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Wholesale Email Marketing to Grow Your Company's B2B Sales
A professionally designed and implemented wholesale email marketing strategy can drive millions of additional dollars in sales every year for a successful B2B company. The email marketing channel is also widely regarded as one the most profitable digital channels with an unusually high return on investment.
With the importance of retaining high value repeat customers in the wholesale world, email marketing is arguably even more important in a B2B setting than it is for a B2C company.
Despite this, we usually find the B2B brands we speak with here at our email marketing agency are not anywhere near close to maximizing the email marketing channel - with most leaving a huge amount of sales revenue on the table.
Today we'll look at some key wholesale email marketing campaigns and strategies which all companies selling to other businesses can benefit from.
A Note on Campaign Frequency in Email Marketing for Wholesale Businesses
Email marketing to build and strengthen relationships when other businesses are your customers is a little different to the usual Ecommerce marketing strategies which work for retailers selling to consumers.
Generally your email frequency will be a little less when running B2B campaigns. You certainly don't want to overdo it, but at the same time it is important to maintain top of mind awareness with both your wholesale customers and new prospects.
We usually recommend a minimum of two campaigns per week for B2C brands in most markets. But in a wholesale setting this will often be too much unless you have a specific reason for sending email campaigns so often - which many brands do.
A minimum of two campaigns per month is a good starting point in the B2B space if you're having trouble building an email marketing calendar and deciding what to send throughout the year. We've seen plenty of companies selling to wholesale customers do well with weekly campaigns as well.
If you're overly concerned about email frequency for some unique reason in your business then at least aim for a monthly newsletter send to your list as the absolute minimum, outside of any more timely email communications.
Now let's dive in to the strategies.
4 Wholesale Email Marketing Strategies and Tips for Growing B2B Revenue
Here are a few tangible concepts, strategies, and email campaigns we've seen work well across various wholesale markets. Try to think about how they could be customized and used for your specific business.
Tip #1: Build Intelligent Email List Segments Based on Customer Profiles
A wholesale business will often have a much lower number of total customers than a B2C retailer in the same industry. This makes it far easier to segment your customers into specific groups based on various attributes and send them the most relevant content possible.
An online retailer selling directly to end customers may have tens or even hundreds of thousands of customers, whereas a large wholesaler selling B2B may only have a couple of hundred.
This makes customer segmentation a breeze for the wholesaler.
Whichever email marketing software you're using there will be some way to segment your customers based on a number of different attributes such as:
- Total spend/lifetime value
- Types of products they purchase from you
- Purchase frequency
- Time since most recent order
- Full price vs. discount purchaser
Depending on the market you're in there are potentially many more ways to segment, too.
It rarely makes sense to send email campaigns to your entire list with everyone getting the same content at the same time. This is especially true when you have a relatively small number of customers and so managing the various groups or segments isn't complex.
Do your top 5 VIP customers who have spent millions with you over the last few years need to be receiving all of the same campaigns as a new customer who made their first $3000 order two weeks ago?
Think about ways you can tailor your email marketing campaign strategy to your various customer groups so everyone receives something that's as relevant as possible to them considering their unique history with your brand.
All this can of course be automated using various email marketing software tools.
Tip #2: Create High Quality Welcome Email Sequences to Build Strong First Impressions With Leads and Customers
As a successful wholesale company each of your individual customers can potentially be worth hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to your brand. With this in mind, make sure the welcome email sequence builds your brand value in the mind of the buyer, highlights your USPs, answers any common questions, and gives them clear next steps around what to do if they need more personal service to get the relationship started.
This sounds like a lot, but every aspect of giving new leads and customers a warm welcome via email marketing can be automated. All reputable email service providers will be able to facilitate this.
Be sure to build out engaging welcome email campaigns for both potential customers who sign up as leads, and also new customers when they buy from you for the first time - don't stop at an order confirmation email for first time buyers.
Tip #3: Vary Your B2B Email Marketing Strategy to Keep Readers Engaged on an Ongoing Basis
One of the biggest challenges businesses face when planning and building email marketing campaigns is knowing what to send, when, and to whom.
Just thinking of valuable content ideas can be difficult in many markets. We find that wholesalers struggle with this a lot.
Marketing emails need to do more than just sell sell sell if you want to build strong customer relationships and be able to send campaigns at least semi-regularly.
