The following article is a contribution from Gavin Hewitson at In-box. Please contact him for all your emailing marketing requirements - 027 511 4411
In this article, we are going to break down email marketing into two categories: B2B and D2C. In the world of business to business (B2B) service providers, email marketing is a great tool to help foster relationships, build trust, and ultimately drive conversions on a large scale. Before you actually get started though, I recommend considering the following:
Understanding the Audience
Everyone's audience is different. You wouldn't address IT professionals the same way you would address lawyers. Odds are, you probably know how to communicate with your audience in a conversational context, in terms of jargon, formalities, etc., so channel that knowledge. Unlike the B2C sector, B2B businesses often deal with multiple decision-makers, all with varying concerns, priorities, and expectations. Therefore, creating buyer personas and segmenting your email lists accordingly can allow you to send targeted, relevant content that appeals to each persona's unique interests and needs. Segment your audience according to their role within the businesses you are talking to (think owners, marketing directors, etc.) and tailor your content accordingly.
B2B relationships are often built on expertise, reliability, and trust. To establish this, your email marketing should focus on providing valuable, informative content. This can include case studies, white papers, industry news, or thought leadership pieces. The goal is to show that your business is not just selling a service but also providing insights and solutions that can help your clients overcome their challenges. In my experience, for B2B, I very rarely try to push a sales angle within my emails. Your focus should typically be on providing information, and if someone wants more information, they hop on a call with you to learn more, and that's where the sale comes in.
Though it might seem less applicable in the B2B sector, personalisation is just as important. Personalised emails can improve click-through rates and conversions, as they demonstrate a clear understanding of your clients' needs. This can be as simple as addressing the recipient by name, or as sophisticated as tailoring content to their industry, role, or past interactions with your brand. If you are tailoring the content specifically to the individual's role, you really need to weigh up how much time you are willing to spend on this versus the ROI. Sending eight different emails once a month to eight different segments can be very time-consuming. Alternatively, you can always look to outsource this task if your time is better spent elsewhere.
Analysing and Optimising
It's essential to continually measure and optimise your email marketing strategy. Keep an eye on key performance indicators (KPIs) like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to identify what's working and what's not. Testing different email elements—like subject lines, content, and calls-to-action—can also provide valuable insights for improvement.
Direct to Consumer (D2C) Email Marketing
Direct to consumer (D2C) brands face a different landscape, with their own unique challenges and opportunities. The following are four critical considerations for D2C email marketing:
i) Personalisation and Relevance
More than ever, D2C consumers expect personalised experiences. Leveraging customer data—like past purchases, browsing behaviour, and demographic information—can allow you to send hyper-targeted emails that resonate on an individual level. In the D2C space, Klaviyo is easily the best platform to use if you are after deep analytics and segmentation. Remember, relevance is key: the more relevant the message, the more likely it is to engage the consumer. We like to tailor our email automations according to our readers' past purchasing behaviour, allowing us to cross-sell items that we know our readers have not purchased in the past. This allows for tailored recommendations and increases the likelihood of a sale.
ii) Customer Journey
It's critical to consider where each customer is in their buying journey. A new subscriber might need introductory information about your brand, while a long-time customer might appreciate loyalty rewards or new product updates. Automated email sequences, like welcome series or abandoned cart emails, can effectively cater to consumers at different stages. This once again speaks to the personalisation point above but takes a more high-level view regarding automations rather than the emails themselves.
iii) Engaging Design and Strong CTAs
Unlike B2B clients who might be interested in detailed white papers or lengthy case studies, D2C consumers often prefer visually engaging content that's easier to digest. Prioritise clean, appealing design and clear, compelling calls-to-action (CTAs). The goal is not just to catch your customer's eye, but also to guide them toward a clear next step—be it making a purchase, visiting your website, or sharing your content. When we are telling stories, for example, a business's origins, we like to lean on visuals to help convey that.
vi) Building Relationships
Balance your sales and informational content tactically. There is a time for sales promotions and there is a time to simply provide value or convey your brand. While sending out sales-related emails every week will generate revenue, you will notice over a long enough timeline, that your sales will simply drop off. Use incentives sparingly and in lieu of that, simply tell your story to your audience.