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Avoid This Common B2B Email Marketing Mistake


You want to create an attention grabbing email newsletter for your business-to-business customers. Something that will keep your products (and your company) top-of-mind when they’re ready to make a purchase.

All you need to do is create an electronic flyer showcasing some of your products. Right?

Wrong. I know it can be tempting when you have products (and lots of them) to want to use your newsletters solely as a sales piece but that’s almost always easier said than done.

The likelihood that you’ll be able to address the right products (“I really need a D25 Industrial….”) at the right time (“and I need one today”) with the right customers is going to be incredibly difficult. Make that impossible.

Instead of trying to blanket your subscribers with model numbers and product specs (and a shameless sales pitch), think about what’s really going to grab their attention—content that actually adds value. Then you can transition into relevant products.

How can you add value? It’s really simple. 

Instead of focusing on the product first, take a step back and think about the problem the product can help your customers solve. Focus your time, attention, and content there. 

Address a concern or pain point you know your customers are having. They might not know they need the new “D25 Industrial…” but they will know they want to improve the accuracy of their sensor data—and if they do, it will also help save them time and reduce costs. Win. Win. Win!

Grainger is a great example. They have thousands of products—from office supplies to HVAC and refrigeration.

Instead of focusing solely on their products, they typically lead their email newsletter content with a helpful article like this “10 Things You Should Know About Electrical Clamp Meters.” 

sample b2b email newsletter example, grainger

I don’t know one thing about clamp meters, let alone 10. Even so, the title and the content caught my attention. Just think about how effective something like that can be for readers who are already familiar with electrical clamp meters.’

Graigner focused on value first. A helpful primer that covers the basics on what you can do with your electrical clamp meter. 

Not a sales flyer. But they do have those as well.

They offer 3 different email subscription options—each of which serves a slightly different purpose. One is an email newsletter that includes helpful information and articles as well information about their products, another focuses specifically on offers and promotions, and a third features product reviews and surveys.

Don’t panic. I’m not saying you need to have multiple newsletter options. Far from it. I’m saying you need to think strategically about what you’re trying to accomplish with your newsletter and then segment your list and your content accordingly. 

Before you blanket your readers with a sales flyer hoping a specific product resonates, take a step back and think about the problem that product can help them solve. Share a helpful how-to article that adds value. The products (and your sales pitch) can come later.

Looking for sample newsletters? 

Here are some of my favorites



[Image: Flickr user sophie & cie]

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