10 of the Best B2B Email Marketing Campaigns Ever

“The money is in the list.”

Originating from the old days of copywriting where a list was a collection of physical mailing addresses, these days, you’ll hear this saying chanted in the B2C space (especially with bloggers). However, now, this refers to a company’s email list.

But what if I told you that this doesn’t just apply to niche bloggers and other B2C companies?

Email marketing has quickly become one of the most important marketing channels for any B2B company in recent years. In fact, 87% of B2B companies use email marketing to generate leads and gain new customers.

But, the reality is, most B2B companies don’t put enough time and effort into their email marketing. This is unfortunate because 3 1% of B2B marketers cite email marketing as the channel that makes the biggest impact on revenue.

Exactly how good is email marketing? The Direct Marketing Association found that email marketing delivers a $40 return for every $1 spent. This means that if you’re not putting enough time and effort into your email marketing- you’re losing out.

But even if you are, it can be hard to find examples of great B2B email marketing campaigns to get ideas from. That’s where this list comes in.

We’ve put together a list of some of the best and brightest B2B-specific email marketing campaigns ever, including everything from simple company updates and product launches to automated sequences and more.

So, get ready to be inspired.

1. Dropbox

When looking at email campaigns that convert, there’s more to take into consideration than simply selling your products or services. This email from Dropbox is a perfect example of that.

Dropbox does a great job across all of their email marketing of making something that’s less-than-sexy (cloud storage…) seem fun and refreshing.

This is the perfect example of a reminder or “revival” email from Dropbox that deploys custom graphics expertly.

The graphics aren’t just cute and interesting, though, they lighten the tone of what is essentially a, “you left, can you come back?”, email and turn it into a fun interaction that helps bring inactive customers back to the service.

In addition, the copy follows that fun and light-hearted theme as well as being short and to the point. Plus, the CTA at the end isn’t just a link to your Dropbox (that would be lame, right?) it’s a link to a refresher course so they can see everything Dropbox can do for them, further helping wrangle that inactive customer back in.

2. InVision

InVision, the design prototyping platform, is the author of this beautiful email. But it’s not just easy on the eyes with beautiful images and clear CTAs, as you might expect from a company that offers services to designers of high-level companies, it’s also a very effective email.

Right away you can tell that InVision knows who their customers are.

The email starts with a relevant free eCourse offer right at the top that can be clicked on without ever having to scroll down. It then proceeds to list several posts that speak to those who aren’t just designers but designers working in the kind of environments typical of larger companies.

By nurturing your list with high-value content on a regular basis, down the line when you send an email you reallywant them to open like a new product or service, they’re conditioned to opening your emails. InVision knows this and does a great job of delivering high-value content on a regular basis.

3. Caterpillar

Caterpillar might be a construction supply company, a space not naturally inclined to the internet, but its email marketing campaigns put most companies in more internet-oriented spaces to shame.

This example offers a clear and straightforward navigation along with a big image and bold headline. Readers are then guided to scroll down and read the rest of the email in a methodical fashion, even offering a bit of storytelling along the way.

But perhaps the most effective part of this email is at the end. With a big headline, sharp image, and clear CTA you’ll find it hard not to want to buy a pair of their Cat Boots for yourself.

Highlights include powerful imagery and design contrasts, strong headlines that speak to their customers, and clear CTA’s.

4. HireVue

For most B2B companies, their email list is a wasted opportunity. Or, at least, they haven’t used it to its full potential.

According to Epsilon, approximately 40% of your email list in inactive.

Kind of….startling. Right?

But don’t worry, there’s a lot you can do. And this example from HireVue is the perfect campaign to start with.

However, while you might at first dislike the idea of letting go of subscribers, the reality is, inactive subscribers can negatively affect your email open analytics.

A campaign like this one from HireVue is effective because it helps cleanse your list of inactive subscribers as well as reconfirm those who want to stay on your list, often leading them to become more responsive than before.

This email from HireVue is great because it takes what would typically come off as an awkward subject and makes it fun and entertaining. From the selection of images in the header to the copy and the funny CTA this email is well-thought-out from beginning to end.

5. LinkedIn

In a study by Software Advice, 80% of marketers rated “Live Demo’s with Sales Reps” as the most effective way to generate high-quality leads.

