Keep it Conversational – Best Practices for B2B E-Mail Marketing

Keep it Conversational – Best Practices for B2B E-Mail Marketing

The best approaches for digital b2b marketing

A great deal of the clients Gabriel Sales works with as an integrated outsourced sales and marketing company are smaller businesses without a highly recognizable brand.  However, when the brand is recognized in the market (at least for most of our clients), that brand is associated with quality, professionalism and, in most cases, a premium or mid premium service.    This blog talks about how Gabriel Sales uses email marketing to increase B2b lead volume (to maximize budget because cold calling while effective has gotten much more expensive check out Cold Calling is Not Dead but You Need To Be Smarter!)  while not disrupting the delicate dance between increased volume and brand reputation and positioning.

Here is a list of Best Practices for B2B E-Mail Marketing from Gabriel Sales:

Make Sure Your Email Offer has the Best Interest of Your Customer/Buyer in Mind

Provide some content that has some genuine educational value for your buyer.  We have the most success with content that can help the buyer do their job better whether they choose to work with you or not.  Your chief aim needs to be helping your customer define their problem.  The win for you is that at the same time you are simultaneously establishing your credentials as a thought leader to help them.

Make Sure Your Email Gives Your Customer Educational Value Quickly

Help the customer to quickly compare your solution to other solutions in the market. So they can quickly to evaluate their alternatives.

Make Sure Your Graphics (if you use them at all) are Relevant

Use your logo to support the brand.  Don’t use additional graphics unless they are totally specific to the offer and educational in nature.  So for example:

  • Video Screen shot that gives them a sense of the video.
  • Use recognizable logos like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn so they are clear on the platform you are suggestin
  • Photo of Presenter if its Webcast (Makes it Human)

Keep it Conversational

Don’t use sales language.   Don’t talk about ‘our’ company, ‘us’.  Talk about your customer’s needs.

Keep it Simple

Get to the point quickly and directly.

Keep it Uncluttered

A case can be made that it may make sense to give someone multiple offers in one email so if the first offer is not of interest there is a secondary offer or even a tertiary offer your recipient can click through.   We just don’t typically approach the market this way.   We come from the school of thought that one offer is typically enough:

  • Buyers are smart and can quickly evaluate if you can help them do their job more effectively with your specific area of thought leadership
  • If you lead with educational thought leadership it shows respect for their interests and needs
  • If you keep it short, simple and uncluttered it shows respect for their time
  • If you keep the tone of the message conversational even if this is not the right conversation, they will remain open to future conversations and not consider your message and foray into electronic conversation as invasive but helpful

For more Best Practices for B2B E-Mail Marketing, we invite you to check out our Blog Series on Integrating Sales and Sales Content Marketing

For some tactical examples of what our approach to email looks like in action feel free to check out some of our actual b2b email marketing templates.

iPhones are Skewing Open Rates

In the last six, months,  we have seen a big jump in iPhone and iPad opens in our email blasting efforts. After following up by phone, we have noticed that many of my “opens” did not even see the email.  We’ve since learned that iPhones open emails differently than other email applications.

For Mailchimp,  per their site, they “use a tiny, one pixel graphic (or web beacon) that gets downloaded when a subscriber turns on images to track which emails have been opened and which haven’t. When someone uses their iPhone to open your email, it automatically opens images, downloading the tracking graphic. Most email applications turn images off by default and force users to click a button to display them, resulting in lower open rates.  This can result in an inflated percentage of iPhone users showing up in your User Agents stats. We’ll see every user who uses their iPhone to open your email, but we only catch the subscribers that turn on images in other email applications.”

This completely aligns with what we have seen by follow-up calling. So take it easy on your reps if they are not converting the “opens.” I would not stop calling on them, as the probability that that “opens” actually opened is greater than those that do not show open, and typically we have found that those folks are still with the company.   So, this is definitely better than straight cold calling.

Question:  What is the ultimate solution?

Answer:  Aligned Sales and Marketing Efforts

In a nutshell you cannot give up on any one tactic.  You simply need to be more diligent.  We do recommend making sure your videos and emails are designed for mobile and as another quick tip you can monitor Google Analytics and the time emails are opened with your email blaster to judge if mobiles are actually opened or not.

If you are interested in seeing if your efforts pay off, Gabriel Sales, outsourced sales company for B to B sales and marketing automation implementation specialists,  we recommend indulging in a marketing automation tool.  Pardot is our platform of choice.  For more information on marketing automation see our blog on Marketing Automation for B2B Sales and Sales Small Business.