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Denise Keller

Building B2B Connections with Email Marketing and Partnerships

Apr 04 2011, 04:48 PM by

The email game is a bit different for those who specialize in the B2B segment of marketing, as obvious modifications must be made to the tone and structure of your campaigns. Your audience is not only more savvy to advertising, but generally more discerning. Yet the essential rules of the game remain the same. In order to establish valuable connections and prosperous partnerships, a B2B facilitator must adopt the mind set of an email marketer out to engage consumers.
Think Opt-In
The particularities of CAN-SPAM compliance where B2B marketers are concerned invite interpretation. The letter of the law is enforced for all commercial messages, that is: “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.” That includes promotional content and commercial websites. You may have already interpreted this to mean: “the primary purpose of my B2B email is not to promote my commercial product or service - that’s just a subordinate function.” In fact, your newsletters may contain ads or offers of discounts for your products or services in the header or footer - which you view as separate from your main communication. But what about your recipient? Will they feel the same way?

Here is where we encounter the subtle and sometimes self-inflicted damage a non-CAN-SPAM compliant email can wreak. While CAN-SPAM is a federal legislation that was basically designed to protect consumers, very little legal wrangling is required to rope a prospective partner into that herd. This is why opt-in email marketing is still the best route to go. Even if it fails to affect your status with ISPs, your reputation could take a hit if word gets out that you are taking the “unsolicited” approach to business communications. This game is all about respect, and by just sending a message to anyone at any time you are showing potential leads and prospects none.
Craft Dynamic Copy
Presentation is always key whether you are marketing to brands or consumers but when it comes to B2B email marketing, one could argue that copy is even more important. It never hurts to have the bells and whistles that make your message look more attractive, but in the end it is the quality of your copy that will make them want to know more about your solution. As always, you want to keep your content short and to the point. Don’t try to cram everything into one email. Lead the reader out of the inbox. In short, you need to deliver something that compels your contacts to click.
Never Buy Lists
For the ambitious B2B email marketer, buying a list can be tempting. Still, almost all business professionals are familiar with the act and don’t take too kindly to receiving unsolicited messages. Buying or renting a list can give you access to what appears to be quality leads, but getting you desirable results is a long shot at best. From newsletters and white papers to seminars and free incentives, there are plenty of ways to go about cultivating your list both on and offline. Taking the easy route shouldn’t be viewed as one of them.
It’s Still Email Marketing
You could have the latest greatest gadget to calm consumer hunger or a mobile app today’s brands can’t do without, yet the objective remains the same: engage the reader, hand over the benefits and close the deal. May sound familiar. When you look at it this way, it becomes clear that B2B and B2C email marketing have more in common than you may have first believed.

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