Everything You Need to Know About B2B Personalization
← Back to Blog Emil Kristensen

Everything You Need to Know About B2B Personalization

B2B Personalization [WordPress]

B2C personalization is absolutely everywhere. Just check your Amazon account. Or your Spotify account. Or Netflix, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc.

You get the idea. And while plenty of B2B companies are making a concerted effort to create a more personalized customer experience, I think there’s a noticeable lag behind what B2Cs are currently doing. 

But it’s time to change that. Here’s why and everything you need to know about B2B personalization, along with actionable advice for stepping up this area of your marketing.

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Table of Contents

1. Why B2B Personalization is Insanely Important

2. A Challenge for B2B Marketers

3. Top B2B Personalization Techniques (with Examples)

4. Personalize Your Signup Forms

5. Suggest Related Content 

6. Send Emails from an Account Manager

7. Send Existing Customers Personalized Reports

Why B2B Personalization is Insanely Important

Here are some enlightening statistics that prove just how important B2B personalization is. 

First of all, more than four out of five consumers (81 percent) have openly stated that they want B2Bs to get to know them and figure out the right time to approach them. 

In other words, they don’t just want brands to spring offers upon them out of the blue. Rather, they want brands’ offers to reflect their interactions and be hyper-relevant to what they’re interested in. 

Eighty-six percent of buyers have even said that they expect salespeople to personalize their sales materials, with another 82 percent saying they “appreciate it when deals and docs are personalized for them and their company.”

Next, “77 percent of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.”

This shows firsthand that B2B personalization can help you increase conversions, generate more referrals, and boost your average order value. In fact, 93 percent of B2B marketers that created personalized content in 2020 were able to increase their revenue over time. 

Moreover, 79 percent of companies that exceed their revenue goals have a formalized personalization strategy in place. The numbers speak for themselves. 

And when it comes to setting priorities on future marketing efforts, guess what a third of B2B marketers said was their number one goal? Personalization. So, it’s pretty clear that B2B personalization can have a massive impact.

Consumers have made it obvious that it’s something they’re seeking from brands and factors heavily into their decision-making. It’s also clear that B2B companies consider it to be at the top of their to-do list moving forward. 

To quantify, 77 percent of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe personalized marketing experiences create better customer relationships, while 55% believe that it leads to higher sales conversions and long-term growth. 

A Challenge for B2B Marketers

That said, B2B marketers have expressed concerns with their ability to get their personalization initiatives where they’d like them to be. 

According to fresh research from personalized B2B marketing platform Folloze, “42 percent of these professionals said their marketing efforts are not fully personalized. More than a third (39 percent) said their current personalized marketing strategy is only somewhat sophisticated, and 15 percent said that their personalized marketing strategy is not sophisticated at all.”

Further, more than half (54 percent) B2B marketers share the sentiment that B2B personalization is more difficult than B2C personalization. 

As for the specific reasons why:

  • 51 percent think it’s easier for B2C marketers to reach their prospects
  • 37 percent think it’s because B2C marketers have access to better data
  • 30 percent think it’s because B2C marketers have bigger budgets
  • 28 percent think it’s because B2C brands are more digital 

While these numbers show that coming up with a viable personalization strategy is often more difficult for B2B organizations than it is for their B2C counterparts, it can definitely still be done with the right game plan. 

And that’s what I’m going to cover for the rest of this post. 

Top B2B Personalization Techniques (with Examples)

As I just mentioned, one of the biggest obstacles that B2B marketers face is that they don’t have access to the same amount of data that B2Cs do. But that’s okay. 

“In B2B, we don’t need to know their shoe size and we don’t need to talk about their gender,” says Ardath Ablee, CEO of Marketing Interactions. “We don’t need to know they live in the suburbs and have a wife, two kids, and a dog, and they drive a red Corvette.”

Often, a small amount of data along with a few key insights relating to the prospect’s industry will suffice. 

So on that note, here are some specific B2B personalization strategies that don’t require a ton of data, along with real-life examples you can get inspiration from. 

Personalize Your Signup Forms

I probably don’t need to tell you that email is still one of the best mediums for nurturing leads. But it also happens to be one of the best for providing an ultra-personalized experience. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. 

A great strategy for getting started is to create personalized signup forms for demos, eBooks, whitepapers, and so on, where you ask leads for key information so you can customize your interactions accordingly.

Here’s an example from inbound lead conversion and scheduling app, Chili Piper. On their demo booking page, they ask leads to enter their work email address, which is a given. 

But besides that, they also ask leads to enter the CRM they’re using and the country/region they’re located in. 

Say, for instance, a prospect said that they used Salesforce and were located in Denmark.

Chili Piper could then use that information for two primary purposes. 

One, they could pass it on to their sales reps so they could fine-tune their demo to discuss Chili Piper and Salesforce integrations, along with location-specific offers for users in Europe. 

And two, they could send personalized emails that zero in on B2Bs that use Salesforce—maybe how a scheduling app can help Salesforce users book meetings more efficiently, for example. 

Even though Chili Piper didn’t grab a ton of detailed information, they can still use it to get the conversation started out on the right foot and personalize their interactions.

