Though every case is a little different and there's no magic way to make your audience read your emails (or even better forward them to friends), here are few tips to improve your efforts. We're no stranger to B2B email marketing and as you'll see, these suggestions come from experience. Let's jump on in!
1. The subject line
Think of your subject line like a movie trailer. If you fail with it there’s very little chance that somebody is going to go pay money to see your movie (or in this case, read the content of your email). So your subject line must clearly state the incentive of opening the email and in most cases should be 50 characters or less.
2. Be brief
Nothing is worse than opening an email to see a giant wall of text. And having to scroll down in an email!? Forget about it. Try your best to offer a clear and concise message without beating around the bush. People like quick, consumable pieces of information with access to actionable resources. So don't cloud your message with fluff, just give the people what they want.
3. Don’t distract
When it comes to effective email design, we like to follow the KISS methodology. Keep it simple stupid. Sending a busy-looking email to your prospects can do more harm than good. Keep your basic email templates simple. Include a good amount of whitespace, try to use images sparingly and make sure your design is responsive on all devices.
We recently ran an audit of our email workflows and discovered several of the emails we were sending out were not up to par.
Our initial email (on the left) featured a huge visual CTA right at the top, way before we offered any value! As you can imagine, it didn't perform all that well. The email on the right is the new and improved version. This time sticking to best practices.
First off, you'll notice it's far more concise. In the old email, you'd have to scroll down to reach the information provided at first glance in the new version (those images are the same size). It's well-structured (leverages whitespace and isn't just a wall of text), uses actionable language and does away with the unnecessary images. Not surprisingly, it performed a whole lot better.
4. Segment Segment Segment
Just like best practices for lead nurturing, successful email marketing involves thoughtful segmentation. Let’s face it, Bobby B2B is not going to open your email if it's only relevant to Enterprise Seller Suzie. If you're noticing a downward trend in open and click-through rates in your emails it probably has a lot to do with who you're choosing to send those emails to in the first place. And of course, the relevancy of the content within.
5. Content with incentive
This is a pretty obvious one, but it’s AMAZING how often it’s overlooked. It’s a classic scenario, somebody from a senior position requests a new email campaign. The designers come up with a great template to house the content… and then nobody puts enough thought into the content itself which was the main point of sending the email in the first place!
You need to send valuable content with messaging that aligns with your recipients stage in the buyer's journey. Make it apparent what your prospects' next step should be and use actionable language to drive that conversion. After all, the real reason you're sending marketing emails is to lead capture, right?
6. The landing page
This last one isn’t really part of the email itself, but if the landing page you’re sending a lead to is terrible you’re not going to have much luck with your campaign. You can lead a horse to dirty water… but you can’t make it drink. The page should clearly relate to the content of the email. It should have a simple, straightforward form and should follow landing page best practices.
Consider the type of email you like to receive. With that standard in mind, along with these 6 tips, you'll be well on your way to crafting better emails. And as always, if there are any tips you'd like to share, leave us a comment below!