Let’s get right to it—you run a company that operates in the B2B sector and want to step up your game when it comes to running email campaigns. Your emails should be printing your business stacks of money. Well, you’ve come to the right place. By getting back to the basics and thinking about how a B2B sales funnel works, you’ll realize that success through email will follow a path that you’re already familiar with. Without successful email campaigns, you’re missing out on an effective avenue of communication, nurturing, and value creation. Since there are so many emails filling executives' inboxes, you’ll need an edge to cut through the clutter. You need to be strategic, innovative, and unique. This guide will show you how to optimize your email game to get the most out of your sales funnel.
We plan, develop, test, and execute a B2B email strategy to turn the dial up on your engagement and retention meter. So, if you get to the end of this guide and decide that you don’t have the time to put in this work yourself, then Tiny Emails has you covered. Our wordsmiths are always standing by to help you print more dough with email.
So strap in, pour a tall cup of coffee, and get ready to supercharge your B2B email campaigns.
Table of Contents
We’ll be covering a ton of ground here, so take a quick look at this table of contents, just in case you want to jump around. You may already know where the weak points are in your funnel in which case feel free to jump to that section of the guide. You don’t need to read sequentially.
Building Awareness for Your Brand
Product and Service Promotion
Events and Seminars
Your Unique Software, Merchandise, or Swag
Onboarding Follow Up
Facilitate a Continued Interest in Your Brand
Brand Story and Mission Statement
Company Milestones/ Announcements
Make a Case for Your Company
Offer Friendly Tips
Make an Offer to Bring Them Back
Offer Useful Information
Here are Other Items that Might Interest You
Order Confirmation/ Congratulations
Follow Up/ Retention
It’s Been a While
Here’s What’s Changed with Us
How Are You Enjoying Your Product
One Business Helping Another
Offer Something in Return for a Review
Build Awareness for Your Brand
Starting at the top of your B2B funnel, you have to establish your brand uniqueness + awareness. You need to get creative, and stand out. You need to make your emails eye-catching enough for someone to think—maybe this company has the solution to my problems.
With email marketing, it’s vital to cut through the clutter, especially with businesses seeing their inboxes and unread messages growing larger by the day.
Here’s a tip—put a great deal of your effort into an unignorable subject line, something that your target customer has no other choice but to click on (we’ll touch on subject line ideas later on down the line, keep reading!)
Building awareness for your brand is how you will promote your company’s offerings. Here are a few ways to generate an appreciation for your company.
Promote Your Product and or Services
Give yourself a shameless plug, brag about how your services solve business issues, make yourself a B2B hero. By explaining how your product or service is novel to a business's specific needs, you’ll place yourself above the competition and create positive awareness for your company.
Adding a time-sensitive element to your email strategy is excellent to push your targets to act quicker. Think about running a “product of the month” email campaign if you offer multiple products or services. Put this product on center stage, highlight it, demonstrate how it solves your potential client’s needs. You can even run a limited-time deal for it.
Talk About Events and Seminars
By announcing relevant strides that your company is taking to gain more knowledge or insight into a particular industry, you’ll be placing yourself as an applicable service to the needs of your target client. For example, if you work in a digital marketing firm, announcing that a handful of your employees will be attending Hubspot’s InBound event would be highly relevant to the services that you’re selling. Even more, consider another email that reflects on what your organization gained from attending a specific event or seminar.
To push this even further, think about events and seminars that are particularly relevant to your target customer. Tell them everything they need to know about this event—when it’s taking place, where it’s taking place, and how to sign up. Even consider ending your email with a question such as, will we see you there?
Not only is this a friendly invite from you to your customer, for a common goal of gaining knowledge, but it’s also relevant to their needs—and they might not have even known about it before.
Show Off Your Unique Software, Merchandise, or Swag
Related to the first point, give your target clients a tangible offering through email. Once you’ve established a certain level of badassery, your target will see your company in the light of being beneficial to them. Not only are you a relatable organization, but you’re also one that has a solution related to their issue.
Primarily if you sell something like software, consider designing an ironic T-shirt that complements it and then utilize an email showing it off. While a T-shirt might not have anything to do with your software product, it’s something tangible that they can hold, and customers like to feel like they’re a part of something.
Welcome Clients Aboard
Once you’ve achieved a sign-up for your service or made a sale, make the client feel welcomed. Consider a fun, inviting email that does nothing other than welcome them aboard as someone who is now a part of the team. A little friendly show of appreciation can go a long way, especially in the B2B world.
