Log in

5 clever B2B email marketing examples that will inspire you

B2B Email marketing examples
B2B email marketing examples
1Freedom Project: Bold entire sentences in long sales emails
2LeaderBox: Place your CTA above and below the fold
3Autogrow: Add urgency to your emails
4Gainsight: Partner with another brand to grow your email list
5Havenly: Generate excitement with anticipation emails
What is a B2B email marketing strategy?
B2B email marketing best practices
Final thoughts

In a competitive business-to-business (B2B) industry, you may think sending more emails to your target audience is a good way to capture attention.

However, too many emails may overwhelm your subscribers and cause your marketing efforts to backfire.

The key lies in balancing your communication, sticking to a clear, skimmable structure and always providing value.

In this article, we share five examples of email campaigns you can use to increase opens and click-throughs. We’ll then give you a B2B email marketing strategy overview and some best practices to roll out.

B2B email marketing examples

Exploring what others have done before is one of the best ways to learn how to set your own email marketing efforts up for success.

Let’s look at some B2B email marketing examples that can help you improve your campaigns.

1. Freedom Project: Bold entire sentences in long sales emails

Some studies say the ideal sales email length is between 75–100 words, while others stress closer to 200 is best.

AWeber analyzed 1,000 emails from 100 marketing experts and found the emails averaged 434.48 words. That said, 500 of them contained fewer than 300 words.

Let the type of sales email you’re sending dictate the length, like Leah from Freelance to Freedom Project. Her email sales copy that convinces the recipient of the power of her community comes in at a relatively bulky 506 words.

B2B email marketing example 1

Longer copy can cause people’s attention can wander while reading, especially on smaller screens.

Leah decided to offset that outcome by writing one-line paragraphs. This layout is supported by eye-tracking study findings that indicate most users naturally prefer reading in an “F” shape. In other words, readers often fixate on the words at the beginning of lines.

To keep readers engaged and capture wandering eyes further down the page, Leah occasionally bolds entire sentences.

Used sparingly, this design trick can spice up your copy and draw attention to important lines, particularly during longer emails.

Start planning your email marketing campaign now

Click the button to receive a free email marketing campaign planner ebook

2. LeaderBox: Place your CTA above and below the fold

Your email’s call to action (CTA) should draw attention to the primary next step you want recipients to take. For example, signing up for a webinar or scheduling a sales demo.

When placing your CTA above the fold (the content you can see without having to scroll), the marketing community seems to be in two minds.

On one hand, experts like Brian Massey from Conversion Sciences say:

“It is a best practice. So the most important parts of the page will usually do best above the fold.”

On the other hand, putting a CTA immediately above the fold may be too much too soon. Some marketers believe you should place it at the end when a reader has read all the necessary information and is ready to take action.

There’s virtue in both ideas, which is why marketers like Michael Hyatt from LeaderBox aim for the best of both worlds.

B2B email marketing example LeaderBox

The red hyperlinked text leads to two landing pages. The first is above the fold and the second is below.

Both links go to the same place but Michael gives his email subscribers two opportunities to get there.

You can see which option fits most naturally into your email design or go with your gut initially. There’s nothing wrong with hedging your bets until your A/B tests tell you which pathway leads to more click-throughs and better email open rates.

3. Autogrow: Add urgency to your emails

While “Buy now!” may not work for companies with several decision-makers, you can still apply a sense of urgency earlier in the customer journey.

Gartner’s “The New B2B Buying Journey” research suggests B2B buyers spend most of their time independently researching online when considering a purchase. Signing up to email lists of potential solutions can be one of these buying activities.

You can create that sense of urgency for B2B subscribers in the research phase using time limits. However, you have to be strict with yourself. If you say a 50% discount for a white paper ends tonight, it should end tonight.

If you continually extend discounts, sales and special offers, your customers will catch on and future event emails may be less effective.

Many marketers don’t add enough urgency to their email campaigns. Here’s how Matt from Autogrow does it.

B2B email marketing example Autogrow

Opening with “Hey, final reminder this is ending now” keeps the tone informal but conveys Matt has sent many follow-up emails touting this deadline and now it’s here.

Depending on what you sell, you may feel that one of the biggest challenges with urgency and scarcity is creating it.

