Subscribe to Inc. magazine
GROW

Are Your B2B Communications Boring?

Are you playing by the old rules when it comes to your business communications, especially email marketing, or are you going out on a limb to stand out in the inbox?

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 lots 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 are still playing by the old rules.

Should B2B be more like B2C?

After running my email marketing company 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.

If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free VR Buzz and check out the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog.

More:
IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: May 1, 2014

JANINE POPICK

Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and social media marketing tools for small businesses. The company was ranked No. 4,882 on the 2013 Inc. 5000. @janinepopick




Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articles  |  Magazine archives | Livestream events | Comments
EMAIL
PASSWORD
EMAIL
FIRST NAME
LAST NAME
EMAIL
PASSWORD

Or sign up using: