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You Had Me at the Subject Line: Best Practices for Email Outreach

For B2B marketers, email outreach forms the basis of effective communication and marketing. With the rate at which technology continues to advance, and it’s no surprise 73% of marketers recognize the importance of email marketing and that number continues to grow each year. Email is also the tool of choice within an organization, from day-to-day communications with team members to approving projects. As great as email is, there are some pitfalls of email communication that marketers should be wary of. Whether it’s getting recipients to open your email or avoiding the spam folder, these are the best practices for creating emails that will help you grow your list and build your customer relationships.

Establishing Your Audience

When it comes to email correspondence, the first step is establishing your audience. This may seem like a “duh” moment, but deciding who your target recipient is, is crucial to effective email outreach. After that, it becomes much easier to personalize and customize, which are two of the most important factors in an effective email marketing campaign or interaction. When deciding on your target audience, consider the basic, macro level questions such as “which department is this relevant to?” and “who is the decision-maker that I need to reach?” Once you know that, think about the more detailed questions. For example, if a sales rep is initiating contact with the advertising department of an entertainment agency, they need to ask questions like “what kinds of advertising does this agency already do?” and “what is the problem or inefficiency within this specific company that my product can help with?”

Creating the Perfect Email

The next step is crafting the email itself. The sender name and – in particular, the subject line – are the two most important elements when determining whether your recipient opens the email or not: 33% of people open emails based on the subject line alone. The most persuasive subject lines are basic and blunt, and direct people to click through and continue to read the email, which should continue with the same brevity. Personalization and customization become key in the body of the email, and that’s where you can use your audience research to include personal elements such as the person’s name, their company or website, and an article or product of theirs that you admire. You don’t have to personalize the entire email, providing a sentence or two of customized content is enough to make it resonate with your recipients. The rest can encourage them to follow through on your call to action.

Emails are still a core part of B2B marketing, and remain one of the strongest ways to build relationships with clients and prospects. But that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Once you address these three main concerns: “Who are you?” “Why are you sending me an email?” “What do you want me to do?” You’ll see your engagement levels start to increase.

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Email Marketing – Pardot

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3 Email Subject Line Ideas to Delight Your Database

Over 205 billion emails are sent every single day. No, that’s not a typo — two hundred five billion. With that staggering number in mind, how can B2B marketers make sure our emails cut through the clutter?

Here’s the thing: 33% of people open emails based on subject line alone. The subject line is our email’s first impression on every busy business prospect, so we’ve got to make it count. That’s why the words you choose can make or break your email marketing. Let’s take a look at three categories of emails subject lines and how great marketers make them stand out.

1. The Personalized Promo

Have you tried personalizing your email subject lines using marketing automation? You can include the recipient’s name, company name, job title, location, or virtually any other data you have about them simply by using variable tags in the subject line.

But that’s not the only way to personalize your email subject lines. If your database is segmented by the products contacts have shown interest in, you can send personalized promo emails based on that information. For example, one list can receive a subject line that says “Looking for a deal on Widgets? You’ll want to open this!” while another gets a similar email promoting a deal on Whoozits. Just make sure to use the Recency and Frequency rule type in Pardot to ensure that contacts who are on multiple lists don’t receive a flood of emails.

Tip: Avoid spammy words in your promotional subject lines! Words and phrases like bargain, profits, and CLICK HERE! are likely to trigger the spam filter. Learn more in our Spam Words Reference list.

 

2. The Autoresponder

I’ve found that most autoresponder emails I receive when I download a piece of gated content stick to a standard “Thanks for Downloading ____” format. There’s nothing wrong with that — it does get the point across, after all — but I’m always pleasantly surprised by subject lines that mix it up a little bit.

For example, I recently downloaded some content from Simply Measured. The autoresponder’s subject line said, “Your Simply Measured guide is ready!” This is a bit more exciting and personal, and it creates a sense of urgency; my guide is ready to read! And it worked; I clicked the email right away instead of letting it get lost in the depths of my inbox.

3. The Content Roundup

I always look forward to MarketingProfs’ daily content roundup emails, in part because I know exactly when I’m getting when I open them. The subject lines plainly and succinctly list several of the topic in the email, and there’s always something included that I’m interested in learning more about. Here’s one of their recent subject lines:

Online Reputation | Not Everything Has ROI | Email Competitiveness | In-Demand Freelance Skills

There you have it. In just eleven words, the team at MarketingProfs has effectively captured the attention of readers interested in four distinct topics.

Tip: Keep your subject lines short. Subject lines with 6-10 words tend to have the highest open rates. (Inc.com)

 

Conclusion

In a sea of unread emails, it takes some work to get noticed. Fortunately, with some smart copywriting and the right technology, you’ve got the tools you need to delight your database — and your CMO!

If you liked the examples of successful email subject lines in this post, grab our new e-book, 7 Inspiring B2B Marketing Campaigns. It’s full of examples of incredible marketing campaigns and tips for replicating their success with your own team!

Click here to download 7 Inspiring B2B Marketing Campaigns

 

 

Email Marketing – Pardot