Differences in B2B and B2C Conversion Based Copy

Good copy is good copy, sure.  But, it’s not always that simple.  Actually, it’s never that simple. B2B (business-to-business) copy should appear radically different from B2C (business-to-consumer) copy.  If you want to see conversions from content, it’s essential that you can recognize the differences and know which is right for you!

B2B Conversion Copy: In the Head

Any professional content writer can tell you that writing B2B copy with a strong emotional pull isn’t going to get you very far.  You’re trying to persuade a business to buy your product.  Do you think Solo tries to persuade Starbucks with poetic lines about the beauty of the paper cup?

If they do, I can guarantee you this is a small part of their spiel.  Rather, it’s all about the bottom line. B2B conversion copy drives a rational head game.  Solo addresses Starbucks and tells them in clear, persuasive terms, “We can provide you the best quality cups, at the lowest prices, with the most flexible contract, and most reliable supply.”  Or, something like that!

If any emotion drives B2B sales it is fear, not the whimsical feelings of love. Fear of ruining the bottom line that is.

B2C Conversion Copy: In the Heart

For B2C copy, you can check some of that rationality at the door.  You’re stepping into the affairs of the heart with conversion tactics aimed at making the customer swoon.  Wine and dine them, persuade them.  Is there an emotional aspect to buying an iPhone?  You bet!  You’re not going to see this heart tug so much in B2B copy, but it’s a requirement for B2C copy.

If you want to derive serious conversions from content, you’ve got to use this emotional appeal.

Your Voice & Relationships

Success is determined by many different factors, of course, but your writing voice is hugely important.  When you have a clear idea about who you are talking to and what your agenda is, you can implement conversion tactics that are highly effective, tactics that show results.


When a record label tries to get an album carried in brick-and-mortar stores, it’s going to use conversion copy that is relationally driven.  For the label, it’s not just about Album X; it’s about the catalogue and all the future albums that will be released.  Album X is just a foot in the door.

Their voice should drive home the importance of a relationship.  It will also focus on the long term, and recognize that the audience is a niche market.


But, when the record label tries to pitch Album X to you, the consumer, the conversion copy is highly effective for pushing a one-time sale.  This kind of copy is oftentimes brisk and smart.  The record label doesn’t have your attention for long, so they want to snag it as quickly as possible.  Sound byte copy can be extremely persuasive here.

B2C voice should focus on the short-term sale more than the relationship (though remember, you would like repeat customers!).  Also, it has to be able to address a bigger market.  There are a lot more music consumers than brick-and-mortar record stores!

Effective B2B

For a great example of B2C conversion copy, check out this campaign for Wild Turkey by copywriter Will Sharpe.  (Yes, we’re showing a little Kentucky bias here.)  The campaign uses some persuasive copy that encourages sons to buy some bourbon for dad on Father’s Day.

The clever and witty approach taken by the posters is emotional, focuses on the short term, and addresses a large market.

Effective B2C

Now, let’s say you’re a content marketer (ahem), and you’re trying to persuade businesses that they can see an awesome ROI on their content marketing efforts.  You’re especially making a hard drive for social networking sites.  You might want to use some persuasive copy like this graph that shows the rise of social networking site usage.

With this graph, you promote your service that is relationally driven, focuses on the long term, and you are definitely targeting a niche market.

It all comes down to…

… knowing the difference between B2B and B2C conversion based copy.  Understanding the goals of each of these conversion tactics, and using them effectively, means great sales for your business!

What other distinctions between B2B and B2C are essential to understand?

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Laura Hancock is a co-owner of ContentEqualsMoney.com. She has also been a long time writer for us. She writes with a passion for accuracy and flow. While her administrative duties have grown, she is a still a big piece of our content writing services team! Currently pursuing a certification in Technical Writing at the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle. +Laura Hancock

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    1. […] B2C selling is usually what we’re all most comfortable with.  As people, B2C selling is going to resonate with us.  Why?  It’s highly emotional.  When selling directly to a consumer, emotional pull is everything.  CEM co-owner Laura Hancock highlights the importance of relationally driven (i.e. emotional) content in B2C selling in one of her recent blog posts. […]

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