Acquisition Email Marketing Tips from the Trenches at MarketingProfs
by Tobias Schremmer
Each week here at MarketingProfs we â€˜press sendâ€™ on up to 25 different 3rd party emails from our advertising partners. Weâ€™ve been doing so for over a decade. MarketingProfs started in 2001 and built up entirely organically a list of mailable email addresses that stands at over 300,000 today. In 2013, we deployed over 10 million such acquisition emails. So, having seen literally hundreds of advertisers trying thousands of offers has given us a great portal into what works in B2B email marketing. For context, our audience/list is comprised of digital marketers who have signed up to MarketingProfs to receive daily tips and ideas for better online marketing.
Subject lines. Weâ€™ve found the sweet spot to be 46 characters or LESS. (That last sentence was 57 characters for reference). Our sales op guy wrote a good piece on subject lines last year in this MarketingProfs article. That doesnâ€™t mean a longer subject line cannot work well; but itâ€™s a pattern weâ€™ve noted. Also, weâ€™ve seen subject lines that use their first word/s to describe whatâ€™s inside can work well. For example: â€œ[Download eBook] Create Contagious Content That Begs to Be Sharedâ€ was a good subject line that one of our clients actually used. Note the use of brackets, we are seeing that tactic more and more, it seems to help the email stand out and improve opens. In general, we recommend creating a sense of urgency and a dash of intrigue. Most of all, TEST! Too often subject lines are an afterthought, with so much time/effort spent on the creative, colors, copy etc. In our trenches, it is still sadly pretty rare that a client proactively performs a subject line test.
Offer. Email offers with one simple (and clear) call to action are winning, especially when benefits to the reader are well presented. Here are the broad categories of offers we see:
Free Content. By far the most common offer in our realm is the good old â€œfree whitepaper,â€ comprising some 70% of the advertising offers we push out. More often called â€œeBookâ€ or â€œGuideâ€ these days, free downloads are the workhorse of B2B lead generation. Iâ€™m often asked if shorter pieces get a better take-up rate than longer form (under the logic that nobody has time/willingness to read anymore), and there isnâ€™t a simple answer. A few of the best performing pieces of content to our audience have been long (15+ pages). I tend to fall more on the side that B2B prospects are more likely to give up that important contact info if they see that the free asset they are trading their data for is substantial. Overall for this category of offer, we are thrilled to see click rates holding up (over 1.5%) year in and out. Anecdotally, we hear clients generating anywhere from 25% to 50% landing page conversion rates (e.g. % of clickers who complete the reg. form and download the content).
Webinars/Virtual Events. Another typical B2B marketing tactic, webinars and their cousins virtual events represent approximately 10% of the offers we put through. Click rates are only about half as strong as free content, but for many clients a webinar attendee rates a higher lead score. A few clients have found success combining a webinar offer with a link to free content or even a trial, though as discussed below, every extra option you present to a busy skimming reader can reduce response.
(continued on the Only Influencers Website)