Writing B2B Emails for Fun and Profit

As a web writer, you already know that writing emails is a lucrative niche for you. After all, these types of projects are fun, profitable, and — most importantly — plentiful. Just about every company uses email marketing to some extent to promote their products and services.

But, what you may not know is that the biggest demand for your email writing services lies in the business-to-business (B2B) market.

In fact, according to Forrester Research, companies will spend $1.2 billion on email marketing this year; and that spending will skyrocket to $2 billion over the next five years.

A MarketingProfs.com Research Insights report noted that, with the exception of websites, B2B companies favor email to promote their products and services more so than any other marketing tactic — including advertising!

And, when you consider there's more than 240,000 mid-size to large B2B companies in North America, it all adds up to a lot of emails which need to be written!

Learn how to land these lucrative assignments and you can become a busy, well-paid web writer very quickly.

Now, if you're not familiar with business-to-business and its popular acronym "B2B," it simply refers to businesses that sell products and services to other businesses, rather than to consumers.

B2B companies use email marketing to promote their stuff such as software, industrial parts, equipment and office supplies, as well as their services like consulting, training, overnight delivery, and even copywriting. (Yes, as a freelance web writer, you, too, are a B2B business!)

What type of emails can you expect to write for B2B clients?

Business-to-business companies use email marketing in a variety of ways. Here is the rundown:

1. Lead generation

B2B companies know that a predictable percentage of sales leads turn into sales. So they spend a lot of email marketing dollars generating as many good quality leads as possible.

A "lead" is simply a prospect who has indicated an interest in a company's product or service — and, therefore, has a high likelihood of eventually becoming a customer.

The way a company will use email to generate leads is by making a free offer of some kind. The most common offers are:

  1. White papers
  2. Case studies
  3. Brochures
  4. Email newsletters (E-newsletters)
  5. Invitations to webinars
  6. Product demos
  7. Free trials

Lead-generation emails follow a fairly straightforward format. They are typically short — no more than a page long — and focus on "selling" the free offer rather than promoting the product itself. The email certainly has to be persuasive, but you don't have to twist someone's arm too hard to get them to say yes to a freebie!

2. E-newsletters

To generate sales, B2B companies need to stay in touch with prospects and build strong relationships with their current customers. The most common way they do that is with an email newsletter.

Personally, I love writing newsletters. Not only does each issue pay well, but most B2B companies publish at least once a month. That’s a steady gig — and a steady cash flow — which is nice when you’re a freelancer.

And although I don’t have any statistics to back this up, in my experience, B2B newsletter writing pays a lot better than its consumer counterpart. $2,000 – $3,500 per issue for an e-newsletter comprised of a 500-word article and short promotional product blurb is not uncommon.

That's nice work coming in every month!

3. Lead nurturing

"Lead nurturing" is just a fancy B2B marketing term that refers to the process of staying in touch with prospects. The most common way companies do this is with email.

I got a project just a couple of weeks ago to write a series of six one-page emails to stay in touch with prospects (leads) who had requested a free white paper. My fee was $5,000 and it took me about two days to complete the job.

And the best part is, I didn't have to try to "sell" anything! The emails were focused primarily on educating prospects on the solution.

4. Special announcements

B2B companies also use email in a variety of other ways to keep prospects and customers up-to-date on new products and services.

A software company, for example, might send a special email announcing the latest version of its product. (You've probably received emails like that yourself.)

So, as you can see, B2B is a great market for web writers. And it's not just because there is so much work available. Marketing managers of B2B companies are actually having a tough time finding good web writers for their email marketing communications. So the demand for your services is high right now.

Learn how to land B2B clients who need emails written, and you could fill your schedule with all the fun and lucrative projects you can handle.

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Published: November 25, 2009

6 Responses to “Writing B2B Emails for Fun and Profit”

  1. Hi Steve,

    Many thanks for your information regarding the high demand for the services of web writers in the fast growing B2B market. Most significant, is the importance of email marketing communications.

    Kind regards,

    Colman

    ColmanJanuary 10, 2010 at 9:57 am

  2. Hi Steve,

    Thank you for valuable, insightful articles ... and webinar.

    Now to get a bit of that cash flow in my direction so I can get my hands on your "Everything Guide ..." book.

    With the Companion Series in my tool belt, I have a good start.

    Best Wishes,

    Patricia

    Patricia del ValleJune 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm

  3. I'm trying to finish the Accelerated ........ course but I think I am more interested in B2B.
    However, I will learn both and then look for work in both fields, although I prefer short copywriting, I think the occasional long work will add variety.

    canuckistanerSeptember 7, 2010 at 2:52 am

  4. Hi Canuckistaner - the Accelerated Six-Figure program is the perfect foundation for writing B2B copy. So definitely finish it up, and then learn how to apply the persuasive writing skills you learn to the B2B market. Good luck!

    Rebecca MatterSeptember 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm

  5. Thank you Steve for that very clear and informative webinar.

    I, too, think B2B is going to be my speciality as I don't like very long-winded copy.

    I will persevere, however, with the Accelerated program and can't wait to start earning money from my writing.

    Best wishes, Teresa.

    teresa fOctober 18, 2013 at 11:17 am

  6. Hi Steve, Your blogs on B2B are compelling. However I am trying to finish my accelerated copywriting course and due to lethargic performance am not spending more money until I finish the flagship course. Thanks for your excellent coaching to bolster my resolve and help me change my future

    shaktidevaNovember 2, 2013 at 11:06 am


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