How To Increase Your B2B Email Open And Response Rates




  • February 18, 2015

    woman flexing linking about email


    I read that one of the top fitness trends of 2015 is body weight exercise. Apparently, lots of people have been injured attempting epic feats of fitness and now want to get back to basics.


    In the spirit of “back to basics”, I thought I’d discuss how to get B2B buyers to respond to your emails.


    According to the 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark report, email is one of the top tactics for attracting a high number of quality leads.


    The study also found that in-house email marketing yields one of the lowest cost-per-lead.


    email leads statistics 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report

    Trade shows, referral marketing and in-house email marketing generate the highest number of quality leads. Source – 2014 B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report


    “With so many competing channels and technologies vying for our attention, and the digital marketing landscape shifting so fast, it’s difficult for marketers to know how to best allocate their resources,” said Jay Ivey, market research associate at Software Advice. “… Marketers most commonly cited trade show management, email marketing and referral marketing as channels that produce high quantities of good-to-excellent leads. As such, applications or integrations in these areas are particularly well positioned to help marketers execute demand generation programs.”


    Here are five ways to get B2B buyers to open, read and respond to your emails:


    1. Segment your audience.

    According to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America report, the average B2B company markets to four audiences. This makes segmenting your list critical. Make sure your emails are relevant to each audience’s needs, vertical and stage in the sales cycle. If it’s not relevant, you won’t get a response.


    2. Have one clear message and call to action per email.

    Many B2B marketing and sales emails ask the reader to do too much. “Click here!” “Download this white paper!” “Call a sales rep!” However, your messages will perform better if you have one clear message and call to action. For example, one email can ask readers to download a white paper. After they download it, a follow-up email can ask them to speak with a sales rep.


    An exception to this rule would be an email newsletter or digest that includes multiple links to your blog. In this case, the primary goal is to get subscribers to check out your latest blog posts. Including teasers for multiple articles in your emails can help you determine which topics your subscribers are the most interested in, so you can produce similar content in the future.


    3. Finesse your subject line.

    Your subject line can make or break your email. Here are some tips on how to improve your subject lines to increase your open rates:



    • Keep your subject line under 50 characters and put the most important words at the front. This will ensure that subscribers see your key points even if their email platform or mobile device truncates the message.
    • Experiment with personalization by putting the subscriber’s name in the subject line. However, be sure to have a fallback in case a subscriber didn’t enter their name when they opted in.
    • Make it urgent. Tell readers why they must open the email now.
    • Show the benefits subscribers will get when they open the email.

    4. Optimize for mobile.

    Before you send your next email, test it in various mobile devices and browsers. Keep your subject line short, so subscribers can read it on their mobile device. Also, include your call to action at the top of the email in case your subscribers can’t scroll to see the full message on their mobile device.


    5. Test your send times.

    There’s a lot of debate over the best time to send your emails. A Pardot study found that B2B marketers get the highest open rates on Tuesdays. Pure360 broke down open rates by vertical and found that the best time to email technology professionals is between noon and 3 p.m., while you should email the financial sector between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Play around with your send times to see when you get the highest open and click-through rates.


    Think of these tips as a “back-to-basics” routine that will help you get your emails in shape.


    Now drop and give me 20!

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