As a martech CEO, I think about emails a lot.
Too much, probably.
Here’s the thing about email marketing: it’s such an established practice, that many of the “best practices” are now outdated.
Also, a lot of content about email marketing out there is unnecessarily wordy.
So, I’ve created a “less is more” type resource. Something that’s super dense while still highly readable. And it even includes a joke! Sign up here.
And here’s a taster:
What kind of emails to send
Emails come in all shapes and forms. But what kind of emails work best for B2B marketing purposes?
I’ll address this in the form of a few “frequently asked” questions. These keep coming up when I speak to people that are either new to email marketing or simply about to overhaul their email marketing.
Richly designed or basic emails?
Many popular email marketing tools were created in the early 2000s when funky colorful emails were the gold standard.
This was before mobile-first was a thing, before email providers had created tabbed inboxes (and promotional-looking emails started missing Inboxes) and before we all started getting ridiculous amounts of email.
Today, the consensus of email marketing pros is that basic, conversational emails are the way to go. At least when it comes to B2B emails.
It makes sense: simple, no-rich-HTML emails get delivered to inboxes more, are easier to read on screens of all sizes, and get higher engagement rates.
Long or short emails?
There’s a school of thought that suggests that long emails are better because you’ll have more space to make your point and change minds. The important caveat here is: this only applies when emails are superbly well written. If you’re not a truly great writer, you’re better off sticking to short emails.
Should emails include all the necessary information or link out to other resources?
There are emails like this very one where the whole content is handily included in the email. The other kind is basically a teaser designed to lure the reader to click.
My personal experience is that if your email has a single specific purpose it’s a good idea to have all the relevant content in the email. Do all of the selling in the inbox, if you will.
But if you have many different purposes and goals, you’ll want to serve the “menu” of what’s on offer and let the reader decide where to click.
You’ve given some pretty binary advice here. Shouldn’t I test everything?
It’s a fact that different things work in different contexts and you’ll only learn what works for you when you test. But I’m not going to recommend running tests on your first email campaigns for two reasons.
First, many startups and smaller businesses don’t have an email list large enough to do statistically significant tests. Start seriously testing things once your list has grown to 10,000+ people.
And perhaps more importantly, testing can corner you to only use one type of email marketing. In fact, you’ll want to mix it up a bit because you’ll have different objectives for different campaigns, and different styles appeal to different people.
If you’re used to doing newsletter-like designed blasts, send a conversational email every now and then.
If you’re used to only adding a short blurb with a link, try including all the necessary content occasionally.
If most of your emails are short, try a longer one (and work with an excellent copywriter).
- Start from best practices for B2B email marketing (most importantly, go easy on “design”)
- Mix your chosen format up with other types of emails occasionally
- Don’t worry about testing until you’re emailing tens of thousands of people
Liked it? Sign up for the b2b email marketing course here.