You can even take this opportunity to introduce them to a few members of your team. Let them know who they’ll primarily be working with and who specializes in specific functions on your team.
Onboarding Follow Up
After welcoming the client to your world, follow up with them. They’re likely to have questions regarding their next steps, and proactively assisting them is a great way to continue building the trust they already have for your company.
Consider offering them a personal email address that they can contact or sending them a link to your FAQs.
Whatever it may be, your client will appreciate this extra step—helping them feel reassured that they’ve made a great choice to partner with your company. The point of this email is to be quick and concise. The goal here is to let them know that they’re working with an actual human company, and they have a direct line to reach out to if they need any assistance navigating your products or services.
Facilitate Continued Interest in your Brand
Once you’ve generated awareness and welcomed the client into your company, you want to make sure that they remain interested in your product or service—before they second guess and jump ship to another company. There are many ways that you can accomplish this, and it can be mainly done using assets that your company already has. Let’s consider some ways that you can share your success.
Brand Story and Mission Statement
Let your client know why you do what you do. Think of an email that gives some inspiring background on your humble beginnings—most of all, be relatable. Perhaps your company shares a similar story to the organizations you’re targeting. On top of this, reminding your client of your mission statement will place a value on your services that your competition may unmatch.
When presenting your brand story and mission statement to your potential client, add a humanized element to your email campaign. They’ll feel like they’ve gotten to know you a little bit better and will be able to better relate to who your company is and why you’re involved in a specific industry.
Share Company Milestones and Announcements
Did your company just hire a new, young, and hip CFO? Share it! Did you just promote an intern to a permanent position? Share it! Did you just pass a decade of successful operations? Guess what, share it!
Not only should you share these kinds of announcements, but you should make a point as to how they will have a positive impact on your client's operations. Take a moment to introduce key players within your organization; by putting a face to the name, clients will feel more connected with your brand and know exactly who they might be working with.
Establishing a friendly team and proof of achievements and milestones will only facilitate more interest in your company from the client’s eyes. They want to know that they’re working with a team of experts that's also been in business for several years.
Make a Case for Your Company
Remember, this is all about keeping clients continually interested in your organization. To facilitate a continued sense of delight, remind your potential customers why they might choose you, make a case for what gives you an edge over the competition. If your points are strong enough, your clients' brand loyalty will increase, and you’ll keep them coming back.
Not only concerning what you sell, but you can also make a case about your overall culture and operation model. If the way that your organization works is relatable to how your potential client likes to work, you might be highlighting a match made in heaven.
Give Out Tips and Tricks
Precisely like the purpose of this article, write an email that gives your clients a piece of functional and accessible material. Think about tips that are unique to your specific offering. A subject line like “10 Ways to Get the Most out of Our Service” would likely have a high open-rate, as your clients will want to know how to maximize the investment they’ll make by potentially partnering with you. In the actual email body, very cleanly break down the steps your customer needs to take to use your service to its full potential. Don’t make this clunky or over-complicated. It should read nicely and be clear.
Another valuable offering would be to put out a white paper. Take a stand, and make a point on a typical business issue. Break down all sides of a scenario, and provide a relevant outcome to your client. By demonstrating your knowledge on a specific subject, you'll further accelerate yourself as a valuable resource for your target customers.
This is especially important if you feel that you have a client on the fence about finalizing a deal with your company. Also true if you have a customer who has been inactive with your brand for an extended time period. You need ammunition to keep them interested, and a solid email campaign could be the answer that you’re looking for.
When planning a nurture campaign, consider a few goals that you have in mind and track your progress. For example, your goals can be qualitative or quantitative. Considering the qualitative objectives of a nurturing email, think about any interactions or triggers that might come from your emails. Perhaps you accomplish a top-of-mind standing within your target's purchase mindset or spread your brand awareness a little bit further—these are valuable, big-picture qualitative goals. For qualitative milestones, this will be things such as your potential client clicking through your email, eventually booking a sale call, or even finalizing a purchase of your offering.
Both measures are essential for a nurture campaign, so let’s dive into a few good ways that you can show the proof that keeps your customers coming back for more.
When you’re offering something such as SaaS, it’s vital to show robust examples of proof. Most customers won’t even consider finalizing a purchase until they've heard a success story from someone in a similar situation. A case study is an excellent way to highlight some of your success, and you’ll already have all the ammunition you need.
Consider designing an email that lays out a business case study in a practical and simple format to follow. Briefly describe the issue, the solutions, and the results—that’s it. You don’t give too much away; the ultimate goal is to bring them back to your website to check out the complete case study. Most importantly, jazz up your email with real pictures of the clients that the case study highlights. Your targets will want to put a face to the name, and adding images humanizes your strategy, making your entire point more relatable and stronger.
Related to adding a human element to your nurture campaign, think about how impactful video proof of a previous client describing their experience with your service could be. On top of this, a testimonial is a great way to make your email stand out among the clutter that might be filling up the inbox of your target.
The goal here is to create something intriguing enough that accomplishes either a quantitative or qualitative goal. Often, a single quote from one of your clients can carry enough weight to make your potential client double take what you’re offering. Showing proof can also be simplified, and the testimonial doesn't necessarily have to be in the form of a video.
If your clients have gone idle and haven’t shown signs of interest in your brand for an extended period, an outbound email strategy can be the perfect way to turn cold clients back into warm ones. Even more, outbound engagement can be utilized to approach targets that may not be aware of your brand. If this is part of your gameplan, purchasing a list of email addresses can often be the way to go, but you need to be careful when doing this.
There are several ways that you can create a unique email that will be convincing enough to set off a lightbulb in the mind of potential clients or bring cold ones back in. Make sure that you go through a reputable list broker who can guarantee that you’ll reach a list of potential clients that match your customer profile. On top of this, you’ll need to check with your list broker that they’ve verified and checked all email addresses on their list to ensure a high deliverability rate.
Be exciting. Show your SaaS in a way that invokes positive emotion within your target's head. To avoid being boring, use graphics or GIFs within your outbound email.
Also, consider the content you’re presenting to them and how you want your brand to appear. Are you cool? Are you useful? Are you relatable? Put yourself in the shoes of your potential or cold client—think about what you would want to see from a company like yours, and become that.
Make an Offer
One that they can’t (or can) refuse. Don’t be too salesy, but instead give them a gentle push towards making a deal. Something as simple as a 7-day free trial or even some free swag once they inquire could provide them with the drive that the potential client needs to either purchase your service or bring up your name in the next meeting.
You can also think more broadly about what an offer might be, and it doesn't necessarily have to be monetized. Offer to set them up with a free brainstorming session with an expert from your team. People love to hear outside perspectives on a particular issue that they’re faced with. If you set them up with the right person that can connect emotionally with them, it could completely change their perspective on your company.
However you choose to approach an offering scenario, just avoid one thing—don’t take on the persona of a used car salesman. Seriously, no one enjoys a pushy, cheesy salesperson. Let your brand’s offer speak for itself, and the rest of the pieces will fall into place.
Let’s say that your brand awareness, nurturing, and outbound engagement campaigns worked—congratulations! However, your work doesn’t stop when someone has inquired further or agreed to a phone call. You need to continue nurturing the client to make a sale.
The period between an inquiry and actual human communication deserves special attention. Because, during this downtime, your client might be exploring other SaaS companies, or reconsidering how your offer could help them solve their business issue. So, how do you ensure that they’re still interested by the time you get them on the phone? Consider call priming.
When priming your potential client through email, it’s important to be subtle; you don’t want to come off as annoying or over-enthusiastic. An intelligent approach, in email form, would be to send out a creative questionnaire for your client, so you can make sure that you’ll address their specific issues when on the phone.
For a better user experience, provide them with predetermined questions and answers, so they can quickly let you know about the problems they’re facing, and you’ll be able to better serve them. On top of this, subtle call priming demonstrates that your company is willing to go the extra mile to make sure that your solution will be fit for them. All around, this is a win-win solution for both parties.
Send out a Meeting Agenda
Start by listing the names and titles of who the client will be talking to. Make sure that whoever is involved has relevance to the client’s needs. For example, if you sell SEO services, and the client is in need of an in-depth keyword research program, let them know that your keyword expert will be on the call and can provide actionable insight for their needs.
B2B executives generally like schedules, as their days can become busy and hectic. By showing them that your company is organized and respects their agenda, they’ll think of you in higher regard. An email form meeting agenda doesn’t need to look like a mundane spreadsheet or calendar. Add some color, add some dynamics, and your company’s personality. Most importantly, make sure that you specify the platform that you’ll be meeting on. With video calls becoming the norm, a miscommunication in the meeting platform can hurt your chances of closing a deal.
