The difference between B2B and B2C email marketing

The difference between B2B and B2C email marketing

Delivering efficient email marketing campaigns is all about fine-tuning them to your business audience. But how can you expect to deliver the best campaign possible when you don’t understand how to effectively create campaigns for your business? Developing an understanding of the differences between B2B and B2C email marketing campaigns is essential and will allow you to fine-tune your strategy for any audience. So, let’s take a dive into the key differences between B2B and B2C customers when it comes to email marketing.

Different Purchasing Behaviour

B2B customers make purchasing decisions with the ultimate goal of improving return on investment, so they are going to carefully consider the benefits of the product/service they are offered. This means their purchase is much more likely to be based on logic and less on emotion. Therefore, the key aim of B2B emails is to build a relationship rather than quickly sell a product. The email will need to educate the recipient and pre-sell the product/service that will meet the customer’s needs.

In contrast, B2C emails are usually based on triggering emotion-based purchases. Emotion is a key driver of sales, so should be an essential consideration when creating your content. If you have a good understanding of your customers behaviour, preferences and which emotional triggers will drive a purchase, you will be able to create content that drives conversions every single time.


Different Length of Buying Cycles

A business client will usually take much longer to make a purchasing decision, doing more vendor evaluation and in-depth research beforehand. This means B2B email marketing campaigns require multiple touchpoints. The aim of a B2B campaign is to nurture clients with strategic drip emails or messages over weeks or even months in order to build trust and eventually secure that conversion.

Individual customers usually make much faster decisions, indicating a different type of billing cycle. As the individual does not answer to anyone else, the purchasing decisions are based on emotion and are therefore much faster. B2C email campaigns should aim to generate brand awareness, engagement and loyalty, highlighting the satisfaction of a customer’s personal preferences.



Although various studies have been conducted, there is no best time or day to send an email that applies to all customers. In order to understand the best time to send to your clients, it is essential you conduct your own tests and apply the results.

Essentially it is different for every business, but previous report findings suggest the best day for the highest email open rates was Wednesday (17.9%). Therefore, a key difference between B2B and B2C email marketing is the timing in which you send the email, but conducting your own research into this is key to success.



B2B emails require more discipline, as you are trying to build trust between you and the customer. This means living up to the expectations of your subscribers, if you promised weekly email send outs of tips and discounts, it is crucial your business sends these out weekly. If you don’t meet expectations, your clients will be more likely to unsubscribe and develop distrust in the business.

Within B2C emails, customers are more likely to chase promotions and new releases, but these are usually timed by different events. Here are a few notable points for your B2C campaigns:

  • Be Mindful of Holidays: always keep top of mind when you need to market your products in accordance with a dedicated holiday. This could increase sales drastically, so having marketing to help push this is essential. 
  • More Frequent Emails: a more aggressive approach is recommended with B2C emails, but the aggressiveness of your approach will depend on your product and audience. Choose the frequency that is right for your business. 
  • Find the Customer’s Sweet Spot: when engaging with customers, it is crucial to find the email frequency sweet spot, and how many emails keep the customer happy per week. If you segment your customers and define them into different groups, you can target those that want to hear from you more/less frequently with different campaigns



B2B messages need to explain how the product/service your business offers can save them time and money. Therefore, you want to make sure you communicate real data, logic and benefits in order to answer the customers’ needs and expectations. Ensure your emails are full of facts to build the long-lasting relationship you want to achieve. You can also include content that will educate recipients and turn them into customers, this could include a free eBook or whatever your business uses to bring more leads on board. Remember, the right content will sell better than any other promotion.

As B2C sales are driven by emotion, emails should be able to quickly capture the attention of the recipient. Maybe consider going towards shorter copy and more animated graphics – if there is a coupon to be used, there is no need for a long elaboration on why your business is offering it.  If you capture the customers attention and evoke emotion, you’re onto a winner.

However, there’s an important point to remember here. Although there will always be some degree of logic in the decision of making a purchase, the differentiator of a customer choosing you over your competitors is often emotional – even within B2B. At the end of the day, both B2B and B2C are marketing into humans, who are driven by emotion. Discarding the emotional side of marketing in B2B completely would be a mistake, so finding a balance between logic and emotion is key. 

If you’d like any advice on effective email marketing within the B2B world, or you originally worked within a B2C business and are now not sure how to market for your B2B business – get in touch.


About Inflowing

Inflowing is a B2B marketing agency. We help B2B organisations do meaningful things with marketing. Whether that’s getting more leads, more visibility, or supporting their sales teams.

We’re an experienced team of marketers with an incredibly strong background in B2B. To learn more about B2B and improving your marketing, check out our other blogs or get in touch.