Research your persona
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; your email is only as good as the reader thinks it is. Don’t bother even starting writing copy until you have half a clue about who is going to read your emails… and what pushes their buttons.
Start with asking yourself three data-driven questions:
- What contextual data do I have on my persona?
We’re looking for meaningful data that lets us understand these people on a deeper level. A great place to start is LinkedIn: nearly every serious professional in the western world has a profile. Have a look at some profiles of people who are in your email database. What opinions are they expressing? What are some of the other information you can see regarding their interests, education, and experience?
- What behavioural data do I have on my audience?
Let’s rise above the usual obsession with sending an email ‘at the perfect time’ to maximise clicks and opens. There is no industry-standard perfect time: there is a time that suits the people you are in contact with. Your historical data is a good place to start. You can see when people interacted with previous EDMs. Beyond that – again, look at social networks. At the risk of sounding like a LinkedIn employee, it’s an incredibly useful platform for finding when people are online and available.
- Who currently has the ear of my persona and what are THEY saying?
Are you the number one, dominant player in your industry and is your marketing absolutely 10/10? Probably not. Be humble: subscribe to all your leading competitors’ EDMs and follow their socials. Find examples of similar companies to yours in other geographies and follow them too. Look at their messaging. Take some time to steal ideas. If they’re beating you, they have probably figured out your audience better than you.
…and document, document, document. Don’t do this great research and leave it in your head. Create a living document (whether it be a Google Sheet, or Evernote, or a page on your intranet, or whatever place you and the rest of your team can actually collaborate on). You will need to refer to it again.
Make your subject line unique
The average professional spends just over two and a half hours reading through an average of 120 daily emails. You have a guarantee that your email will be swamped by a sea of messages, making it easy for your recipient to scroll right past it without a second thought. You must find a way to make your email stand out.
The first thing your prospect sees in their inbox is the subject line. Therefore, it’s vital you craft an eye-catching subject line whilst toeing the professional line. In other words, this section of the email needs to be powerful and compelling, prompting the reader to want to open it.
Since the significant majority of executives are pressed for time, keep it brief. While being concise, let your creativity shine, stating the email’s purpose in a way that makes the reader feel they must know more.
Avoid being too salesy or making exaggerated promises. Executives can sniff these out from a distance, and can readily relegate your email address to a blocked or spam list.
It all comes down to finely straddling the line between professionalism and personality.
Keep it short
On average, brand executives give up 28 per cent of their workday in email correspondence. Several have stacked in-trays, making time an invaluable resource. Consequently, they would prefer to spend as little time as possible clearing their inboxes to zero.
If they open an email that reads like a submission essay, they’ll close it. They simply don’t have the time to sift through the chunky blocks of text in a single email message. Therefore, a succinct writing manner is vital for your B2B email campaigns to succeed.
A perfectly crafted, concise email should be no more than 200 words, 250 if you’re stretching it. A busy executive isn’t interested in long, winding salutations that add nothing of value to their work. Therefore, get straight to the point. State your purpose for writing in short sentences that underscore your objective.
Keep in mind that your target recipient most likely checks their email via mobile devices – 35 per cent of executives do so. What appears a short email on the desktop computer morphs into a relatively large block of text on the shrunken mobile screen.
Therefore, your B2B email campaigns should employ messages optimized to display on mobile screens frugally.
All this adds up to an increased chance of engaging your audience and getting a reply from them.
Add a driving call-to-action
Now that you have their attention, you need to convert the prospect into an actual client. Different marketing email types have varying purposes. Regardless, you’re always expecting a specific action from the recipient in their reply. Therefore, you should always call on the potential client to fulfil that action.
For instance, if you’re pitching a new service, you can advise them to call back to schedule a demonstration. This approach is incredibly effective when you’re clear and specific about what you want them to do.
When signing off the email, you need to insert this call-to-action as a continuation of the message. This ensures that this is the final subject in the client’s mind. If your email was convincing, the client will have no qualms about what they should do next.
Additionally, you can make a call-to-action more compelling by creating a sense of urgency. In your message core, you’ve already highlighted the bottlenecks in their business and your solutions.
Create an element of urgency by making the client believe that they’ll miss out if they don’t promptly take you up on your offer. Such a situation increases your chances of receiving a reply.