Email has been around for a long time. While many proclaim that B2B email is declining as a preferred communication type, according to recent research, 80% of B2B buyers prefer to be contacted via email. In fact, it’s the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences (behind only colleague recommendations and industry-specific thought leaders).
As the workhorse of B2B demand generation, email is a tool for marketers to personalize, test, learn, and continually improve communications to meet business and marketing objectives. But many are still trying to find the secret sauce to writing emails that convert.
We’ve created a checklist to help you focus on the B2B email elements that affect results. Each of these learnings is reinforced by trusted experts, client results, and first-hand experience. Some may seem obvious, but—like many things in content marketing—how you use them can be tested and refined to drive the outcomes you seek.
1. Don’t bury the lede
Make sure that, at first glance, your email’s objective is crystal clear. How will reading this email help the reader overcome a real business challenge? Your body copy needs to outline the benefits and build momentum. Why else would the reader care about the content and click the call to action?
2. Nail the right tone
Tone is about developing and fostering a relationship, providing a trusted solution for resolving pain points. Don’t waste your time building up to the pitch. State why you are sending this message and what’s in it for the recipient.
3. Make it personal
Identify people by their name and company—and their role if possible. Recognize where recipients are in the customer journey, using data if applicable. Identify who they are (a primary decision maker, influencer, etc.) and then target them with customized content that they’ll find informative and valuable.
4. Focus on one thing
Don’t bog the reader down with too many offers, calls to action, or secondary marketing messages. In this day of email overload, less is more.
5. Consider who it’s from
The name that displays in the ‘from’ field determines if a recipient will delete the email. Match this field to something familiar to the recipient, such as the brand the customer knows and trusts. Having a trusted ‘from’ name encourages higher open rates.
6. Write a strong, concise subject line
Take heed of the 4 Us—useful, ultra-specific, unique, and urgent. Most mobile devices will cut off a subject line greater than 25 to 40 characters, depending on the device, so make it pithy and to the point.
7. Make your message scannable
Don’t overwhelm a reader with long paragraphs and walls of copy. Break up your copy with punchy subheads, numbered and bulleted lists, and small bites of information that allow subscribers to quickly read it and grasp your main message.
8. Use less “we” and more “you”
Keep the focus on your recipients, rather than providing too much unnecessary information about your company. Being more customer-centric is never a bad thing.
9. Talk about benefits, not features
Let your recipients know what’s in it for them by talking about the benefits delivered by your products and/or services, instead of simply listing the features.
10. Create a sense of urgency
Including a reason to act now (not next week, or next month, or never) will help encourage an email opener to make haste.
The average office worker receives an average of 121 emails per day. With those stats, you can’t afford to not stand out in the inbox. For more B2B email advice, read our post on four (and a half!) email takeaways from Content Marketing World.