Let’s say you sell physical products but don’t want to discount them. Using email segmentation, you can filter everybody who added a previously out-of-stock item to their cart but didn’t buy.

In this case, you can get in touch to tell recipients the product is back in stock and they should buy before it’s too late again.

If you’re selling SaaS subscriptions that aren’t scarce and won’t run out, you could offer a direct discount but that can quickly get complicated if you do it too often.

For SaaS cases, your most reliable weapon is creativity.

Here are two ideas to create urgency for online services:

  • Beta subscription. If you have new features, products or services, you can limit beta customer seats (the group you give early access to) to build a sense of exclusivity and trust.

  • Higher tier. Temporarily placing a customer in a higher tier for one to three months can be more desirable than a discount and make them want to upgrade when it runs out.

4. Gainsight: Partner with another brand to grow your email list

One of the biggest problems B2B email marketers have is reaching new audiences. One option is to run pay-per-click ads on Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other marketing platforms.

According to the Google Economic Impact Report, businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on Adwords.

However, that’s just the average. A bulk of that revenue goes to the companies that deeply understand Adwords.

A strategic alternative is partnering with another business to take advantage of their email list and vice versa.

For example, you could co-author an ebook on a third-party site with a higher domain authority (DR) than yours.

As well as plugging into their reach potential, you get your brand and expertise in front of potential customers and new subscribers when your partner sends it to their email list.

Customer success platform Gainsight partnered with scheduling app Calendly to create this e-book on reducing churn.

B2B Email Marketing example Calendly Gainsight

While both companies serve different primary functions, they have decided to work together because their customer success audience overlaps.

Gainsight enhances the customer experience with analytics, while Calendly facilitates one-to-one onboarding with simplified scheduling.

When each company sends the ebook to their mailing list, customers may find the other’s product solves another of their pain points.

You can also work to get your product mentioned in a larger company’s online course and generate subscribers and leads that way.

Lead generation strategies like these hinge on building a strong brand that differentiates from the crowd, alongside good networking and relationship-building skills.

5. Havenly: Generate excitement with anticipation emails

Anticipation emails help you build buzz around your product, which is especially visible on social media channels and communities when subscribers share the news.

While anticipation emails can help you attract potential new users, they’re more likely to excite people who are already fans of your brand.

These loyal customers are already familiar with your product and will likely appreciate something fresh and new.

Interior design brand Havenly uses anticipation emails to create excitement for new product launches.

B2B email marketing example Havenly

Notice that there isn’t a CTA button in this type of email. Instead, Havenly uses a large graphic of emoji eyes and bold phrases like “Keep your eyes open and your inbox refreshed”.

Without using the subscriber’s name, the message feels personal and tailored with “something new that we know you’ll love”.

The entire point is to get people excited for the forthcoming email, so an action button isn’t necessary.

If you have a major product launch coming up, sending a personalized email with an engaging email subject line is a good start to get your audience excited.

Try not to be disheartened if you don’t hear from new customers. Loyal subscribers and product enthusiasts are more likely to be receptive to anticipation emails ahead of your announcement, so focus on targeting them.

What is a B2B email marketing strategy?

A B2B email marketing strategy is an actionable plan that helps define channel processes, align activities with overall marketing goals and bring all team members onto the same page.

It usually entails narrowing down the target audience and splitting it into segments, uncovering ways to reach that audience and executing various campaigns aligned with the recipient’s customer journey stage.

There are many broad similarities between B2B and B2C marketing (business-to-consumer marketing), such as targeting pain points and speaking to recipient needs. However, B2C marketers usually only need to encourage one decision-maker down a shorter, sometimes instantaneous, sales journey.

B2B marketing emails typically require tactics specialized for speaking to multiple people at a company over a longer buying cycle, like sharing insightful reports and sending high-value email newsletters.

B2B email marketing best practices

While brand-specific examples are helpful, there are some wider strategies you can apply to almost all of your email campaigns.

Here are four B2B email marketing strategy examples all industries can benefit from.

Segmenting your email list

When organizing B2B subscriber segmentation, the demographics of individual users should still play a part. Even though you’re dealing with multiple decision-makers, you may still target Gen Z marketing managers or Millennial Chief Operations Officers.

