7 Ways To Overhaul Your B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

It can be frustrating.  You’ve spent time and money on a B2B email marketing campaign and got little to no response.  We’ve all been there.

High bounce rates, poor open rates, no click-throughs, and frequent unsubscribes. All these can be leading contributors to poor email marketing performance. However, there is a systematic approach you can apply to break down where the kinks in the chain may be present.

Overhauling your B2B email marketing doesn’t have to be difficult.  These tips can help improve the performance of your inbound and outbound campaigns. Let’s get started!

The 7 Steps To Effective Email Marketing Campaigns

  1. Strong Subject Lines
  2. List Segmentation
  3. List Health and Quality
  4. Relevant Content
  5. Transparent and Honest
  6. Split Testing
  7. Format for Mobile

Strong Subject Lines

If nobody clicks on your email, everything inside it is wasted effort.  You need to quickly capture someone’s attention and get them to open it.  Since the average person working in an office receives 121 emails every day, it takes a little effort to stand out.  It’s way too easy for recipients to hit delete.

Personalize your subject line whenever you can.  The open rate increases by 17% when the subject line is personalized.  If it looks or feels like a bulk email, forget it.  This means conversational, relevant, and personal subject lines.  Approach it like you would writing to a friend about something they really need!

You can test various email subject lines with free evaluation tools online, such as SubjectLine or Email Subject Line Grader.

List Segmentation

7 Ways To Overhaul Your B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

83 percent of companies are using at least basic segmentation for their emails.  It’s the most effective  way to approach B2B buyers. Segmenting provides a number of benefits, including the ability to target messages more closely.  It increases relevancy and also increases your open rates and click rates.

B2B sellers are using a variety of segmentation strategies:

  • Basic Segmentation
    2-5 criteria, such as demographics, industry, and role
  • Segmentation With Rules-Based Personalization
    Dynamic content customized on the user and historical data
  • Layered, Personalize Targeting
    Basic segmentation plus lead scoring and asset value assessments
  • Advance Account Based Marketing
    Highly customized for High-Value targets

The more data you have, the better you can target and personalize.

Emails from segmented campaigns perform as much as 75% better than those from non-segmented campaigns.

List Health & Quality

Your campaign will only be as good as the quality of your list.  You need to regularly scrub your list for hard bounces and bad email addresses.

Running an email validation tool before conducting campaigns is a must.

  • Syntax Check
    Checks whether email addresses are spelled correctly, with @s, dots, and domain names in the right place
  • Domain Check
    Checks that the domain name of the email address exists as it’s listed and is working properly
  • Email Ping
    Pings each email address and waits for a response in order to confirm the user is on the system and active

A good source for email cleaning and verification is NeverBounce, which also integrate with most major email platforms.

Relevant Content

7 Ways To Overhaul Your B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

Once you’ve got them to click, now the real work begins.  If you can also personalize the content, using their first name and briefly explain the business case for why you’re sending the email, you might get them to read past the first sentence.

Don’t waste their time.  Be friendly but get-to-the-point!  Establish the VBR (Valid Business Reason) your email is worth reading.

One of the top reason people unsubscribe from mailing lists is that the email they get is not relevant to them.

Shorter emails work better than long ones. You’re typically not trying to sell them directly as you would in a B2C relationship, you are trying to get them to take action:

    • Go to your website or landing page
    • Fill out a content form
    • Request more information
    • Reply to your email
    • Call you

A study of more than 200 emails demonstrated that emails of 50 words or less generated the highest click-through and conversion rates.  That’s about the same length as a typical Facebook post.

List segmentation can go a long way to providing relevant content to the right audience. This should be accompanied by a strong B2B Lead generation strategy with inbound methodology at the core.

Be Transparent & Honest

It sounds simple, but don’t lay it on too thick.  Business leaders have become sensitive to anything that sounds like an advertisement.  People don’t buy from people they don’t trust. That’s why inbound marketing methodology is a perfect strategy to incorporate into all facets of your marketing.

How suspicious are consumers these days?  More than half (53%) say most marketing is a bunch of B.S.  Don’t overhype it, understand their needs instead.  Don’t promise more than you can really deliver.

Even if your product or service can do remarkable things, if it sounds too good to be true, it will likely get ignored.

Split Testing

B2B Email Marketing

Test multiple version of your B2B email marketing campaigns to find the optimal subject lines and calls-to-action (CTAs). Improving conversion rates may make a significant difference in your bottom line.  It’s worth the time to find out what’s causing people to act so you can repeat it.

When you’re testing be careful to test one element at a time as each may have a different impact.  For example, testing subject lines will impact open rates.  Testing different CTAs will impact conversions and click-throughs.  Only measure one strategy at a time.

Format For Mobile

More than 5 billion people worldwide now own mobile devices.  More than half of all online connections are made by smartphones.  That means the likelihood your B2B email marketing prospect is going to see some – if not most – of your email on their smartphone.

Yet, most email campaigns are designed on desktops.  Do you take the time to see how your email looks on a smartphone?  You should.  An email that displays poorly or incorrectly on mobile, 70% of recipients will delete within three seconds.

  • Do your subject lines get truncated so they aren’t readable?
  • Is your content laid out in a clean and easy-to-read manner?
  • Can recipients scan it quickly and focus on the key points?
  • Will clicking on a link take them to a mobile-friendly landing page?

Mobile accounts for 50% of opened emails.  Make sure you think mobile-first.

Effective B2B Email Marketing Campaigns

Use strong subject lines to capture their attention.  Segment your lists to maximize your targeting.  Send relevant content messages in a transparent and honest way.  Measure the effectiveness and remember to format for mobile.

Remember, the most efficient & effective B2B email marketing campaigns deliver the right message to the right potential customers at the right point in the buying cycle.

Picture of Michael Bergen

Michael Bergen

Co-Founder & VP of Demand Generation at Riverbed Marketing I'm a passionate tech enthusiast that loves the outdoors. I'm a data-driven demand generation marketer with over 10 years experience with inbound & demand marketing strategy.