Table of contents:
Emails need no introduction. Every person reading this article receives 10s if not 100’s emails per day. So you may believe that with something so ubiquitous as email marketing, it’s becoming harder and less useful as a lead generation tool.
However, the statistics point to a different story. Email marketing is booming. A report by Campaign Monitor found that email marketing produced an ROI of $42 for every $1 spent and that this ROI was increasing yearly.
So, if you’re not hitting those lofty ROI numbers or just beginning your email marketing journey, our guide is packed full of 10 tips to help improve your B2B email marketing.
Tip 1: Quality & Verified Data
You can’t put ‘lipstick on a pig’ regarding email marketing. If your email send list is out of date, incomplete, or lacking in-depth information, then no email marketing campaign is going to be successful.
Bad data prevents the sender from accurately personalising the email (see Tip 2!), increasing bounce rates and reducing open rates. As well as affecting performance, there are other more serious consequences of sending out emails to a dodgy list. If your business domain consistently sends bounce emails, your entire IP address could be added to a ‘blacklist’. This could prevent almost all emails from your organisation from being delivered and could cripple your business.
To prevent being blacklisted, you’ll need quality data, great content, and warmed up your domain (see Tip 8). At Automaly, our data solution is verified – every email address has been checked for deliverability and accuracy. Our verified data combines buyer intent data to produce a consistently high-quality targeted list of B2B prospects. This gives your email marketing the best foundation for success.
Tip 2: Email Personalisation
Email personalisation is the process of using your prospects’ personal or insightful data to produce more relevant and targeted emails.
This could be a job title, their location, or some snippet of information from social media, such as a job change, they may have attended an event or visited a certain page on your website.
Personalising email content with some of this insightful data is effective. Research has found that personalised emails have an 8x higher click-through rate, a 6x higher transaction rate, and a media ROI of 122%.
So how do you personalise emails? The personalisation can come in the subject line or by segmenting larger lists into small segments and ‘personalising’ an email to that segment. This is quicker than manually personalising every email, yet delivers consistently higher results.
Email personalisation cannot be done effectively without quality data (our first tip), but once you have invested correctly here, the possibilities for personalisation are endless.
Tip 3: Email Automation
In an ideal world, every email sent would be individually curated, with a winning subject line, after in-depth research on your target prospect. However, both commercially and practically, this is impossible.
This is where email automation can come in to strike that balance between quality and volume. There are two types of email automation – one-to-many email automation (think Mailchimp sending designed emails out to a list using the sender’s infrastructure) or one-to-one email automation.
Both have their different features and benefits. One-to-many emailing tools can help your organisation send volume emails (but don’t forget to segment your data and personalise!). These types of emails are often used to drive brand awareness.
One-to-one email automation is often used by sales teams and links your personal mailbox to the automation platform. Emails are normally sent as plain text. These are sent at a smaller volume, and the automation can add prospects to an email ‘sequence’, which the prospect leaves when they reply to an email. This smaller volume allows for greater personalisation with minimal design time needed.
Many different email automation providers are available, and at Automaly, we have worked with and tested many leading brands. Our team can help you to identify the best software to use. Review our Automation & AI services to find out more.
Tip 4: Video Emails
It was said to me recently that video email today is like the original email back in the early days of the internet in terms of open rates – before email became so ubiquitous and spammy.
The available stats support this observation. Simply using the word ‘video’ in the subject line has increased open rates by about 6%. Adding in your video can increase open rates by around 19% and reduce unsubscribe rates by over 25%.
So with statistics like this, adding videos to your B2B emails is essential to getting the best results. What’s more, adding videos doesn’t require any technical skills or fancy software. Many tools, such as Vidyard, simply require Google Chrome and are completely free!
If you want to find out how we used email to achieve average open rates of over 45%, get in touch with our team today.
Tip 5: Increase your reply rate by 200% with this email
If you are lucky enough to have found this article online, we are pleased to share our super simple hack to increase your email reply rate by up to 300%.
