Email Marketing Strategies to Increase B2B Sales + Examples

There’s a reason email is still one of the most used sales channels

If done right, email marketing can significantly up your chances of increasing your sales, especially if you’re in the B2B industry.

What is Email Marketing?

There are lots of different marketing channels, the traditional ones being offline advertising and word-of-mouth marketing. But these days, if you want to be successful, you need to turn at least some of your attention to one of the various online channels. Here are some of the most important ones:

And while all of the above-mentioned channels are digital, email marketing is the only one where reaching consumers is done through email. A typical example of this would be sending out email newsletters to your subscribers, whether to have them familiarized with your brand or offer actual products or services. 

What would be the benefits of using this particular channel for your business? Let’s take a look at how email marketing would affect your sales.

How Does Email Marketing Affect Sales

While there are plenty of marketing strategies that are more trendy, such as influencer and social media marketing, email marketing seems to be lucrative enough for businesses to keep investing in it. And there’s data to prove this. 

Based on a Campaign Monitor survey, 64 percent of all small businesses use email marketing strategies to reach their end consumers. What’s more, according to HubSpot, email engagement is still growing, at least that’s what over 77 percent of surveyed marketers say.

marketing channels used by small businesses
marketing channels used by small businesses

Now, how does email marketing affect your sales exactly? It improves the bottom line by:

One of the main benefits of email marketing is how wide its application can be. One of the most common use cases is cold sales outreach. 

Another common use case is to nurture consumer relationships through post-purchase emails, turning one-time consumers into returning ones. Furthermore, the best CRM software allows us to automate these nurture emails. 

What’s more, it doesn’t matter if your end consumer is an individual or a business. The majority of B2B marketers, 81 percent to be exact, say that their content marketing is based on sending out email newsletters

And if you want to use email marketing strategies to increase your sales, you can do it indirectly, that is, through your business partners. For example, you can use sales incentives software to incentivize your partners to up their sales volume

And this is done by setting up automated emails, the purpose of which is to give your partners all the resources they need, remind them of rewards and generally keep in touch with them. 

Now that you know how much potential there is in email marketing to increase your sales, let’s take a look at a few strategies that should help you reach your goals.

Strategies to Increase B2B Sales

If you’re looking to increase your B2B sales, it’s always a good idea to invest in implementing these email marketing strategies. Pay attention to sales trends and be more informed.

Generate a Targeted List of Business Contacts

Just like advertising in general, the first rule of email marketing is relevancy. If you aren’t reaching people who would be interested in what you’re offering, you’re wasting both your own time and theirs.

So how do you make sure you reach out to only the businesses that might actually be interested in your product or service? You generate a targeted list of business contacts. 

Easier said than done, right? And there are a couple of ways you can go about it, including purchasing lists of business contacts from companies that sell them. But the only reliable way is to build the list yourself, that is, have businesses subscribe to receive your emails

Of course, chances are you don’t have unlimited resources for building a list like that. But if you give it a bit of time and invest in creating quality content on your website, you’ll be able to attract plenty of subscribers to start your email marketing campaigns without depleting your budget. 

There are many ways to hook your visitors and get them subscribed. Some of the most effective ways are creating expert level long-form content as part of your content marketing strategy

Another effective long-form content is hosting webinars. Running a free webinar that is relevant and actionable for your audience is an excellent way to gather an email list. The best webinar platforms include a sign-up form creator, where attendees would sign up with their email address. 

Livestorm Registration Page
Livestorm Registration Page

Send Out Cold Emails

Once you have your business contact list, you can start strategizing and doing the marketing itself. One of the first potential steps is creating a cold email outreach campaign.

Now, cold emails are the digital equivalent of pitching your product or service to a cold lead. This is one of the most lucrative of email marketing strategies for small businesses. 

You have a lead that doesn’t know about your business or what you can do for them, but you have their email address. 

You can use this to your advantage and try to convert that contact from a cold to a hot lead by sending them an email. And the more you do this and the better you are at it, the bigger your chance is of increasing your sales. 

These cold email campaigns can sometimes be demoralizing when you’re getting close to 0 replies. There are certain smart steps you can take to increase the open rate and reply rate of your cold emails. 

For example, personalize your email subject lines and body. An obvious one is including the recipient’s first name at the beginning of the email. Or better yet – in the subject line. 

The more personal you can get with the email, the higher the likelihood of getting a reply. 

To personalize emails at scale, it’s recommended to use the best cold email outreach tools

Test Your Email Campaigns

The best way to increase your B2B sales using email is to start testing what you’re sending out. You’ve probably already heard of A/B testing, which is the most common way of going about doing this. 

To perform an email A/B test, you can use one of the more popular tools such as MailChimp, but most of them have the option to do this.

Write two different versions of a single email, based on what you determine to be the two strategies that are most likely to succeed. Send them out and wait until you accumulate enough data to be able to analyze it. 

Here, your two most important metrics will be open and reply rates. Once you see which of the emails was opened and replied to more, you can use it to create another two versions for further testing. 

Here’s an example of this type of testing, where one email was sent out with a GIF at the beginning and one without.

To the company’s surprise, the email without the GIF got a higher open rate, 31.09 as opposed to 30.67 percent.

