Making Sure Your B2B Email Marketing Gets There
The best B2B email marketing in the world is useless if it never gets seen. Yet many marketers focus exclusively on creating shiny content, not on whether that content will actually get in front of customers’ eyes. It’s important to take steps to make sure that your customers are receiving, opening, and clicking through your emails.
In this day and age of instant communication, we often assume that everything we send will be received immediately. But when it comes to email, things like spam folders and bounces can keep your B2B email marketing from ever entering a customer’s inbox in the first place. While you’ll never be able to guarantee that an email will travel from you to your customer’s inbox with no problems, there are some ways to make it more likely. Following these compliance measures (recommended by the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group) can help keep your email from getting lost in a spam folder:
- Be sure it’s clear to customers that they have subscribed to your emails. The best practice is “confirmed opt-in,” where subscribers enter their email and receive a confirmation email that requires them to take a second action, like clicking a link, before their subscription is confirmed. This ensures that your customers are serious about subscribing. It also tests their email addresses to make sure they are able to receive emails from you. If creating a confirmed opt-in isn’t possible for you, sending your customers a simple confirmation email when they subscribe is the next best option.
- Make it equally clear how they can unsubscribe. Be sure each and every email you send has simple information on how to unsubscribe. And process unsubscribe requests quickly, so customers aren’t receiving emails they don’t want.
- Use an authentication mechanism. Email authentication identifies the sender of an email more clearly. Using email authentication not only makes it easier for your customers to know it’s you, it also identifies you to the email program, helping you avoid being transferred to a spam folder automatically. There are several different authentication mechanisms that you can use. This document has details about how they work and which one you should choose for your emails.
- Keep your email list clean. If your email list is full of bounced or dead email addresses, it sends a signal that you are spamming your list. Check your email list periodically for email addresses that don’t work any more, and be sure to remove them.
Once the email has actually gotten to your customers, you want them to open the email and click through to the links you have included. After all, you can’t generate leads if no one follows a link to your site.
Determining what motivates people to click a link is an inexact science, but some new research shows that emails with 3 or fewer images, and about 20 lines of text, have greater clickthrough rates. Marketing emails should be simple without being boring.
For greater clickthrough rates as well as better emails in general, it’s always a good plan to follow the “4 Cs”:
- Clear. Let the reader know whom the email is from, why it’s important, and what the main takeaway should be. Don’t use jargon that the reader won’t understand or discuss information that is not relevant to the main point.
- Concise. Keep it short and simple. Don’t go off on tangents or cram in excessive information. If you can’t fit your message in 20 lines of text, it probably needs to be pared down.
- Correct. Be sure there aren’t any grammatical, spelling, or content errors in your email. And double-check that it’s delivering the right information to the right people.
- Courteous. Use a respectful tone in your email content. Your customers aren’t obligated to read your emails—so make reading them a pleasant and useful experience.
Focusing on anti-spam compliance will help your emails actually get to your customers. And focusing on clickthrough best practices will increase the success of your B2B email marketing campaigns.