E-mail is a major marketing platform for most B2B companies. But these businesses may be missing an opportunity to make their e-mail messages even more appealing to target customers. Why?  B2B marketers have been slow to include links to social networks in their e-mails.  A  recently published Silverpop study compared the e-mail marketing activity of B2C  to B2B vendors.

B2C vendors say the following e-mail tactics have worked well:

  • Including social network site links in e-mails 42%
  • Including marketing promotions in transactional e-mails 42%
  • Identifying the best time to send e-mails 50%

What about B2B vendors? Their top tactics are:

  • Gathering recipient information through surveys 43%
  • Including marketing promotions in transactional e-mails 38%
  • Identifying the best time to send e-mails 51%

Silverpop analysts suggest that B2B vendors may be avoiding social media because they feel they’re selling to other businesses. However, these businesses are populated by people and “the human element through social networking” can benefit their marketing programs. The analysts also point out that “B2B marketers who use social media are finding success.” As these businesses continue to face a challenging business environment and want to move prospects faster through the sales pipeline (51%) and improve their use of new marketing channels (29%), more B2B operators will be looking for the best way to incorporate social network links in their e-mail campaigns.

[Source: Silverpop Survey: Differences and Similarities, B2C and B2B Marketing Tactics. 2010. Web. 20 May 2010]