We have sent thousands of emails, in different sequences, to diverse prospects, and this email is always included in our sequence. Our statistics show that it is our best-performing email for replies and has up to a 300% higher reply rate than any other email.
All you need to do is to send this a follow-up in the same thread (either as a second or third email in a sequence):
What are your thoughts?
Try it in your email marketing campaign today, and we can guarantee to increase your replies.
Tip 6: Email sending schedule
Unfortunately, there’s no golden rule or the perfect time to send a B2B email. If there was, every email would be sent then, and it wouldn’t remain the best time for very long! However, some scheduling tips can help improve open rates and marketing performance.
- Avoid Monday mornings – no one likes a Monday, right? And when you are tired and catching up from a weekend of emails or thinking about your week ahead, you will be less interested in that sales email that has just popped up.
- Catch commuters – up to 65% of B2B emails are opened on mobiles. So for those commuting or getting ahead early, the morning is a great time to get some replies to your emails. Send emails from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm to catch those prospects who like to catch up before and after their day.
- Avoid bank holidays – this may sound obvious, but many companies forget to turn their email systems off on a bank holiday. Aside from interrupting someone’s holiday, there’s nothing like a bank holiday email to ruin the illusion that your automated B2B email is not automated.
Review your data and test – once you have sent many emails (1000+) across different times, you should see trends emerging. Regularly review your results and amend your times to fit with what is working for you.
Tip 7: Remove images and links
Nicely designed HTML emails may look great and be consistent with your brand, but in order to improve deliverability rates (especially with volume email sending), then nothing works better than a plain text email.
Image-only emails have been associated with spammers, and many email providers block these or remove the images as the first line of defence.
So we recommend removing your images and logos and keeping the links in your email to an absolute minimum. Research from Marketo found that plain text emails had a 17% higher click-through rate than HTML emails, so this is a great tip for significantly improving results from your B2B email campaigns.
Tip 8: Email Warmup
Warming up your email is a way to help improve your email reputation and can help to increase your sending limits. For new email accounts, it is essential that your email numbers don’t go from zero to hero too quickly, or this is a big red flag for email providers.
To warm up your email, you need to start small and gradually increase the number of emails you send. The timeframes for this can last from days to weeks, so it is always best to check online for your email provider.
There are a number of paid tools or service providers who can ‘warm up’ your emails for you. However, a sensible email policy for new users can be just as effective.
There are also some technical requirements that you need to make sure you have set up correctly. If you have an IT department, this would fall within their remit. You will need to ensure you have set up your SPF (Sender Policy Framework), your DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance), and your DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail).
Luckily, many guides online explain in detail how to do this. This article by SalesHandy useful for email warmup and technical setup steps.
Tip 9: Time-Saving Hacks
Even with all of the automation software available today, sending emails, especially B2B sales emails, still requires human intervention and time. So one practical way to improve your email performance is to use time-saving hacks – freeing up your marketing or sales team to send more emails.
So what are our recommended time-saving hacks and apps? Check them out below:
- If your CRM can record emails when added with a BCC, then install Auto BCC from CloudHQ
- Looking for a low-cost way to send email sequences via Gmail? Then check out Gmass
- Want a free tool for finding B2B emails from any website? Then try Snov.io
However, if you are determined to improve your email marketing over and above these hacks, you will benefit from a free email Process Power-Up. You can find out how we use all of our tips and the best software and automation to improve our client’s B2B email campaigns.
Tip 10: Test, refine, repeat
Achieving the perfect email campaign is unattainable (if you do manage this, please get in touch!) however, over time, you will be able to test, check your results, and refine your campaigns to make incremental small changes which will get your B2B email campaigns firing on all cylinders.
Testing can take many forms, from completing A/B tests to analysing the landing pages you are linking to.
So don’t forget the benefits and power of testing. The best email marketers in the world still test emails, and only through testing, refining and repeating will you understand what really works for your business.
Automaly is an Automation & AI consultancy. As our name suggests, we are passionate about how automation can improve businesses for the better.
Our services include email software implementation, buyer intent data, and sales outsourcing.
To learn more about how we can help you, head to our Pricing Page.