4 B-to-B Tips From the ‘Email Idea Book’

Matt Byrd, Email Marketing Manager, Litmus

On July 15, Matt Byrd (Email Marketing Manager at Litmus) and Linda West (Manager of Demand Generation at Act-On Software) presented “The Email Idea Book – 5 Futuristic Email Tactics You Can Implement Today.” The webinar was a hit with attendees, but one topic we didn’t get enough time to cover was B-to-B email. Some listeners asked for more specific advice on this unique corner of the email universe, and Byrd was happy to provide his tips in the article below.

Question: What do you recommend to increase open and click rates for B-to-B emails?

Keep in mind: Although it’s business-to-business, behind that email address you’re still reaching out to a singular person with thoughts and feelings.

It’s getting a bit cliche to say at this point, but think “Human-to-Human,” not “Business-to-Business.” Don’t over-complicate what you’re selling or surround it with unnecessary hype; speak to people honestly and candidly. Really put yourself into the shoes of the person at the business you’re trying to sell to, instead of just barraging them with marketing copy and buzz words.

In practical terms, here are a few tips:

  • Focus on the commitment levels in your calls-to-action. Rarely is an email alone enough for someone to make a big purchasing decision. Lower commitment calls to action, like “Learn More” or “Get More Info,” that lead to a landing page tend to perform better than high-commitment CTAs, like “Schedule a Demo.” People are getting to a point where they prefer to do as much research as they can before actually speaking to a sales rep.
  • Segment as much as you can. Not all businesses are the same—they have different structures, different sizes and different budgets. As such, they should be communicated to differently.
  • Always establish your relationship in your first email. Did they give a business card at a conference? Did they download a white paper from you? Reminding them of how you have their email address helps boost credibility and prevent you from seeming like spam.
  • Don’t focus just on click-through rates. Track actual conversions, particularly if you’re A/B testing things. Although one email might generate more clicks, it could, in the end, result in fewer conversions.

For more great tips on email marketing now and in the future, click hear to listen to complete webinar!

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