The Top 5 Channels for B2B Marketing in 2021

From email to online advertising, the last year has shaken sales & marketing strategies to its core and savvy businesses have had to reinvent…everything. In this article, we will be breaking down the various B2B multi-channel marketing tactics available now; which are currently doing the best and which are to be avoided. 2020 proved to be the year that broke the mold with how marketing and customer behaviors upended long-held best practices. And these changes would inevitably change again, sometimes weekly. As we exit the era of the pandemic, our strategies must change once again. Let’s discuss some of the major B2B channels then and now, and how we can move forward in each.

While email open rates soared through the pandemic, now that people have started going back to the office or are taking a summer break, those open rates have dropped significantly. Email is still a major factor in lead qualification, therefore doubling or tripling send frequencies have become the new standard practice to increase engagements.

Tip! Change the “From” sender name if launching multiple back-to-back campaigns to increase open rates.


Direct Mail
This channel took a dip when decision makers left for home, and unless mail was forwarded, the inbox was collected dust. As people return to the workplace, direct mail may see a resurgence, especially when sending samples, catalogs, or plan-o-gram documents. Since other channels have started to slow, this may be a good option when used in conjunction with other marketing verticals.

Tip! Update your mailing list regularly to prevent sending to the wrong contact.


The phone has become a hot method of reaching prospects while they were isolated at home, often with an increased engagement/answering rate due to call forwarding. Recently, along with email open rates, calls have gone to voice mail as we move into the summer months. One way to increase response rates is through direct dial lines (extensions) to bypass gatekeepers. In the meantime, there has been a rise in demand for cell numbers to dial personal lines or send SMS text messages. This is highly discouraged as it has the potential to backfire and cause prospects to be turned off.

Tip! If you would be upset by someone calling/texting after hours, while with family, or on your personal line without permission, then it is not a good idea to use as a sales tactic on clients.


Social Media
LinkedIn and Twitter have had significant increases in traffic since the beginning of lockdowns, and that trend is likely to continue for some time. While phone and email may have started seeing lower engagements, social media is experiencing the opposite. Make connections with your prospects, keep up to date with your clients, and add social to your regular sales routine alongside email and phone.

Tip! CSG verifies both personal and company social handles which can be used to create targeted “audiences” for online ads.


Paid Advertising (PPC)
One place to also coordinate a multi-channel marketing campaign is paid advertising (i.e. Adwords). Often overlooked as part of a cohesive strategy, PPC can be used in conjunction with other marketing channels to display the same message across a variety of verticals. Targeting can be enhanced using a list of email addresses, company/personnel names, and social handles.

Tip! Upload a list of company handles to LinkedIn to create an audience and display ads to the decision makers in those organizations.

Chain Store Guide has the data necessary to build a marketing campaign using all of the channels in this article. Creating a unified campaign across all channels is an essential strategy to reach prospects wherever they may be. Get started today!