Want a High Open Rate for Your B2B Email Campaign? Personalize!
So you have a fantastic B2B offer and wrote a fantastic marketing email to pitch it to an email list of your perfect prospects. Except — you check your email marketing metrics and it turns out almost no one opened the email. How will they see your brilliant pitch for your brilliant offer if they don’t open it?
If you want more sales from your B2B email marketing campaign, personalization is the name of the game. Learn about personalization and these tops tips below:
- Segmenting your lists
- Tailoring your content to needs and interests
- Crafting personalized subject lines
- Using data-driven insights
- Incorporating personal touches
Ready to personalize your email campaign and ensure your messages get opened? Let’s go!
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Understanding the Role of Personalization in B2B Email Marketing
Most business owners have complex demands being made on their attention at any given moment– their email inbox is probably crammed with critical emails buried under junk. They may understandably be dismissive of your email. Worse, they may see it as an unwelcome interloper, a distraction that might be pushing more important emails off the front page where they might be missed.
So how do you get them to open your B2B marketing emails? Every email from a stranger must answer the questions “Why me?” and “Why now?”
The “Why now” question is a hard one to predict, but most mass emails fail the “Why me?” test. If the business owner deduces that you are sending the same email to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of prospects, its perceived relevance plummets. Let one of the other recipients open that email.
The solution is to personalize the email to the point where it seems to be directed to the prospect personally, or at least has relevance to that specific prospect. Here are some techniques you can implement this year to personalize your B2B email marketing campaign to the recipient for a higher open rate.
1. Segmenting Your Email List for Targeted Messaging
Segmenting a list means sorting the list by various characteristics of the recipient. The more segmented your list is, the more relevant you can make your message. For example, you could segment your list by:
- Job title or seniority level of the recipient
- Size of the company
- Geographic location
- The source of the lead
- What content the lead has interacted with
- Specific pain points or challenges
- Customer status (i.e. previous purchases)
You may already have some of this data; other segmentation data may be available for purchase, or you may be able to collect the data yourself through surveys.
2. Tailoring Content to Recipient’s Needs and Interests
Once you have your list divided into segments, you can start tailoring the content to the needs and interests you know that a recipient in that segment is likely to have.
If you know the recipient’s job title or seniority level, you can call out specific responsibilities of that position. If you know their geographic location, you can mention specific local market trends or a local sports team. If you know the recipient’s marital or familial status, you can make a relatable joke or reference to their children or their partner.
If you know what content they have engaged in or what offers they purchased, you can refer to that behavior, reminding the recipient of their past actions and indicating that this is specifically relevant to them. Likewise, if you know specific pain points from previous surveys or conversations, you can call back to that pain point and agitate their motivation to find a solution.
3. Crafting Personalized Subject Lines
The subject line is the single most important factor to determine whether or not your email gets opened. If it does not entice the prospect, inspire curiosity, and announce itself as relevant to the reader, it is getting archived, deleted, or ignored.
A personalized subject line can go a long way toward earning an open. Most mass-email autosenders have a function that allows you to automatically insert personal information about the recipient into the subject line, just like it does in the body (e.g. “Dear <FIRST NAME>”).
As Dale Carnegie pointed out, people love to hear their own names. But most people are familiar with how names can be auto-populated into marketing emails, so it is not enough to just include the name in the subject line. It needs to look like it naturally occurs there.
In addition to including the recipient’s name, take advantage of your segmentation to call out a specific characteristic, interest, or pain point of the recipient to add relevance.
This is more time-consuming, but if your list is small enough, consider actually personalizing each email subject line to the recipient. Personalized emails convert more effectively than generic ones, and automated emails are a little generic by default.
4. Using Data-Driven Insights for Personalization
Knowing things like the recipient name and job title isn’t the only way to personalize a B2B email marketing campaign. Yes, you can specifically call out these data points — ”Hey, Joe, how’s that VP of Finance life treating you?” — but there may be deeper insights to be gained from your user data and segments. By knowing the recipient’s industry, job title, and data points like the geography or even the size of the company, you can deduce certain pain points that may not be immediately obvious.
For example, knowing that you are talking to a CMO of a tech company with 50 employees can tell you that they are at a critical growth stage: the awkward adolescence between vulnerable startup and unkillable enterprise. You can identify specific pain points that apply to companies of that size in that industry.
Other data that might produce insights include their use of your website, consumption of your content, and past purchasing behavior. You can use this data to infer future needs or pain points and refine your customer data.
5. Incorporating Personal Touches
A personal callback is a powerful and underestimated tool. If you know of specific interactions the prospect has had with the brand or with you, reference them. If you know the recipient’s birthday or other important milestones, observe the day. If you have mutual contacts or connections, drop the name. If you know the name of the prospect’s spouse or children, include it. You never know what personal touch will spark an impulse that gets them to click “open.”
If you are emailing a large list, personalizing your B2B email marketing campaign may seem like a tall order. But by segmenting your list, targeting your messaging to those segments, personalizing the subject line, adding personal touches, and incorporating data-driven insights, it is both possible and achievable.
Need help personalizing your B2B email marketing campaign for higher open rates? DAP is at your service. Contact us today for a personalized campaign audit and turn your email list into a core revenue base for your business.
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