B2B Email Marketing 101: 7 Best Practices

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Posted: January 11, 2011 | Email Marketing

Part of any successful B2B marketing strategy  involves the integration of  email marketing. Strategically crafted emails can achieve optimal results in the areas of lead generation, lead nurturing and convert existing customers into repeat buyers.

The proof is in the numbers:  Clickz notes that 49% of recently satisfied customers will open future emails a staggering seven times faster than those who have not made a purchase in over three months.

With such dramatically improved results possible from email, it’s critical to understand the art and the science behind B2B email marketing.

Below are seven best practices that alleviate common issues and ensure each email will not only reach the targeted recipient, but also compel the reader to open it.

Understand the objective, have a plan

Many send out emails without truly understanding the  reason for the email in the first place. Before drafting a campaign, consider the objective. Is it to send out an email newsletter purely for informational purposes? Is it for lead generation or to share information to solve a customer’s problem?  It all starts with knowing the objective.

Consider the ‘from’ name

The name that displays in the ‘from’ field determines if a recipient will delete the email. Remember to match this field to something familiar to the recipient – such as the brand the customer knows and trusts. Having a trusted from name encourages higher open rates from customers.

Strong subject line

Just as the from name determined if a recipient will delete the email, the subject line will determine if the recipient opens the email.  Try to utilize words that relate to the purpose of the email. If the email is for a product offer,  leverage action words to stir a sense of urgency.

 

Testing

Due to different email clients, email host providers and other factors, it’s imperative to test emails before approval. This includes testing items such as: email clients, email templates, spam detection rules, formatting for mobile email recipients among other factors.

 

Proper timing

To ensure optimal results, research a specific date and time to broadcast the email message. Many believe sending email on Tuesday is optimal while Friday’s are the worst day to send out B2B email messaging. Many also believe sending on an off day, such as Sunday helps increase open rates (this is something we’ve noted in a previous discussion).

Analytics

To measure the success of an email marketing campaign, utilize reliable statistics and B2B marketing analytics. Having this data allows for specific types of reporting for the campaign stakeholders. Relevant metrics help marketers understand successful and unsuccessful aspects of campaigns and iterate effectively.

Learn and improve

Based on  metrics gathered,  consider areas that show sub-optimal performance and focus efforts on improving them. If a particular area of the B2B email marketing campaign identified requires improvement, such as subject lines, experiment with multiple subject lines and see which performs the best.

To learn more about B2B email marketing, subscribe to the Modern B2B Marketing Blog , follow Marketo on Twitter, or become a fan on Facebook.

Maria specializes in Inbound Marketing for Marketo, leading efforts in adoption of social media channels for brand awareness and demand generation. She has worked in marketing for over ten years, and specifically in online marketing including social media, search marketing, and lead generation and nurturing for the past six.

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B2B Email Marketing 101: 7 Best Practices

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