As a marketer, you probably know the all-too-common feeling of disappointment after you created what you thought was an amazing email only to see low open rates.
To achieve the industry average open rate of 25 percent (or higher), not only do successful B2B marketing emails need to be enticing enough to get the reader to take action, they need to be targeted, personalized, visually appealing and work well on a variety of devices.
Whew. That’s a lot to consider. And if you’re brainstorming your next email, you might be feeling a little bit of dread. Not to worry. Here, we’ll take a look at three successful marketing emails to inspire you.
The company: Medical device manufacturer
Why it worked: This medical device manufacturer wanted to get in front of cardiothoracic surgeons, a notoriously busy and difficult-to-reach group. To do so, the company created the report, “The Top Cardiothoracic Surgeons of 2017.”
What makes this email a success? First, let’s look at the subject line: The Top CT Surgeons of 2017. This subject line accomplishes two things. First, it’s short and to the point. (Remember to keep your subject line to 50 characters or under to ensure it displays on a variety of devices without truncating.)
Second, it sparks interest. A quick glance at the subject line likely elicits one of two responses from the recipient: I want to know who is on the list, or I wonder if I am on the list. The email copy continues to intrigue by stating: Who knows? Maybe you’ll see one of your peers or maybe even yourself.
How to Make it Work for You: If you have an extremely hard-to-reach group of recipients, play to their interests. In this case, the medical device manufacturer knew cardiothoracic surgeons would be interested in a top surgeons list. And because the inboxes of these surgeons are likely filled with clinical research and other medical-themed emails, this simple list stood out.
The company: OnPoint Consulting
Why It Worked: Like the previous example, the subject line played a key role in the success of this email: GlaxoSmithKline’s Secret to Developing Future Leaders. It was short and to the point and also mentioned a well-known pharmaceutical company.
The body of the email is concise, hits on a relevant pain point—making sure leaders have the skills they need to be successful—and again mentions giant GlaxoSmithKline.
How to Make it Work for You: Do you have a case study or testimonial, or are you doing an event like a trade show or webinar with a big-name company? Use the recognition of a big-name company to your advantage by including it within your subject line and email copy.
The company: BasicSafe
Why It Worked: This email capitalized on a current event—a new OSHA rule. The subject line focuses on the new rule and clearly tells the reader what’s in it for them, stating: OSHA’s New Rule: What You Need to Know. And finally, the last sentence of the email tells the reader what they will get by clicking through: How the changes will impact their business and what to do to prepare and stay on track.
How to Make It Work for You: If you have a resource or product that is particularly pertinent to a current event, let your customers and potential customers know. Using a current event can help increase click-through and open rates.
1. Adopt the right tone: If you’re a B2C company creating an email for your customers, finding the right tone is a littler easier. You can be spunky, funny and more creative. With B2B emails, however, that’s usually not the case because B2B emails are more information-centric, which means you don’t need flashy visuals to get readers to click.
As a B2B marketer, you want to establish and nurture relationships with your customers and prospects. You want to be known as a trusted provider—the resource they can trust to solve their pain points.
To find your brand’s tone, consult company style guides or look at how your brand posts on social media. While B2B emails generally are a little more formal than their B2C counterparts, it’s also important to keep a human tone. That means using second person (“you”) when appropriate. Doing so can make the recipient feel like you’re talking directly to them.
2. Use personalization: According to HubSpot, emails with the recipient’s name in the subject line resulted in a higher click-through rate than those that didn’t. The same goes for email copy. If the message was personalized, it had a 17.6 percent click-through rate, while generic copy had a 11.4 percent click-through rate.
Keep in mind that personalization goes far beyond using the recipient’s name. You can personalize based on known interests, site activity, previous purchases and much more.
3. Use a sender name: Your email’s personalization and tone can be on point, but if it comes from an address that says, “firstname.lastname@example.org,” don't expect great performance. Think of it this way: You automate your email. Using a no-reply email address screams to the recipient: “This email is coming from a robot.”
If possible, send from a real person’s email.
Creating a successful B2B email doesn’t have to be arduous. Use the tips and examples above to create your next winning email.