Best Practices for B2B Email Marketing

Emails are a useful and direct way for B2B organizations to share information
with customers and prospects, and can be effectively used to market products/
services, share new content, announce the latest company news, promote
upcoming events and more.

Aside from lead generation opportunities, email marketing works for your
organization by:

  • Keeping your brand top of mind with leads via email nurture campaigns.
  • Targeting specific audiences with segmented, focused content that drives better engagement.
  • Promoting gated content offerings to support your lead generation efforts.
  • Amplifying your content further through monthly newsletters and periodic updates.

With so many businesses using email as a marketing tool, more often than not, inboxes are overloaded and emails go unopened and unseen. To be effective, your B2B copywriter and email marketing strategy should:

  1. Include an offer in every email (content offering, demo request, webinar sign up).
  2. Include a call-to-action in your emails to boost engagement.
  3. Ensure email is mobile responsive and graphics/images display correctly prior to sending.
  4. Consistently A/B test each email.
  5. Measure effectiveness of campaigns.
  6. Measure the results of your A/B tests and determine which elements results in better email performance.
  7. Segment email lists to offer relevant and tailored messaging to various types of email recipients such as prospects (top of the funnel), qualified leads (mid funnel) and customers (upsell opportunities).

Crafting Effective B2B Marketing Emails

So how does a smart marketer craft a B2B marketing email subject line that gets attention? Many of the same marketing dictums/strategies that work in general campaigns apply here as well. The underlying element that should spread across strategies is value - by structuring your subject line to appeal to your recipient’s needs and interests, you hold up an immediate flag that stands out in a cluttered inbox.

  • Be relevant. The first rule of email marketing applies to the subject line as well. Use your knowledge of the target to compose a subject line that reflects their goals and behaviors.
  • Be clear. While clever subject lines can intrigue readers, being too obscure or confusing will cause a recipient to skip over your email. Make sure your message is clear and that your recipients understand who’s emailing them. Using a brand signifier such a consistent prefix for all subject lines can impart immediate identification.
  • Be urgent. Imposing a deadline or sense of scarcity such as this week only or only 12 left! can instill a feeling of urgency and inspire open rates. However, too many “last chance” emails will quickly wear out their welcome and create skeptism, so use sparingly.
  • Be timely. Tying your content to a current news or pop culture event will require some creativity - but it will catch attention. Keep it short. Studies have repeatedly shown that subject lines with fewer than 50 characters have the highest open rates.
  • Be regional. Mentioning location in a subject line – such as Visit our new location! will not only catch your recipient’s eye, but it can make your business feel more accessible and your content more personally significant.
  • Ask Questions. A subject line that asks, Do you have the right insurance when you travel? will jolt the reader into thinking about the answer. Suddenly, they’re thinking about what they need and they’re engaged – and you’ve positioned them at the starting point of the selling process.
  • Use a Call to Action. Putting a command in the subject line such as Call me today for your new discount can be surprisingly motivational. Once readers are given a task to complete, they often feel compelled to respond.
  • Be persuasive. Consider the spam filter criteria above. Appealing words like free or special offer can attract attention when used sparingly - but used too often, they can mark your emails as spam. To avoid getting stuck in a spam trap, offer free shipping, or gifts with purchase to entice prospects.
  • Announce a list. Articles titled 5 tax deductions you must take or 8 steps to get in shape often prove popular with readers, since even the busiest people have time to quickly scan down a list. Subject lines are no different.
  • Mention trends. Promising to tell recipients about The best new laptops or The gifts on every graduate’s wish list can make readers want to feel in the know.

Best practices for higher open rates

Using the above techniques can help you craft a subject line that gets your emails
opened, rather than caught in a spam filter or sent to the trash. Yet taking an intelligent approach to B2B email marketing means going beyond individual messages and implementing overarching strategies to help you develop consistently fresh and inspiring campaigns with a B2B copywriter.

Stay current. Email marketing is a shifting landscape. The nonstop daily deluge of emails means that once effective techniques can quickly wear out their welcome, as exposure hits “critical mass” and recipients stop responding to tactics they recognize and dislike. Marketers must stay vigilant to which techniques are generating responses
and which are outdated.

Test. An A/B testing campaign can save you the wasted effort of running a subject line that doesn’t perform well. Track which subject lines generate higher open rates from your target audience before launching a major campaign – and incorporate the results into designing future initiatives.

Use power words. Targets can have weighted reactions to specific words and terms. Do some keyword research on the ones that trigger open rates and draw an emotional response. Even similar words can have a noticeable difference in impact; for instance, studies have shown that “discover” often outperforms “learn.”

Be clever – but not too clever. Catchy subject lines that don’t quite relate to the content can stimulate curiosity and result in a higher open rate. However, they must ultimately connect to the content and pay off for the reader, or your recipient can feel misled
or deceived.

Build a good reputation. Take a long view of your relationship with your customers. Instead of only architecting individual emails designed to be opened, aim to create an appealing email personality that your targets trust. By sending carefully timed and designed emails that offer value, you will train your subscribers and recipients to associate positive benefits with your brand and spare your messages the delete key.