B2B vs. B2C Email Copywriting

How your email copywriting should differ, depending on your audience

Email copywriting can differ slightly when it comes to consumer marketing because consumers prefer a personal level of attention. The audience in B2C (business-to-consumer) is also more relaxed and is digesting your information in a leisurely manner. They see your email newsletter as informational and as a service, while B2B (business-to-business) readers are usually time-pressed and likely expecting to be sold in every email newsletter.

There are several elements of your email copywriting that should be taken into account, no matter who you’re marketing to, though your strategies will differ. For example:

You’re always going to send a welcome email.

This email will remind your user that they signed up for your email newsletter. You’ll thank them for signing up and remind them how often they’ll receive emails from you.

B2B welcome emails may be straight to the point and simply direct them to helpful sections of your site once the initial intro is over. It might also point to your most popular products.

In a B2C welcome email, you’re likely to make it more personal. The welcome letter might use their name, include a topically relevant introduction and then point them to articles, videos or other content on your site. If you have a segmented list and your user chose “rose gardening”, you would point her towards “rose gardening” tips, videos etc.

One big difference between the B2B and B2C market is how likely you are to use images in your emails. For example:

B2B companies don’t use the same type of imagery as B2C.

B2B companies are less likely to use images in email newsletters because they don’t need them and because they can become repetitive. Their email copywriting will usually need to stand on its own without the use of stock photography of people in business suits doing a related task. More likely, if any imagery is used, it will be to show a photograph of an event speaker, or as a product display image.

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B2C companies are generally very reliant on images because they can be. Photos of things like scenery, crafts and food are all compliments to email copywriting. Leading with a beautiful photo always lends a helping hand to the content that comes underneath it.

However, while consumers are more likely to appreciate images in their email newsletters, consumers are also more likely to use web mail clients that automatically block images. If you plan on using images, make sure to let your user know that they need to click the option to “display images” in their email client. Also, provide a web-based version of your email.

Finally, there’s one more trait that many businesses are constantly struggling with, and that’s personality. For example:

B2B and B2C companies have very different personalities. So while we’re all attracted to a human personality, we also have different purposes for our email inbox.

B2B companies have readers who want to learn something quickly and on a regular basis. They subscribe to your email newsletter not be entertained, but to learn something they need to know for their job. Your email copywriting needs to be quick and succinct. It should be beneficial and offer at least one take-away.

In the consumer market (B2C) there’s a shift for a user to want your information rather than need it to do their job. Being as transparent and casual in your email copywriting as you can build trust with your readers and builds a personal relationship between your brand and your reader.

When you have a dedicated online editor that your readers are familiar with, the ability to create a trusted voice in your copywriting is even easier. You may consider writing your email newsletters through the mouth of one person, if you find that people respond to your more personal outreach.


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