There are many reasons why email marketing continues to be a proven inbound strategy for B2Bs. However, in order to bring a prospect into your sales funnel you still have to capture their attention and sustain their interest.
The great thing about B2B is that as a marketer you are generally going after a smaller, niche-oriented audience. On the downside, the prospect pool is limited. This means it is crucial to make a good impression by ensuring every communication provides customer value and sets your company apart from the competition.
Previously, we delved into the factors that make email marketing the perfect fit for manufacturers and distributors. In another post, we recommended the following best practices checklist: Segmentation, A/B Testing, Responsive Design, Engaging Content and a clear Call-to-Action.
It is important to emphasize that even in B2B, you need to show your human side when composing messages. This means that in the body of the email you should use a personal greeting like “Good morning Steve,” and when sending follow-up emails to prospects who have taken specific actions, begin by saying, “Thanks for downloading our White Paper, Steve!”
Create a Winning Email Subject Line
Now for the nuts and bolts part: none of the above matters if the recipient doesn’t get past the subject line to consider your offering. It so happens that successful B2B emails share some common subject-title traits that can mean the difference between a profitable campaign and one that ends in the delete bin. Below are 12 tips on how to create winning B2B email subject lines:
- Avoid words and phrases that may create negative connotations. Examples include “Look Inside” (states the obvious), “Hurry” (buying is never rushed with B2Bs), “Groundbreaking” (everyone uses it so people are immune) and “Reminder” (don’t nag). B2B recipients are also desensitized to these words: “reports,” “forecasts” and “intelligence.”
- Steer clear of “salesy” words such as “Discount,” “10 % off,” “Free” and “Half-price” because they have low open- and click-through rates.
- Begin with open ended phrases such as: “Ideas for,” “Solutions for” “Have you considered” or ”New White Paper: Increase Your ROI by…”
- Use bite-sized information so that content is easily digested. Numbered lists that are pertinent to your prospects (like the post you are currently reading) work well (e.g. “12 Best Practices for…” ).
- Limit your subject line to 50 characters or less. Those with less than 15 characters have the highest open rate, according toemail marketing experts, MailerMailer, who analyzed over 1.2 billion email subject lines.
- Make use of the Google AdWords keyword tool to select keywords that appeal to your prospects and customers. Then populate them accordingly in your email subject lines.
- Try question marks and symbols when appropriate, such as “&,” “>” and “$” to fuel curiosity.
- Strike customer pain points so that recipients are likely to open the email and then offer a solution in the body of the text.
- Personalize whenever appropriate with lines like,“Hi Steve, Your Product X Update,” instead of “Product X Update.” This can increase your email open rates by as much as 22 %. As the sender, instead of your business name, use your personal name in the contact line (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Use bold and even controversial language. For ideas, check out the news headlines or follow what’s trending online.
- Plug your company brand. For example, rather than simply saying, “Webinar on Co-op Advertising Solutions, a subject title that says, “(Your Company) Webinar on Co-op Advertising Solutions,” works much better due to brand recognition.
- DO NOT USE ALL CAPS! (This is like shouting across cyberspace).
The email subject line is what your recipients will scan in order to quickly decide whether to open your email. This means it is essential to take the time to carefully frame the wording of your offer. Lastly, there is no guaranteed winning formula, so try different subject line tactics and keep on testing.
Want to know more? Be sure to download our e-guide and visit our website at www.moresalesusa.com