7 B2B Email Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign
Written by Franco Varriano.
The world of B2B email marketing is one that all store owners are familiar with. Whenever you receive communications from Shopify, BigCommerce, or whichever eCommerce software you use to run your online store, you’re seeing a B2B email.
If you’re in the B2B email marketing business, then this post is definitely a must for you. But even if your business focuses more on B2C email marketing, you can still learn a lot about effective email marketing from the way the B2B marketers do it.
We’ll go through seven different emails that B2B email marketers are using as part of their email campaigns. We’ll look at the following email examples:
- Thank You Email
- Welcome Email
- New Features Announcement Email
- Product Feedback Email
- Nurture Email
- Apology Email
- Billing Issue Email
Showing your appreciation is essential to maintaining relationships with your customers. The simple act of saying “Thank you” means a lot more than you might think.
Have a look at the thank you email that live video production software company Grabyo sent to their users after achieving an important milestone:
Via Good Email Copy
There are a few important takeaways from this email:
- The email corresponds to a milestone. You don’t need an excuse to say thank you, but tying a thank you email to an important moment for the company can make your thank you message even more powerful. When you thank someone for helping you get to a key moment in your business, it makes them feel like they’re part of something bigger: that they’re contributing to your company.
- The email links to a case study. Grabyo shows how you can go even further with thank you emails, as they use their thank you email as a chance to get your subscribers to visit your site. You could easily adapt this technique to an ecommerce marketing campaign through sending an announcement that thanks customers for helping you sell a certain amount of inventory and then links to a post on your blog detailing how you got there (with a few product links strategically sprinkled in).
- The subject line is concise. Writing great subject lines is an art that all email marketers need to master, and this email from Grabyo is a lesson in one of the key parts of effective subject line writing: concision. When you’re thanking someone, there’s no need for an elaborate preface. It’s better to get straight to the point. This email subject line does that, while also sneaking in a play on words that ties into their relevant metric of impressions.
Onboarding new email subscribers, users, or customers is an art every business needs to master. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and the welcome email is that chance.
To see a great welcome email from a thriving company, check out the email project management software company Basecamp sends to users who have just signed up:
Via Good Email Copy.
The following aspects of this email are worth highlighting:
- The subject line is enthusiastic. Using too many exclamation points in your emails can risk landing you in spam (or just wearing out your subscribers). But in this email, the one exclamation point in the subject line makes sense. When someone buys from you and joins your email list, it’s a big moment! Using an enthusiastic subject line creates a baseline of excitement that you can build upon in the rest of the email.
- Strategic use of social proof. In the first paragraph of the email, Basecamp mentions the “1,500,000 organizations just like yours who manage their projects with Basecamp”. The marketing term for this is “social proof”, where marketers play on people’s natural tendency take into account the actions of others when trying to figure out what they should do. Basecamp also makes sure to highlight that the organizations in question are “just like yours”, helping the new user feel at ease in their decision. You can do the same in emails to new customers: cite statistics about how many people have already bought from your store, or mention what they have in common with other customers (if it makes sense to do so).
- Clear call to action. While the email does a fine job of welcoming the new user, Basecamp never loses sight of the ultimate goal of email marketing: to get people out of their email inbox and onto the company’s website. In Basecamp’s case, the goal is to get new users to try the software and ultimately move to a paid plan. But you can use the same technique in your emails to customers: always give your subscribers an easy, logical call to action (CTA) that links back to a relevant product or another page of your online store.
When you introduce something new, you need to let your customers know. Whether it’s a website redesign, a new category of products, or just a new item your subscribers might enjoy, anything new is the perfect chance to send a timely, well-targeted email.
To see an excellent example of how to introduce new features to your subscribers, have a look at this product update email from event space rental company thisopenspace:
Via Good Email Copy.
Here are the key things you can learn from this email:
- Specific statistics. The number $2,000,000 appears three times throughout this email. This is a powerful technique, as it goes beyond a vague promise of “you are insured” and instead uses a concrete number to demonstrate just how much insurance and protection clients of thisopenspace receive. You can do the same in announcements of new products. If something comes in a variety of colors, name all of them. If you now offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, make sure you say how much. Specificity is persuasive.
- Personal signature. Even if the company’s founder probably didn’t write the above email, attaching their name to it still adds an element of trust that puts recipients at ease. You can do the same in your marketing emails–add your name and show that you stand behind what you sell.
- Authoritative industry names. The email makes sure to emphasize that it’s not just any insurance company protecting against third party liability claims: it’s Lloyd’s of London, “the world’s most trusted name in insurance”. This technique uses a subset of social proof known as “authority”. Any time you have a chance to use an authoritative name in your email communications, do so. For example, if a major brand uses your product, make sure to mention it. The same goes for celebrities, influencers, or recognized industry experts.
If you don’t ask for feedback, you’re not going to receive it. Your best bet for finding out what people like about your products (and how you can improve them) is to send an email asking for feedback.
Here’s a A+ feedback request from clothing retailer Everlane:
Via Good Email Copy.
Everlane’s marketing team knows what they are doing; here’s what this email can teach you about how to ask for feedback:
- Not too long. When requesting feedback on a product, you’re already asking someone to take time out of their day. To ensure they can make this time, keep the actual email requesting feedback short. Take the time you need to explain why you’re asking for feedback, but then get to the survey link or questions as quickly as possible. The email inbox is a busy place, and the briefer you can be, the better your chances that recipients will respond.