Segment Your Audience

promotional email ab test
promotional email ab test

Another great email marketing strategy to boost your online sales is to make sure you’ve segmented your audience. What does this mean? 

For example, you might be a high-end female footwear brand that gets its sales from both a brick-and-mortar store and an e-commerce website.

And while all your customers will be people looking for shoes, some of them will be buying from you online and some will be visiting physical stores. 

And the messaging that is right for one group might not be ideal for the other one. Your online shoppers will be interested in an email talking about free delivery, while the rest will be more interested in promotions at their nearest shops. So an example of filtering for the latter would be this:

email audience segmenting
email audience segmenting

This is just one of the potential ways in which you can segment your audience. Other criteria include but aren’t limited to:

Of course, these are just a few examples that could help you determine what kind of person you’re talking to and what you should be talking about. But you should also adjust the way you address the person based on the psychological profile. 

For example, younger people will prefer a more informal approach. And make sure you pay special attention to the call-to-action copy. This is what can make or break a deal. So try to make it clear and engaging, but more importantly, A/B test it.

Examples of B2B Marketing Emails

Are you wondering what type of emails you could be sending to your cold leads, existing customers or your partners? Here are some of the most important ones.

Cold Outreach Emails

Cold email outreach can be a daunting thought. Especially after learning that 91.5% of cold outreach emails are ignored. But once you can crack the code on how to utilize this email marketing strategy effectively, it’s a gold mine. 

There’s no single way to write a good cold email, just as there isn’t a single way to write any email. That’s why templates will do you little good. Personalization and relevancy are key, but it’s also important to avoid wasting your prospect’s time. 

Considering all this, it’s best to do thorough research on your prospect and write them a clear and concise email that shows you’ve gotten familiar with their position, company or whatever else is relevant. And make sure that you write a good subject line and that you address them by their name. 

cold email example
cold email example

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are the ones your company sends out when a customer takes an action, such as:

You may not believe it, but these are the most effective type of email when it comes to open rates, with studies citing percentages from 74 to 80.

And sending them out makes for a smart business move – making use of the attention you already have, until it’s shifted elsewhere. 

And while they may not all have direct sales as their primary purpose, they definitely help establish your business as the type of brand you want to be, in turn nurturing customer loyalty.   

Here’s one example of a transactional email:

transactional email example
transactional email example

As you can see, with transactional emails, personalization is key, just like in email marketing in general.

Promotional Emails

You can use email marketing to promote your products or services. Of course, here you also have to be mindful of a few key things if you really want the emails to be a success. 

Promotional emails can be welcomed with open arms, but only if they’re not the only type of emails you send out. It’s also important to keep them on brand and avoid generic sales jargon.

For example, instead of Buy Now, why not come up with something that better reflects the type of brand you are?

Of course, it’s also important to make sure your promotional emails don’t end up in spam. To achieve this, you need to avoid using purchased lists, make sure you send them from an authenticated domain, avoid spam trigger words such as ‘cash’ and even be mindful of your image-to-text ratio. Let’s take a look at an example to see what we’re talking about here.

Here’s an example of a promotional email from Walgreens that uses images to grab the readers’ attention.

promotional email example
promotional email example

Giving your audience a valuable discount has the potential to convert hesitant readers into loyal customers.

Another good example where only promotional text is used in the email. 

promotional email example without images
promotional email example without images

When trying to determine email marketing strategies that work, always test the bounce rate and open rates as well. It could be that your recipients’ email client blocks the email if it contains too many or too large images. 

That’s why oftentimes simple to-the-point promotional email without any images perform best. 

Follow-up Emails

What should you do if you don’t get a response to your cold email? You definitely shouldn’t call it quits. Follow-up emails are commonplace in the business world. Businesspeople are time poor and they often need a reminder that you’ve sent them a message. 

follow-up email sequence statistics
follow-up email sequence statistics

According to one research, a single follow-up email can increase the open rate from 9% to 13%. The first follow-up email is usually the most effective. 

How do you write a good follow-up email? Make it short, that is, even shorter than the initial email. Briefly remind your prospect of who you are and what you wanted to talk about and suggest the next step. 

It could be signing up for an event, scheduling a meeting or simply getting a reply. 

Also, you don’t want to come across as pushy by sending the follow-up the day after the initial email, but you also don’t want to wait too long. A good rule of thumb is: 

Key Takeaways for Email Marketing Strategies

When done right, email marketing can be a powerful tool in growing your business. And to succeed in boosting your small business email marketing strategies, follow these tips outlined above. 

And most importantly do your research, segment analysis and A/B testing to find out what works the best for your business. 

As mentioned, communication is the most effective way for a business to grow and thrive. Your personalized email will give you a competitive advantage over your competitors.

That is why utilizing these successful email marketing strategies is so effective at connecting with customers. It is the most convenient, dependable, adaptable, and cost-effective marketing channel in the world. 

Make sure your content is relevant, and analyze your performance to see what you’re doing well and where you can improve.

You’ll be more likely to succeed if you keep these points in mind as you plan your next campaign.That is why email marketing continues to produce incredible results. 

Erkki Muuga

Erkki Muuga

Erkki has over 10 years of experience as a software product manager and a proven track record in building and growing SaaS products. He has a keen eye for key differentiating factors and spotting truly valuable software features that enable business use cases.

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