B2B Email Marketing Best Practices
According to our primary research, 85% of B2B marketers cite email marketing as their top tactic used to drive account-based marketing (ABM) efforts. So, you may think it is a perfected practice, but we receive daily requests from customers asking for email marketing best practices and ways to improve their results. The email game continues to change and new findings are always being revealed. You can use these tips as a starting point to help ensure your campaigns garner strong results and generate the optimal amount of leads for your marketing and sales teams. Remember to abide by applicable laws including the CAN-SPAM Act when executing email marketing campaigns.
Segment Your Audience
Sending a generic email out to a large list of random prospects will only get you marked as junk and result in a ton of opt-outs. Email segmentation and targeting are among the most difficult marketing tasks but they can yield the greatest rewards when done properly. Knowing exactly who your ideal audience is will also help you create targeted messaging that can help drive conversion.
Use Quality Data
You can spend hours creating engaging content and eye-catching images for your campaigns, but if you don’t leverage the most clean, accurate data to build your B2B email lists, you will be left with a high bounce rate, low deliverability, and a reduced ROI. That being said, you do have to set realistic expectations when it comes to increasing email marketing deliverability. Yes, it can be discouraging to receive a large number of bouncebacks, but it’s important to note that according to Constant Contact, the average bounce rate can be anywhere between 6% and 13% depending on the industry. That’s why the data and messaging you use is so vital.
Watch Your Image-to-Text Ratio
In order to increase higher open rates and your campaign’s effectiveness, try to use a ratio of 80% text to 20% image. Sure, image and design elements can make an email look modern and sleek, but they should be used sparingly if you want to keep your deliverability rates high.
Check Those Links
Avoid using shortened links (such as Bitly) in the body of your email. You can always hyperlink text, but make sure the hyperlink you use is the full URL. Spam filters check your URLs, so be sure to link to reputable, safe sites.
Quick Email Marketing Tip: Don’t forget the unsubscribe link! Giving recipients the ability to opt out of your emails is a requirement of the CAN-SPAM Act. Plus, weeding out those who aren’t interested allows you to spend your time, and money, on the audiences who have the highest propensity to buy.
Get to the Point
As marketers, we know better than anyone what it’s like to be inundated with emails and offers. That’s why it’s so critical to create targeted, concise messages that speak directly to your audience. Don’t waste their time with overly florid language and empty promises. Tell them exactly what you want them to know. Are you entering them into an email nurture campaign with the hope of selling them a tool or service? Tell them.
Make sure you entice readers to stay with relevant content, honest messaging, and a way to contact you if they’re interested in learning more information than your email copy provides. It’s also tempting to include a copious amount of calls to action (CTAs), but sticking to one primary ask of your audience will likely result in higher click-through rates and better conversions.
Skip the Aggressive Email Subject Lines
One of our team members recently received an email from a retail brand that said “DO NOT DELETE” in the subject line. Not only did that make her distrust its origins, but she also felt it was quite off-putting and not very descriptive.
Sending emails with overly aggressive subject lines and phrases (such as, "Act Now!") can severely compromise your email deliverability and your brand’s reputation. Instead, focus on copy that will catch your buyer’s eye in a positive way. Be forthcoming about what’s in the email, and skip the excessive exclamation points.
Maintain Your Sales and Marketing Data
Data management should not only occur before you hit send. You have to regularly maintain your database to achieve an optimal ROI. This will allow you to fuel your efforts with reliable marketing data. Did you know that in the next 60 minutes, 767 CEO or ownership changes will occur, 673 new businesses will open their doors, and 271 businesses will move? You can do the math on how important it is to keep your data updated.
Where do you begin? A free Data HealthScan from Dun & Bradstreet will help you identify the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to your current data.
Want to read the complete Data-Inspired Guide to Email Marketing? Click here.