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Best Practices for B2B Marketing Emails

Linda Mulcahy
May 7, 2019

Business to business (B2B) marketing emails are a key component of any B2B growth strategy. But how can you make sure your messages are seen and read? Here are some best practices to get you started.

B2B Marketing Email Tips

Write Conversationally

Although you’re technically marketing to a business, it’s a real person on the other side of that screen. Picture that person sitting right across from you at the coffee shop and write the same way you would speak.    

To achieve that conversational tone, use contractions wherever it seems natural. Use hyphens and ellipsis where you would pause your speech. Bold or cap words for emphasis. Maybe even use emojis if it fits your brand. BUT—and this is important—use all of these punctuation tools sparingly. You don’t want your message to look like a tween’s Instagram post.  

Stick to Just One Goal

Determine your one purpose for each message and keep the focus there. If the objective is to introduce a new service, don’t also mention a flash sale on widgets. Save that announcement for another email. And make sure the subject line matches what’s in the message. Nobody likes a bait and switch.

Focus on Your Customer

As with all copywriting, effective B2B marketing emails are all about the customer; their needs, their problems, their emotions. Sure, you’re going to talk about your solution, but you have to first make sure the customer feels understood.  

One helpful formula for focusing on the customer is known as P-A-S. Identify your customer’s problem (P), agitate it by describing how difficult or frustrating it is (A), and then provide your solution (S).

Another simple tip is to write “you” and “your” more than “we” and “our.”

Segment Your List

Instead of sending the same message to everyone, use email list segmentation. This way you can send targeted messages to different groups of people depending on, for example, where they are in the sales funnel or what offers they’ve responded to before.

Avoid Buzzwords and Jargon

Look out for overused marketing buzzwords. For one thing, you’ll sound just like your competitors. For another, buzzwords rarely say anything worthwhile. “We’re influencers on the cutting-edge of optimization!” What does that even mean? Dig deeper for more accurate descriptions.  

Be careful with technical jargon and acronyms, too. These terms can quickly alienate readers who aren’t in the know.  

Format for Scannability

Busy people (pretty much everyone) will skip right over a block of dense text on their screens, especially if they’re reading on a mobile device. So give them much-needed white space by offering small bits of information at a time.

Write short sentences in short paragraphs.  

Provide headings so people can scan and stop at the information they really want.

Use bulleted or numbered lists and leave plenty of white space.

Craft a Smart Subject Line

You can improve your email open rates by writing email subject lines that entice readers. Try using curiosity (What 3 habits do 97% of all millionaires practice?), scarcity (20% off until midnight today!), or personalization (Dan, your trial offer is waiting). You could also use humor or appeal to their pain points.  

Add a Call to Action

Whether it’s to sign up for a class, call for an appointment, or make a purchase, add a call to action (CTA). Make it easy and appealing for your readers to take the next step. While you can have more than one CTA in an email, they should all be the same. Don’t muddy the message by offering different options. Remember, we have one goal per message.    

Proofread

Sure, most people will graciously overlook misspellings and grammar mistakes in hasty texts, but B2B marketing emails demand a higher trust threshold. Don’t risk destroying your credibility. Get a fresh set of eyes to read the message before you hit send.  

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