B2C Email Marketing: Examples & Strategies

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

B2C (business-to-consumer) email marketing is a valuable tool for communicating directly with your audience. In this lesson, you'll learn more about B2C email marketing and strategies you can implement.

Reaching Your Consumers

Solve this riddle: What is a low-cost, highly-effective way to reach out to your consumers directly and provide them with information about your brand, products and services?

B2C email marketing is a low-cost, high-reward tool for communicating with customers.
B2C email marketing is a low-cost, high-reward tool for communicating with customers.

Answer: Business-to-consumer email marketing!

What is B2C Email Marketing?

Business-to-consumer email marketing refers to communications from your brand or business directed to consumers. It differs from B2B, or business-to-business, email marketing that focuses on communications from one business to another.

Because it presents different opportunities and different challenges than its B2B counterpart, it must be approached differently in all areas ranging from design and message to delivery. Read on to learn more about strategies you can use in your B2C email communications.

Strategies in B2C Communications

B2C email messages should be written and conducted in a much more direct way than emails targeting businesses. B2C emails typically are all about the 'hard sell,' meaning a direct request of your recipients to make a purchase. It also has a more immediate focus (wanting people to buy now) as opposed to B2B emails which are more geared toward building relationships over time.

Here are some ideas that can put your B2C emails at the top.

1. Create different lists. Segmenting your subscriber list can be beneficial in terms of stronger click-through rates and more sales. Because consumers are at different stages of the buyer journey, they can be approached differently with targeted email messages that meet them where they are.

Example: Send an email to a long-time customer with the last five items they were looking at or the items they left in their shopping cart. Conversely, a new subscriber might benefit from general information about your brand or business, industry-related news or how-to videos or tips.

2. Personalize your message. Most marketing research shows that personalized emails, ranging from addressing the buyer by name to sending curated lists of the things they were browsing for, can generate a positive return on your marketing investment - more so than a generic email sent to all of your subscribers with no personalization.

Example: Sally was looking at camping gear on your website, but has been inactive on the site for two days. A personalized email to Sally would feature a few of the camping items she was last looking at and, possibly, a coupon or special offer to entice her to visit the site again.

3. Create eye-catching, easy-to-navigate design. B2B email subscribers are accustomed to very text-heavy, minimally-designed email messages, but B2C recipients are not the same animal. Use design to your advantage, ranging from photos and videos to bold text and bright colors. The email body should be laid out in a way that is eye-catching and appealing, but also easy to navigate.

Example: If you own a pet boutique and want to alert your dog-loving subscribers about new products in your store, consider sending an email that features pictures of puppies with the items and bold, bright text and colors.

4. Timing is everything. Do you know the best days or times of the week to send your email marketing message? Some email service providers offer this feature to businesses, while other brands rely on testing the delivery times and days of the week to see what works the best. Similarly, be consistent in your delivery so that recipients know to expect a message from you, for example, every Tuesday.

5. Focus on the subject line. A subject line can be the difference between your email being opened or being ignored. Write short, compelling subject lines and consider personalizing them with the recipient's name.

Example: Join Us For Half-Price Happy Hour, Tom! or Tiffany, Our Entire Store is 50% Off!

6. Include several call-to-action buttons. While it's generally advised not to use different call-to-action buttons, it is OK to use several that point to the same offer. Include one high in the body of the email and then throw in a couple more to give recipients plenty of options to click. Be sure that the text, design and offer of your call-to-action buttons are all the same.

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