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Google’s New Bulk Email Guidelines Incentivize Better Digital B2B Strategies 

email, marketing, advertising

The digitization of the B2B space, from payments to marketplaces, is well-trodden ground by now.

But that doesn’t mean that the increasingly online modus operandi for B2B businesses can’t throw companies a few curveballs every now and then.

This, as new updates to Google’s bulk email guidelines, announced last year and set in place since February, have observers wondering about their impact on the marketing and outbound email marketing strategies of business in the B2B space — particularly small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) who are leaning on email marketing as a key tool to establish their brand and grow market share.

So, what do the updates entail? 

For companies sending over 5,000 emails daily to Gmail accounts, Google has introduced new authentication requirements and defined a spam complaint threshold of 0.3%, with guidance to keep spam rates reported in Postmaster Tools below 0.10%.

Smaller, more aggressive SMBs are at risk of seeing their lead generation and sales shrink under these new guidelines, while observers believe that larger and more established companies with structured and historical outbound email lists may actually benefit.

Google is also requiring SPF and DKIM email authentication for business domains. Impersonating Gmail From: headers will also negatively impact email delivery.

Read more3 Ways Legacy B2B Challenges Are Shaping Tomorrow’s Biggest Opportunities

Email Marketing is Vital for Smaller B2B Companies 

For SMBs looking to compete against large incumbents and drive differentiation, the digital landscape offers them a much needed avenue for competition.

“Businesses are becoming much more aware and much more savvy about how to operate digitally,” James Butland, U.K. managing director at Mangopay, told PYMNTS.

Compared to traditional marketing channels like print or direct mail, email marketing is incredibly cost-effective. SMBs can reach a large number of contacts for a fraction of the cost of other methods — something critical to growing their market share. 

Email provides a direct line of communication to SMB target audiences. Unlike social media or other platforms where their message might get lost in the noise, email allows firms to reach their prospects and customers directly in their inbox.

Only, under the new guidelines, firms will need to prioritize increasing the volume of emails guaranteed to be classified as non-spam. These can include transactional emails such as order confirmations, tracking updates, or purchase follow-ups, which less likely to be flagged as spam and can balance out overall email metrics.

B2B firms will need to evolve their outbound strategies to include better targeting, personalization and relevance — all key pillars of the space.

After all, email marketing is highly effective for generating leads in B2B. By offering valuable content or resources in exchange for email sign-ups, firms can build a list of qualified leads interested in their products or services.

B2B sales often rely on building relationships and trust over time. Email marketing allows firms to nurture these relationships by providing valuable content, industry insights and personalized communications to their contacts.

That’s why it is crucial for firms to focus their tactics and outreach on high-intent audience segments, including shoppers who have visited pricing pages or added items to their online carts.

Leaning Into Digital B2B Brings Convenience and Cost Savings

The biggest shift for B2B companies will be the reframing of marketing as something grounded in doing their homework on the audience versus that of relying on scale.

With email marketing software, businesses can segment their email outbound lists based on factors like industry, company size or previous interactions. This allows them to send highly targeted and personalized messages, increasing engagement and conversion rates by prioritizing warm leads.

What’s even more valuable is that email marketing platforms provide detailed analytics that allow SMBs to track open rates, click-through rates, conversions and more. This data enables companies to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize subsequent marketing efforts.

Automation has also given email marketing a shot in the arm by allowing firms to set up triggered emails based on certain actions or criteria, such as welcome emails for new subscribers or follow-up emails after a webinar. Automation saves time and ensures that prospective contacts receive timely and relevant messages. 

Overall, companies that adapt to the new landscape of B2B email marketing will be the ones that succeed.