Email marketing for B2B? Don’t just focus on the recipient

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1, september 2016

Personalisation is one of the main principles of successful email marketing. By making clever use of your database and the personalisation options of your email marketing software, you can send each and every recipient a personal and relevant message that is completely tailored to their interests.

Still, looking beyond the immediate recipient when it comes to emails focused on the business market is a good idea. In contrast with emails sent to consumers, recipients of B2B emails are not solely responsible for deciding whether or not to buy a product or service. Anyone who wants their business emails and landing pages to lead to conversion would do well to keep in mind the recipient’s colleagues as well.

Determining the relevant audience

In order to tailor your emails and landing pages to the right people, you first need to figure out exactly who is involved in the decision-making process when it comes to your product. For many companies focusing on the B2B market, the overview of people involved in the decision-making process might be as follows:

  • The business end user – The person who will actually be using your product. This person primarily wants to know how a product can aid them in their daily life, and how user friendly the product is. This is usually also the person who subscribed to your mailings.
  • The gatekeeper – Aside from the end user, for many products there is usually also someone who assesses whether the implementation of said products is actually feasible. In case of a software package, this might be an IT person who has to install said software, or a developer who needs to develop some form of integration to have the software match the rest of the company’s IT infrastructure.
  • The budget manager – The person who pays for the purchase and bears responsibility for the budget used to make the purchase. This could be someone from the finance or management department, for example.
  • The final decision maker – The person in charge who has to give their approval. This person will be interested primarily in how a product or service can contribute to their department’s goals, or those of the company as a whole.

Naturally, this overview will differ for each company. So use a bit of common sense to determine who is involved in the decision-making process when it comes to your product or service. Or better yet: do some research and ask your customers.

Writing for different types of readers

In order to convince everyone in the decision-making process of the added value of your product or service, you will have to tailor your mailings and landing pages to several types of readers. Both the end user and the IT person need to be able to find the information they need, and the trick is to remain appealing to everyone.

We’ve listed a few tips below to help you do so:

  • Focus on the receiver, first and foremost – After all, this is the person who decides whether other people will be looking at your product in the first place. So make sure to write subject lines and preheaders that mostly focus on this person, and keep focusing on this person in the content that appears before the cut.
  • Create emails and landing pages that can be scanned – Present your context in bite-sized pieces that makes it easy for everyone to find the information they need. Avoid walls of text, use bullet points and headers.
  • Link to other pages – Keep in mind that not all available information has to be crammed into a single email or landing page. You can make information that is only interesting to very specific people in particular, like technical specifications or an overview of rates, available by linking to it.

A closer look

Whether you do it consciously or not, you are probably already taking into account the various target groups within your client’s company in your B2B communication. Even so, it wouldn’t hurt to take a closer look at your current email campaigns and landing pages to see whether they are effective in that regard. Experiment a little, and keep an eye on your statistics to determine which approach leads to the highest conversion.

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