Building a B2B Email List the Right Way

Creating a B2B email marketing list from scratch can be a big job. You must ensure that every contact within your database has a realistic possibility of becoming a sales prospect and avoid using your resources on B2B businesses that won't convert. Building a list quickly and developing a curated contact list of high-quality targets are two different things, and it's important to consider what return you're getting since building a B2B email list can take a considerable amount of time! Today we'll share some advice on creating a strategically compiled email list and how to maximise your chances of success.

Building a B2B Email List the Right Way

Use a Great Email Marketing Automation Service

First things first - nobody is likely to respond to a poorly presented email campaign with squashed graphics, grainy images or that has a bulky attachment that heads straight to the junk folder.

Neither are they likely to acknowledge spam emails that have clearly been BCCd to thousands of recipients (personalisation is key!).

You should pick an email provider carefully, looking for features that tailor each email to the contact on your list with their name, provide A/B testing to measure responses to different marketing approaches, and automate replies.

Fantastic email marketing software can manage opt-out requests, report on delivered, opened and clicked-through rates and help you determine which styles work and which don't.

The below steps run from start to finish, as a road map to high-return email campaigns, from picking the right software to selecting your recipients”

Use a professional email service provider rather than sending emails through a system such as Outlook or Gmail. It means you can create responsive designs, manage your email subscriber list, evaluate responses and ensure you comply with all the relevant data protection regulations.

Email deliverability is important. If you try sending bulk emails directly, the activity is often marked suspicious, which means some of the major ISPs might block emails sent from your domain, so it's best avoided!

Create Offers, CTAs and Lead Magnets to Attract New Subscribers

Before you start crafting enticing email offers or designing new email-friendly visuals, it's important to have an email list that has been created correctly. We mean no dodgy paid-for lists of contacts, which can damage your brand reputation.

There are tons of ways to capture leads, but a few options include:

  • On-page lead gen: your landing pages should be optimised to convert website traffic into email subscribers, with high-profile benefits and plenty of information about the rewards they'll get by signing up. You may even consider adding your downloads and technical specifications behind a contact form to collect email addresses.
  • Referrals: commissioned-based referral programmes can be beneficial in that you leverage larger email lists in return for a fee. You can include special offers such as discounted rates to encourage recipients to visit your landing page or register as new subscribers.
  • Webinars: webinars and learning opportunities are some of the best marketing tools for B2B companies to position at the top of their sales funnels. Sharing useful information is a great PR exercise, introducing your company to new potential buyers and providing them with a reason to sign up for your newsletter.

Of course, you can send enticing email campaigns even with a small contact database, but if you pour some effort into lead gen, each communication you circulate could achieve a far greater response.

Other lead magnets might be free e-books, technical papers or presentations, or whitepapers and opinion pieces relevant to the decision makers within your B2B target sector.

Remember - a buyer needs a compelling reason to share their details and agree to receive communications, so your CTAs must be clear and visible and communicate a special offer.

Tailor Promotions to Email

The average B2B business converts only a small percentage of their traffic, so it's a bit of a numbers game - but quality is always preferable to quantity.

Having a carefully compiled email list of one hundred companies, all with a viable interest in your products or services, is far better than a list 10,000 strong without any decent prospects!

Once you've got the beginnings of a client email database you are happy with, you'll then need to think about what offers you can pitch, the knowledge you can share, or the value you can add to your reader's experience that will make them open up each email you send.

Brands leverage social media to maximise marketing reach, sharing snippets of email content or details of offers to encourage more viewers to subscribe to their email list - but it's important to use that access wisely.

High-value and gateway content only available to email subscribers is a solid tactic to encourage sign-ups. Still, it's only the beginning - your next job is to start creating email content that will keep your subscribers on the page.

Reasons Never to Buy a B2B Email List

We briefly mentioned those 'paid-for' email lists, which are widely advertised and promise to provide you with a huge database of qualified prospects.

Don't believe the hype!

Pre-done email addresses are rarely (if ever) qualified prospects and are often a waste of time and money without any guarantee of effectiveness or value - and can do more harm than good.

An audience who has not agreed to receive your communications, possibly has never heard of your brand and isn't expecting your email will usually either unsubscribe, funnel your emails straight to junk, or take exception to unsolicited content.

When a recipient marks your email as spam, it can adversely affect your reputation and even mean an email provider will suspend your account if it suspects you are sending bulk emails to unsolicited addresses.

The opposite approach is to use tried and tested lead generation methods to attract interested clients, and work on your email campaigns from there.

Collating a database of email leads can take time, but it is a far sounder approach because each buyer has opted in and chosen to participate in your email list. 

They are automatically more inclined to engage with your brand and be a genuinely interested reader who you can start to build regular communications with. 

Interested in increasing your B2B sales?

Get in touch with Tiga B2B marketing agency today to discuss how we can boost your email marketing activities and grow a list of qualified contacts.

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This post was written by:

Tanya Hardie

Tanya is the Marketing Services Manager of Tiga Creative Marketing and manages the content, search, paid advertising and Marketing Automation team.
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