Provide Other Useful Information
During this downtime, in between the inquiry and the call, you want your client to feel a sense of excitement. Call priming can be a good way of adding excitement, but there are other things that you can do to keep their engine running. Consider making some email announcements about future projects or big plays your company is getting ready to take on.
Maybe you’re on the edge of implementing new technology into your services, upgrading your office space, or fully leaning into a remote environment. Whatever it is, if it’s slightly relevant to your potential customer, then you’ll want to tell them about it.
As an end goal for your company, when you notice that a potential client is on the edge of finalizing a purchase, you want to help facilitate this purchase, and make it simple for the customer. Sometimes, the decision-maker in charge of purchasing your SaaS will have a variety of other things going on and may forget, or lose the place where they were with your company and finalizing a purchase. Because of this, it’s ok to send out gentle reminders that can act as a check-in of sorts, making sure that they’ll finish their purchase.
You’ve certainly got one of these in your inbox before. One moment you’re shopping for an item online, then perhaps something else comes up, and you have to step away from your computer. Without an abandoned cart email, you could forget entirely where you were in the customer journey, and maybe move on to a different company. B2B sales will work the same way.
Set up a simple tracking system on your website that activates when a potential client places one of your products in their cart. Then configure the settings so that it automatically emails them after a certain period of time if they haven’t completed the purchase. Making this an automatic email means that you won’t need to worry about potential sales slipping through the cracks—your CMS system will have it handled.
This email can be about as simple as it gets. All that you want to do here is remind them that they were in the middle of making a purchase, and then maybe forgot about it, or changed their mind. Whatever their reason might have been, an abandoned cart email serves as a great reminder, and an efficient way to bring them right back to your site to finish closing the deal.
Here are a Few other Items that Might Interest You
Oftentimes, things are meant to be purchased together or are just more functional when they are. As a friendly, and gentle outreach, offer your client another one of your products that might work really well with what they’ve already purchased, or what they were about to purchase.
Here’s an example—perhaps you sell project management software as your primary product. If the customer has just purchased a basic version of your product, you could try to upsell them by offering a package that includes 20 different, pre-designed templates, allowing them to use the actual software in a more efficient manner.
You could even simplify this down to some basic swag that you sell. Especially if you're really proud of the personality from the brand that you’ve built, think about a nicely designed T-shirt to go along with the project management software. People love to rep the brands that they work with, and pairing a piece of swag with your flagship product is essentially free marketing for you.
Purchase Made Confirmation
Have you ever ordered food online, and then never received your confirmation email? This leaves you uneasy, wondering if your favorite restaurant actually received your order. The same feeling applies to your B2B sales. You want to continue reinforcing your brand by implementing an automatic email to just show the client that you’ve received their order.
Order Confirmation and Congratulations
Besides giving confirmation and reassurance that you’ve received an order, congratulate your customer for making a great decision to work with your company. People feel good about themselves, and their purchases, when they know that they’ve become a part of something big, or are considered as a team member or partner.
So, when you send an automatic email to confirm your purchase, make it a celebratory one. Here’s an idea: Use the first line in the email to simply give them that confirmation that they desire, then the rest of the email body should celebrate their decision. Even consider giving them a direct line of contact to an account manager on your staff. This will afford them a sense of belonging, and reaffirm in their minds that they’ve made an excellent decision to not only purchase your software but to have chosen you as their reliable partner.
Whether the client purchased one, or multiple products from your company, an itemized receipt is always a great idea. Clients will enjoy seeing this level of organization and professionalism that is oftentimes overlooked. Additionally, a lower-level employee might have had to make the purchase using their personal funds. An itemized receipt allows them to easily track, and charge these expenses to the company, making the purchase process a little bit easier for everyone.
While an itemized receipt can be super basic and straightforward, it doesn’t have to be completely bland. Use this email as an opportunity to continue reinforcing your brand and show off what makes your company unique. Images, GIFS, and even other testimonials are all appropriate to include in your itemized receipt, just don’t overdo it and distract from the real purpose of this email.
Follow Up and Client Retention
Alright, at this point you’ve created your brand awareness, built continued interest, nurtured customer consideration, closed a deal, and reassured the client through confirmations—way to go! However, your work doesn’t stop here, in fact, this is really just the beginning. You want to keep the client happy and coming back for more.
