The Difference Between B2C and B2B Email Marketing

Apr 18 2017

b2b email marketing strategies

Achieving high rates of deliverability is difficult. Whether your business is B2B or B2C, email marketing is never easy. When you create an email campaign, there are a lot of factors that have to be considered. However, getting successful rates of inbox deliverability with B2B email marketing is a little more challenging.

Corporate email servers are set up differently than common domains, making them more difficult to understand. Many email servers are configured as ‘catch-all’. Some mail servers have more powerful spam filters than others. Some business email servers are hosted in-house while others might be hosted by ‘Google’ or ‘Microsoft’. So, what is the point? Why do these factors matter?

The Importance of Email Tracking

When you are preparing an email campaign for consumers (B2C email), your emails will go out to major domains. Free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo, Aol, Hotmail, etc. will make up the majority of your email list.

As digital marketers, it’s important to create your own email ID for each individual domain you send emails to. When you set up your own email ID and test your email campaign, you know if your email is making it to the user’s inbox or getting stuck in the spam folder. This is especially important for Gmail, as Gmail has different folders mail gets filtered to.

Since you can’t set up email accounts within a businesses’ domain, tracking B2B email marketing success becomes much more difficult. However, what you can do is monitor your campaign and identify which emails have been opened.

The Complexities of Catch-All Emails

It’s recommended that during your lead collection process you validate incoming data with Xverify. Real-time email verification can confirm both B2B and B2C email addresses. We have found that in the B2B environment approximately 30% of business domains are set up as a catch-all.

Go Daddy had a pretty good explanation and example for a “catch-all” email address.

“A catch-all email account is an address that is specified to receive all messages that are addressed to an incorrect email address for a domain. For example, you have three email addresses set up for coolexample.com; info@coolexample.com, sales@coolexample.com, and webmaster@coolexample.com, you can set up info@coolexample.com as a catch-all email account. Then, any email messages sent to manager@coolexample.com (or any other invalid email address), are sent to the catch-all account (info@coolexample.com).”

Catch-all means we may not know if the username is a real, active mailbox. Some email servers may still accept your message and forward it on to a designated mailbox that only the server administrator has access to. When a message is sent to a catch-all account, it has a higher chance of remaining unopened.

Additionally, corporate spam filters are very sophisticated. They can easily block your message or push it into the recipient’s junk folder. Corporate servers are intelligent and can completely block your sending domain name or IP if you are sending too many messages. You want to make sure you only send targeted messages to the right decision makers when you are sending out pieces from your B2B email marketing campaign. As a good rule of thumb, don’t send emails to more than 5 recipients per corporate domain.

Whether you are emailing B2C or B2B – reputation matters. Regularly check your IP score. Improve your IP score by reducing the number of complaints you get, keeping your data up to date, reducing your hard bounce rate, sending out campaigns consistently and keeping your content relevant to your audience. Always test your messages before you send off your next campaign. Most importantly, always validate your data before sending to improve your data quality.

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