An annual event occurs in Boston that every serious inbound marketer should be so lucky to attend. And this year was better than ever. INBOUND 2019 featured the leading minds in inbound marketing and sales sharing new tactics to take businesses to the next level.
The Weidert Group team always represents, and we previously shared 5 initial takeaways from this year’s event. Now, we’re going to dig deeper, focusing on takeaways specific to email marketing.
Email marketing may be considered “old school” by some marketers because it’s been around for so long. Yet, it remains one of the primary digital channels for smart marketers because it’s still relevant for today’s B2B buyers. I attended two particularly eye-opening sessions summarized here.
Many marketers in complex industries struggle with finding the perfect email frequency. You want to stay relevant, but you don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Well, here’s a stat that may help: Open rates increase 21% when you send emails at least five times per month. Overall effectiveness is based on the totality of the engagement with your entire list, and a major way to drive more engagement is to send more emails.
OK, so should you just go nuts with email? Well, no. The key part of email marketing is to create FOMO. Yes, the “fear of missing out” is real for today’s consumers of all types. B2B emails that feature offers that expire have a 55% higher overall response rate. B2B open rates increase 38% when an expiring offer is mentioned in the subject line.
Speaking of the subject line, some words significantly increase open rates: free, limited, exclusive, tomorrow, today, expires, last chance, days left, don’t miss, hurry, for you, shhh/psst, invitation, secret, reserved, wow/whoa, miss you.
Three more subject line tips: half sentence subject lines have a 31% higher open rate for B2B; using Title Casing in the Subject Line (capitalizing initial letters like we just did) improves open rates by 14% versus standard capitalization; using brackets or parentheses in the subject line boosts open rates by 31%.
Think about these numbers regarding the auto open feature in email. Auto opens account for 24% of all opened emails. Auto clicks account for 18% of all clicked emails. So, the “open” numbers you see may not be quite accurate as far as interested readers go.
Here’s how to test your open numbers. Send the email at 2 or 3 a.m. and review the open rate in first hour after sending. Most auto opens and clicks will happen quickly, most likely when your recipients are sleeping. If you notice a number of instant opens, you can go into your CRM and safely delete these contacts from your database.
More numbers to chew on:
Think back to your youth (you’re old, but you can do it). Remember those “choose your own adventure” books? They provided the reader with some choice, making them feel more in control of the outcome. Well, it turns out adults like to feel more in control, too.
“Choose your adventure” is a strategy that really works in emails. For example, ask “What’s your biggest challenge?” in your first email to the user or on your conversion forms. Based on the answer selected, the recipient is sent down a specific email nurturing campaign path. And again, depending on the challenge, free content can be sent that addresses the need.
Yes, it’s a bit more work to write that write content and create the different paths. But these numbers should convince you it’s worth it: 65% open rate, 60% click-through rate. Those are the highest open and CTRs that HubSpot has ever seen!
Consider using “first conversion” nurturing and “trigger nurturing” tactics. You can also try taking the “abandoned cart” approach to emails. Send messaging such as “I see you viewed our pricing page” with several options, including “How can I help?” and “What question can I answer today?” This strategy has resulted in a 55% open rate and 15% click-through rate for HubSpot. Not too shabby.
Lastly, your marketing and sales teams need to be on the same page, knowing which emails are being sent and when. This ensures all are on board and there’s no overlap, which can be extremely irritating to the recipient.
To continue examining the effectiveness of your email efforts, check out our handy tipsheet, 10 Techniques To Improve Email Marketing Performance. Click the button below to get access!