Think Better Marketing


6 Best Practices to Jumpstart Your Email Campaigns

It’s 2019. We have (almost) all of “the answers” at our fingertips… or at least in our pockets. Practically everyone carries around smart-phones that would have seemed space-aged 20 years ago. No one takes the time to memorize phone numbers or read a map. Adult attention spans have shrunk to mimic those of toddlers. So how can we hope to capture people’s attention, communicate our value, and close a deal with an email?

First off, rarely does someone make a purchase after just one email, especially when we are talking B2B. When you’re selling to business buyers, you’re facing longer buying cycles and purchase decisions that involve more than one person. It’s more realistic to invest in an email nurture series that is well planned out and based on buyer behavior triggers.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Before we dive into full-blown nurture campaigns, what are the basics for B2B email marketing? We’ve listed our six best practices below for you to use as a guideline, but don’t stop there. It’s going to take some testing on your end to figure out what’s perfect for your specific audience and industry.  

Start off by following these best practices:

1)Target Your List and Personalize

Hold up! Before you start creating emails, you need to think about who the right audience is. The more targeted you can get, the better. An email to the CEO vs. the CTO should look different. To make it even more relevant, the email to a CEO of a small startup should contain different content than to a CEO of a larger, more mature business. Both of these CEOs have different pain points, a general email won’t work for both of them. Breaking up your list into smaller segments will serve you better in the long run. Think about the problem you are trying to solve and who you’re solving it for. You can always include the question, “If you’re not the right person to talk to about this issue, can you please introduce me to the person who is?”

2) Identify the Tone

In B2C marketing there’s plenty of room to create big personalities. But in B2B, emails are more about fostering relationships and providing a trusted solution in a way that the recipient will value. Be open and honest. At the beginning of a relationship, your intention should be to learn more about the potential customer. As your relationship grows, you can educate them more on the solutions that your business provides and how it might benefit them.

3) Start With a Subject Line That Piques Their Interest

Your email is dead in the water if you can’t get your prospect to open it. Research shows that 64 percent of people open an email based on the subject line. While your chosen audience preferences will have a great deal of influence on what works and what doesn’t, here are some universal tips.

  • Keep it short and concise, ideally three to six words

  • Be professional; don’t use all caps or overuse exclamation marks

  • Use a familiar sender name if possible. If not, use a person’s name, not a generic company email address - Never use a ‘no-reply’ sender name

  • Don’t make false promises

  • Do tell them what to expect when they open the email

  • Create a sense of urgency

For the preview line, the copy that precedes the subject line that is visible before the email is opened, keep your copy engaging. The preview is a sneak-peek inside your email and an additional chance to entice the reader to open. If you can briefly communicate a compelling offer or an interesting question, the receiver will be more likely to open the email.

4) Be Short, Sweet, and Human

The people you’re emailing are at work, don’t send them an email that seems like it will add extra work to their day. No one wants to see a giant wall of text. On the other hand, you also don’t want a bunch of flashy images. Your emails should look like personal emails from a real human, not a work of art from a swanky creative agency.

After you write the first draft, we recommend you go back through the email and see which sentences and words are absolutely necessary to get your point across and remove the rest. We can’t stress enough that short and to the point is best!

5) Give Them Something of Value

Don’t reach out to your list and expect them to share their time without anything in return. What can you give the recipient that would provide value? Think about educational resources such as eBooks, blog articles, case studies, or videos. You don’t need to push sales with these resources. People appreciate quick, concise messages with access to helpful resources. At the early stages, it’s better to establish yourself or your brand as a trusted thought leader. You can give them specifics on how your company can solve their problems after they ask for it.

6) Measure Your Results and Be Willing to Adjust.

As you send emails, it’s imperative to measure your audience's reaction and improve upon your effort. There’s no surefire plan for every business, you need to add to the steps above with your own B2B email marketing best practices that are specific to your audience. What keywords get respondents to open? Is there a time and day that yields more engagement? What offers are most compelling? The five steps above are a great start to improve your B2B emails but it’s the details that can make or break your email campaign.

If you want to learn more about how you can work with Think Better to improve your email marketing, contact us.

Susan Evans