6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Creating Your First Email Campaign
B2B marketers must keenly focus on understanding their core audience, and knowing how to effectively present information to them in the context of an email message is key to success.
When building a B2B email marketing strategy, it’s critical that you understand how your buyers use email throughout their purchasing process. If you are new to employing email for B2B marketing, you may be wondering—what is the best number of emails to send at the start of a campaign?
For example, if you want to reach out to a prospective customer who is at the brand awareness stage. In that case, your business could send a customized cold email to help the customer become familiar with and understand your brand and product/service offerings. However, if your customer is in the consideration stage, you need to send a personalized email that includes a specific offer, e.g., a discount, free trial, or demo to encourage the buyer to take the next step and perform the purchase. The email marketing funnel is your best guide to building personalized email content based on the prospective customer's stage on their buyer's journey.
But this level of engagement and personalization is extremely difficult to do manually for email campaigns, especially for B2B marketers who must deal with long and drawn-out decision-making processes that involve many stakeholders. Luckily, AI-driven technologies can help by customizing email content to specific buying segments and profiles, connecting customer relationship management (CRM) and sales data to intent/behavioral data. It assures that the emails you send are personalized based on data-driven insights tailored to a specific buyer’s needs.
In a recent report about AI-powered B2B marketing, Forrester writes, “The only way to achieve the level of real-time personalization that modern B2B buyers demand—across a lengthy buying cycle and at an enterprise scale—is through the use of AI-powered solutions.”
In this post, we review some common pitfalls to avoid as you plan your first email marketing campaign strategy.
1. Believing in a One-Size-Fits-All Approach
Make sure you ditch the automated approach to email marketing in favor of highly personalized, custom content. The technology to get this done is fully operational and intuitive now, making it easy to adopt a custom strategy. Get into the habit of creating templates for common scenarios, buyer journey stages, different sequences, job titles, and industry verticals. Here are some B2B cold email marketing templates to help you get started.
2. Hitting 'send to all’ on the First Contact
Your first interaction with an email recipient is a make-or-break moment because response rates steadily decrease after the first email interaction. Email recipients make a yes or no decision to what you are requesting of them in seconds. So you probably won't get time for another opportunity to make a great first impression. If you’re in sales, you are not alone if you are used to simply copying and pasting your email templates when you send out emails to prospects. Instead, take a more personalized approach. Customize your template to show your recipient that you are a real person reaching out, and not a spam bot. For example, if you are starting with a cold email campaign, begin by creating the template, and then, personalize the template to your recipient before clicking send.
3. Using a bland voice and overly serious tone
Don't be afraid to show some charisma and personality in your email writing style, and you will make your email much more interesting to read. Strive to convey information in a way that makes the reader feel something viscerally, and create a mood with words that are visually charged. Below are some examples of powerful words you can use to evoke an emotional reaction in people, while simultaneously informing and educating them.
- Unique, special, exclusive, members-only, be the first, become an insider - words like these create enthusiasm and excitement, while also suggesting the reader is going to get special treatment.
- Sneak-peak, little-known, behind-the-scenes, classified – People are insatiably curious, and we want to know. If you can utilize words that pique people’s interests, you’ll be sure to keep them reading. If you can alert them to something that other people don’t know, even better.
- Detailed, all-inclusive, comprehensive, definitive, ultimate – Promise readers your support, with these reassuring power words. They suggest you’re going to save people time and effort by providing them with everything they need.
- Certified, guaranteed, authentic – Inspiring trust is extremely important, especially in sales emails. Use these words to illustrate reliable evidence that customers can believe what you tell them.
- Seating is limited, running out, sale ends soon - Activate the reader's sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) with these words to evoke a sense of scarcity and urgency. This will get your recipients to act fast.
- Fuel, supercharge, power-up – use these incredibly visceral words, with their engine-like imagery, promising to energize and elevate.
Also, remember that a little humor can go a long way, infusing your appeal, pitch, or offer with personality. But be mindful of not crossing into any sensitive or controversial topics. A safer option is to add some personal details or relate a short anecdote from your own experience.
4. Talking About Yourself, and Not the Recipient
Remember, you're reaching out to add value to someone's professional or personal life, right? So why begin your email conversation with information about you or your company? Your story should not be about you at all. The best emails are written in a way that makes the recipient the protagonist of the story.
Of course, this requires a bit of upfront research about the recipient’s industry or trigger events you can leverage in your outreach. It is vital to use a hook that is highly relevant to why you're reaching out. If you can effectively make that connection, you will instantly gain the recipient's full attention. Then, you must deepen that connection by showing the benefits of what you are offering, and you will have successfully put the prospect into the story.
5. Addressing Email Recipients by Job Title, and Not by Name
This mistake goes against personalization altogether. The most reliable way to improve your email open rates is by personalizing your emails by including the recipient’s name on the email subject line. In addition, you should also write your body text in first-person form. Even if the same message is going out to thousands of people, the recipient should feel as though you are speaking to him or her directly. It is best to do this in one (or all) of three places:
In the subject line: For example, you could start with, "Michelle: Your Personalized Email Campaign Is Missing Something."
In the email body: Begin quite simply with, "Hi, Michelle," to kick things off in a friendly, familiar tone.
At the conclusion of the email: You could mention, for example, "I'm so glad you will be attending the conference next week, Michelle. Is there a day we can connect for 15 minutes before one of the sessions?"
Further, your email subject line needs to be simple, personalized, and concise. It has to provide a good reason for people to want to open your email. With so much riding on just a few words, it can be very challenging to generate a compelling subject line. An AI-driven solution like Smartwriter is the answer. Using the Smartwriter email content feature, you can automatically generate a catchy subject line that gets more email opens. Have a look at these great cold email subject lines that provide 80% open rates.
6. Failing To Leverage Calls To Action (CTAs)
If you are not providing your audience with a clear direction to the next step once they're done reading your email content, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to lead your email recipient to the next stage of the B2B buyer's journey. Every successful marketer will agree that convincing a reader to take a specific action is the most critical capability required in your email content to improve conversions or drive audiences further down the marketing funnel
You want your email recipients to take the next step once they have finished reading. A compelling CTA acts as a bridge between your audience and conversion, and it should be the final nudge that makes a reader take a step closer to becoming a customer or viable prospect. By far the most crucial thing to think of when writing a CTA is to know your goal at the outset, be specific and straightforward, and have a clear target you want to direct your reader to.
For example, do you want the audience to visit a special landing page? Download your latest eBook? Sign up for your newsletter? Book a demo? Buy your products or services? Never confuse your audience by offering too many choices, as that will only hurt your conversion rate. Follow the segmentation strategy you have set upon for your email campaign, and you will focus on what is driving them to your brand in the first place.
Here are a few tips on crafting high-converting CTAs for your marketing emails:
- Ensure that your CTA button stands out from the other elements on your email template and that it is instantly visible to recipients.
- Have some white space around the button, so you don't crowd it and confuse the recipient.
- Employ a color that aligns with your branding and contrasts with the rest of the page.
- Instead of crafting vague CTA copy like "Click Here, or "Submit", create more descriptive, benefit-oriented copy with compelling action verbs like, "Download Your Free eBook", or "Start Your Free Trial."
It's much easier to personalize marketing emails than any time in history, thanks to advances in AI technology, so there’s really no excuse not to effectively communicate with your customers and convince them that you truly understand their needs. If you fail to do so, they’ll probably look elsewhere for products and solutions.