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B2B Marketing: 3 Tips to Make Email More Profitable

Jacob Brain


Email is the workhorse of B2B marketing.

There are around 4 billion email accounts worldwide. For all of the new technologies that’ve cropped up over the past few years, email is still the core driver of B2B marketing and business communications. It’s not going anywhere because it works.

In fact, Oberlo estimates that, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect a return of $42. That’s awesome.

But it won’t be accurate unless you do email marketing well.

Here are three tips to help.

1. Segment your list.

Segmentation can supercharge your B2B email marketing.

As Campaign Monitor explains, “Segmentation is the division of email subscribers into smaller segments based on set criteria. Typically, segmentation is used as a personalization tactic to deliver more relevant email marketing to subscribers based on their geographic location, interests, purchase history, and much more.”

To illustrate the power of segmentation, let’s look at our email campaigns for New North. We provide B2B marketing services to a variety of industries, including managed IT service providers and SaaS firms. One easy way for us to segment our email campaigns is by sending different content to different industries.

This allows us to speak directly to MSP marketing challenges and directly to SaaS marketing challenges. We avoid bombarding people with irrelevant information and give each subscriber the content that’s most helpful to them, increasing engagement, reducing unsubscribes, and, ultimately, reaping a higher ROI.

And, again, this is just one way to segment. We can segment by job title (Marketing Director, Marketing Manager, VP of Marketing) and create messages that will resonate most with a particular role. We can segment by company size, or by location, or by the services people are interested in.

The possibilities are endless.

Two final notes on this:

First, you can only segment with the data you have. Many email tools will automatically append data to addresses – meaning that, even if you’re only collecting name and email, you may still be able to tell where a person lives or what their company is like. However, if you need more specific data, you have two choices: Ask for it on your signup forms or try to get it appended from a list provider.

Second, segmentation should always serve a purpose. There’s no point in breaking your list down if your actual B2B marketing won’t be impacted. We’ve seen plenty of businesses set up email platforms and add a mess of lists. Sometimes, these could be segmented into two or three groups.

Don’t break things down meaninglessly – do it with a purpose in mind. If you shape your messaging to your segments, you can drastically increase your email engagement.

2. Send shorter outreach emails.

This second tip is specifically geared toward outreach emails (or cold emails): For the first email shorter is usually better.

You can probably understand why based on your own experience. If you get an email from someone you don’t know, you’re probably going to just delete it. If you decide to give them the benefit of the doubt and open the message to find a short novel – well, you’re definitely going to hit the delete button.

The data backs this up.

SalesFolk has found that shorter emails (at a length of around five sentences) get about a 21% response rate – way above average. HBR affirms that short emails are more likely to be read than long ones. MailShake recommends cutting to the chase with the first sentence of the email. HubSpot notes that shorter subject lines tend to perform more effectively.

The bottom line is that if you’re going to reach out, go short.

Don’t launch into your full sales pitch. Don’t send a mini ebook. Use three to five sentences to communicate the value you provide and a clear next step, then sign off (with a post-script).

3. Don’t bank on a single send. Be consistent.

This final tip could be applied to nearly any B2B marketing channel (or area of life, really): Be consistent.

One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses make is to half-heartedly attempt a B2B marketing campaign and then call it quits when it doesn’t immediately lead to results. Most good things take time to build, and email marketing campaigns are no different.

Here’s what you should do.

If you’re sending to a cold list, send multiple times. Email sequences (or series) are so effective because they provide multiple opportunities for contacts to engage. You’ve probably heard the stats about the value of multiple touchpoints; some data suggests that eight touchpoints before a conversion is about average.

If you’re sending thought leadership material, send it regularly. If your newsletter is an ad-hoc, once in a blue moon marketing piece, nobody will care to see it in their inbox. Send weekly (at the very least, monthly) to build engagement. Your list will come to expect your email – and, if you provide value, that’ll be a good thing.

Need help with your B2B marketing emails?

Hopefully, these three tips are helpful as you implement effective B2B email marketing for your organization.

Want custom guidance on your email marketing campaign? Get in touch with us.

At New North, we’ve been doing B2B marketing for over a decade – and email has been a highly effective marketing channel for us the entire time. Give us a call, and let’s review your list, your email marketing strategy, and discuss opportunities for improvement.

Or, if you’d rather, just shoot us an email. It works.

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