Monetization strategies for email often focus on Business-to-Consumer (B2C) channels, as the initial drivers of email monetization were generally focused on delivering value to end-users. While this is very useful and beneficial for a B2C company, large Business-to-Business (B2B) companies will not be able to leverage the same systems designed for B2C use as successfully simply due to the difference between the two customers. In this blog, we’ll take a brief look at some monetization strategies for larger B2B organizations.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the pitfalls with solutions oriented towards smaller companies, and detail some potential strategies that can help improve revenue and turnover among your customer base.
Problems with B2B at scale
While the strategies used in B2B marketing can often mirror those of B2C organizations, the goals are vastly different. Your average consumer, depending on your vertical, will be motivated by questions of comfort or desire. Most organizations, though, will instead be looking for ways that the purchase or subscription will maximize their profitability. This messaging can take many forms, but it fundamentally addresses a different motivation in the purchaser than would be present in a consumer. Thus, while simple brand awareness messaging is still valuable, your task as a large B2B organization should be less about keeping your product in the mind of your users, and more about cementing your value proposition in the mind of the reader.
Furthermore, the nature of your market will be drastically different. While your target market may still need the educational and value-selling content that would be expected in a traditional consumer-oriented system, in a B2B organization this needs to also be bolstered by regular content that explores the concerns of your users in more depth. In other words, it’s important to devote more resources to customer retention and turnover, as simple focus on acquisition will often result in messaging that misses the mark with your target audience.
While so far this probably reads like a Marketing 101 view into B2B vs B2C marketing, the key challenges in the above for a large B2B organization arise entirely due to scale. As organizations grow, the complexity of their systems tend to grow to match. This increases the number of touch points needed in your product stack for your marketing efforts, and increases the complexity of aggregating all of the gathered statistics into a single platform. A large B2B company, as a result, will need to expend significantly more resources on simple data measurement and verification than their otherwise smaller counterparts.
1. Improve user retention with relevant, regular content
Large B2B organizations rarely have the benefit of customers that all share an industry. This means that customer retention has to cast a much wider net in order to generate content that has utility for a significant percentage of your users. This implies that you will be more likely to get benefit from developing content around the one thing all your customers share - your product. Creating deep-dive content focused on how to better use your product will always be likely to have high relevance to your customers, and will also serve to increase the cost of transitioning to a competing partner due to internal specialization that will arise among their own employees as they use your product and ingest your content. This will ultimately drive higher customer retention at the relatively low expense of weekly or monthly content.
2. Improve potential high-value user acquisition with discounts
Given that many businesses place a high priority on improving their bottom line, you’ll be far more likely to achieve increased customer retention with loyalty and usage-based discounts as a B2B organization than in a similarly-sized B2C organization. This is true for B2B companies of all sizes. However, at enterprise scale, your marketing teams have a larger amount of leeway in offering loss-leading discounts to key customers who may be looking to make a change, simply due to the scale of the finances involved. Leveraging this to increase retention of your customers can reduce churn across the organization, and the increased long-term revenue can eventually be scaled back up to prior levels as the retained customers continue to work within your ecosystem.
3. Unifying Metric Reporting
A common challenge faced by scaling organizations is the data pipeline that reports your product’s KPIs. As your product grows, this becomes more convoluted and requires an effort unto itself to maintain. While at an Enterprise level this is likely already solved for your organization, a successful B2B Email marketing campaign may rely on data that is scattered throughout your subsystems. By unifying platforms across the departments that are communicating with your customers, you can achieve the parity needed to create evergreen content that is relevant to your readers while also giving you the ability to view the results of the campaign in aggregate across your entire organization.
Improving B2B Email Monetization
While it’s easy to classify enterprise B2B marketing as “just regular B2B marketing, but bigger,” there are several unique challenges and opportunities available to enterprises that can be used to increase the monetization of their email marketing. By focusing on creating relevant, deep content focused on your platform, you’ll be better able to appeal to the shared interests of your diverse customer base. Coupled with an increased appetite for discounts and loss-leaders, you can offer your existing customers a lot of additional value as a retention bonus, and share their success stories in your content stream to improve retention and reduce churn. Finally, by unifying marketing efforts across the relevant verticals in your organization through a common platform, you can get better clarity on the relative success of your marketing efforts that is more relevant and more timely than your organization’s traditional KPI indicators. Implementing these strategies in detail will help your email marketing become a new revenue stream, driving retention and continually delivering value to your customers.