Business Management are_your_b2b_communications_boring.jpg

Published on June 10th, 2014 | by Janine Popick

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Are Your B2B Communications Boring?

If you’re a business to business company, have you recently taken a good, hard look at your business communications?

Have you especially looked at your email marketing through the eyes of your customers?

I’m guessing if you have, you might find some surprises. You might find that your business is–gasp–boring. Yep, I said it … the B-word. “Boring.” It’s not something we want to admit, but a lot of us in the B2B world feel like we can’t help it because we’ve been told that B2B companies aren’t fun and can’t use humor (which I disagree with wholeheartedly).

I recently even penned a post about how you can take advantage of nontraditional holidays, but I feel as though most B2B companies stop short because they’re still playing by the old rules.

Should B2B be more like B2C?
After running VerticalResponse for the last 13 years, I’ve seen a lot of email in my respective personal and business inboxes. I’ve gotta admit that B2B e-mails could take a good dose of inspiration from their B2C (business to consumer) counterparts.

Here’s a fun experiment. Check out your own business inbox and look at the subject lines, creative, calls to action and copy. What do you see? What grabs your interest? Anything? Bueller? Bueller?

Now, jump on over to your personal inbox and see what’s going on in there. Notice any differences in voice and tone? How attention-getting are the subject lines? Is there a different sense of urgency? Is the creative perhaps more colorful, eye catching and interesting?

The differences can vary greatly, of course, depending what type of emails you’re subscribed to, but I’m guessing you had a similar experience to mine in your inboxes.

So what do you say? Want to join me in shaking up B2B communications and giving your subscribers something more compelling, creative and interesting in their inboxes? Funny enough, as I sit writing this post, I received an email from a business that had the subject line, “How Do You Like Your Ice Cream?” And they don’t sell ice cream. They sell email automation. Looks like we’re on to something here.

How do you plan to spice up your B2B communications, or do you already? Share in the comments.

This article by VerticalResponse CEO and founder Janine Popick originally appeared on Inc.com.

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About the Author

is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse.



2 Responses to Are Your B2B Communications Boring?

  1. I love looking at subject lines. I have two folders on my laptop and phone: “Email Marketing Fails” and “Email Marketing Wins.” The Fails folder is things like that Shutterfly mistake and I only look at it when I need to feel better about myself. Thankfully, the Wins folder is much bigger and acts as great inspiration!

  2. Love the ideas here. I have always stressed at my shop that people are just people. Whether the audience is engineers, purchasing agents, C-level folks etc., the idea is to be engaging. They get enough of “corporate” nine hours a day. However, one way to avoid boring is to avoid cliches such as “have you taken a good hard look at.” The other issue is to trim, trim and trim. If a word doesn’t contribute, kill it. Here’s something I say that helps engineers get good writing: Would you build a machine with extra parts?

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