We hear it again and again: “The email examples you show on your blog are fantastic, but I’m a marketer for a B2B company. None of those design best practices from retail brands apply to me!”
It’s time for some tough love, guys. Marketing for a B2B company doesn’t give you a free pass to settle for so-so email design. We get it – B2B marketers can’t rely on cat GIFs or goofy promotions to sell their products or services. But a lot of the email design best practices retailers use to capture attention in the inbox still apply.
Here are 8 examples that prove B2B email marketing doesn't have to be underwhelming, ugly, or forgettable. Use them as inspiration to up the ante in your next B2B send and instantly stand out from the competition. Your subscribers (and your boss) will thank you for it!
There are so many things to say about this gorgeous email and its fantastic design elements: icons, CTA buttons, colorful imagery, oh my!
But really, what I loved most about this campaign is that it takes something many people associate with B2B boredom (a webinar) and makes it feel incredibly engaging. I could tell from the thought put into the email design that it would be much more than an hour-long snoozefest – and felt much more compelled to commit an hour of my time to it as a result.
(Strategic note: Brand partnerships are a powerful tool for any marketer, but they work especially well for B2B companies. If you don’t have pre-established partners, identify complementary companies with similar values and approach them about working together on a webinar, a guide, or another content marketing initiative. That way, you can leverage both of your email audiences to reach a larger network.)
How’s this for concrete evidence? Animated GIFs are NOT just for brands like J. Crew and Urban Outfitters!
Moo is a B2B company that makes business cards. (Full disclosure: We use them here at Emma and have had a great customer experience.) Here, they use a simple GIF to add a little excitement and intrigue to one of their products. Are rounded corners on your business cards inherently sexier? Maybe not, but when presented like this, it certainly feels that way!
(via Really Good Emails)
Lumi makes branded packaging for everyone from tiny Etsy shops to huge players in the e-commerce world, and their email marketing is consistently on point.
This particular send highlights how B2B brands can successfully nurture their audience with useful, relevant content. Here, each content bucket links to a blog post (or in one case, a podcast) that their subscribers might find helpful. It’s well laid-out and easy to quickly scan on mobile – something that’s especially important to remember for their audience of on-the-go entrepreneurs.
(via Really Good Emails)
Social proof is powerful stuff.
Rather than relying on their own authority to convince writers to upgrade their Grammarly accounts, their team made the smart decision to let a happy customer speak for them via an embedded tweet. People trust other consumers much more than they trust brands, so capitalizing on that sort of brand advocacy is a fantastic way to up your conversions.
(via Really Good Emails)
Simple but effective, this webinar invite from AdWeek makes use of a few basic email design elements to create a clean, attractive send. A clear label on the top immediately informs subscribers what they’re reading about; a bright image draws people in; and a short description both preceded and followed by a big, red CTA encourages plenty of clicks.
To be fair, Litmus IS an email design company, so it wouldn’t make much sense for their emails to be anything less than top-notch. But this one took things to the next level.
In this email, they used a few hidden Easter eggs to give away 5 golden tickets to The Email Design Conference. It was a fun challenge for their tech-savvy audience of email designers, and it promoted social engagement that helped get the word out about their conference. This example showcases of the power of B2B brands to not only live up to, but also exceed, the design chops of B2C marketers.
Ooh la la! Craft is Invision’s cloud-based creative team software, so their marketing emails are sent to an audience of professional designers. Thankfully, their team knows how to craft a beautiful email. A clean, simple layout on top of a vibrant blue background made for a lovely, streamlined send.
I also love that they kept things focused. It’s a smart tactic: Emails with a single CTA can lift click rates 371% and sales 1617% (Toast).
Would you expect such a good-lookin’ email from a company that sells construction equipment? I was completely taken by this mailing that featured a bold hero image, a story about a product, and a compelling call to buy (with a large, eye-catching CTA button) at the bottom.
Did I miss any B2B brands who consistently crush it with email marketing? Share some of your favorites in the comments!
About the Author
McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.Follow on Twitter More Content by McKenzie Gregory