6 Tips to Personalize Email Marketing for B2B Leads

6 Tips to Personalize Email Marketing for B2B Leads

I get a personalized birthday card from my go-to shopping site thanking me for my business (with details of my last visit, mind you!) and a gift card worth $50. I’m flattered and fire up the app to shop again. That’s the power of personalization.

However, this is not the first instance of emails I have received from companies (or people) I shop with, though this is one of a few good email marketing tricks. If you go out there, you will find heaps and heaps of emails sent to you by companies.

How good are you at personalizing emails to connect with your customers? Imagine getting an email from your favorite shopping site with a subject line, “Happy 27th birthday, Jessica.” You’ll definitely open the email and read it. Why? Because it was specially created for you and we, the customers, like personalized stuff. Targeted personalized messages increase customer engagement to at least 74 percent.

Now imagine providing this type of personalized email to your B2B leads. Much B2B marketing doesn’t consider the power of personalization, and if they do, they don’t do it right.

On an average, click-through rates improve by 14 percent and conversion rates improve by 10 percent when using personalized email messages. Generic and dull email marketing campaigns do not get the same results. B2B leads are customers, just bigger. Companies approaching them should make real engagement efforts.

Here’s how you can personalize email marketing for B2B leads.

1. Contextual Subject Line

Your subject line matters. Your email open rates will improve by 26 percent with personalized subject lines. Having a subject line that flows with your email body can do wonders for you.

B2B leads get tons of emails in a day and they don’t like generalized subject lines. Keep them contextual, explain what the email receiver should expect will be inside. Look at how Vero created a subject line that was exactly in context with its content.


If you’re pitching a product better than the one being used, say it. “If your needs are changing, so should your product.” If you are running an exclusive free trail or demo or discount, mention it in your email without being spammy about it.

2. Ask Relevant Questions

Make sure your email body is succinct and to the point. Straightforward emails with relevant questions keep your lead’s attention. Be specific with your approach and offer options your leads can act on. Are you sending an email because they visited your site? Point the question in that direction. “You visited our site, are you looking for Option A or Option B?” Snip out your offerings under different pointers and highlight the ones that will interest you leads. Paper Style is a classic example for this.

Not everyone who visits your website is looking for the same thing. Some might be interested in product A and others in product B, or they might be comparing your products with your competitors. You have the lead data, use that while creating an email and make a strong impact.

3. Segment Leads Based on Time Zone

Your target leads aren’t always working in the same time zone as you. Businesses are divided between countries, as are your target market and leads. Customizing messages is good, but sending the message at the right time is also key.

Trigger emails based on various time zones for different leads. Get your email at the top of their inbox. Many businesses have used this technique and observed an increase of 11 percent in open rates. GlobalGiving, a charity crowdfunding website, had subscribers across a variety of regions. By customizing the timing of their email campaigns, they observed a ten-fold increase in email engagement.

4. Categorize Customers Under Different Personas

No lead is the same. Sending the same messages to all the leads can be harmful. You have collected enough data on your leads to segregate and put them in different persona pockets. Based on these personas, you can create different emails to match their persona and allow them to take immediate action.

Building personas helps provide a personalized experience. Better lead experience means an increase in the chances of a purchase. A lifestyle ecommerce store, Dormify wanted to increase its email engagement, but it had three types of customers. They increased their email revenue by 92 percent by automating a three-series email blast for their three different customer types. The same tactic can be used for leads as well. Divide them, create personalized messaging based on their interests and blast three or more email campaigns based on persona.

5. Triggered Emails Based on Lead Behavior

DMA saw 30 percent more email revenue when emails were triggered based on behavior. It is important to send an email to your lead if they are on your pricing page or read an article, because it allows your lead to take real-time action. Sending triggered emails based on lead behavior ensures that you contact a lead at the right moment.

The Clymb, an ecommerce retailer, increased their email revenue by 71 percent by sending out emails based on customer behavior. They used their blog content to push their customers to take actions. It is easy to use content upgrades in your triggered emails, because if you are offering something valuable to your lead, they will click or download.

6. Timely but Limited Follow-ups

Flooding your lead’s inbox when they don’t reply is not a good practice. Mete out your emails over a period of weeks or days and don’t send more than four or five emails in that time. Add related articles that your leads would be interested in or stats that will help your leads make the right decision. As always, avoid being too general. They should add some value that was missing in your last email.

Personalized email marketing is not difficult to get the hang of once you understand it. There are tricks to get this right and testing always comes in handy. Around 50 percent of companies think that increasing personalization in emails can increase interaction. Make your emails effective and improve both your open-rate and engagement.

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Anupam Rajey

about 7 years ago

Hey Ankita, Thanks for writing such a useful post. Needless to say, B2B marketing is tricky and quite different than B2C marketing. And I’m sure your tips will help B2B marketers to run successful email marketing campaigns. I completely agree with you that contextual subject line matters a lot. The more contextual subject line is, the more it will get clicks.



about 7 years ago

Thanks, Ankina for this insightful post! Triggering emails based on behavior is huge because it can allow for automation in an area that typically might have to be executed manually, especially in a highly targeted B2B ABM situation. In our system, for instance, virtually any element or action the user can take, or custom goal reached, can be used to trigger a personalized email, pre-written for given customer segments like Industry and lead role, whether or not they are a decision maker, etc.


Shruti Baveja

about 6 years ago

Ankita, Thanks for a detailed article. There are few points which I am not aware. I am glad you have shed some light on those strategies. I'll apply these tips to my next email marketing campaign.


Rachel Hope

about 6 years ago

Nice informative and useful post. You have good command on the topic and have explained in a very nice way. Thanks for helping and I'm sure it will help me in my email campaigns


Saketh Rasakatla

about 6 years ago

Glad you liked it, Rachel. Keep following our blog for more updates.


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