Recently, various studies and columns were published about the differences between B2C and B2B email marketing. This is not surprising, since more and more attention is being paid to the importance of content, personalization, automation and segmentation of email, and the link between email and other marketing and customer intelligence platforms such as web analytics, CRM, lead management, social media and marketing automation tools.
It’s of course always useful to provide quality and value, write relevant content, personalize your emails in function of the recipient, integrate web analytics and social media, etc. But the increasing attention for all of these things is not a coincidence. Of course, there’s the deliverability aspect and the transformation of the methods that ISP’s use and test, like the interaction with the emails. Relevance is becoming key in deliverability.
We know that content and personalization are crucial for the subscriber’s loyalty and for conversions. Yet, deliverability is not the most important reason for the strong focus, especially in B2B email marketing, on an integrated approach with marketing automation, CRM and other platforms.
Then what exactly are the most important reasons? They are economical and social.
The sacred marketing ROI
For instance, there’s an increase in adopting marketing ROI as a criterion for prognoses and accountability in marketing campaigns and plans.
This attention for the ROI leads marketers to increasingly implement scenario-and customer-based techniques, with which email becomes a part of the marketing automation and CRM strategy.
The individual online and offline “signals” of customers and prospects are the guidelines here.
The changes in the buying process
Then there’s the shifting of the buying behavior to online media. Nowadays, people inform themselves much more than before and decide on their own who they trust in this and which channels they use for it.
This forces B2B email marketers to monitor the online (and offline) behavior almost in real-time, and to tune their communication to the phase of the buying cycle in which the recipient currently resides.
A third reason is the ever growing attention for customer-centricity. Companies realize that they have increasingly less control over the communication as well as the buying behavior.
They have to get into a more personal and valuable relationship with their customers and prospects. For a lot of companies, that’s quite an adjustment.
In B2B, a large part of those interactions can be automated, but the entire email process must be integrated in a broader communication strategy.
Furthermore, there must be much more thinking from the email recipient (the email subscriber as a customer of your newsletter) point of view, the individual needs and signals, and, finally, the customer life cycle.