- Compelling subject line. “Let’s Talk” is a subject line that strikes the right balance of seriousness and openness. It gets people’s attention so that they open the email, but it’s not pushy. It leads into the message of the email itself, one of an honest desire to improve and provide a better customer experience.
- Specific time. No one wants to open a survey without knowing how long it will take them. We’ve all been surprised by a customer survey that was absurd in its length and complexity. For a general customer survey like the one above, tell people exactly how long you estimate it will take. This may cause some recipients to skip the survey (not everyone has ten minutes to spare), but your transparency will help increase survey response rates overall.
Unless you’re in the business of selling an extremely high-end, high-priced product that people tend to buy once (such as engagement rings), the long-term success of your business depends on building and maintaining repeat customers. This is where nurture emails come in: they help you follow-up with customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while or are on the fence about making a purchase.
The below email from online retailer Ugmonk demonstrates the fine art of the nurture email:
Via Good Email Copy.
Here’s what makes this email so effective:
- It’s personal and human. Many email marketers think that personalization is all about using the customer’s name. While this is true (and the above email does it), what this email shows is the power of putting your name behind your product. The site founder uses his “personal email” as a way to persuade buyers who are on the fence to get in touch with him about any of their questions or concerns. This conveys that Ugmonk is owned by a real guy who still designs the products his customers use. Even if the recipient doesn’t end up responding, this tactic does wonders in building customer trust.
- It’s targeted. This email is an excellent example of using an automated email to contact your customers at key moments. In this case, the trigger for this automation is an abandoned cart. But the email isn’t pushy: it reads as a genuine outreach to help with any issues the customer may be experiencing.
- It’s on brand. Notice how in the second to last sentence of the email, Jeff emphasizes that he’s “incredibly passionate about design” and loves the product his company makes. This statement is all part of Ugmonk’s brand, which focuses on products that are functional and well-designed. Emphasizing the key qualities of your brand in nurture emails is a technique that reminds your subscribers why they were interested in buying from you in the first place.
Anyone who’s run a business long enough will tell you that it’s not a question of if something will go wrong, but rather when. It’s tempting to beat yourself up and get frustrated when your site goes down, a discount code doesn’t work, or a customer payment doesn’t go through. But instead of viewing these times in a negative light, you should view them as opportunities, opportunities to show your customers your commitment to providing the best service and experience possible.
The following email from customer sales and support chat app Olark exemplifies how to apologize for technical issues:
Via Good Email Copy.
Here’s what you can learn from this apology email:
- Own up to what happened. Olark spends the first two paragraphs of the email summarizing what happened. They don’t make any excuses, but rather make sure the recipients know what caused the outages. Be honest that you messed up: customers will respect your honesty.
- Say you’re sorry. The third paragraph of the email empathizes with the customer’s pain. Olark shows they understand how much of a problem service outages cause the businesses that rely on them, and that such issues are “not acceptable”.
- Offer to make it right. Finally, Olark makes a key move when they tell their customers that 1) their engineering team is working to prevent outages again and 2) they will credit the account of any customers whom the outages affected. This is how you turn an unpleasant customer experience into an affirming, encouraging one, one that makes someone a customer for life.
Difficulties charging a customer’s credit card come up all the time. Even long-standing, loyal customers can forget to update their card details. To ensure that your customers can make their purchases or keep their subscriptions going without difficulty, you need to be able to write effective billing issue emails.
To see a great example of how to do this, check out the below email from sales tax management company Quaderno:
Via Good Email Copy.
Here are the main things this email from Quaderno has to teach:
- Straightforward subject line. If you’re having a problem billing a customer’s card, then it’s an urgent matter. Therefore, it’s best to stick to a straightforward subject line that explains what’s wrong. This way, the customer will be quick to recognize the issue and update their billing information.
- Clear instructions. After a short explanation of the issue in question, Quaderno provides clear instructions for where the customer can go to update their information (“Settings > Billing”). This is key, because it avoids the assumption that all users are technical or experienced enough online shoppers to know how to make the updates. Just because such details are obvious to you as a store owner, that doesn’t mean they are to your customers.
- Offer of help. Finally, the email closes with an offer of assistance for customers who think the billing issue is an error or who have any further questions. This makes sure that Quaderno doesn’t lose customers just due to technical problems or confusion about how to update card details. It also balances the necessary firmness of the previous paragraph. Customer service is key in every interaction, even something as mundane as an expired credit card.
Get Started Making More Sales Today
We hope the B2B marketing examples in this post have helped you learn how to craft better ecommerce marketing emails for all types of customer interaction.
Of course, to send any emails to your customers to begin with, you’ll need the right email marketing software. For ecommerce email marketing campaigns, there’s no better option than Rare. Rare makes abandoned cart emails, automatic product recommendations, and other common ecommerce email marketing tasks a breeze, all while helping you create beautiful email designs without touching a line of code.
And if you’re one of the thousands of merchants who are already using Rare’s Smart Email Marketing software and want to see how our Customer Success Team can work with your brand to grow your revenue – feel free to book a call at your convenience here.