5 Steps to Developing a B2B Email Marketing Plan

November 5, 2021

Email marketing has stood the test of time as one of the very best forms of corporate communication. Many continue to rely on one of the digital age's most established tools in the face of social media, video calls, blog posts, and SEO.

It's familiar, easy to use, and, when done well, it works!

Why Email is a Crucial Component of B2B Marketing

Business owners and marketing professionals have all manner of options when seeking to drum up more business. However, email remains comfortably within the top three marketing options deployed by brands of all sizes. Of course, regular emails are an asset when selling to consumers, but they can be even more potent in the business-to-business marketplace.

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Representatives of other businesses expect to be sold to, and they're far more open to email communications than virtually any other contact method. Even LinkedIn, a close rival of email in the corporate world, doesn't necessarily work as well. Even in a professional context, many people feel that connection requests and private messages with nothing but marketing in mind are an invasion of their personal space. Email has no such issues.

Email doesn't have to be difficult, but it's vital to properly plan ahead to get the most out of invested time and effort.

Your 5 Step B2B Email Marketing Plan

With so much to do when marketing a business of any size, it's vital to focus resources where they stand the best chance of boosting your brand. We've already established that email remains one of the very best ways to reach out to new and existing prospects. The first job is to plan ahead, and these five steps will set up campaigns with the best chance of reaching your goals. 

1. Decide on a High-Level Audience Overview 

The wealth of marketing automation tools available to businesses of all sizes can make it tempting to adopt a scattergun approach to email. It's not difficult to justify contacting enterprises of all sizes and sectors when there's even the slightest chance of a working relationship. However, successful campaigns are often more tactical in their approach.

Many businesses already have a target audience from their other marketing activities, and some even have customer avatars. They're an excellent starting point for email campaigns but don't have to limit your efforts. In addition, the relatively low cost and significant automation make it plausible to target a broader audience than the likes of paid ads and social media.

2. Select the Right Tool for the Job

While personalization matters, neither management nor employees want to spend days on end sitting in front of Outlook and wearing out the copy and paste buttons. One of the best things about email outreach is that the correct email automation tool can take care of much of the process.

It's worth identifying the tool of choice early in the planning stages as it might influence decisions made later on. Indeed, for flexibility both during the setup and execution phases, it's often best to use a tool that meets your needs but provides room for growth.

For example, your campaign may start with a clean, approved email list. Before long, you'll identify other businesses to introduce your products and services to. Ubico provides full functionality to communicate with existing prospects. It builds on this with prospecting and email finder tools for when the time comes to cast a wider net.

Beyond that, the right tool will help you create more effective emails. Personalization is just one critical element of B2B marketing, potentially even more so than the B2C equivalent. Many recipients are accustomed to being sold to through email outreach. Almost as many are used to mentally filtering out anything that doesn't immediately jump out at them.

Personalization can make that happen, and the right email tool will open up plenty of possibilities without sacrificing the rest of the automated processes.

3. Understand What You Want to Achieve and How to Measure It

It's usually best not to wait until a few minutes before it's time to start sending emails to decide what to write and how to classify conversions. One of the best techniques in B2B email marketing involves beginning at the end and working backward. There's every chance that the plan will come together organically once the goal has been established, making the entire campaign far easier to manage.

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It's tempting to immediately and entirely focus on direct sales. In an ideal world, one email would mean one new client, and we could repeat the process indefinitely. It doesn't quite work like that, but a successful campaign doesn't necessarily need to make any sales at all.

A great B2B email campaign can also:

  • Introduce your business to an entirely new market segment
  • Progress existing relationships from cold leads to warm ones
  • Provide additional support for other marketing efforts, such as social media and blog posts
  • Serve as a regular reminder that you're open for business when contacts are ready to buy

Don't overlook the importance of measuring successes, either. Like most forms of marketing, there's more to B2B emails than taking a course or reading a book and becoming an overnight expert. Even for experts, trial and error play a part, and there are few better ways to ensure regular improvements between campaigns than with extensive data and analytics.

4. Optimize Design and Delivery for Your Audience, Along with Your Funnel

With a goal and audience in mind, it's time to enter the content and design stage. This is the best area to potentially draw upon successful campaigns that came before. Content will usually be unique to each campaign and individual email. Still, templates and recurring information like contact details and social links will save time and account for the basic structure.

Design with the audience in mind, but don't forget the funnel and the ultimate call to action. Once again, it's often easier to work backward from the end goal. Whether making sales, spreading awareness, or building relationships, it's possible to tweak design and content to push recipients towards your goals.

When sending multiple emails to the same recipients, they need to change sufficiently to maintain interest. If you have various goals for the campaign, it's easier to introduce different angles and approaches. Conversely, if your ultimate goal remains the same throughout the campaign, differentiating emails becomes more difficult. That's all the more reason to start planning as early as possible, as there's no telling when inspiration might strike.

5. Create an Achievable Timeline

B2B campaigns don't necessarily need a defined endpoint, but they do require timelines and deadlines for reporting purposes. Timelines also help to give an idea of what's working and what might require further refinement. After all, any campaign involving a dozen emails without a single conversion might not resonate with recipients in an intended manner.

Above anything else, it's vital to plan out where you are now and where the campaign is designed to take you – and when. Successful digital marketing is all about working smarter, not harder. Planning for success but being willing to pivot when not everything works out is a critical part of this, and a reasonably detailed time will aid in achieving this.

Creating a Comprehensive B2B Email Marketing Strategy

A successful B2B email marketing campaign doesn't need to be complex. Indeed, with the right tools at your disposal, many campaigns can take care of themselves – at least from the technical side.

From keeping current customers up to date on the latest from your business to building relationships with other firms that you might never have known existed, Ubico is our full-service email solution. Designed for small business owners, marketing specialists, and anyone that wants to get their brand in front of the potential partners that matter, it can single-handedly take your B2B campaigns to a whole new level.

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