Whether you offer a service that would require re-subscription, or have a new product hitting the markets—it’s time to turn this one-time buyer into a lifelong client. Here are a few great ways for you to leverage email follow-ups for positive client retention.
It’s Been a While
The title says it all—it’s been a while since you last heard from the client, and they’ve gone dormant. This is the type of email that’s meant to be sent out 3 - 6 months down the line, post-purchase. Mostly serving as a friendly check-in, your goal with this email isn’t to necessarily sell them on another product or service. You’re simply touching base with the client to stay top of mind, just in case they have another need that you could satisfy coming up on the horizon.
Make this simple, there’s no need to over-complicate this outreach. Think about using a friendly, and inviting subject line. One of the most powerful, new ways to craft an eye-catching subject line is to leverage emojis—even in B2B. In fact, studies have shown that subject lines containing emojis have a substantially higher open and click-through rate than those that don’t use emojis—and having the client simply open the email is the main goal here.
In the body copy of the email, just gently remind the client that some time had passed since your last communication or purchase, and you wanted to pop in to make sure that everything was still going well with their purchase. It’s appropriate to offer any help if needed with their product, but you’re not trying to sell them again at this point. If you play this part of the game correctly, they’ll organically be coming back to you, continuing making purchases as needed.
Here’s What’s Changed with Us
Think of this as sort of a newsletter. As a way to continue staying top of mind for your client, let them know of any changes that have happened within your company since your last communication. This goes back to when you were facilitating a continued interest in your brand. If you’ve recently promoted an employee into a key role, undergone an office renovation, or updated an old system—here’s your opportunity to talk about it. But, more than just talking about what’s been going on in your world, you’re trying to drive a little bit of communication and stay relevant in your client’s mind.
Even if nothing has significantly changed within your organization, you can still find some topics to talk about here. Consider finding a useful article that's applicable to your client's industry or needs, then talk about how your staff has been discussing this topic, and would maybe be making adjustments going forward.
Doing something like this creates a nice two-way street for casual conversation. Ask the client what their opinion might be, or where they stand on new technology. A little bit of friendly, back and forth communication might open the door to a new purchase from your client.
How’re You Enjoying Your Product
Here’s a great opportunity to gather some feedback, and either celebrate or make some adjustments. You want an opinion, from a real customer, about the effectiveness of your service for their business. Being able to gain these insights from your client will only help you to adapt and improve over time, no matter if they’re satisfied or not.
For an easy user experience, make this simple for the client and do some of the work for them. Prewrite the questions that you want to receive feedback on. Use a 5-star rating system to determine their level of satisfaction. Then at the end, provide a “comments” section, where the client can fill in more information that might be necessary for you to know about.
Testimonial—One Business Helping Another
As part of your continued follow-up and customer retention campaign, reach out to ask for a testimonial. If your client was totally satisfied with your service, then they’ll most likely have no problem providing this for you. Testimonials are an excellent way to continue earning new business, and your client certainly knows that. By positioning this as one business helping another, your client will feel good about themselves, knowing that they’re helping a business similar to theirs continue to grow and thrive.
Offer Something in Return for a Testimonial
If your initial outreach doesn’t quite do the trick, here’s another method to gather a testimonial—offer something in return for your client’s endorsement. This might be something really simple like a branded water bottle or T-shirt, or even a testimonial trade-off. When you offer the client something for their word, they’ll know that it’s a practical trade-off for 10 minutes of their time.
No matter what you offer them, make the testimonial process easy for them. If you’re in need of a review on your Google My Business profile, provide a direct link in the email that takes them right to the place that they need to be in order to leave you a review. If you don’t make this process easy, there’s a chance that the client won’t want to spend their time searching for a place to leave the review, and will abandon the mission.
Now, That’s a Supercharged Funnel
These 25 emails are designed for one thing—maximize your customer funnel to get the most out of your email campaigns.
Solid email campaigns take a lot of thought, attention to detail, and careful strategy to work effectively. With an in-depth insight on where your customer is in their purchase journey, and what they actually need/ want to hear from you, you’ll be able to engage, delight, and repeat this process over and over again.
Does this seem like a ton of work that you don’t have time to do? Here’s the truth—it really is. That’s why Tiny Emails exist. We design, create, and analyze your emails to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your funnel. With a team of writers, designers, and overall email nerds, we bring a unique understanding of email communication strategies that are proven to be highly effective.
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