What’s going to get your email marketing emails noticed and acted upon? What’s going to get the most clicks to your website? And hopefully, what’s going to get you some sales? Is it about the type of images you’re using, or is it more complicated than that?
The thing with email marketing, and especially in the B2B world, is that it’s a ‘DISRUPTIVE’ marketing channel. That means that the recipients of your sales emails have not asked for you to send them an email. So, if you send them something that looks like you’re trying to sell to them, they’re more than likely going to ignore it.
Think about your inbox, and the emails you received today, emails that have the following traits:
- Arrogant or clumsy intro such as, Hey, Hi, Dear Peter Jones or Dear Friend
- Template design
- Coloured text
- Logo at the top of the email
- From ‘The marketing department’, ‘noreply@’ or ‘sales@’
What might that mean? It means one thing to you – that you’re about to be sold to!
But…if you’re selling an expensive product or service, or what we refer to as a ‘high-value consultative sale’, then the email needs to work harder for you. It will be more successful if the email looks like the kind of email that you’d receive from a friend or colleague. And then if you pique the interest of the recipient with a clever subject line and informative, pertinent and interesting text you stand a much better chance of getting the crucial engagement you seek.
How much more of a chance?
In a recent email test for a client, we pitched a well-designed HTML email with nice graphic images, against a text-only email to see which performed the best.
Apart from the visual presentation, the email address used, subject line and content of the email was the same too, with the same number of identical links in each.
We split a pool of ‘warm’ email data 50:50 and sent to each of the lists at exactly the same time.
And the results?
In all key metrics, the text only email performed better than the HTML version:
- The opens: 378 on the text-only email and 355 on the HTML email – similar due to having the same subject line.
- The click-throughs: 76.8% on the text-only email and 23.2% on the HTML email.
- The deliverability was more successful with the text only email with fewer bounces, and the unsubscribe rate was 14% less.
Many people believe an HTML version will win the day. However, as you can see above, the text only email outperformed the HTML version by no small margin.
Is it really that simple?
In a word, NO!
So, what’s the best strategy for email marketing success?
Like any marketing channel, the content needs to be right for the specific channel. Just like a poster on the main road needs to be very different to a radio ad, an email needs to be just right too. Well-targeted, with content relevant to the audience, and crucially, the content needs to be INTERESTING to the recipient.
Marketing is never about you – it’s about your customer and what they want!
How many times have you seen emails bleating on about how a company has a new website or ‘Matt’ is the new head of sales. Or even how ‘we listen to our customers’. It’s just not going to cut the mustard!
In my opinion, very few people can write good email content. And that includes copywriters!
Keep your emails short, pertinent, helpful and to the point, sprinkle them with a few relevant links to encourage engagement, and you’ll enjoy greater success rates with your email campaigns.
And finally, if you’re up for a challenge, why not send us an example or two of what you’re currently doing, and we’ll give you some constructive comments back in return.