Here are a few ideas to help you come up with relevant emails to send to new and potential customers.
- Blog post promotions. Hopefully you're publishing helpful blogs as part of your content marketing strategy to educate and engage wholesale customers. These can easily be turned into high performing email campaigns.
- Promotional email campaigns. You need to send promotions, even if it's an idea you're not too thrilled about. Remember that not all customers need to receive all of the marketing emails you send. With intelligent segmentation and email automation you can remove groups of customers from promotional, discount or sale campaigns.
- Product launches and new feature emails. Every time you launch something new, re-stock a popular item, or release a new feature on either your online store or a product itself then this is a great reason to email most if not all of your customer list
- Monthly newsletter. The monthly newsletter campaign represents the bare minimum requirement for what to include in your B2B email marketing strategy. Even if it's just a brief update, you need to maintain that awareness in the inbox.
- Try a personalized marketing email approach. Using automation tools built in to all of the most popular email clients such as Klaviyo you can reach out to customers or prospects with personalized messaging, but at scale in an automated way.
For example, try using a plain text email personalized with both the contact's and company's name. Ask them if they need any support marketing your products, if they'd like you to review their strategies, or require any more one on one support form your team to help grow sales. To the recipient this plain text email would look like someone on your team had sat down and written it out to them personally.
- Experiment with other B2B email automations. Try to automate as much of your overall email marketing strategy as possible to save time. This includes the basics such as order confirmation emails, as well as things such as re-order campaigns, cross-sell promotions and other automated email flows to make this a truly effective channel.
- Lastly, remember to test. This includes everything from your subject line approach to lead generation strategies via popups, and the length and style of your marketing email content and the email template structure.
Summary of Email Marketing for Wholesale Business Customers
The basics of a successful B2B email marketing campaign setup are similar to what B2C brands use. You need the fundamentals such as a good subject line, engaging content, automation, segmentation, and the general direct marketing principles which work in all markets. Email template design is of course important as well.
However you do need to do a few things differently as well in wholesale email marketing.
With fewer customers who are on average much more valuable, personalization and segmentation becomes more important. Overall quality and customer experiences matters a lot to keep people engaged and unsubscribe rates low. Each email campaign should be relevant to the target audience and have specific purpose.
The strategies for sending B2B marketing emails in this post have just scratched the surface. What will work for your brand of course depends on your specific market and customer base.
If you'd like our team's years of retention marketing experience as an email marketing agency for Shopify and other Ecommerce platforms on your side then feel free to reach out for a strategy audit where we'll put together some custom wholesale email marketing recommendations for you and your brand.
NOW IT'S YOUR TURN
Want to grow your wholesale revenue with proven email marketing strategies?
Book a free diagnostic call with our team where we'll analyze your customer retention performance via the email and SMS channels, and uncover exactly what's needed to increase revenue and repeat purchase rates.
“Like an extension of our E-Commerce and Email team. Their expertise in Email Segmentation in Klaviyo, SMS in PostScript, and Retention initiatives have been instrumental in doubling the size of DripDrop’s total revenue year-over-year. They’re experts in Email and helped us set up our SMS Marketing Program, which is a massive and rapidly growing channel for us.”
Senior Marketing Manager, DripDrop.com
"The email campaigns have been very successful. We continue to see a high open rate, click rate, and conversion rate on our emails. Our workflow is very effective and convenient. The platform we use to communicate allows us to create To-Do’s for the agency and we receive progress updates as projects are worked on and/or completed. Whenever we have questions, they are responsive in a timely manner. They've been a great partner for all of our email marketing needs. They are very supportive and insightful whenever we have questions or concerns and always respond timely."
Ecommerce Marketing Manager, LiLash
“We were stuck half way through creating our flows due to an agency closing, our knowledge of Klaviyo was limited, and we still had a long way to go. Team came to the rescue. They reviewed our account, provided feedback on our current automated emails and worked with us on a roadmap to revamp the existing flows and build the remaining flows. Since implementation of our new flows (Cross Sell, Replenishment Flow, Abandoned Cart, Browse Abandonment and more) we have seen an increased LTV along with tiger AOV’s.”
By Ryan Turner
founder of ecommerce intelligence
Ryan is a 10 year Ecommerce expert who specializes in helping brands profitably grow sales with the latest email and SMS marketing strategies.