If you work in B2B marketing, you know that building a strong B2B email list is a crucial step in your marketing strategy.

You’ve also heard about the benefits of a well-optimized email list and the importance of nurturing your audience with timely, relevant emails.

But what are the best ways to build a strong B2B email list? What can you do to make your emails more effective? 

In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of B2B Email marketing and some of the best ways to build a strong B2B email list.

But let’s start from the beginning.

What Exactly Is B2B Email Marketing?

Business-to-business (B2B) email marketing is a type of email marketing strategy that targets businesses rather than individual buyers.

While it has a lot in common with its more orthodox, business-to-customer (B2C) counterpart, there are several distinct differences that separate the two.

And understanding these differences is key to your future success as a B2B email marketer.

But what are the differences between B2B and B2C email marketing strategies?

B2B vs B2C Email Marketing: What Is the Difference?

B2C Emails vs B2B Emails
B2C Emails vs B2B Emails

As mentioned above, B2B and B2C email marketing are similar (and different) in many ways. After all, both B2B and B2C email marketing share the same goals, such as:

  • Communicating with customers
  • Promoting products, and
  • Guiding potential customers through the sales cycle.

That said, there are also 3 key differences between the two that marketers need to understand in order to maximize their return on investment (ROI). Speaking of ROI, you should really check out these email marketing best practices to improve your ROI.

Buying Cycle Length

B2B email marketing usually takes a bit longer than B2C to turn prospects into leads, and hopefully into paying customers.

This is because the decision-making process in B2B email marketing is more cumbersome and involves more people.

So in order to make a sale, you would have to get a green light from each stakeholder involved in the process. 

There’s also the difference in price points, which is usually higher in B2B. Consequently, 

B2B email marketing campaigns tend to involve several workflows that drip content over a few weeks to nurture clients.

The Difference in Tone/Voice

B2C emails typically have a more personal and casual tone, as well as simple and relatable wording. They also aim to create a sense of urgency to trigger a swift and emotion-driven response.

B2B emails, on the other hand, are typically written with a more professional, results-oriented language that is also more factual in comparison to B2C emails.

These emails are designed to underline the financial benefits that a client would enjoy if they purchased the product or service in question.

B2B emails also tend to use industry-specific jargon, which is not the case with B2C emails.

The Difference in Content 

We already established that consumers tend to respond to B2C email marketing campaigns swiftly and based on emotions. And including limited offers or discounts can help create that desired sense of urgency to trigger momentary responses. 

To create good B2C email content you also need to have a good understanding of the wants and needs of your target audience.

You can then use that knowledge to create better content and optimize your calls to action. And if you need some help with that, use these email call to action examples for reference.

In B2B, the buying cycle is longer, as we discussed above. Because of that, B2B email marketing campaigns should both:

  • Include non-promotional, educational content, and
  • Aim to position the company as a go-to solution for the main industry pain points.

Over time, you can deliver this information via case, studies, white papers, and webinars.

That said, let’s head over to our main topic of discussion: how to build a B2B email list that will benefit your business. 

How to Build a Healthy B2B Email List?

Listed below are the best B2B email list-building strategies. Using these techniques, you’ll be able to grow your email lists quickly.

Make Sure to Clean Your B2B Email List Regularly

Did you know that the accuracy of your B2B email lists, or any list for that matter, is constantly degrading? Gradually, but surely, your email lists are going to become outdated and useless. And that will trigger deliverability issues, which in turn will negatively impact your sender’s reputation. Ever heard about the infamous 1–10–100 rule?

It says that verifying an email address will cost you:

  • $1 at entry
  • $10 for cleaning it later
  • $100 if you don’t do anything (due to revenue loss).

Also, note that as many as 25% of all contacts in the average B2B email list contain inaccurate information. 

Add spam traps and inactive contacts to the equation, and you have a recipe for disaster.

When you take it all into account, list cleaning emerges among the most important email list management skills you can develop. 