Split your email list into targeted groups based on qualities certain individuals or companies share.

For example, you may sell accounting software to small business owners and finance departments of enterprise-sized companies. In that case, you’d want to send two different types of emails to cater to both types of users.

Like with B2C, you can create fictional representations of B2B groups using buyer personas and ideal customer profiles (ICPs), then use these findings to create your targeted mailing lists.

Alongside demographic information, you can implement solution and behavioral segmentation. In other words, you’ll further categorize your list depending on each group’s goals and pain points, then create highly targeted email content that speaks to them.

For example, solo small business owners are more likely to be interested in your new webinar that walks through filing an end-of-year tax return for the first time.

On the other hand, Chief Financial Officers of multinational companies may find your white paper on tracking cash flow across several regions and countries more helpful.

Here’s how QuickBooks targets small business owners with a feature that fixes a pain point – losing paper receipts.

B2B email marketing example QuickBooks

Small business owners have to wear many hats when running their companies and filing paper receipts may not be a priority if it’s a time-intensive process.

Accountants of larger teams won’t handle unorganized receipts directly from customers, so segmentation becomes key for keeping content relevant for both types of users.

Personalizing your email subject lines and body

Even though you’re targeting a business, an individual still receives and (hopefully) reads your emails.

According to Adobe research, “highly personalized experiences” are one of the top ways brands set themselves apart from competitors and make themselves more memorable.

You can apply this logic to B2B subject lines, too. Let’s say you know your recipient’s pain point is demotivated employees. Your subject line could be, “The 10-minute hack that’ll revive employee motivation”.

While adding the recipient’s first name now feels expected, you can continue your personalization in your email messages and subject lines using tactics like:

  • Referring to a past purchase

  • Mentioning an item they’ve clicked on previously

  • Curating topics or products based on browsing habits

  • Including insightful personal data

Here’s how CJ Affiliate rounds up monthly user data to create a valuable, personalized report explaining how efficiently the account holder uses the service.

B2B email marketing example CJ Affiliate

With an interesting subject line of “Your Monthly Health Score: 27%”, the user will likely want to open it to learn why their score is so low.

Each of these personalization tactics can also help to further segment your list, categorizing companies by the products they buy or the landing pages they’ve visited.

For example, you may notice that reps from companies that offer co-working spaces often visit your blog post on cybersecurity within shared work environments. You may use this information to send these users more information on your access control solutions.

A/B testing several personalization strategies (splitting a group in your list and sending a variation to each) can help increase click-through rates and, if done successfully, conversion rates.

Tailoring your campaigns to each B2B buyer journey stage

As there are multiple people involved in decision-making, B2B companies naturally have a longer buying and sales cycle.

Gartner’s “New B2B Buying Journey” research also suggests that B2B buyers complete six jobs before making a purchase. These jobs are:

  1. Identifying the problem

  2. Exploring different solutions

  3. Figuring out what the solution needs to do

  4. Narrowing down a supplier

  5. Validating the solution

  6. Creating a consensus

Thanks to this longer B2B sales journey, you’ll need to tailor your email campaigns to each of these stages.

For example, you may have to spend a lot more time in the lead nurturing stage sending out convincing case studies than you would with an individual buyer.

Using email marketing software to automate campaigns

You can automate most elements of your B2B email marketing campaigns. Doing so can help handle time-intensive, repetitive tasks and let your team focus on creative ways to entice new customers.

For example, you can use Pipedrive’s email marketing software to grab prospects’ attention at the right time using automated drip campaigns and customizable email templates.

Here’s an example of welcome email automation in the Campaigns dashboard.

B2B email marketing example Campaigns

Use automated email software like this to optimize deliverability before and after you send, including real-time reporting on important email engagement metrics.

Final thoughts

In a fast-paced world, the right B2B email marketing strategy for your business can help you send more effective, engaging content and reduce unsubscribes.

If you’re exploring automation software or email service providers for your B2B marketing efforts, the examples in this article all likely leverage powerful email marketing tools.

To get started, make sure you have access to software with features and functionalities that will help you effectively implement your plan across all digital marketing channels.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial and see what Pipedrive can do for you.

Driving business growth