The Ultimate Guide to B2B Email Marketing


1. The Importance of Email

“Trying to find an email that you care about is difficult, but it’s even more difficult to be the brand that creates those emails.”

Every business wants a direct line to their customers and that’s exactly what you get with email marketing. Almost everyone has an email address. Think about the last time you checked your inbox. Probably pretty recently, right? You check your emails when you wake up, before you go to sleep, and a dozen times in-between.

There’s only one small problem. Our inboxes are constantly overflowing with stuff we don’t care about. Even a glance at all the unopened emails piling up in your inbox might stress you out. Trying to find an email that you care about is difficult, but it’s even more difficult to be the brand that creates those emails.

With all the spam you have to compete with, you’d be forgiven for thinking email marketing is a fruitless endeavour. But worry not! Email marketing has a great ROI (return on investment) regardless. Don’t just take our word for it. According to HubSpot, email marketing is miles more effective than direct mail when it comes to ROI. They found that email marketing was cheaper to produce and more effective at creating revenue than its snail-paced counterpart. 95x more effective.

2. Choosing the Right Email Marketing Software

“There’s a range of free and paid platforms available that each offer slightly different things. “

Thanks to the wonders of marketing automation software, you can send out thousands of emails to thousands of potential customers instantaneously. There’s a range of free and paid platforms available that each offer slightly different things. Let’s take a look at three factors you should consider when deciding which to use:


Keep things simple by choosing an email marketing software that will integrate seamlessly into your CRM (Customer Relationship Management). You’ll be able to update your lists and send emails without any hassle. It’ll also provide you with an overview of important metrics like open rates and CTR (Click-Through-Rates) so you can quickly see what campaigns are most effective with your audience.

Reading and Viewing Options

We’re attached to our phones now more than ever. Web analytics group SDL conducted a survey that found people aged 18-36 are checking their smartphones an average of 43 times per day. Thanks to their love of tech, SDL also found that this demographic was likely to see your email the same day (if not the same moment) you sent it. Your email campaigns will live and die by their reading and viewing options. If you’re using software that isn’t optimised for mobile, you may as well not hit send. 


Whether you’re rushed off your feet or you’re in a constant state of zen, every business will have a different amount of time to exert into email responses. Consider which state you tend to find yourself in most when choosing your email marketing software. If you’re a little more on the busy side, make sure your software has automated responses ready to go. If you find yourself relaxing back, you can go for something less sophisticated and handle some of the work manually. 

If you need a little extra guidance, we have a blog post that’ll give you a detailed look at the most popular platforms to help you decide. 

3. Creating Subject Lines

“A whopping 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.“

Every good email needs a killer subject line. Grab your audience’s attention and get those open rates soaring. They’re so important that a whopping 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone. Not sure how to catch your consumers’ eye? Don’t stress. Check out our top five tips to send your subject lines to the next level. 

Get Personal

It’s the worst kept secret in all of email marketing. Adding a personal touch to your subject line instantly gives your open rates a boost. It makes your customers feel like you’ve created an email just for them. The most commonly used piece of customer data is the recipient’s first name, which provides an open rate of 21.2%. Don’t just stop there. Take things a step further by combining these personal touches with targeted automation, like a birthday promo code or a tempting checkout incentive.

Be Specific

When it comes to subject lines, it’s better to be direct and descriptive than trendy. Come July, your customer’s inbox will be full of ‘Hot Summer Savings’. It’s a catchy line, but desperately over-used and doesn’t convey much information. Stand out by communicating the specifics of your product or promotion and give your customers a reason to care about yours above the rest.

Short and Sweet

Whilst we did just tell you to get detailed, don’t your subject lines into essays. Many people won’t finish reading subject lines that are longer than 9 words. Especially your mobile users! After that 9 word mark, open rates fall dramatically. If you’re looking to improve your open rate, stick with 6-10 words.


FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, is defined as ‘the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are.’ Utilise FOMO in your subject lines to give your customers that extra push. A sense of urgency can give your open rates a great boost. Hurry, before it’s too late!

Stay Curious

There’s no faster way to engage your customers than to ask a question. It starts a dialogue that incentivises them to learn more. We want to encourage your audience to find out more, so steer clear of closed ‘yes/no’ questions that stop all conversation like a slammed door. Brands that utilise interactive content in their subject lines see a 70% increase in engagement, and who can argue with a statistic like that?

4. Writing the Body

“Utilise your customer’s wants and needs to motivate them into taking action.“

You’ve chosen the best email marketing software for your campaigns. You’ve written an incredible subject line to hook your audience in and get them clicking. Now comes the main event: The email’s body! Keep reading to discover the secrets of email copy that converts clicks into sales. 

Audience Awareness

Before you even think about writing copy, you need to understand your audience inside and out. Even if you get through all those spam filters, your email could land into their inbox and be totally ignored because you didn’t understand what your customers wanted. You need to build a connection with them before you start firing out irrelevant emails. Implement an opt-in process to ensure the people that are receiving your emails want to see them. Include a promotion to reward them. Discover what they care about and deliver them content that satisfies their wants.

Obtainable Objectives

Keep your objective clear when sending emails to your customers. As you write each email, have one specific goal in mind. Focus on the key action you want your customers to take after they finish reading and build your copy from there.

Perfect Previews

It’s not enough to just write a captivating subject line anymore. Modern email clients receive a snippet of copy alongside the subject line, known as the preview text. This line is commonly the first line of the email copy. That’s generally fine, as any good copywriter should always know the importance of the first line. However, if your preview text is showing irrelevant content that isn’t enticing your audience in any way, then it’s going to be a big turn off. Preview text generally ranges between 35 to 140 characters so keep it short and snappy!

Captivating Copy

The key to writing great email copy is to always keep the customer in mind. What matters to them? Why have they chosen your brand? Utilise their wants and needs to motivate your audience into taking action. There’s a myriad of ways to achieve this, but we’ve got three tried and tested techniques to get you started:

  • The Click Collector 

Most consumers are impatient. They want their content delivered quickly so they can get onto the next task. With this method, you grab their attention with a handful of words and invite them to learn more. Keep this copy short. Really short. Fifteen words maximum. Something like: ‘Jane, my jaw dropped when I saw this report. See for yourself.’ The Click Collector style of copy is conversational, builds up curiosity, and opens a loop (aka anticipation for what’s to come) in the reader’s mind. It also relies heavily on calls to action. By triggering curiosity, this style of email can revive dead leads and start a dialogue with your audience. They’re quick for you to write and even quicker for your customers to read. 

  • The Storyteller

As humans, we all love to be told a good story. That doesn’t stop when we’re looking at our email inboxes. The Storyteller utilises long-form, story-like email copy. By using a lengthy, detailed email, it builds brand loyalty and provides the opportunity to overcome customer objections before they’ve even formed. It’s incredibly important to hook your readers right away. Tell a story that is believable, valuable, and relevant to your brand. Customers that read long emails are more committed, which turns into a higher chance of an on-site conversion rate. Whilst highly effective when done well, this form of copy is difficult to nail and must be engaging. 

  • The Speedy Saver

This straightforward, popular tactic is an industry staple. It lands into your customer’s inbox and declares: ‘Here’s what you’ll get and here’s why you need to buy it right now.’ Effective and simple, it makes quick sales with these three core components: A discount or premium, a strong reason why, and a deadline or quantity limitation (think FOMO from our subject line advice). This method works great with an audience that’s regularly contacted and is familiar with your brand.

