According to Hubspot, your average customer receives 121 emails every day. When you’re dealing with that much competition, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. Indeed, many companies send too many irrelevant emails that overwhelm their subs. In fact, 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from a brand because they were sending too many emails.
However, the real problem isn’t that brands are sending too many emails. The problem is they are sending too many boring emails.
There’s lots of boring marketing out there. Yet, there are plenty of companies on the right track. Here are some examples of clever B2B email marketing that will inspire you.
1) Bolding Entire Sentences of Long Sales Emails
According to a study by Constant Contact, emails around 200 words long have the highest click-through rates. Therefore, a good soft rule is to keep your sales emails around that length. Of course, rules are meant to be broken. It’s only natural to have a mind of your own. Leah from Freelance to Freedom Project does. Her email sales copy comes in at a relatively bulky 506 words.
The problem with longer copy is that people’s attention wanders during emails. According to Marketing Sherpa, people only spend an average of 15-20 seconds on each email. So, Leah decided to offset that by writing really short paragraphs. To add essential variation to her writing, she bolded entire sentences.
Bolding entire sentences is a good way for you to spice up your copy, particularly if its longer copy. Of course, you shouldn’t overdo it because it may come off as rude or aggressive.
2) Placing Your CTA Above and Below the Fold
When it comes to putting your call-to-action (CTA) above the fold, the marketing community is of two minds. On one hand, you have experts like Brian Massey from Conversion Sciences who support above the fold, saying, “It is a best practice. So the most important parts of the page will usually do best above the fold.”
On the other hand, there’s growing evidence that putting a CTA immediately above the fold may be too much too soon. According to a study from Marketing Conversions, publishing below the fold results in a 20% increase in conversions. As you can see, marketers have a foot in both camps on this one. There’s virtue in both ideas, and that’s why marketers like Michael Hyatt from LeaderBox aim for the best of both worlds.
As you can see from the red hyperlinked text, there are two landing page links in the email. The first one is above the fold and the second one is below the fold. Both of these links go to the same place, so Michael only has one CTA, but he gives his subscribers two chances to get there. Naturally, one of these chances is above the fold and one is below the fold. Even if CTA’s below the fold are gaining popularity, consumers spend 80% of their time above the fold. There’s nothing wrong with hedging your bets until your A/B tests discover the best way for your list.
3) Adding Urgency to Your Emails
It’s now or never. Or is it? Many email marketers struggle to add authentic urgency to their campaigns. After all, adding inauthentic urgency to your campaign will make your brand seem like the boy who cried wolf. If you say the 50% discount for the webinar ends tonight, then it really should end tonight. If you continually extend discounts, sales, and special offers, then you’re customers will catch on, and future “urgent” emails will lose their effectiveness.
Still, many marketers don’t add enough urgency to their email campaigns. So, what can you do? Consider what Matt from Autogrow did.
Look carefully at the first sentence. He says “final reminder this is ending now.” In other words, he sent many emails touting this deadline. This email marketing strategy allows you to put urgent messages in more of your campaigns.
Of course, one of the biggest problems with urgency and scarcity is they don’t always exist. For example, let’s say you’re selling physical products, but you don’t want to discount. How can you manufacture scarcity? Well, some products sell out and are temporarily out of stock. Using email segmentation, you can email everybody who added that item to their cart but didn’t buy. Tell the recipients they should buy the product before it runs out again.
What if you’re selling a SaaS subscription? Unlike physical products, you’re not going to run out of those, so they aren’t scarce. Admittedly, you could offer a direct discount, but that’s often untenable. In these cases, your best weapon is creativity. However, the best option is highly dependent on your situation. Here are some ideas.
- Beta Subscription-If you have a new subscription, you can limit “beta” customers to a certain number of seats. Tell customers your mission is to turn beta customers into tremendous success stories, so you’ll give them special attention.
- Raising Your Price- Price increases are challenges, but they can also be opportunities. When you sell a SaaS subscription, you’ll naturally have lots of prospects on your email list that aren’t customers. Instead of offering them a discount to join, tell them that your prices are going to increase after a certain date. This will inspire them to join quickly, so they can secure the lower price.
- Higher Tier-Many times placing a customer in a higher tier is more desirable than offering a discount. It’s often best to do this for a limited amount of time, say 1-3 months. Customers may like the features in the higher tier and upgrade after the trial is over.
4) Renting Out an Email List
One of the biggest problems email marketers have is increasing their list through paid advertising. You’re spoiled for choice, but it’s hard to know where to start. Sometimes, it feels like the quote from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”
You can run ads on Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and many other places besides that. Yet, PPC advertising is not for everybody. One one hand, it works. According to the Google Economic Impact Report, businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 dollar they spend on Adwords. Yet, that’s just the average. Most of that revenue is going to the companies who really understand Adwords. A typical small or medium-sized business owner wastes 25% of their PPC budget.
In other words, PPC is a tale of two cities. The people who have in-depth knowledge are bringing in the bulk of the revenue.
An easier alternative for beginners is renting out an email list. That’s exactly what Emarsys did.
Emarsys has a solid strategy.
- First, they created a high-value study.
- They rented a highly-targeted email list that would appreciate the study.
- They gave the study away for free in exchange for their email.
Renting an email list is beginner-friendly. For a targeted list of business consumers with around 2,500 to 5,000 names, you can expect to pay $300 to $600. That’s a great deal, especially considering the hidden costs of PPC. For example, Third Marble Marketing says that managing $1,000 in ads costs $800 a month. That’s $1,800 in total. You don’t need costly management when you rent an email list. The spadework comes in finding a quality list and creating a great lead magnet. Also, once you make the lead magnet you can use it many times. That’s way more beginner-friendly than PPC management.
5) Anticipation Emails
Making your audience burst with excitement. Creating real buzz around your product. Exceeding customers expectations. Is that even possible?
It is possible. Of course, an anticipation email isn’t going excite people who aren’t interested in the first place. Yet, it certainly will raise the excitement level of people who are already fans of your brand (and those people spend the most money anyway). Michael Hyatt used an anticipation email to hype up a new product.
Notice that Michael doesn’t even have a CTA in this email. The entire point is to get people excited for tomorrow’s email, so a CTA isn’t necessary. If you have a major product launch coming up, sending an anticipation email is a good way to get your audience excited.
When it comes to fanning the flames, remember your fans. In other words, loyal subscribers and product aficionados will be most receptive to anticipation emails. As a Mailchimp study showed, segmented campaigns get 14.64% more opens than non-segmented campaigns. Anticipation emails are a great place to segment your list.
Send Great B2B Emails With Mailigen
According to Forbes, the average person checks their email 15 times per day. That massive number shows the potential that email marketing has. Yet, there is another, perhaps, even more telling, stat. According to Marketing Sherpa, 91% of Americans want to receive promotional emails.
Even in the fast-paced B2B world, people like getting emails. Actually, let’s rephrase that.
People like good emails from companies they like.
Hopefully, these email marketing examples will inspire you to send better emails. If you’re exploring email software for your B2B business, Mailigen is a great place to start. They have handy features like an intelligent email builder and multi-user accounts that let you limit permissions for users.
If you’d like to learn proven B2B email marketing tips, sign up for Mailgen’s email list (the form is on the bottom of the homepage).
About the Author
Zachary Moore is a content marketer from Los Angeles. He writes articles, ebooks, website copy, and more for email software companies. You can learn more about Zach on his website. You can email Zach directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.