Don’t be fooled: Engaging B2B emails matter. Just because the target audience is a business instead of an individual customer, there are similarities that require content to be engaging, convincing, and thoughtful.
Sending a regular B2B newsletter to your followers will only deliver value to your company if the newsletter itself delivers value to readers. Your subscribers won’t be likely to engage with your emails very often if you don’t provide genuinely engaging content.
These tips will help. By familiarizing yourself with B2B email marketing best practices and studying B2B marketing examples, you’ll better understand how you can craft a newsletter that yields a strong return-on-investment.
Understand the Purpose of a B2B Newsletter
The function of a B2B newsletter is slightly different from that of a B2C email newsletter. In B2C industries, marketers are primarily striving to promote goods and services. B2B email marketing should focus more on developing and maintaining positive relationships with current and prospective clients. You’re not necessarily trying to get someone to buy a new product; you’re simply trying to establish your authority and cultivate a positive reputation in your niche. Try not to forget about this when developing your B2B Newsletter.
Address Your Subscribers’ Needs
It’s important to focus on your subscribers’ needs. What problem do they face that your organization can solve? How can your B2B newsletter content authentically help them recognize how your company can help them?
Distribute White Papers
There’s a good reason approximately 71% of B2B email marketers prioritize developing and distributing white papers. A thorough white paper is among B2B email marketing best practices because it can provide your clients with useful information they may leverage in their own work.
While creating a white paper takes some time, it’s worth the effort, as it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that your organization cares about providing truly valuable content. Additionally, if the white papers you send are truly useful, every time a client refers back to them (even if it’s simply to review a single piece of data), they’ll be reminded of your brand.
Promote a Podcast
Speaking of your brand, a podcast is a great way to not only extend your brand, but it can also serve as supplemental valuable content for your subscribers. Use your B2B newsletter as a way to launch an industry-specific B2B podcast. Hosting a podcast is a great way to offer your subscribers information that you or your team may not be experts on. As a host, you can invite knowledgeable guests and experts on your podcast to discuss topics that may be useful to your guests but out of your depth. In that way, a podcast is an excellent opportunity not only to teach, but to learn as well.
B2B Newsletter Best Practices
1. Be Direct.
Studying B2B examples (and comparing them to B2C examples) will reveal another difference between your ideal strategy and that of a B2C marketer: brevity.
In B2C niches, marketers prioritize branding. That means the language they use needs to reflect their branded identity. This sometimes means striving to connect with subscribers on an emotional level, even if doing so involves sending content that doesn’t 100% address a practical problem.
However, when you’re a B2B marketer, you need to remember that your subscribers are busy people. Although sending lengthy white papers should be part of your strategy, because they take so long to develop, you also need to maintain contact with your followers between white paper emails by sending shorter content they can consume efficiently.
Your copy in these emails should be direct and to-the-point. Quickly address the topic of your email, and how it can help a reader.
Eyequant’s tactic serves as a good B2B marketing example. The company sent an email to subscribers outlining a case study which demonstrated the value of their product. The copy was clear, quickly reminding a subscriber what the product does, then immediately detailing the case study without excessive “branded” language.
Your audience doesn’t have time to read a novel; don’t make the mistake of sending them one.
2. Don’t Bother Selling.
In the B2B world, you have to assume that most of your audience will be industry professionals who are savvy and not prone to fall for cheap sales taglines. Avoid pitching with typical marketing language in your newsletter; sending a newsletter shouldn’t be about quick wins, it should be about educating your audience and offering them useful information.
3. Utilize Storytelling.
As a marketer, you should be familiar with crafting a good story. Don’t forget that your newsletter is meant to communicate with the individuals reading your messages, not the companies that they represent. Get on their level with personal, engaging stories that inspire pathos or some sort of emotional reaction. Recounting your successes and failures with a first person voice is a great example.
4. Leverage 3rd Party Content.
Most of the content in your newsletter should come from your company or team, but don’t allow that to be the only place where you source your information. Adding valuable, insightful third-party content to your newsletter will help with your credibility by showing your audience that you’re interested in offering them the most pertinent content regardless of whether it comes from your company or not. Also, there’s a chance that sharing another organization’s content could lead to that source returning the favor.
5. Monitor B2B Newsletter Performance.
Some general best practices will apply to both B2B and B2C email marketing. For instance, no matter what manner of organization you work for, monitoring your email campaigns’ performance is essential. Doing so can help you address common email problems that may be plaguing your campaign while letting you optimize what’s working.
You specifically want to pay attention to which emails your subscribers engaged with the most. Which B2B newsletter did most of your subscribers open? Which yielded the most conversions? Are there any types of emails that perform very poorly? Reviewing your performance will help you better understand what types of B2B email marketing content your subscribers respond to.
You might also consider surveying them directly from time to time in order to find out what types of content they are interested in receiving.
B2B Newsletter Examples
1. Artifact Uprising
This is a successful newsletter example because:
- Sleek, eye-catching design
- Direct, minimalist copy
- A single, clear CTA
- Monochromatic color
- Helpful user guides
It’s not surprising that a photo company would execute such an aesthetically pleasing newsletter.
As we mentioned above, advertising a podcast is a great use of your newsletter, and ExactTarget does just that and then some:
- Great visual representations of value offered
- Different content buckets with different CTAs
- Stories from around the web sharing third-party content
- Promotion of upcoming event that doesn’t feel too pushy
In their newsletter, InVision places special emphasis on educational content. Their email succeeds because:
- Their most valuable and popular blog content are divided into colored blocks at the top of the email
- The email uses contrasting visulas so they can test whether illustrations or photographs draw more clicks
- The email offers a quick, digestible list of helpful links around the web
In this example, Salesforce does a great job at highlighting new helpful blog content by:
- Including an eye-catching illustration
- Clear, concise descriptions of the blog content and how it will help
- CTAs to drive readers not only to the featured post, but the rest of the blog in general
5. Premier Agent
Finally, this informative digest from Premier Agent offers real estate agents an extremely beneficial newsletter:
- A personalized touch greets readers to the letter
- Interviews with experts are offered to offer a first-person perspective
- Clear CTAs for invitations to online and offline events
Remember, your goal with a B2B newsletter is always to deliver value. When you keep these B2B email marketing examples and best practices in mind, you will.