The three golden rules to ensure success for B2B email

Stephen Harlow sopros_manEmail marketing is a proven way to reach your target audience, with recent research showing nearly three-fifths (59%) of marketers view it as more than twice as effective at generating leads than channels such as PPC and paid social media.

However, reaping these rewards relies on recipients engaging with the content and opening it in the first place. Here are our three golden rules to give your B2B email the best chance of success.

Keep it short and sweet
Imagine you are on a train and have ten minutes of the journey remaining. You have found a prospect you want to email before you disembark, but only have time to send a short note. What should you say? Writing short, snappy paragraphs is proven to be more effective than essay-style emails. Get straight to the point and tell your prospect why you are getting in touch and how you think your product or service can help them.

Emails that are between 201-300 words will generate the most leads, so being either too abrupt or too lengthy could jeopardise your chance of success. The sweet spot in the middle will give recipients just enough information to pique their interest. Picture that train journey even when you are sitting comfortably at your desk, and you should have the perfect conditions to hit the target word count and create a successful opener.

Consider key phrases
It may be the butt of many memes, but the phrase “I hope this email finds you well” is actually proven to warm up prospects, so keep it in there. Data shows that starting an email this way has the most positive impact, above many other tested words and phrases. Suggesting meeting up ‘for a coffee’ or to discuss ‘partnerships’ brings a 27% higher open rate than the average email.

When it comes to phrases to avoid, never mention ROI on a cold email. Claiming you can drive ROI without knowing anything about their specific challenges and objectives can come across as arrogant and results in a 46% lower lead rate than the average email.

Follow the rule of six
Good prospecting emails typically follow a six-part template. This is: greeting, softener, intro and reason for contacting, logic for the next step, call to action and finally, a proper email signature. You should follow this format but make sure the email doesn’t come across as automated by adding in too much personalisation and other variables, such as references to the time of day or day of the week.

Most emails start with “Hi”, but there is evidence to suggest that “Hello” is more effective. Investing time in your sign-off will also pay dividends, with “yours” topping our survey as the most successful and “best” being the worst performing signature. It might sound obvious, but the biggest turn-offs for B2B emails are mistakes such as calling someone by the wrong name, making bad jokes or missing spelling errors, so once you have structured your email be sure to check it- and then check again.

Following these three golden rules should give your emails the best chance of success. Remember that your recipient is a human trying to do their job, so show where you can offer value and drop the hard sell. By doing so, your email can become the perfect conversation starter to help you make genuine connections and ultimately boost your marketing efforts.

Stephen Harlow is chief sales officer (CSO) at Sopro

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