Removing inactive contacts from your mailing list is a good place to start. A tool like Mailvio will allow you to segment your list based on activity and remove inactive contacts.

Mailvio will allow you to segment your B2B list based on a number of criteria.

You can also try out one of these reliable email list cleaning services for a deeper scrub. A tool like NeverBounce will scan your list and remove all the spam and other unwanted emails from it.

Verify Your Leads Before Allowing Them to Your List

The value of your B2B email list depends on the quality of your contacts. A B2B email list full of outdated, incorrect, or fake emails will bring you more harm than good. So how do you prevent bad email addresses from creeping into your list?

By verifying them at the point of entry using a tool like OptinMonster. Using OptinMonster, you can easily create attractive lead capture forms that will prevent any misspelled emails and fake sign-ups from coming your way. 

This will help protect your senders’ reputation and keep you in the good graces of the major email providers.

Include B2B Lead Magnets

A lead magnet is a promotional incentive offered by marketers to people in exchange for email addresses. Typically, it comes in the form of a downloadable piece of content such as:

  • Newsletter
  • e-book
  • Guide
  • Checklist
  • White paper

But what makes a B2B lead magnet “good”? What are the traits of a good lead magnet?

An artist's impression of acquiring qualified leads with B2B lead magnets

Well, a good lead magnet is simple, specific, and most importantly, offers a solution to a problem. It is also instantly accessible and includes high-quality content that demonstrates the value of your brand.

When you are brainstorming ideas, keep your ideal customer in mind. What problems do they face? If they could change something, what would it be? What is the pain point you can solve for them?

The answers to these questions will help you to craft a lead magnet that is tailored to your target audience. And people will start downloading your lead magnet once they know that they will get value out of it.

Use Quora to Demonstrate Your Value

Quora – everyone’s favorite question-and-answer website – has nearly 200 million monthly users. For B2B email marketers, it offers an excellent opportunity to throw their brand and lead magnets into the mix. 

There are a lot of questions on Quora, ranging from simple definitions to complex explanations, and even insider information. In the Quora search bar, conduct a search using keywords that your target audience would use. That will help you identify questions that are relevant to you.

When examining the search results, try to find questions that you know you can use to deliver real value.

Remember, the goal of your Quora marketing is to build trust and show your value to the community.

When used correctly, it can boost your subscription rate by a hefty margin.

But falling to deliver value and waving your lead magnets, products, and resources all over the place won’t cut it. 

Participate in Industry Forums 

Regardless of your industry, there’s more than likely a niche online community where your target customers reside. Contrary to popular belief, forums are very much alive. 

There are a lot of people from a variety of industries who join online communities every day to converse with their peers.

GrowthHackers is a popular forum for B2B brands looking to engage with marketers. ProductHunt and HackerNews are popular in the start-up community and among investors and product people. A site like Reddit has tons of subsections (Subreddits) that cater to every industry and topic.

Once you find relevant communities for your audience and product, you can start distributing your content. Rest assured, the members of these communities will show their appreciation by signing up for your email list and sharing your content.


Building a healthy B2B email list requires a deep understanding of your prospects’ pain points. You don’t need to come up with anything spectacular to get people to part with their email addresses. Distributing valuable content and using the tools and tips outlined above should be enough. 

But once you build up a sizable B2B email list, don’t forget to maintain it.

Use a tool like Mailvio or a dedicated email list cleaning service to maintain good list hygiene.

Make sure to also adhere to these basic brand development principles and success will soon follow. 

As always, we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please share them with us in the comments section below. 

Neil Napier

Neil Napier is the co-founder of Mailvio. Neil started his entrepreneurial journey in 2012 out of necessity to keep his visa in the UK, when he failed to keep his visa he moved to Finland and started his career as a serial entrepreneur and super affiliate. With over $10 million USD in revenue generated, he is a sought-after expert entrepreneur, copywriter & product creator.


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