While most of today’s marketing innovations and data reports are concerned with the advent of topics like social media, automation, and AI, email is still worth our attention. Individuals may be texting and conversing over social media platforms, but an email is still a primary form of communication.
According to Statista, there are more than 3.8 billion email users worldwide. This number is expected to surpass 4 billion in 2022. These numbers should be music to the ears of B2B marketers everywhere as it reveals that email is still king.
Using this method of communication as a significant form of marketing brings in a staggering average of $44 for every $1 spent.
So, how is personalization really impacting B2B email marketing?
The Effects of Email Personalization
Email is still key, but there is a feature that can expand on the already strong influence of email marketing. When it comes to widening your marketing efforts, personalization is key.
What are the numbers behind email personalization? Take a look at these stats:
- 74% of marketers say targeted personalization increases customer engagement. (Source)
- Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened (Source)
- Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates (Source)
These statistics reveal the importance of connecting personalization with email marketing. It can be easy to think that only consumers are looking for personalization, but B2B companies are also seeking a similar level of customization and transparency.
Unlike consumers, B2B companies are likely purchasing tools from companies that will allow them to serve their consumers better. So, it is even more imperative that you can provide them with the personalized information they need.
Utilizing personalization can be the difference between growing your B2B leads and staying stagnant in attracting new clients. So, here are a few ways you can personalize your emails to attract and engage your B2B audiences.
Segment Your Audience Based on Geographic Location
You may have B2B customers in various parts of Canada, the United States, or even around the world. You want to ensure you are reaching your audiences at the best time possible.
You could have a superbly written and designed email with excellent information; however, nothing will happen if your target audiences don’t see it.
So, add personalization for your B2B audience by segmenting them by geographic location and time zone. This step allows you to send the right messaging at the right time.
Create Customer Personas Based on Demographic Data and Buying Histories
Your B2B customers are giving you the information you need to tailor email content to them; you have to ensure you are listening. What are their age groups? What are they interested in? What was the last thing they purchased from you?
With a combination of web analytics data and customer surveys, you can begin to further segment your audience by age, gender, interests, and buying history.
This information allows you to put blog content, purchase recommendations, or case studies about your service that more directly appeal to them.
Trigger Emails Due to Online Behaviour
Another way to personalize your B2B email marketing experience is to connect email with their overall customer experience. This process is where tools like AI and automation come into play.
You want to help your B2B customers move along the buyer journey, and a great way to do that is to set up emails to send to their inbox based on actions they take on your site.
For example, if a B2B customer is purchasing an item, but chooses to leave in the middle of a transaction, triggering an email that invites them to complete the purchase can save a sale. The goal is to meet them where they are and customize your approach depending on their buyer journey.
Use Dynamic Content
While you can create different emails based on your segmentation categories, you can also customize the original content within your email. A study of 350 marketing executives found that 65 percent of email marketers feel that dynamic content is the most effective personalization tactic they have.
Dynamic content is when web content changes or is generated in response to the behaviour of a customer. For example, you may have products or services that appeal to a wide range of industries.
If you have data on the various sectors your customers are coming from, you can then have content within your email change based on who is viewing it.
On one email, you may have links to products that appeal to one industry, while another will list products from another sector. So, instead of having to create multiple emails, you only need to create one and use the data from your customers to generate dynamic content to fill in the blanks.
Again, your B2B customers are business owners and entrepreneurs just like you. Make life easier on them by only giving them the content they need.
Offer Personalized Product Recommendations
This step is where your email marketing efforts can really shine.
Personalized product recommendations can answer your B2B customer’s questions before they have them. For example, if you have a B2B customer that purchases a specific item from you, you can use an email to remind them about repurchasing the item in the future (when they are likely to reorder due to the supply they received), and you can also provide them with recommended products based off of complementary items.
Think of Amazon’s excellent algorithms that supply you with product recommendations as you search for items.
According to data sourced by Barilliance, product recommendations account for 31 percent of e-commerce site revenues.
As well, a study by MarketingSherpa found that including phrasing like “you might also like,” or “customers also bought,” along with product recommendations can produce a lift in sales.
The point here is to reduce the amount of work your B2B customers have to do.
Providing them with helpful products shows that you are paying attention to what they buy, and are going the extra mile to help them find that they need more easily.
Don’t Forget to Use Their Name
While it may seem like a no-brainer, it is easy to forget how important a name can be to an email personalization process. Something happens when we see our name in a subject line or even in the first few sentences of an email. It causes us to stop and pay attention. We realize that either this person knows us, or took some effort to find out who we are.
The same is likely true for your B2B customers. Using the primary contact's first name, or even the name of their business can automatically increase trust and brand loyalty. It is likely to set your email apart from others, and will also encourage them to at least give it a quick look.
Your goal is to make the experience as personal as possible, and using the first name of your customer is a significant first step. Most of today’s email clients make it easy to include the first name of customers as well as their business name.
This tactic used in combination with many of the methods above will give you a leg up on the competition. Also, if possible, use their name more than once. Using their name multiple times within the body of the email helps to keep them on the email as they are scanning.
Discuss Their Industry
Find out about the common issues in their industry and always remind them of how your product can solve their problems. Again, you may service customers across multiple sectors, so be aware of any recent trends, innovations, or problem areas and use your email marketing campaigns to appeal to these problems personally.
Much like the “first name tactic” focusing in on their problem areas shows you have made some efforts to create customized solutions to their industry issues. It also builds a stronger case for your product or service.
Take time to understand what your B2B customers are concerned about, and personalize your email marketing tactics to address these problems. Also, pay attention to their yearly ebbs and flows regarding sales. Are they busier —or lagging—during certain parts of the year?
If so, be sure to send them emails that help them efficiently get through these times.
Personalization is Everything
Much like consumers, B2B customers want personalization in their customer experience. In fact, companies that have not yet figured this out are behind the times. Personalization provides convenience and efficiency, two things that mean a lot to business owners and entrepreneurs.
One of the best ways to deliver personalized content and dialogue to business owners is through email marketing. Email is still a popular medium for all customers—B2B and non-B2B—and it makes sense for savvy marketers to add customization to this medium.
As mentioned above there are a variety of ways to personalize emails. The best process for figuring out which tactics to use is to examine your audience. Create personas and take the time to ask them about what is important to them.