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You Had Me at the Subject Line: Best Practices for Email Outreach

For B2B marketers, email outreach forms the basis of effective communication and marketing. With the rate at which technology continues to advance, and it’s no surprise 73% of marketers recognize the importance of email marketing and that number continues to grow each year. Email is also the tool of choice within an organization, from day-to-day communications with team members to approving projects. As great as email is, there are some pitfalls of email communication that marketers should be wary of. Whether it’s getting recipients to open your email or avoiding the spam folder, these are the best practices for creating emails that will help you grow your list and build your customer relationships.

Establishing Your Audience

When it comes to email correspondence, the first step is establishing your audience. This may seem like a “duh” moment, but deciding who your target recipient is, is crucial to effective email outreach. After that, it becomes much easier to personalize and customize, which are two of the most important factors in an effective email marketing campaign or interaction. When deciding on your target audience, consider the basic, macro level questions such as “which department is this relevant to?” and “who is the decision-maker that I need to reach?” Once you know that, think about the more detailed questions. For example, if a sales rep is initiating contact with the advertising department of an entertainment agency, they need to ask questions like “what kinds of advertising does this agency already do?” and “what is the problem or inefficiency within this specific company that my product can help with?”

Creating the Perfect Email

The next step is crafting the email itself. The sender name and – in particular, the subject line – are the two most important elements when determining whether your recipient opens the email or not: 33% of people open emails based on the subject line alone. The most persuasive subject lines are basic and blunt, and direct people to click through and continue to read the email, which should continue with the same brevity. Personalization and customization become key in the body of the email, and that’s where you can use your audience research to include personal elements such as the person’s name, their company or website, and an article or product of theirs that you admire. You don’t have to personalize the entire email, providing a sentence or two of customized content is enough to make it resonate with your recipients. The rest can encourage them to follow through on your call to action.

Emails are still a core part of B2B marketing, and remain one of the strongest ways to build relationships with clients and prospects. But that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. Once you address these three main concerns: “Who are you?” “Why are you sending me an email?” “What do you want me to do?” You’ll see your engagement levels start to increase.

b2b email marketing