We all know the importance of email marketing—at least, we should. According to SaleCycle, 59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions while 59% of marketers say email is their biggest source of ROI. With statistics like these, paired with the low cost of producing newsletters, email marketing is necessary.
Making a B2B newsletter isn’t as simple as copying the template of your B2C newsletter or adding some arbitrary links, though—there is a real art to nailing a B2B newsletter.
Ditch the Selling: Speak to the Reader
When it comes to B2B content, companies often forget there’s a real person on the receiving end. Create content that is both valuable and entertaining to justify asking for the reader’s time. Keep these things in mind:
If anyone would get industry jokes and nuances, it would be these readers! Traditionally, B2B content tends to cover more “professional” topics, but this doesn’t mean you should lose your brand’s personality. Remember, you’re a potential customer for B2B newsletters. If the content isn’t interesting to you, it won’t be interesting to others.
Create a Community
Aside from social media, a newsletter is a great place for creating meaningful connections. You’re in your audience’s inbox, now you just have to create interactive content that makes the reader want to reply, discuss the content with other readers, or come back week after week for more!
Carney’s The Daily Carnage newsletter is a great example of using email to create and connect their community. Each day, they have a Facebook Question of the Day and a CTA to “join the conversation.” Even if people don’t have the answer, they’ll likely click the button to see what others are saying.
Give Them the 4-1-1 in the Subject Line
While you want to use subject lines that catch the reader’s attention, they shouldn’t be overkill. You know, examples like “?SOS You HAVE to Open This!!!?” or, “Do not open this email!!!” Sometimes it can be easier to know what NOT to do.
Bad subject lines can mean the difference between an open and a delete. The fastest way to get an unsubscribe is by writing something that isn’t included in the email: don’t write about deals/savings if you’re not including a coupon inside. The subject line won’t mean anything if your email doesn’t back it up.
What Should You Send?
Some of the best newsletters will either save the reader time, save them money, connect them with a community, or give information and knowledge that the reader can’t find elsewhere. Many B2B newsletters include FAQ sections, a featured product with a coupon code, or customer spotlights, such as “how you’re using our products or services.”
In addition to what you say, it’s important to note how you’re showing it — make sure your newsletters are mobile-friendly and aesthetically pleasing. People check emails on their phones all the time. Nothing will turn a modern reader off more than a barely legible email with broken links. Along with images, make sure the text length and sizes are optimized for mobile viewing. Nobody wants to scroll for 5 minutes just to read a newsletter!
The Final Touches
Lastly, proofread! It’s obvious, but this step is often overlooked. If anyone would notice a spelling mistake on a product, it’d be professionals in the field a.k.a. your B2B audience! Mistakes happen, but if these mistakes are showing up in more than a few of your newsletters, your audience WILL notice.
Before You Click Send
Once you have the foundation and content set, you may be ready to hit send immediately. Please don’t. Timing can be everything for a newsletter. Think about it, very few people are reading their emails at 4 AM, people can have dozens of emails crowding their inboxes by 11 AM, and most people are done thinking about work by 6 PM.
This is where A/B testing comes in clutch as you can see what times are optimal for your customers. Once you find an optimal time for your audience, stick with it! With newsletters, more content isn’t always better. Don’t send a daily newsletter just for the sake of pushing content! Most businesses will benefit from a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter.
Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want
In email marketing, make the purpose apparent. Do you want the reader to make a purchase? Add a coupon code button. Want them to read more blog posts? Make a “read more” button. Want them to connect on Facebook? Add a link to the newsletter with a “Follow us on Facebook here” button.
A reader’s first instinct will be to close out or delete the email, so you have to put a distinct effort into your CTA to make sure this doesn’t happen. Don’t ask for too much too soon— keep it simple with only 1 or 2 CTAs per section. There are more newsletters to be read, meaning more chances to switch up CTAs.
Make It a Regular Event
You want to create a relationship with customers. Run tests, ask for feedback, and, above all, get creative! Just because you’re talking to professionals doesn’t mean it should be strictly business.
B2B newsletters are the perfect opportunity to let your business’ creativity shine with shop talk and personal interactions. Remember that you’re emailing a person with feelings and emotions. Pay attention to copy, colors, imagery, and CTA buttons — if you’re not excited when opening the email, nobody else will be either.