Email marketing is a cost-effective form of marketing whether you’re trying to sell to businesses or consumers – but each form of marketing requires a different approach. With B2C email marketing, you’re marketing directly to consumers, the end user of the product.
With B2B marketing you’re marketing, in some cases, to an entire organization where decisions to purchase are based on a group consensus. This makes B2B marketing a bit more complex.
How B2B and B2C Marketing Differ
Businesses generally have long sales cycles whereas consumers usually make a decision to buy or not buy fairly quickly. Before a business purchases a product or service from you, it may have to be filtered through several different decision-making individuals or departments. Longer sales cycles require a different email marketing approach.
With B2C marketing, the focus is on writing short, compelling sales copy that motivates the consumer to buy on an emotional level. It “hits them in the gut” and makes them want to pull out their wallet – and their credit card. With B2B marketing, you have to provide companies with more objective details and specifics about what you’re selling. This helps them to make a more informed buying decision. Businesses rarely buy on the basis of emotion, so a B2C approach not only won’t be effective, it’ll turn business buyers off.
When marketing to businesses through email, it’s important to understand the unique problems your target market faces and address them directly. One way to get a better idea of the needs of your target market is to talk to sales reps that deal with them directly or survey similar businesses and ask them the biggest problems they face. Address how your product can help solve those problems. Collect as much information about the companies you’re dealing with online so you can better understand their structure and how purchasing decisions are made.
B2B versus B2C: Gaining New Customers
Building a B2B email list requires a different approach too. When you market directly to consumers, offering a free ebook or report with relevant information is a good way to get new subscribers to your email list. With business marketing, a “white paper” works better. White papers are authoritative reports designed to educate businesses about how a product can make their company better. Businesses want objective evidence that your product will improve their company in some way. Give them statistics and metrics to add credibility to your marketing messages. Consumers buy on the basis of emotion, but businesses want objective data. Sales copy with lots of “fluff” and descriptions designed to arouse readers emotionally is unlikely to sway B2B customers.
Strong email communication skills and a quick response to questions about what you offer is critical for both B2C and B2B marketing, but it takes on greater importance when you’re marketing to businesses. B2B is about building long-term relationships since businesses will usually become your regular customers once you’ve earned their trust. Be responsive to their needs, address their concerns quickly and provide them with additional data when appropriate.
Unlike B2C marketing where consumers make the decision to buy based on limited information, businesses want more in-depth data before making a buying decision since they’re making an investment in the future of their company.
Be aware of how B2B and B2C consumers differ. Take these differences into account when planning your next email marketing campaign.