This email from LinkedIn is the perfect high-converting email for their Sales Solutions program, with clear CTAs and simple but effective copy that leads prospects to sign up for a live demo of their service:

On top of that, including a photo of the person writing the email is a rarely used but effective technique that increases likeability and adds a more personal touch.

Overall, what is great about this email is the personal feel that it gives off (they even added “Dear X”), which all goes towards helping improve conversion rates.

Sometimes, simple is better and LinkedIn definitely proved that here.

6. AdWeek

Advertising, media, and technology news outlet AdWeek goes back to basics with this email by displaying a straightforward headline and compelling copy.

Of the two campaigns on this list with webinar-focused CTA’s, this one goes with a refreshingly simpler approach that feels less like they’re trying to sell you on something and more like they’re trying to be helpful and informative (which fits with the platform).

On top of that, a clearly displayed date and time without mention of a post-webinar recording help urge readers to sign up for fear of missing out.

7. Shopify

In contrast to AdWeek’s simple webinar email design, this one from Shopify goes all out without feeling overwhelming.

Most webinars in the B2B space tend to be a bit on the bland side, but Shopify does a great job of making this seem attractive and valuable.

What’s also great about this campaign is that it displays less like an email and more like a landing page without first having to click to open the page. And despite displaying more like a landing page than an email, it still manages to stay clear and easy to read.

They even added a nice touch at the end to filter out uninterested prospects by adding a “Yes/No” CTA as opposed to just adding another sign-up button.

Highlights include sharp images, powerful headlines, clear date/time and CTA’s, and a good amount of whitespace to help everything stand out.

8. Grammarly

Where do we begin? This email from grammar and writing improvement software Grammarly is one of the best, even for this list of top picks.

First, the quick link at the top for those who already know they’re interested and don’t want to read the email is smart, but just in case you weren’t sure it was a link they included an arrow —> to help increase conversions.

Next, the Godfather-themed headline and image is eye-catching and fun and entices people to read further. Add on top of that compelling copy listing a deadline for the sale and a clear CTA and you have yourself an all-around effective email- if that was all the email had to offer.

What makes this go from good to great is the killer Twitter testimonial that’s perfectly highlighted right below the CTA. It’s not just an amazing testimonial, it flows perfectly with the humor-themed copy and helps convince those who may have just recently joined the platform to consider buying.

9. Craft

Right off the bat, you might notice that this email from Craft, an app collection for designers by InvisionApp, doesn’t even look like an email. It’s essentially a landing page in your inbox.

That’s not a bad thing, in fact, it’s powerful beyond words. From a design perspective, removing an entire page from the sales process is huge.

And while this may not have removed an entire page from the process of convincing people to try out their new app Library, the incredibly streamlined design and presentability of this email definitely helped things along.

Highlights from this email are many: clear message & CTA, compelling copy, large amounts of whitespace (bluespace?), and just an overall beautiful design that would catch even the most talented designer’s eye. Which is necessary, given who they’re selling to.

10. Buffer

This is one of a series of emails you receive after purchasing Buffer’s paid plan which they aptly call The Awesome Plan (Awesome, right?).

What’s great about this email from Buffer is it does a great job of building a relationship with their new customer while at the same time executing a critical step in the conversion process that many companies altogether ignore.

What’s the first thing you should do after someone buys your product or service? Forget about them, right?

Forgive the sarcasm, but the reality is, that’s exactly what many companies do. Or, at best, they give a simple tutorial, link to the Help Center, and then leave the customer feeling alone and left to figure out problems with the product or service on their own.

Buffer does an awesome job (pun intended) of doing the complete opposite of this and making new customers feel like they’re truly being taken care of.

Highlights include simple but effective relationship-building copy, great use of images, and effective execution of an oft-forgotten essential step in the sales process (or, as Warren Buffett put it, “Delight your customer”).

Conclusion

No matter what you decide to do with your email marketing, this much is certain: if you’re not putting enough time and energy into your email marketing campaigns, you’re likely leaving money on the table.

Learn from these 10 examples of great B2B email marketing campaigns and apply those lessons in your own marketing efforts to increase revenue and profitability.