In turn, this lets leads know that Chili Piper doesn’t view them as “just a number” but as an individual with unique needs. The last thing I need to point out is that generally speaking, there’s a correlation between more form fields and fewer signups. 

Here’s data from one of the most classic studies on this. 

That’s why you need to be cognizant of how many fields you include and not ask for extraneous information that isn’t truly necessary. The trick is to find the sweet spot where your signup form gives you enough data to go on without sabotaging your efforts.

But once you find that, your B2B personalization should be ready to rock and roll. 

Suggest Related Content 

It takes an average of eight touchpoints to get an initial meeting or conversion with a prospect. That’s a lot. One of the best ways to create more touches and familiarize leads with your brand is to encourage them to check out more of your content. 

Not only does this give you the opportunity to build rapport and get them comfortable with your brand, but it’s also perfect for showcasing your knowledge and expertise. Besides that, it also presents an opportunity for personalization. 

Say, for example, a B2B prospect stumbled upon one of your blog posts through search engine results. If they only read that single article, they may get some helpful information, but unless they were completely wowed, there’s a good chance they’d leave and never return. 

If, however, they’re directed to additional posts on your blog, they’d get even more helpful content and become more acclimated to your brand. Suggesting related content is dead simple but can be just the ticket for creating a more personalized experience, while at the same time adding more touchpoints that inevitably lead up to a conversion. 

HubSpot is the master of this technique. Here’s one of their articles on how marketers can use social media to meet business objectives.

It’s a good read and provides plenty of meaty information that translates into actionable advice. At the end, it directs readers to three related articles. 

There’s one on Twitter, one on TikTok, and one on the importance of listening to users on social media. 

This is an effective way to get prospects to fall into a “positive rabbit hole” where they engage more with your brand and get a personalized experience.

On a side note, HubSpot also breaks their blog content down into four main categories:

  • Marketing 
  • Sales
  • Service 
  • Website

Rather than lumping everything together and making prospects sift through it to find the specific topics they’re looking for, this helps get them where they need to go for an added sense of personalization.

So, if your demographic breaks down into multiple segments like HubSpot’s does, this is a smart feature to add to your site. 

Send Emails from an Account Manager

Instead of sending out emails that are addressed from your company as a whole, a more personalized approach is to address them from a specific account manager. 

Here’s a good example from advertising digital asset management platform, Dubsat (now part of Adstream). 

Notice how it’s sent from the account manager, Matthew Twigg, and it includes a headshot so readers can instantly put a face with the name. 

This signals to readers that Dubsat isn’t just sending emails in mass and treating them like a number—something we refer to as the classic “spray and pray” technique. Instead, it’s personalized and comes from a real person. Although it may not seem like that big of a deal, the impact can be huge.

In fact, one study found that the click-through rate of an email sent from a company was only 0.73%, while an email sent from an account manager was 0.96%, which translated into 292 more clicks. And that’s just one email.

Think about what the results would be like if you did this consistently. That’s why this strategy is definitely worth experimenting with. Just make sure that the account manager you assign is able to promptly respond to the replies you get from leads. 

Send Existing Customers Personalized Reports

The strategies I’ve covered up until now have all been aimed at getting leads to convert. But what about your existing customers?

Research has found that creating more personalized interactions with them helps improve their overall experience and lowers churn. One of the best ways to go about this is to send out personalized reports.

Take, for instance, this one from automatic time-tracking software, RescueTime.

The purpose of their product is to help businesses effectively manage their time and minimize productivity leaks. So, they send out a weekly email summary that outlines how each user’s time was spent the previous week. 

That way they can stay on top of productivity trends without having to manually check their reports, which helps save time. And just look at how incredibly personalized it is. RescueTime tailors every report to each individual user, letting them know:

  • How many hours they logged
  • What their productivity score was
  • What their most productive day was
  • What their most productive time was
  • What activities their time went toward
  • The top apps and websites they used

They even break everything down into detailed data, using hours and percentages. 

While this specific type of report won’t be applicable to every B2B company, it’s certainly a model that you should be able to incorporate in some form. 

It’s just a matter of finding useful information your customers will be interested in and that will help them get the most of your product. Then, condense that into a personalized report and send it through email for maximum convenience. 

FREE DOWNLOADABLE BONUS

Want More Conversion Optimization Tips?

We’ve put together 12 CRO resources to help you drive more leads and revenue.

Whether you’re looking for satisfaction guarantee examples or product page examples, we’ve got something for you.

You’ll also get immediate access to 23+ other bonus resources, categorized in Notion for your convenience.

Download Swipe File Now →

Conclusion

Admittedly, B2B personalization is a bit trickier than B2C personalization—something that’s largely due to the fact that it’s harder for B2B companies to collect meaningful data. 

That said, it’s still a tactic that can be done effectively. And as we just learned, there are several techniques that can be used to create a more personalized experience, both for leads you’re trying to convert as well as for existing customers. 

Personalizing signup forms and suggesting relevant content are great ways to start. And once you’ve collected a person’s email, addressing your messages from an official account manager and providing personalized reports can take things to the next level. 

How important do you think B2B personalization currently is?

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