Dependable Deliverability

If there’s one place you don’t want to be, it’s the spam folder. That forgotten folder of phishing scams and Nigerian princes will decimate your open rates and all your hard work will be for nothing. So, how do you land in the right place? Avoid spam-like words at all costs. HubSpot has compiled a list of these terms for a range of industries to help give you an idea. Avoid using the colour red as it’s a favourite of scammers. Make sure your subject lines are relevant to the information in the email. Avoid lots of capital letters. Include an unsubscribe link (it’s the law!) Don’t overdo it on the symbols and emojis. Your email marketing software should have good deliverability rates and will help you appear like the respectable brand you are – but it never hurts to be aware of these pitfalls. 

5. Measuring Metrics

“There are two results you really want to focus on: Engagement and conversion.”

When dealing with email marketing, there are two results you really want to focus on: Engagement and conversion. We’ve spoken about these things throughout this guide, but now we’re going to break down the most common KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you’ll want to keep an eye on. 

Sign Up Rates

As far as metrics go, this one is vital to understanding how effective your landing page is. It’s the number of people who sign up to your email list as a percentage of the total number of people who view your landing page or opt-in form. Keep an eye out for ways to drive people towards your email list with some of these tips: 

  • Keep your CTA (Call To Action) clear and concise. 
  • Utilise FOMO to create a sense of urgency and scarcity.
  • Draw attention to your opt-in form with key placement and minimal distractions.
  • On the form itself, keep the number of fields your customers have to fill out to a minimum.
  • Make sure the value of joining your email list is clear.

Open Rates

This metric is pretty self-explanatory. Open rates measure the number of people who open your email as a percentage of the total number of people who received this email. As the best way to measure how well your emails are connecting with your audience, it’s a good idea to keep a very close eye on this metric. For example, if your open rates suddenly plummet, you’ll know you need to change your tactics straight away. Typical open rates vary from industry to industry with an average of 20-30%. 

If your open rates are falling below industry standards, test out some of these tips to boost those clicks:

  • Send your emails are the optimal times – Weekdays instead of weekends. Mornings instead of evenings.
  • Use clear and engaging subject lines.
  • Add personalisation to the subject line like the recipient’s name.
  • Understand what your customers want from your brand.
  • Make sure your emails are optimised for mobile.


You’re bound to hear a tonne about CTRs when it comes to email marketing metrics. It’s the measurement of the number of people who clicked on the links within your email as a percentage of the total number of opened emails. Email marketers love this metric in particular because it’s the very best measure of engagement and shows how effective your copy is. A typical CTR is 7-10%, but if your rate is falling lower there are always places to improve:

  • Keep key information clear, concise, and easy to read.
  • Button CTAs are more effective than URL links. Utilise them where you can.
  • Nothing is more convincing than high-quality copy.
  • Always optimise for mobile users. 
  • Segment your audience to ensure they’re only receiving the emails that are most relevant to them. 

Lifetime Revenue Per Subscriber

At this point, it’s time you started seeing results. ‘Show me the money!’ Well, fear not Jerry Maguire. This metric is all about measuring the worth (in cash) of every active lead in your email list. That’s what we’re doing all this for. To increase your profits. So, you need to know with certainty how much money each recipient brings in. To calculate this, you need to divide your annual email marketing revenue by the total number of active subscribers during that year, then multiply by your average subscriber lifetime.

6. Key Takeaways

“After finding the perfect software, creating the best subject lines, writing great copy, and weighing up your metrics, you’re ready to go.”

After finding the perfect software, creating the best subject lines, writing great copy, and weighing up your metrics, you’re ready to go. You hopefully have a better idea of how to get started with your email marketing campaigns. In case you need a refresher, here are some key takeaways to keep in mind:

  • Pick a software that keeps up with your brand’s needs.
  • Personalisation gives your metrics an instant boost.
  • Keep your audience’s wants and needs in mind.
  • Stand out with engaging subject lines and copy. 
  • Avoid being in spam folders at all costs.
  • Always optimise for mobile. 

For more information on what makes a great email campaign, check out our page for advice. We’re always here to help with our range of services and a free consultation.

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