8 major differences between B2B and B2C email marketing
Email marketing is not going anywhere despite the arrival of social media marketing. Even today, email marketing is predominantly used by millions of B2B and B2C businesses worldwide for good reasons. What are these reasons? Check out these interesting email marketing statistics to know what we are talking about.
It is worth mentioning that the “one approach fits all” concept does not apply in email marketing. There are stark differences between B2B email marketing and B2C email marketing and it is a good time to know what they are if you don’t already.
You are making a huge mistake if you are using the same email marketing strategy for B2B and B2C brands. Let’s be blunt – it does not work. B2B email marketing is a different ball game than B2C email marketing. Simply put, B2B email marketing primarily focuses on logic-driven decision making whereas B2C email marketing tingles the emotional side of the recipient. That said, there is no thumb rule here, but it is always better to be prepared rather than aim in the dark.
So, how different is B2B and B2C email marketing? Continue reading to find out.
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B2B and B2C email marketing – how are they different?
Let’s understand the main differences between B2B and B2C email marketing.
1. Target audience
B2B target audiences are typically more focused and specialized, as businesses often sell products or services to other businesses in specific industries or niches. B2B marketing efforts are often geared towards decision-makers within these businesses, such as executives, managers, or procurement officers.
B2C target audiences are generally more diverse and broader, as businesses selling to consumers typically have a wide range of products or services that appeal to a wide range of people. B2C marketing efforts are often geared towards individuals who are interested in the products or services being offered.
2. Decision-making and buying cycle
B2B and B2C customers think differently since their buying cycle is very different. Besides, the time taken to make a purchase decision is different as well.
A B2C email marketing strategy differs from that of a B2B email strategy for a range of reasons. Typically, a lot more people are involved in the decision-making process of a B2B sales cycle as multiple stakeholders are in the picture. Further, as the pricing points of B2B products and services are generally higher than B2C products and services, the process of converting a prospect to a customer involves a few more steps.
The storyline is different in B2C email marketing. B2C customers are quick to act and take decisions quickly. Thus, the billing cycle is relatively different than that observed in a B2B sales cycle. Here, the customer is truly the king as they do not have to seek approvals from anyone before they make a purchase.
This is why B2C email marketing should primarily focus on increasing engagement and building brand awareness. It makes more sense to deploy a personalized B2C email marketing strategy where the personal preferences of customers are taken into account.
3. Purchase behaviour
If you are a B2B email marketing service provider, you need to think and align your strategies in tune with the B2B landscape. The main objective of B2B marketing emails is to increase revenue and improve return on investment. Therefore, the customer is more careful and conscious before purchasing a product or a service. The customer will only spend money after evaluating the end goals and the ROI. In this scenario, decisions making is primarily driven by logic.
Emotions take the backseat as the main goal of B2B emails is to educate customers regarding their products and services and cater to their pain points. Therefore, B2B email marketing services providers concentrate on forging relationships instead of resorting to quick-sell strategies.
Contrarily, a completely different approach must be used in the B2C marketplace. Since purchases are frequently made on impulse and emotional triggers, more focus is placed on emotions. You must be able to recognize how your customers think, make purchase decisions, and their preferences if you want your B2C email marketing strategy to succeed.
By now we have established the fact that a B2B customer thinks differently than a B2C customer. Thus, the body of your marketing emails should align with the target audience. The tone and the overall text of your marketing emails for B2B and B2C customers should not be the same.
When you are devising an email marketing strategy for a B2C company, the content should incite urgency among customers. You need to understand what your target audience is looking for and provide immediate solutions to fulfil their needs. Create excitement and encourage customers to take quick action. You could do this by talking about different discounts, offers, and more.
As seen earlier, customers take more time to decide on a B2B sales cycle. Thus, the content of the email should concentrate on the challenges of the industry and spread more awareness regarding the product or the service. The email should help users understand how they can save money and precious time when they decide to do business with you.
5. Visual appeal
When opposed to a B2B market, B2C viewers place a higher value on the overall visual aspects of an email. As mentioned before, B2C customers are more impulsive in their purchasing decisions, which makes them more receptive to quality content provided using attractive visual layouts. They won’t spend too much time reading extensive emails, either. You can also consider adding video content for your B2C customers as they have a huge impact on customers.
However, B2B customers perform extensive research before choosing a specific service or product. As a result, the content must be effectively provided with data and details, with little attention to the visual design.
6. Consistency in delivering
Consistency is key in both – B2B email marketing and B2C email marketing. At least when it comes to the frequency of sending emails. A few factors that come into play are the time of sending an email and the best days to deliver. B2B email marketers need to be very disciplined since the focus is to create a strong bond between your business and clients.
For example, if you have announced a discount through a pop-up, it is advisable to send a discount code in your emails as your customers would be looking forward to it. Besides, you can also send regular discounts and weekly tips in your emails when you are dealing with B2B customers.
On the other hand, differing frequencies boost the efficiency of a B2C promotional email. This is because customers are likely to look for special deals or discounts during a certain event, a major festival, a particular season and more.
7. Spam filters
The email marketing space has evolved with time and become more user-friendly with time. However, despite considerable efforts, spam emails continue to ruin user experiences. After all, we are all tired of receiving emails from unwanted sources, aren’t we?
Today, a majority of service providers have implemented robust spam filters which do an excellent job of filtering out promotional emails and directing them to the spam folder. This is a major barrier in the way of most email marketers today. Imagine putting in all the hard work to only find your emails in the promotion tab of your recipients.
Can you avoid this from happening? Of course. Read along to find out how to avoid spam filters.
- Ask your subscribers to add your email to their whitelist.
- Customize your email
- Avoid using too many images
- Refrain from email blasts
- Avoid terms that could send your email to spam
- Improve your sender reputation.
Many marketers overlook this aspect of email marketing. That said, it is very important to ensure your emails have a different tone for B2B and B2C audiences. B2C emails are less formal and casual. On the other hand, a B2B marketing email will have a more official and serious tone. Consistency of style in your marketing communications is one of the most important considerations a marketer should have when deciding on the tone of the email. The tone you use should make your brand recognizable to the audience.
Email marketing is a go-to marketing channel for millions of B2B and B2C companies even in 2022. This is exactly why it has become very crucial to create email marketing strategies that stand out and resonate with the target audience.
As seen in this article, B2B email marketing is very different from B2C email marketing. Although a lot of features between the two overlap, they are different. Email marketers need to identify these differences and implement them according to the target audience. Marketers need to understand that an email campaign that worked with a B2C audience might not work with a B2B audience. The approach needs to be different for both sectors.
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 Duo. M (2022) “20+ Must-Know Email Marketing Statistics (Use Data to Boost Your Email Campaigns)” Kinsta [online] Available from: https://kinsta.com/blog/email-marketing-statistics/