How to Write Emails That People Actually Read

Posted on Aug 16, 2017 by Kerry O'Malley

If you’re like most B2B’s you probably receive dozens of sales emails every week, if not each day. Chances are most of them are deleted without being opened. Those that are opened get skimmed for a few seconds, then deleted. Some emails may even get the sender added to a blocked sender or spam list.

But what about the flip side? Do you ever send out emails yourself with a sales goal in mind? How well do they perform? How much time is spent sending and tracking these emails to no avail? There are ways to get better results. Below we will share how to make the most of your time by sending out B2B emails people will actually read.

Email Statistics:

  • According to the Campaign Monitor, email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing strategy. It returned an average of $44 for every $1 spent.
  • Up to 83% of B2B marketers use email newsletters as part of their marketing strategy.
  • Over half of all emails are opened via mobile devices.
  • About half of B2B purchasers do product research via their mobile device.
  • B2B’s do about a dozen searches before engaging with a specific brand.
  • The click through rate for emails is about 24%, compared to around 2% for Google searches.

These stats tell us that not only is email marketing a good idea, it is an important and viable tactic for B2B’s.

Write Emails With a Great Subject

In order to keep your marketing emails from ending up in the virtual trash, try these proven methods for writing engaging subjects:

  1. Subjects that use the words “thank you” are reported to have the highest engagement.
  2. Program your email campaign to use the first name of the recipient in the subject line.
  3. Don’t use a promotion or discount such as “50% off” or “August Sale.” These can tend to be lost in the sea of sales emails that promise great deals.

Try to think of your subject line the same way a newspaper would treat a headline. It’s supposed to be engaging, yet it should accurately describe the content that follows. It’s also a good idea to A/B test subject lines.

Do Thank and Welcome Them

We’ve all signed up for a newsletter and received a confirmation email shortly after. These emails are a great way to make sure your campaigns go to a real person, not a bot or spammer. They are also a trigger to get your recipient to recognize and expect your emails. DO NOT try to sell or promote anything in this email. Simply welcome and thank them with a few brief statements and include your contact information. You may prompt them to add your company’s email to a “safe sender” list.

Don’t Send Emails Just Because it’s Time

Using the above statistics, B2B’s may think they need to send emails on a monthly, weekly, or even more frequent basis. A good rule of thumb is to send out emails when you have something relevant to say. This can include findings from a case study, announcement of a new product, or trade show exhibition. Having said that, most companies can find something relevant to say every month or so. Take the time to plan topics. Another helpful way to send relevant information is segmenting your email list, which allows you to send specific campaigns to certain job titles or industries.

Write Emails With Great Copy

We cannot stress this enough. Once you do have something to say, say it as best you can. Is it a case study? Have the most relevant results front and center. Do you have a new product? Lead with its best features and benefits. Are you going to an event? List where it is, why it’s important, what you’re exhibiting, who is going, etc. And if you have a video, photos, or other media item from the previous year’s event, that’s a nice addition to the email.

Make it Mobile Friendly

With more and more emails being opened via mobile device, ones that do not conform to responsive standards are likely to be trashed. Be sure to test each email you send before you send it. Standard means of receipt you should test include mobile devices, tablets, and desktop/laptops. You should also test emails via platforms like Mac Mail, Outlook, Gmail, etc. Taking this extra step to ensure that your email can be read on any device will increase the number of opens.

And Finally …

Once you have your email campaign ready to go, be sure you are able to track the data. This includes how many emails are bounced, trashed, opened, and clicked through. If rates are too low, consider changing the design, copy, length, and calls to action (CTA). Don’t be afraid to ask your staff, colleagues, and even friends on social media to weigh in on what you are doing. Split tests are also ideal because they allow you to choose one strategy over another, then test it against a new one, and so on.

If you would like to learn more about email marketing or other forms or targeted marketing communications for your industrial business, contact us today to see how we can help!

Author: Kerry O'Malley

Marketects was founded in 1999 by Kerry O’Malley, a proven marketing communications professional in international, manufacturing companies. Working on the “other side of the desk,” she hired ad agencies to manage her employers’ advertising and P/R programs. Frustrated over the lack of attention and level of enthusiasm she was looking for in the marketing agencies she worked with, Kerry realized that there was a definite need for a full-service marketing firm that specialized in working with industrial companies. She resolved that her clients would always receive the highest level of service possible and never feel like the last kid chosen for the team.

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