B2B vs. B2C Email Marketing: 7 Differences

November 29th, 2011 | By Adam Holden-Bache | 3 Comments

There are significant differences between B2B and B2C email marketing. B2B email marketers know they must take a different approach to their email campaigns than B2C marketers.

B2B vs B2CSo what are the ways that B2B email marketing is different than B2C email marketing?  Here’s 7 differences:

1. Longer sales cycle

Converting your contact from a prospect to a lead to a customer is an involved process. B2B sales cycles can typically be several weeks to several months, and in some cases even a year or more. Business-to-business email marketers need to realize this and prepare proper marketing tactics for each part of the cycle.

2. Highly focused target market

One of the nice things about B2B marketing is that marketers typically have a smaller, more defined target audience. The bad news is that there is a limited number of prospects. So make every communication count. Be diligent at providing value with every campaign so you set yourself apart from your competition.

3. Relationship driven

Building relationships is key in B2B sales. Because of the longer sales cycle, forming a relationship with the prospective buyer is hugely important. Sometimes these relationships will rise above all other factors during the decision making process.

Use email marketing to continuously add value to the relationship. And consider how it integrates with your other touch points including social media, direct marketing and even in-person or telephone based communications.

4. Education required

In a B2B sales cycle, businesses tend to interface directly with potential customers multiple times in order to inform and educate the prospect. Email marketing can play a big role in this process. Businesses can use email to provide a continuous stream of educational content which can ultimately influence the final purchasing decision.

5. Group purchasing decision

For many business-focused email campaigns, the goal is not to get an immediate reaction but to get the email read and forwarded to the right person in your recipient’s organization. Sometimes your marketing contact is not even the lead in the decision making process, but possibly a data-gatherer.

In your emails, provide content that the recipient can use to influence group decisions. Provide information sheets, presentations or other collateral that they can print or share with their colleagues. Make it easy to have your marketing materials reviewed by groups of people.

6. Considered decision-making process

85% of B2B marketers conduct Internet research at some point during buying process. The research typically involves product or service data gathering, competitive analysis and a review of third party feedback (comments, testimonials, etc.). All this along with the marketing messages will factor into the decision making process.

B2B email marketers should acknowledge this, and provide links to as much relevant web-based information as possible. Help your audience do their research and lead them to your most favorable content.

7. Enterprise level purchases

A B2B purchasing decision can be a significant investment- not just financially but also through the future commitment of time and resources. To secure a B2B purchase, the price is usually not the only factor. Quality of support, product history, integration compatibility and many other factors need to be considered by the marketer.  Use email as a way to promote all the benefits of your product or service so that buyers are well informed and comfortable with everything you have to offer.

What other ways are B2B and B2C email marketing different?  Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

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  • http://www.route72.com EmailLister72

    I always find that B2B emailing is always more successful than B2C… more opens, more clicks more interest.

  • http://peeppull.com/ Audrey Ludemann

    Thanks for listing the differences of b2b vs b2c email marketing..I really like the concept of this post and I feel that this is a very unique and rare information that you have managed to compile.You have done a great job by sharing this post with us.I like this post.Keep sharing with us in future too.

  • http://www.jatheon.com/email_archiving/index.php email archiving

    Great comparison, quite informative I didn’t realize before that there are so many differences. 

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