Archives for posts with tag: B2C

Do you subscribe to a lot of email newsletters? I do, partly because I’m interested in the content but also because some of what I do touches on the design and production of them. I almost never unsubscribe to them either. I prefer to scan the subject line, give them 2 seconds and delete, rather than missing out on some nuggets.

So it’s fair to say, then, that I’m a fairly experienced writer and consumer of them, in both B2C and B2B environments. I have read up a fair amount on best practices for getting people to open them and beyond.

Here’s my most obvious tip. Don’t title them This Month’s Newsletter. It just doesn’t cut it, especially to a sophisticated reader who gets a lot of them.

Putting that in the subject line offers nothing to the reader and pretty much guarantees a rubbish open rate. There’s no indication of the subject matter lying within which might be of interest, so readers can self-select. There’s no call to action or invitation. This Month’s Newsletter is focused on the sender of the newsletter, not its intended recipients.

This Month’s Newsletter…who cares?

I don’t know too much about business-to-consumer products sales and marketing, except as a lifelong consumer of them myself. I’ve also never smoked. I took a look at a cigarette box the other day, as I hadn’t seen one up close for a while.

It’s an odd existence marketing and selling cigarettes isn’t it? Even if you smoke them yourself. Working for a cigarette manufacturer must  feel like being a social pariah.

The packaging on fast-moving consumer goods is one of the traditional 4 P’s of marketing, along with product, price and promotion. Yet when you look at cigarette packaging, everything on there is advising you not to buy it. The cigarettes are also behind the shop counter hidden in a cupboard where you can’t even peruse the packaging.

You can’t advertise them through most media, thanks to the regulations of elected government officials, a good proportion of whom must be smokers too. If you work for a cigarette manufacturer you can’t get life insurance benefits or an occupational pension, so the manufacturer has to provide its own.

It’s flippin’ expensive too, at least if you pay your country’s duty on them.

Against all of this, people still buy a lot of cigarettes. Why is that? For one thing, cigarette smoking is still portrayed as being cool in TV and film, almost something to be aspired to.

Front and centre, of course, is the obvious physiological pull of the nicotine, as well as the behavioural comfort that comes with smoking too.

Without those addictive and behavioural factors, I wonder how successfully other things would sell if this amount of sales and marketing restraints were placed on it.

A B2B customer is far, far more important than a B2C customer. Let me tell you why.

I work from the home office quite a lot of the time. When I’m on a customer call, or a customer’s customer call, and there’s anyone in the house, I always warn them that I’m not to be disturbed unless the house is burning down.

A B2C customer is one customer, one consumer out of many. There are degrees here, of course, since some B2C customers are large or repeat customers, and spend much more money than one-off or small basket-size customers.

A B2B customer, however, doesn’t represent their own interests, they represent the interests of lots of other employees, who are in effect lots of other customers. They’re corporate and they have very, very deep pockets. And for that reason, they’re very important. If they take away their business from you, you lose an awful lot. If one consumer does, it’s no biggie.

A B2B customer call is like the red ‘On Air’ sign outside a broadcasting studio. You’re broadcasting to a large number of individuals and are not to be disturbed. One bad experience is immediately magnified throughout the entire audience – or company.

I did a survey recently for a customer who was looking to establish how their B2B customers preferred to receive communications.

The demise of email has been touted for as long as social media platforms have been around. Younger generations like millennials are simply not into email any more, we’re told. They’re all about chat and instant communication in its various different guises.

Interesting, then, that the standout preference was for getting stuff via email. Yes, folk get loads of emails and no, they don’t read many of them. They still want them, though, so they can mine them and sort them if they need to refer back to something. Alternatively, they might mark them as unread for a later date. They want well crafted emails so that they can tell instantly whether or not they want to engage. So it’s still about value then. The cream rises to the top and the good stuff gets read and actioned.

Admittedly, my survey was less than 20 one-to-one conversations with a cross section of business owners and ecommerce managers, but the feedback is telling and informative nonetheless, methinks.

Internet-based chat works of course, socially. It’s mimicking what we do in person. C2C and B2C usually lead the way for B2B to follow, and this same trend may eventually sweep up email as well, but probably not before the latest generation is the current generation and the mainstay of our economic growth.