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How Email Marketing can Help B2B Food Businesses to Stay Connected With Buyers

Apart from the pervasiveness of social media, email marketing remains the most effective way to reach and retain a relationship with B2B buyers.

In 2020’s State of Email Report, Litmus found that 4 out of 5 marketers said they would rather give up social media marketing instead of email marketing.

Surprising?

It is unimaginable how effective email marketing can be. In today’s era where WhatsApp and other social media have become a usual part; email marketing works incredibly. WhatsApp, Facebook, and other sites can go down for hours, but email cannot.

Open rates average close to 20% across industries. An email has been among the most cost-effective marketing tools as well. The highest ROI arrives from sending 9-16 emails per month ($46 for every $1 spent ROI). However, you can still obtain solid results by sending only 5 to 8 emails a month (41:1).

So, what to write about?

The best customer relationships are true relationships of mind-melds. Use this as a litmus test when creating email content, and ensure that the information you’re sharing is valuable to them, not just you.

Keep in mind that email is only a vehicle for content delivery; content can take the form of the email itself, an ingrained video, and a link to another asset, a survey, or whatever. Use the format that is particularly fit to the information you want to share and the preferences of your clients.

Following are six unique ways a B2B food brand can use email marketing to stay connected with its buyers.

Let Customers Go to Your behind the scenes –

Professionals in the food industry are obsessed with food safety. They are always interested in observing how products are made, stored, packaged, and shipped in a walk-through manner. The opportunities for storytelling are endless.

Producing video content for behind the scenes is a trend today. Telling a captivating story is the most effective way of forming personal bonds, capturing people’s attention, and imprinting the intended information in the minds of your audience. This phenomenon explains why more brands are using storytelling to promote the product and conversions.

If you import vegetables and fruits, put forward your growers and discuss safety protocols, land stewardship, and seasonality in detail. If you offer packaged products, take them on a virtual facility tour of food box manufacturers and talk about packaging, innovation, and distribution. Introduce your team to the people who help in making you successful.

Keep buyers alongside regulations –

Regulations are always helpful in every aspect. Whether it’s supplier or buyer, understanding regulations help in knowing what is legal or acceptable within certain premises.

Regulations controlling safety, food production, and distribution change time after time. Ignorance is never bliss in the food industry.

One of the valuable things any food brand can offer is knowledge and reassurance – two key elements. Use an email newsletter to educate your buyers on state and industry regulations moving through the approval and drafting process

Inform them how the newly applied guidelines will impact them, how they will affect you, and, importantly, what you will be doing to address the regulations on your customers’ behalf. If you will make improvements to go ahead of current guidelines, let them know that as well. It gives you a position of a leader and partner they can rely on.

Be the supply chain expert –

Whether you are among international plastic egg tray suppliers or a local farm-to-market worker, a supply chain is always involved in sending food from one place to the other.

Remember, supply chain disruptions are inevitable. Also, the food industry is directly linked with the supply chain. If one part of the chain breaks down, the whole chain disrupts.

Nobody can control political upheaval, the weather, or ships getting stuck in the Suez Canal. However, food brands that make a point of maintaining supply chain visibility and having robust redundancy plans in place to mitigate risk provide enormous value to the buyers who rely on them.

Keep your buyers up to date on supply chain changes, risks on the horizon, and mitigation efforts in progress (or already in place). Assist them in assessing and addressing supply chain challenges and opportunities.

Create buzz and excitement about new products –

This is quite obvious; however, but many brands wait for the launch to get customers onboard about a new product. Creating excitement busts customers’ urge to ignore the product.

Although you may want to keep cards with your chest for competitive reasons. However, don’t make the mistake to keep everything close to the vest. To the maximum extent possible, bring buyers along with you for the ride. Make them feel like they’re a part of the process, or even better, the driving factor behind the innovation. Create interest ahead of time to boost revenue when the time comes.

Crowdsource the next big thing –

Inclusions, new flavors, and food packaging are regularly introduced to consumers every time. Buyers are a massive source of information regarding

  • what are your products,
  • Your competitors’ strategy, and
  • Gaps in your stockpile

Involve them as part of your R&D team by offering them an easy way for sharing their ideas, observations, and needs. Conversely, share your knowledge of market trends with them. Invite them to take part in surveys, then publish the results and offer observations on what was learned, particularly observations which can help them become more profitable by increasing market share, lowering costs, avoiding risk, streamlining their supply chain, addressing consumer concerns, capitalizing on trends, and so forth.

Aid Buyers Via Unanticipated Challenges –

COVID-19 pandemic created chaos for every business across industries. From labor scarcity to lockdown measures vanishing sales, the food industry had to go through severe challenges in quick succession.

When something like this occurs, share your knowledge in real-time and invite others to collaborate on alternatives. Challenges resonate throughout the food industry ecosystem; providing empathy alongside tangible solutions is an impactful way to show leadership, attract new customers, and strengthen relationships.

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