People get bombarded with emails to their work accounts daily, and many of those correspondences are business-to-business (B2B) marketing emails attempting to advertise a product or service.
The key to getting those messages read instead of passed over is to understand and apply the components of a high-converting B2B marketing email.
Here are 8 of them:
Subject lines with exactly 5 words generate a 15.9% increase in open rates over longer ones. Here are a few examples:
Readers don’t want to waste time, and a concise subject line lets them assess whether or not to open the message.
ThirdLove does an amazing job with short subject lines and compelling preheader text:
Many people read B2B emails on their phones, and in that format, gigantic blocks of text are particularly overwhelming. Writing well for readers who come across content online means sticking to short paragraphs and inserting bullet points if appropriate.
A multiyear study from Litmus found an upward trend in the time people spend reading emails. However, in 2016, the average time spent was still just over 11 seconds. So, if a reader opens a B2B email and immediately sees it’ll take several minutes to read, that’s a quick turnoff.
Bullet points are also useful, especially for calling attention to specific things.
If B2B customers don’t trust the company that sends them a marketing email, they won’t be likely to put effort toward initiating or continuing a business relationship. A study of content marketers showed that 96 percent of B2B customers thought of the company providing the marketing material as a trusted resource.
Trust is something marketers have to earn. They can do that by using language in marketing messages that purposefully builds trust. Some actions increase trustworthiness, too.
The image below, from MarketingSherpa, includes bullet points:
People won’t respond to emails that don’t match their intentions and purchasing stages. For example, if a recipient only signed up on a mailing list yesterday, it’s not appropriate to send them promotions about the most expensive products or services a company offers. The person is still learning about the company and deciding whether to deepen the relationship or look elsewhere.
B2B marketers commonly use templates that feature all or most of the components of a high-converting B2B marketing email and allow senders to personalize particular aspects of the messaging. In a HubSpot case study, a cold email template resulted in 16 new B2B customers and a 57 percent open rate, yet it only contained three sentences.
Some people wonder how effective B2B email marketing is, especially when people in the modern marketplace have so many channels through which to get information. A study of B2B marketers found that 41 percent of them described their return on investment for email marketing as either “excellent” or “good.”
Of course, that’s an especially likely outcome when people know and use many of the components of a high-converting B2B marketing email. When inserting links into emails, it’s ideal if they go to specialized landing pages instead of a company’s homepage.
People who receive B2B emails can’t necessarily escape the thought that the sender is trying to sell them something or otherwise get them to respond desirably, so they think about bias. However, including a customer testimonial or a social media shoutout is an effective way to show recipients a B2B brand has a satisfied audience.
Grammarly inserts social proof into its emails by including a tweet from a customer:
The tweet is humorous and lighthearted, but it shows how a customer decided to sign up for Grammarly’s premium service and loved it despite not having a long-term relationship with the company.
Besides the components of a high-converting B2B marketing email already mentioned, it’s essential to write material that the audience wants to read because they perceive the inherent value. For example, if addressing people who are looking for B2B email marketing software, it works well to discuss how those additions to the workflow could help them succeed.
Those emails should all have at least one call to action (CTA). More may be appropriate, depending on the overall length of the message. If seeing the whole message requires scrolling, place one CTA above the fold.
Unbounce does an excellent job with their CTAs:
Although these aren’t the only components of a high-converting B2B email, this list will help marketers make progress as they edit their emails and set their sights on higher success rates.
As the items here prove, certain characteristics can make substantial differences when present in the content.