Oh, emails. A necessity for nearly all modern day businesses, email marketing provides not only a useful sales tool, it creates the opportunity for deeper & repeated engagement with your customers. That is, if they bother reading the email in the first place. The problem with emails is that the average American adult receives over 100 a day, according to this recent study. With that obstacle in clear view, it’s a lot easier to make an email that blends in with the rest, rather than make something that stands out and catches their attention.
While there’s a lot behind an email strategy that creates lasting engagement between you and your customers, below will be several tips you can apply immediately to any marketing email, through a B2B focused perspective.
#1: Make Your Headline and Preview Text Purposeful
The journey your customer has with your email all starts with it sitting in someone’s inbox. Especially if you’re a smaller or relatively new business, the thought behind this moment is critical to getting a strong open rate. For the reader, the information they have on whether this email is worth their time is very limited. Remember, they’re getting 100 emails a day, and there’s no way they’re reading all of them. The only thing telling them to open it is:
- The sender
- The subject line
- Depending on the email client, a small snippet of preview text
That’s all you have to show that this email is worth your customer’s attention. With that in mind, here’s some general rules of thumb related to email campaigns that saw industry-high open rates.
Here’s some general rules of thumb found in a headline supporting an email with an industry-high open rate.
- Keep it short. Your headline just needs to give a hint as what’s included, it doesn’t need to paint the whole picture. By doing this, you inherently create intrigue.
- Don’t Repeat information. This is helpful in making sure your preview text supports your messaging, but isn’t an exact echo of the headline.
- Emojis: Use with caution. When used carefully and for the right audience, they can manifest strong results.
Some reports, like this one by Campaign Monitor, suggest that some businesses saw as much as a 20.95% increase in open-rate when using emojis in their subject lines vs. when they didn’t.
Emoji’s in the B2B space require some additional hesitation, though. Depending on your audience and the generation you’re speaking to, this response is going to look starkly different.
If you believe emoji’s could be effective for your target audience but want to give it a test run before committing, A/B test. There’s very little harm in giving it a shot and letting your audience decide if they find it valuable.
Emoji's are powerful attention grabbers for consumer marketing, but should be used with caution when targeting business professionals.
#2: Straight-Forward Layouts
While your email design can still be an opportunity to wow your audience, keeping your email layout straight forward keeps your information easy to understand and engaging for your readers. In a study by Mailchimp, they found that nearly 48% of all sent emails were using a 1-column design. Several theories can be used to explain why, but the most logical one in my opinion is the same that Mailchimp landed on. The internet is a busy, sometimes exhausting place. A simple email layout is almost a resting place. A calm presence in the eye of the storm. That last one might be a bit drastic, but you see what I mean. Instead of overwhelming them, providing content in a simple way captures their attention.
#3: Don’t Include Too Many Call to Actions
Following suite with this idea that your email is acting as a resting place for your customers, don’t take this simple foundation and over-complicate it for them by including call to action after call to action. Unless your business inherently has these baked into you’re messaging (an event signup newsletter, for instance) three CTAs should be your maximum, with one to two being your ideal target. From experience, the first CTA shown typically has the highest click-rate. Therefore leading with a clear, short message and your primary CTA will garner the best results.