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5 Tips for a Successful B2B Email Marketing Campaign

Jacob Brain


B2B email marketing can be a tough nut to crack. Too many businesses are baking in way too much content into their emails.

These emails are being sent out in large blasts and they are at once under-personalized and over-designed—i.e., they take two minutes to load in your inbox.  An overload of content can mean no one will read your email or they at least won’t get what they want out of it and neither will you.

Keep it simple when it comes to B2B email marketing.

Easier said than done right?

We understand that email marketing is more complicated than a single line of advice. At the end of the day, your email newsletters or ABM drip campaigns need to generate the kind of attention that not only generates leads but makes your company stick in people’s minds.

Word of mouth and CTR are both crucial in marketing for the B2B sector.

At New North, we’ve launched hundreds of successful campaigns over the last 15 years. We’ve seen the highs and lows of B2B email marketing, and it has taught us some valuable lessons.

Let’s dive into our top 5 B2B email marketing tips for the results you’re looking for.

1. Build and segment your contact list

The first step to bailing water out of a sinking ship is to stop the hole. In email marketing, that means having a clean and updated contact list.

Old lists are filled with dead emails, bounced contacts, and people who never want to hear from you again. These bad addresses not only hurt your sender reputation but can also get you marked as spam.

Before you launch your next campaign, take the time to build or buy a high-quality list of contacts. Not only will this increase your open and clickthrough rates, but it will also save you money in the long run by reducing your chances of being marked as spam.

Building that list can be tricky and time-consuming. Many marketers use various software to do the heavy lifting.

ZoomInfo, for example, is a great tool that allows you to find contacts quickly and segment them by the exact parameters you set. Even though you have a curated list, you still have another task of separation to complete,

Once you have a clean list of contacts, it’s time to segment them. Dividing your list into smaller groups based on interests, age, or location will allow you to send more targeted and relevant messages. As a result, you’ll see higher engagement rates and fewer people unsubscribing from your list.

For B2B emailers, breaking down the list by demographic and psychographic can be helpful. Still, because of your target audience’s buyer personas and interests, we recommend breaking it down by industry-level segments like firmographics, business pain points, and readiness to purchase.

Let’s move to our next B2B email marketing tip!

2. Subject lines are everything

After you segment your list, it’s time to start crafting your email. The most important part of any email is the subject line. This is what determines whether or not someone will open your email.

With so much competition in people’s inboxes, you must ensure your subject line stands out. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a sense of urgency: Urgency works because it forces people to make a split-second decision. When people feel like they might miss out on something, they’re more likely to take action.
  • Use emojis sparingly: Emojis can be a great way to add personality to your subject line, but use them too much and you’ll look unprofessional. Also, it is important to use them in a way that makes sense for your message, company, or brand. A string of emojis like this 🚨😶‍🌫️👀 can be amusing to you but confusing to a potential reader.
  • Personalize it: Add the recipient’s name or company to the subject line to make it more personal. It’s been said that a person’s favorite sight and sound is their own name—leverage that.
  • Make a promise: Tell the recipient what they can expect from opening your email. Be clear and concise, so they know exactly what they’re getting.

You’re picking up what we’re laying down. Your subject line is a crucial part of email marketing. Let’s look at the next important piece.

3. Make the content appear organic in the timeline

When you’re designing your email, it’s important to think about how it will appear in the recipient’s inbox. The goal is to make it look like a personal message from a friend or colleague, not an advertisement.

You also what to be sure if you’re sending a drip email that’s in the right order. Essentially, don’t send a “thanks for replying” email to someone who didn’t open your email. That just looks weird. No one wants to feel like they’re being spammed.

Readers also should have content to engage with that works with where they are in the AIDA funnel. The AIDA funnel is Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. The goal of your email should be to get the reader from one stage to the next.

To do that, you must create relevant and interesting content at each stage. For example, if you’re trying to generate interest in your product, you might want to include a case study or customer testimonial. If you’re trying to create desire, you might want to include a special offer or discount.

Remember, the goal is to move people through the funnel, so they eventually take action and buy your product or service.

Want more ideas about how to meet your customer where they are in the funnel? Check out this article here!

Speaking of moving people to action, let’s move to our next tip: CTA optimization.

4. Expand your CTA’s

Your CTA, or call-to-action, is what you want your recipient to do after reading your email. It could be something like “buy now,” “learn more,” or “sign up here.” But it needs to be more than that. It’s the start of the connection between you and your client.

There are a few things you can do to optimize your CTAs:

  • Make them big and bold: You want your CTA to be impossible to miss. That means making it a large font size with a contrasting color. Ask for replies, not just for the reader to click on a button, visit a landing page and fill out a form. That’s not personal.
  • Use strong language: Language like “join,” “start,” or “discover” can be more effective than “click here.”
  • Include a sense of urgency: We talked about this before with subject lines, but it’s just as important with CTAs. Language like “now,” “today,” or “this week only” can encourage people to take action now instead of later.
  • Be descriptive: Include what the reader will get by taking action. For example, “Get 50% off your first purchase” is more effective than “Shop now.”

Your CTA is an important part of your email, so make sure you’re giving it the attention it deserves.

Now let’s move on to a tip that’s somewhat obvious but still worth mentioning.

5. Use clear and concise copy

Here’s another one of our B2B email marketing tips: there’s no need to write a 250-word email. In fact, you shouldn’t. People are busy and don’t have time to read a novel. Be clear and concise in your email copy so people can easily understand what you’re trying to say.

A great way to fit in more content or make a small amount of content stand out is by adding design elements.

Think about using things like:

  • Different font sizes
  • Bold or italicized text
  • Highlighting important words or phrases
  • Images or GIFs

But don’t go overboard. You still want your email to be easy to read and digest. A good rule of thumb is to keep your email copy to around 50-100 words.

You want to entice the reader to ask for more, not give them everything they need in a welcome email. You also want to make sure your email copy is error-free. No one likes reading an email with typos or grammatical errors.

Pro tip: Always test your emails before you send them out. That means sending a test email to yourself and a few colleagues to make sure everything looks the way you want it to.

And that’s all for content, folks!

6. Test and measure everything

Wait, isn’t this titled “5 Tips for a Successful B2B Email Marketing Campaign?” We sneaked in a bonus as a reward for reading this far.

So last but not least, you want to make sure you’re constantly testing and measuring the performance of your email campaigns.

What’s working and what’s not? What are people engaging with, and what are they ignoring?

You can use tools on B2B email marketing platforms like MailChimp or HubSpot to track things like open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and more.

You can also A/B test different elements of your email to see what performs best. For example, you could test two different subject lines or two different CTAs.

Make sure you’re constantly looking at the data and making changes to your campaigns based on what you see. That’s the only way you’re going to improve your results over time.

Ready to send your next successful email?

So, what’s the secret to a successful email campaign? Keep it simple. Curate and segment contacts. Personalize. And test, test, test. If you can nail these basics, your email campaigns will be more effective than ever before—and that’s good news for your business and your bottom line. Let us help you create an email marketing strategy that delivers results. Get in touch today!

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