This post was updated from its original content in December 2018.
We hear it again and again: “I’m a marketer for a B2B company. None of those email design best practices you share 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. Sure, B2B marketers can’t rely on cat GIFs or goofy promotions to sell their products or services. However, 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!
If your B2B company wants to send an email newsletter, THIS is how it's done. I absolutely love how Yesler formatted "The Issue," their monthly content roundup. The scrollable, one-column design looks great on mobile, and the clear sections organized by topic makes it super easy to navigate. Finally, while there are several pieces of content included in this particular send, they're all centered around a focused topic: data.
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.
And in case you're wondering what creative copy would look like for your brand, we talk about it more in this post.
(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 (now called Litmus Live). 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). It pays to measure your success.
Did I miss any B2B brands who consistently crush it with email marketing? Share some of your favorites in the comments!
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