November 14, 2022
If you don’t read anything else, at least read this:
Take every step possible to avoid triggering your prospect’s spam filter!
• Monitor your bounce and deliverability rates
• Include an unsubscribe option and comply with marketing laws in your jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of your recipient
• Monitor and maximize your engagement rates
• Avoid content that “looks spammy”: ALL CAPS, weird punctuation, dead links, etc.
• Remove unengaged and dead email addresses from your mailing list
• Maintain a positive sender reputation
A message that winds up in the spam folder is never gonna get read. Spam folder avoidance isn’t the focus of this article, but check out this piece from Hubspot that discusses B2B emails in detail.
Your email’s subject line is your reader’s first point of contact with your email. It has one, solitary job. To get your reader to open the email. That’s it. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It doesn’t have to be clever. It doesn’t have to be funny. What it does have to be is enticing.
Here’s a few quick tips on how to write a click-worthy subject line:
Whatever your subject line is, it should be crystal-clear what the reader will gain by opening the email. Subject lines like:
• Top 5 fintech elevator pitches
• The biggest VC raise of all time
• The ONLY thing that motivates salespeople
promise something specific and easy to understand. The reader knows precisely what to expect when they click on the email.
The best subject lines promise only what the email actually delivers. You don’t get any brownie points for tricking your reader into opening an email only for them to find out that you’ve misled them with an inaccurate subject line. In fact, you’ll get a disproportionate amount of Unsubscribe clicks.
Don’t use 5 words when 3 will do. Subject lines have strict character limits, especially on mobile. So, it doesn’t matter how clever that soliloquy you just drafted is. All anyone’s going to see is the ellipsis that cuts off your clever wordplay after the first few dozen characters.
AWeber reviewed the email subject lines of 1000 marketing experts and found that subject line lengths were distributed as follows:
Calls to action (CTAs): The bold and the beautiful
Let’s assume your email has made it through your lead’s spam filter. Let’s also assume your lead has actually clicked on your email.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through the moat and over the wall. You’re in the castle! It’s time to deliver your message.
So…what do you say?
One meaningful objective
Exactly what you say and how you say it will depend on a million factors and how they combine in your particular circumstances. But at least one thing holds true for everyone. When it comes to calls to action, one is the magic number. Include only 1 CTA, requiring 1 easy action, in your emails.
Some B2B marketers make the mistake of thinking that providing their readers with “options” can only help. After all, what if the person receiving your email doesn’t want to check out your Guide to the Top 10 Perks of Doing Business in Vancouver? What if they want some guidance on how to structure a sales team or the best strategies for cold calling?
While it might make some intuitive sense to provide links to all of these options, and more, in a single email, the research is crystal-clear: Emails with a single call to action increase engagement, possibly as much as 371%.
So, keep it simple. Decide on a single, realistic action you want your reader to take after opening your email. Then ask them to take it.
Here’s a couple more strategies for accelerating the impact of your next email to a lead.
Be incremental with your CTA
If you’re aligning your B2B emails with the stage of the sales journey they’re in (and you are doing that, aren’t you?), you should know what you can reasonably ask your reader to do.
If they’re still becoming aware of their company’s need to expand, including a call to action that invites them to join a webinar explaining why Toronto is the best city for new healthtech offices is probably premature. It’s just a bridge too far. However, offering them a blog article about the Top 5 Ways to Tell if Your Company is Ready to Expand might interest them.
Crystal clear and specific
Rarely should you be asking your reader to “Click Here” or “Learn More.” Your CTAs should be hyper-specific and clear:
• Book a 10-minute call
• View our relocation tutorial
• Discover new expansion strategies
• See our portfolio
• Start a new project
• Show me more examples
A reader wants to know exactly what will happen when they click on that button at the bottom of your email. So tell ‘em.
Don’t Make ‘em work for it
Do your best to avoid anything in your call to action that requires – or even suggests that it might require – effort or work. This means avoiding words like “Learn,” or “Read” in your calls to action.
Even more importantly, wherever your readers wind up after they click your call to action should not require any effort on their part. They shouldn’t have to close pop ups, navigate a confusing page, or hunt for the material you promised. Everything needs to be offered up to your potential investor on a silver platter.
As award-winning copywriter Joanna Wiebe of Copyhackers puts it, “even the tiniest idea of work, even a little, a little extra pinch of work, will reduce your conversion rate on a button.”
Everything included in your emails to leads should offer obvious value to the reader. And that holds true for your CTA as well. It should be immediately apparent what the recipient will gain by clicking on the button. A button that says “Get 5 Free Templates” will beat one that says “Click Here” every day of the week.
You’re probably already aware that each and every single thing you do in marketing should be validated with real investor data. When it comes to email, the best way to do this is A/B testing.
A/B testing means sending out two versions of an email that are identical except for one detail and seeing which one performs better. You can test all sorts of things with this strategy, like subject lines, calls to action, graphic design elements, and more.
You’ll need to be careful with A/B testing though. Remember the following things at least:
Just remember that each A/B test should focus on a single test variable at a time.
• Send your control email and the one with the variation you’re testing at the same time on the same date.
• Keep all other variables the same. For example, if you’re testing a new subject line, make sure the body of the email stays exactly the same.
• Make sure that any difference you find is statistically significant. That means your sample size will need to be large enough. (The term “p-value” is used in a lot of marketing software. Keep an eye out for it.)
So, there you have it. A few killer tips to make your next B2B email a winner. Stay tuned for more tips and templates on sales and marketing best practices as we continue to deep dive into everything you need to convert your leads into wins. Now, get out there and transform your emails into selling machines!
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