I’ve recently read research which suggests that B2B marketing has nowhere near the success rate of B2C, showing a performance rating putting 75% in the bottom 20%. That should not be described as a success rate. Various reasons are put forward for this disappointing result, some of which are supported by even a cursory examination of the difference in email marketing design.
Put simply, the way I prefer, the most persuasive conclusion is that B2C is marketing led whereas not only is this unusual in B2B, but it is predominantly product, engineering, or sales led. After reading B2B marketing emails in my inbox, I’m persuaded. I would assume the difference is down to companies thinking that those who make purchasing decisions follow logic and reason rather than emotion. If the product will work for them, that’s enough.
Yet this is the antithesis of everything we’ve learnt in B2C email marketing, for some of us over many years. We know, at least successful companies do, that it is an exception for anyone to buy solely on logic. Emotion rules us all. There is no reason to assume that those buying for a company are in any way different in their reactions.
In other words, be as creative in your B2B marketing as you are in designing and preparing your marketing emails when trying to entice consumers. I would agree with anyone who said that the emails should differ, but certainly not in kind. They should be targeted. That serves us well with B2C.
I don’t want to seem controversial, but it seems that some people in business who have worked their way up have a certain self-image that they don’t like being attacked. Therefore, the emotive side of your email should be quite subtle and respectful. We don’t want to talk down to anyone, but they react in exactly the same way.
Don’t abandon methods you have used and perfected over the years without strong data-supported evidence to prove. Accept that emotion is a motivator for all. Finding triggers, and segmenting email marketing lists to take them into account, is the way to sell to everyone, regardless of rank.