Contrary to popular belief, not all emails are created equally.

Different emails target different audiences and, you guessed it, have different purposes!

Without getting too much into the intricacies of each and every email that leaves our servers, we can differentiate between two emails based on what they’re targeting:

B2C Emails

Standing for ‘Business to Consumer’, these emails intend to target and convert consumers directly. For example, Amazon, eBay and other popular ecommerce sites would usually send out B2C emails.

With B2C marketing, you’re usually dealing with one person. This person may or may not be familiar with your market and is often driven by emotion to satisfy a need. Here’s some defining characteristics of a typical B2C email.

The B2C Email

  • Emotionally Driven
  • Education is key
  • Targets one person
  • Expects a short buying cycle
  • Looking to satisfy a need / want – not a long term business relationship
  • Specific product attributes are more important

Let’s go into a little more detail on each point.

Emotionally Driven

Your typical consumer likes to be entertained. They’re usually not sitting behind their monitors in their worker-drone cubicle when they open your email and if they do, they’re probably looking for an escape!

Get creative! Use an informal tone, humour and think about what would emotionally drive a consumer to make a purchase. Is it hunger, desire, status or cost? Once you’ve found which emotion you want to hit on, structure your email around that emotion. If it’s hunger, use evocative language, fill the page up with mouth-watering images and try to stick to colours that match your product.

For example, if you’re selling ice-cream, baby blues and pinks work well, while the same colours would seem out of place for an email from a grill-house.

Education is Key

B2C emails usually go to consumers who are, for the most part, willing to be convinced to buy anything that will make their life better. It’s up to the email to convince them to make the purchase.

You can’t assume that your consumers will know all there is to know about your product or industry, meaning you’ll have to use words, lingo and comparisons that they understand. Sometimes, you may even have to educate your recipients on what your product is or does.

To this end, try to focus on real-life issues, problems or anxieties that are experienced by the average consumer and how your product or service can help your customers overcome this. You’ll often want to include this problem in the subject line in some form, often as a question.

Targets One Person

While you, as a B2C email marketer are trying to appeal to as many people as possible, it should always be remembered that B2C emails appeal to one person at a time. This is the direct opposite of a B2B email, where the buying decision is a little more complicated because it is made by a team of people.

This means that your entire email should be structured around getting that one conversion. It also means that you can make full use of the personalisation tools email service providers make available.

A Short Buying Cycle

B2C emails should focus on taking the recipient from the inbox to the pricing page or landing page that will close the deal. That’s it!

Clear call to actions, instant additions to online carts and suggestions to similar products are the way to go!

If your email is too long winded or confronts your reader with conflicting call to actions, you risk losing your reader to other email marketers… or worse, cat videos.

Satisfaction over Relationships

Your email marketing tactics should be focusing on quick conversions rather than building a loyal customer.

Building brand loyalty should be left to after-service support, product quality and other marketing efforts – unless your brand or company is large enough to do so, like Nike or Coca-Cola.

Because of this, you’ll want to make your B2C email always pushing for a close or conversion. That’s not to say you want to sound pushy, but you don’t want to get locked into trying to nurture your customers too much and spending too much time on getting your subscriber base ready for conversion.

This is why the next point is so important.

Focus on Specific Product Attributes

As a B2C email marketer, you want to make the decision to purchase as easy as possible – so give your readers the right information.

Specific product attributes such as cost, ease of use and quality are extremely important to the B2C consumer, while after sales service and support are more important when targeting B2B.

So, What About B2B Emails?

B2B or Business to Business email marketing is a complete other ballgame!

Stay tuned to the blog for our next post on analysing B2B emails and what the rules are for running, and winning that game.

Do you have your own tactics for B2C marketing? Some email marketers use an ESP like SharpSpring Mail + in conjunction with Marketing Automation tools to get the most out of email mailing lists.

Try a free trial of SharpSpring Mail + and see what you can do with your inbox today!


  • Author: maryka.burger

  • Maryka has worked across multiple industries ranging from hard news journalism to digital tech companies and advertising. She is an expert at building online presence, and offers a wealth of knowledge on digital marketing, social media and automation trends to agencies and digital start-ups.