Email marketing has always been a mainstay for the B2B marketer, but as prospects’ inboxes have become overwhelmed with untargeted ‘spam’, marketers have had to think of more unique ways to increase open rates. Consider how many promotional emails you receive in a week and how many you actually open. In today’s modern world, most of us are so marketing savvy that even the slightest whiff of ‘promotional email’ from a subject line, and it’s sent straight to trash.
In 2013, the majority of email traffic came from business email, which accounted for over 100 billion emails sent and received per day – Radicati.com
Increasing open rates
Have you ever set yourself the target of increasing your email open rates? (I think we all have at some point). Although it’s only ROI that really matters in B2B marketing, email open rates are always a good metric to measure and use as an indicator of success. So what tactics/techniques did you use to increase your open rates?
The likelihood is that you saw (and may even have tried) the apparent ‘smart’ ways to entice your readers such as adding RE or FW to the subject line. You may even have gone for the ambiguous or ‘stretching the truth’ approaches.
These tactics may work… but only once or twice.
Click through rates
The techniques mentioned above are likely to have an impact on your email open rates, but only until the reader realises that they've been 'tricked'. In today’s world, it’s rather a flattering practice for someone to bother opening your email; so imagine their dismay when they realise that it’s a promotional email disguised as something else.
It’s worth noting that email open rates are only half the story. In order to perform its duties, an email must provoke the reader to carry out an act such as clicking on the CTA button (a click through). So if they feel cheated after opening the email, what do you think the chances are that they’ll click through? That’s right, virtually none.
So, the plan to increase open rates has worked, but to the detriment of the click through rate.
Trust in your company
The key issue with trying to increase email open rates in this deceptive manner is lost trust. When the reader realises that you’ve ‘tricked’ them into opening the email, not only will they not click through, but they’ll know that you’re capable of these underhanded tactics. The result is that not only will they delete your emails automatically in future, but when it comes to buying a product/service, they’ll associate your brand with dishonest marketing techniques and stay well clear.
Subject line success
A quick search online and you’ll uncover a mountain of information on the best B2B email marketing subject lines. But ultimately, just remember to keep them short, sharp, punchy… and honest!
To make sure your B2B marketing is generating the most ROI…