The 7 Rules of B2B Email Marketing (Plus 4 Examples We Love)

But I think everyone can benefit from planning ahead.

email marketing tips or email marketing best practices that work for B2B just as well as B2C marketing plans. And we definitely encourage you to try out those techniques.

That makes segmenting your audience a rule worth following.

1. Segment your audience

But before you start experimenting with strategies that might work for your business, you need to start following the rules that will improve your B2B email marketing. Herime are the seven you need to know.
Here’s an excellent email from Semrush a few months ago, shortly after signing up for a free trial:
All of these B2B email marketing rules help you send better emails—with more personalization, more regularity, or stronger copy. But in order to keep improving your emails, you need to keep testing to find out what works for your audience.

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I’m biased toward this email marketing rule. If I don’t write a task down in a to do list, then I forget about it. If I don’t have a plan sketched out, then I get stressed when my team inevitably starts requesting changes. If I don’t have a to do list to look back on, I can’t tell you what I did yesterday. That’s why an email marketing calendar is essential for me.
Because these are common, we’d recommend starting with these. Once you get to know your audience better, you can get even more specific with your tests—like to find out whether subject lines with emojis perform better or which color CTA button gets more clicks. The more you know about what your audience is looking for in their emails, the more you can tailor your marketing and improve your metrics.

2. Send a newsletter

And making your emails more appealing to your audience can bring in real results for your business. In fact, marketers who segment their email marketing campaigns report a 760% increase in revenue.
A newsletter is a great way to consistently distribute your blog posts, webinars, or other content to your database. It’s also a great way to engage with your contacts. The cadence can vary depending on your business, but whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly, it’s consistent. That keeps your brand name in each contact’s inbox, and as long as you’re providing high-quality, useful content, that’ll build trust.

creative newsletter ideas for every month of the year. And use these creative newsletter names. Then decide on your format and get drafting!

3. Follow the law

It’s wild to think that the first email was sent 40 years ago, and even if we’ve moved on to texting and social media, we still haven’t replaced this mode of communication. Email marketing is still a dependable marketing channel for so many businesses looking for meaningful results—whether that’s building trust, nurturing leads, or converting contacts into customers.

copy fits well, too. The website builder positions its platform as a tool for entrepreneurs and artists to grow their brand and their business.

This email’s subject line stood out to me right away: “89% of consumers will buy from brands they follow on social.” It’s a compelling, complete statistic about social—and I wanted to see what else the email said about it. 
For me, though, it’s the sign off: “Happy studying!”

5. Plan your email marketing calendar

The email header has everything you need to know: Sprout Social pulled the stat from this report that you can download now. But if you keep reading, you learn more about the report, including more stats. I like how Sprout Social highlights this extra information by making these numbers bold. It catches your eye if you’re skimming—which, let’s be honest, most of us are.
The reality is that not everyone is going to open your B2B marketing emails. Emails are one of the best marketing strategies because they allow you to control your messaging, personalize, and scale. But that contributes to the noise in everyone’s inbox. Last year, there were 306.4 billion email sent each day. 
That’s why 31% of B2B marketers consider email newsletters the best way to nurture their leads.

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The best way to do this is to run regular A/B tests. An A/B test is a common exercise where you change one variable in an email send and see which version performs better.

6. Focus on your copywriting

And those are just two quick examples of endless possibilities to personalize your B2B emails and make them more appealing to your audience.

subject lines, since those will impact your open rates. They should be engaging, eye-grabbing, and give just enough information to tempt your reader into opening the email. Take this great subject line from Dropbox in the image of my inbox above.

email copywriting tips that we swear by.

Keep testing

But it does mean that your email copy and your email content should be recognizably on-brand every time.
This is more than an essential B2B email marketing rule, because there are legal consequences that any marketer needs to be aware of. In the US, it’s the CAN-SPAM Act that you need to know about. And if you’re sending emails to contacts in Europe, you’ll want to be familiar with GDPR.​

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Now, this doesn’t mean that you always have to use highly stylized formats in your brand colors—you can go ahead and send a plain text email in regular old automatic font colors, too.

  • Subject lines
  • Preview text
  • CTAs
  • Email design
  • Offer
  • Send day
  • Send time

When you segment your audience, you can get more specific about your copywriting and your offer. For instance, if you’re sending only to your contacts in the Northeast US, you can reference the start of summer in July. If you’re sending only to you’re sending only to contacts who previously made a purchase, you can offer a discount code to re-engage them.

marketing psychology). It’s subtle here, which makes it clear that it’s supporting the product features above, not the primary reason to convert. Another great tactic here? Alternating the colors of the CTAs to prevent them from getting stale in an email with multiple buttons. Well done.

Example #2: Semrush’s free course

Now, go get started. Good luck!

technical SEO.”

Here are some common variables to test:
The good news is that you don’t need anything extra to set up a calendar. You can use a project management tool, like monday.com or Trello, or you can use a simple Google Sheet. The important thing is to choose something easy and quick to use. That way you’ll keep up with your calendar.

Example #4: Sprout Social’s social media report

It’s unexpected, it’s upbeat, and it’s relevant to the content of the email.

b2b email marketing example—sprout social
b2b email marketing example—sprout social

That was a lot, so to recap, here are the B2B email marketing rules that you need to follow to improve your performance and engage your contacts:

Follow these rules for stronger B2B email marketing

An email marketing calendar will help you figure out what you need to write and when. It can also capture details that you’ll want to look back on: subject lines that you used, segments you engaged, offers you sent. This will help you analyze performance—more on this later—and it’ll help avoid mistakes like sending a noticeably similar subject line to the same group or using the same offer twice in a row.

  1. Segment your audience
  2. Send a newsletter
  3. Follow the law
  4. Stick to your brand
  5. Plan your email marketing calendar
  6. Focus on copywriting
  7. Keep testing

I’m sure all of your emails are great. But not every email is going to work for every contact in your database. That’s why you absolutely need to segment your audience for your B2B email marketing.