B2B Email Marketing Tips

Email marketing can be a very effective way to generate new customers and increase sales with existing customers. If you do not currently email marketing as part of the marketing mix for your business I would highly recommend you add it. Below are some tips to improve the open rates and sales generated from your email marketing campaigns.

1. From Line

Interestingly what you put in the from line can make a significant impact on how good of an open rate you get. From my experience putting a person’s name is much more effective then putting a company’s name. The only time this might not be true is if you have a very well known and trusted company name, and the person is expecting your email because they have singed up to a weekly newsletter from your company. I recently conducted a test of this theory with one of the emails for one of my customers. The results were pretty clear. The open rate of the email with a person’s name was 19% and the open rate of the email with a company’s name in the from line was 8%.

2. Subject Line

Now given you have not put your companies name in the from line I would suggest putting it in the subject line. I would also make sure either directly or indirectly to state somehow what it is your company does in the subject line. This way even if they don’t open your email this time it has still done a little bit of advertising. By just having your company name in the subject it has reminded them you exist and what you do.

3. Email Body

Within your email you will want to get the reader to click to your website or to call you. This means it is critical you include lots of links and make your phone number prominent. The more links you have the more places they can click and the higher likelihood they will click. Therefore put in lots of links, just make sure they make sense and look natural. The other critical piece to remember is that many people view emails in a preview pane and never read them. This means you will want to put your most important information and items of your email at the top. This leads me to the call to action, which is basically a phrase telling the reader what you want them to do. You will want to put this near the top and again at the bottom. This way the reader sees this in the preview and is shown it again after they have read all the content. Calls to action have been proven to influence people to act so be sure to include them to increase your click through and contact rate. Finally make sure you also include a plain text option in addition to an HTML option when you send your email. That way if anyone is not using HTML they can still get your email. There are enough companies and people that HTML emails don’t work with that this is definitely worth while.

4. Day of the week to send

The day that will get you the best open rate will depend on your business and who you sending the email to. If you are sending it to teenagers the best day will be different then secretary’s. For my business the best day is Friday. Many reports on the matter also suggest Tuesday. I would start with one of those two days and then see if you can get a day that will give you a better open rate. Don’t rule out weekends either. Some businesses have found Saturday to be their best day. When testing different days you need to make sure you send exactly the message, with exactly the same From line and Subject Line  to ensure your comparison is valid.

5. Time of the day to send

The best time of the day to send marketing emails is a heavily debated subject but early in the morning and late at night appear to be the best according to my research. I would advise testing multiple times to see what gets you the best result.  In this testing I would be sure to test an early time like 6:30 as my research indicates this has a good chance of being the time of day that will get you the best results.

B2B Email Marketing Tips

At the end of the day you should be able to get an open rate of at least the following (depending on  what type of mass email and what type of business you operate in)

Email Type
Transaction Confirmations = 65%
Account Summaries = 54%
News Alerts = 21%

Newsletters
Business to Business Email Newsletter Open Rate Average = 24%
Business to Consumer Email Newsletter Open Rate Average = 26%

Promotional Offers
Business to Business Email Offer Open Rate Average = 8-26% (depending on industry)
Business to Consumer Email Offer Open Rate Average = 14%

The above are the industry average open rates, if you execute the above tips you should be able to outperform the averages.

I would say for any email you should be able to get an open rate of at least 15%. That means if you send an email to 100 people you should be able to get 15 to open your email.

The key really to email marketing is to be constantly testing, tracking, refining and over time you will be able to increase your open rate well above the industry average. This will in turn generate more customers, increase your sales and make you more money.

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