Over the course of the past two decades, email marketing has become the primary medium through which organizations reach consumers directly. But as the web continues to evolve, it is imperative for marketers utilizing B2B email campaigns to avoid common, and costly, mistakes. Below are some of the top do’s and don’ts of effective email marketing:

Good marketers DO:

Design with mobile in mind

Can you navigate your email on a smartphone?
If you’re scratching your head, it’s time to head back to the drawing-board. According to BlueHornet, 67.2% of B2B consumers use a smartphone to check their email, and that number is sure to rise.
A messy email is a lost prospect
As the web becomes smarter and users become savvier, less and less potential customers will have the patience to navigate through emails that fail to meet mobile requirements.

Personalize the approach

Know the stakes
Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%, and emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Personalization can be seen as consideration of an individual prospects’ interests and goals, allowing marketers to gain trust and credibility through messaging and design.
Segment the target list
The average professional’s inbox received up to 80 emails per day in 2014, and that number is expected to grow, making oversaturation a difficult problem to avoid. Even so, marketers can minimize the risk of over sending by utilizing database management tools of the industry. Use services like Televerde to effectively cleanse new or existing contact data based on geography, industry, and most importantly, social position.

Exercise brevity

Use HTML over plain-text
Whenever you can provide direct links to content, take the opportunity. When it comes to content, prospects want concise, simple language with easy pathways to content.
Keep HTML graphics small
No matter how good your design team is, it’s never a good idea to load emails up with cumbersome images that might not even be seen by a prospect – it’s best to keep imagery small and streamlined (it should aid text, not overshadow it).

Good marketers DON’T:

Use careless subject lines

Consider your target
In the spirit of personalization, you should always take the time to create thoughtful subject lines directed at buyers based on their title and position. If you’re dealing with a target who has purchased from you in the past, personalized subject lines can be the difference between securing a repeat-buyer and losing a potential deal.
Never use excessive punctuation
You may be excited about your offer, but keep that to yourself. Exclamation points and other punctuation are seen as amateur at best and illegitimate at worst.
Avoid “salesy” language
Remember, the point of a B2B email is not to make a sale. Your prospective buyer might be interested, but not yet qualified to buy. There is an art to offering prospects incentives like free trials, and full-disclosure is not always part of the process.

Forget to test campaigns

Send an in-house test
Open your emails on every platform available to you, as different browsers, devices, and mail systems often display emails differently. Above all, make sure any hyperlinks you use work 100 percent of the time – a bad link is a missed opportunity!
Don’t assume anyone will see your images
As you cross check your emails via different platforms, you may find that not all platforms support the images you intend to use. For this reason, it is best not to rely on images as an essential component of your email- focus on the message of your offer.

Send emails at the wrong time

Know your audience
Different markets are active at different times. Choosing your email send times and dates should require a lot more thought than googling “what are the best times to send marketing emails?” Time zones should always be taken into account, and when marketing to targets outside your own socio/cultural background, always conform to the prospect’s culture.
Ask the right questions
When executing your campaign, take into account each specific target’s availability. Do your research – you can always call and ask a receptionist to get an idea of a prospect’s schedule. While availability times seem to vary within specific B2B industries, studies have shown that a prospect’s age bracket should also be taken into consideration, with prospects in the middle-aged group apparently having the widest berth.

Ultimately, effective email marketing is about understanding both your audience needs and the emergent platforms they use to filter through promotional marketing. As the modern email platform evolves, B2B marketers must adopt these rules with conviction, or risk being trampled on the information superhighway.  Want to learn more? Download our email marketing infographic today!

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