The Best B-to-B Email Marketing Practices
We hear e-mail marketing is becoming obsolete and social networking is morphing into the medium of choice for online communication. But in the B-to-B community, it hasnât happened yet.
So, what are some of the best practices in B-to-B e-mail marketing today?
To begin, instead of renting lists and sending emails to cold prospects, get people to opt-in to your e-list. Then concentrate on email marketing to your house file.
Emails to house file lists generates two to three times the click through rate (CTR) or higher than outside lists. And emailing to your own list eliminates the list rental charges.
The most popular method to building your own opt-in e-list is by offering a free subscription to an online newsletter, a free webinar or white paper report.
Determining how often you should e-mail your subscriber list has been the biggest worry among marketers, as they are worried about offending people. Studies shows that the biggest mistake marketers make is not emailing their list enough.
Here is a method you can use to determine the email frequency to your e-list subscribers.
Measure the opt-out rate, which is the percentage of subscribers who unsubscribe after an email is distributed to the list. As a rule of thumb, your opt-out rate should be 0.1 percent or less.
To increase e-mail frequency, add one more email to your weekly or monthly schedule. If opt-out rate stays the same, you can safely increase email frequency to the new level. If it spikes, cut back to the old frequency.
One reason for the opt-outs other that frequency is the quality of your emails. A good rule of thumb is that at least 50% of your email message should be content. If the ratio of content to sales falls below 50%, your opt-out rate will increase and your open rate will decrease.
B. Email Content
Here are a few tips to finessing your email copy.
1. Begin with an engaging headline or lead-in sentence. For instance, a dental laboratory provides dentures, partials, and crown and bridge restorations. They sent an email to past customers who once used the laboratory for one of the above services but had dropped off the customer and email list. The headline: âYou Are Still Practicing Dentistry, Right?â It struck a chord because, of course, in almost every instance, the recipient still practice dentistry. The open rate was 52.3 percent and the click-through rate was 34.6 percent. Dozens of old customers were reactivated.
2. In the first paragraph, deliver a mini-version of your complete message. Readers should know who you are, what you are selling, and why they should be interested.
3. Within the first couple of paragraphs, state the offer and provide a link to a landing page or another immediate response mechanism.
4. After the first paragraph copy, present expanded copy covering features, benefits, and other relevant information.
5. The offer and response mechanism should be repeated in the close of the email.
6. Take it easy on the ALL CAPS. Words in all caps give the impression you are shouting
7. Use wide margins. Limit yourself to about 60 character width per line.
8. The tone should be helpful, friendly, informative and educational - not promotional or hard sell.
9. Be concise. Readers are quickly sorting through many messages and arenât disposed to stick with you for a a long time.
10. Regardless of the length, get the important points across quickly.
Furthermore, an effective way to organize your email copy is to use the following motivating sequence:
a. Get attention
b. State the problem your prospect has
c. Position your product or service as the solution to that problem
d. Offer proof that your product or services is indeed a superior solution, and
e. Ask for action.
Keep in mind you donât need to fit all of your product copy and sales points within the email itself. Shorter emails are always better emails. Have multiple links throughout your email. Once at the beginning, one or more in the body, and one at the close.
In conclusion, studies found that one of the biggest influences on open rates and click-through rates is the subject line. Tests of subject lines have shown click-through rate differences of 25% to 50% and in some cases higher. Craig Stouffer, general manager of B-to-B email marketing solutions, says that subject lines 40 to 50 characters in length significantly outperforms subject lines 70 to 80 characters.