Fridays are terrible days to send out important communication from a sales perspective. Why? Because people are not as engaged with work these days. Mondays are the start of the week and, therefore, a frustrating day; Fridays are the end of the week, and the focus is on the rest days to come. Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to yield more productivity in this context.

Define the Objective and KPI

Why are you doing this? The answer to this question is integral to the success of the campaign. The objectives always have to be clearly defined, as do the KPIs. Without these, there is no clear purpose or trajectory. The email campaign needs an objective to serve a purpose, and the KPIs are a natural result. Set these out clearly at the start of the process and follow them closely along the way. When KPIs are observed, companies are empowered to make better decisions for both employees and partners, can monitor the effectiveness of any given strategy, and learn to predict patterns in sales and engagement.

Ideas for B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

There are lots of ways to engage with B2B email marketing. From the creator’s perspective, it is best to use some online platform tool to make the whole process easier and more automated. As long as the content part of things has been fine-tuned, the next key focus is how it gets out.

Platform Options

Email marketing is great, but it’s better when you have a platform to run it off. Otherwise, the whole process must be done manually, becoming too time-consuming to produce effective results. To avoid burnout and over-stimulating worker capacity, using a platform to initiate the strategy is a smart move and will yield much more positive results guided by expert professionals.


Mailchimp is one of the most heavily subscribed platforms for B2B emails. It is free to sign up and use some features, and it provides the bonus of fairly detailed data returns on engagement and affability. There are many features to be taken advantage of, and generally, the platform receives excellent user feedback.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is also a contender in this area. It is a bit flashier than the previous two options, and there are certainly more benefits here if your company is looking for digitised multi-media content to push forward.

Tactics to Draw Upon

There are a few common strategies companies tend to use for B2B email marketing. The two discussed below are intended to complement each other, engage readers, and entice people down the sales funnel, which are all much needed attributes that any business should strive for.

Once a Month

The once-a-month B2B email should be a big event. It should complement the below drip campaign strategy, and it needs to strike a chord with the receiving party. It could feature something dramatic like a sneak peek of a new branch, or offer a promotional angle to attract engagement immediately. It can be short and snappy or longer than the usual bi-weekly format; whatever you decide, the main takeaway is that it has to be compelling above everything else.

Drip Campaigns

Drip campaigns are also well-used amongst business channels. The primary purpose is to send a few weekly emails with varying content to accumulate an overarching sales strategy approach. The recipient business will have their interest sparked and be, theoretically, looking forward to the next email along the chain. The first email could be a teaser, such as a spoiler or a spotlight focusing on a particular area of interest. The follow-up would provide more insight, detail, and a diverse approach to intensify the intended results. The main benefits are:

  • Prospective increase in natural engagement.
  • Leading the way down the sales funnel to the ultimate goal.
  • Establishes a more sincere relationship on both sides.
  • Can help with re-engagement if contact has been lost along the way.
  • Allows for a platform to showcase relevant campaigns instead of onboarding mass information with no purpose.

Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will understand what B2B email marketing is used for and how it can benefit the more comprehensive marketing strategy. It has to be diverse, it has to be engaging, and it must always be client focused. The client, in this case, is other businesses that you are trying to engage with, so this helps to tailor content. It is always best to go down the road of enablement and engagement rather than persuasion, and transparent sales tactics, as this is more likely to establish a meaningful relationship than one fuelled with trepidation.

Line and dots
Line and dots