A few years ago, marketers were decrying the death of email. Instead of fading away a la MySpace and mood rings, B2B email marketing remains one of the most productive means of generating leads.
According to a 2013 National DMA email report, 89% of marketers believe that email is important to their organizational goals. Rather than dying out, 56% of email marketers plan to focus more on their email campaigns in 2013. To ensure that this focus pays off, you must maximize conversions and clickthrough rates with every email you send.
Managers of five-star restaurants spend hours combining the right ingredients for their recipes. Similarly, creating a five-star B2B email marketing campaign involves more than laying out some content and crossing your fingers. Emails with killer clickthrough rates have a special mix of 12 core components, which includes a great subject line.
A Clear, Attention-Grabbing Email Subject Line
The Radicati Group reported that 1.9 billion non-spam emails are sent every day. To break through this noise, you must develop a compelling email subject line that inspires your audience to click in your next email to make it as effective as possible. Here are a few guidelines to ensure your subject lines entice your readers to click.
- Address reader concerns: Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and write your subject lines to address their needs. What is interesting about your product and service from their perspective? The key to generating clickthroughs is answering questions that your prospects care about.
- Personalize: Consider including your readers’ first name in your email subject line. According to HubSpot’s Science of Email research, adding a name in the subject line significantly increases clickthrough rates.
- Use actionable language: Use action words to inspire your readers to click. As you are writing actionable subject lines, remember this requires a bit more than checking your thesaurus. You want your action verbs to inspire your audience to immediately click on your email by instilling urgency and excitement for people reading your subject lines.
- Scan your subject lines for clarity: Research firm MarketingExperiments is often quoted as saying “clarity trumps persuasion” when writing online copy. A clear, easily-understandable subject line is vital for generating email click throughs. Occasionally, when marketers try too hard to be clever, they end up just making the reader think “huh?” You want your emails to grab attention, but not at the expense of clearly conveying the email’s content.
- Deploy brevity: Email subject lines will get cut off if they’re too long, particularly on mobile devices. We recommend using subject lines with fewer than 50 characters to make sure readers scanning their emails will see the entire subject line.
- Be consistent: Your email subject line is making a promise to your reader about what you will deliver in your message. Make sure that you make good on that commitment. Do not say 50% off if that discount only applies to a small segment of your products. A “bait and switch” email engenders too much distrust to be worthwhile. If people think they have been cheated by your subject lines, they will stop opening your emails, which leads to lower open, clickthrough and conversion rates, as well as higher unsubscribes.
- Avoid SPAM triggers: Email spammers rely heavily on certain words to boost their open rates. Because of these black hat practices, email providers employ special spam filters to keep out any emails containing certain words. B2B email marketing practitioners should be careful about using words like “Free,” “Cash,” “Quote” and “Save” to make sure they don’t inadvertently get caught by a spam trap.