You're so Vain: 3 Reasons to Stop Self-Promoting in Email Campaigns

How often do you open your email to a barrage unsolicited sales pitch emails? How often do you open them? You’re not alone. It’s a common problem and some companies never learn. Virtual sales pitches are a quick way to end up in someone’s junk folder.

Hopefully, this isn’t your company but it happens. According to our 2019 State of the Industry Report, the most popular types of email content used by B2B tech marketers are self-promotional company newsletters and sales promotions. Unfortunately, survey respondents also ranked their average email effectiveness rating as a five out of ten.

Email Effectiveness graph with 22% giving a 5 out of 10 stars

To increase the effectiveness of your B2B tech marketing emails, we suggest shifting the focus from your company to contact your emailing.


Reason #1: You’re reaching out to them.

While a contact’s email address is in your CRM because they opted in, it doesn’t mean they are open to receiving any old product email you send. Matthew Smith, the creator of Really Good Emails, says “Serving customers comes by meeting them in their email client with simple tasks and giving them more than they expect.” Think about your personal email account. How often are you bombarded with vendor emails and how often do you open them? Unless the email contains a valuable offer, it usually gets quickly deleted.

Tip: Clearly define in the subject line exactly what the contact will get out of opening your company’s email. A free download, tips, tricks, important service updates - these are all offers which get the clicks because there is value.


Reason #2: No one likes a show off.

If you email contacts just to show off your company’s intelligence, you’re going to start seeing a rise in opt-outs. Showing how much your company knows about the industry is not the same as sympathizing with the customer’s pain points. Lane Harbin of Campaign Monitor suggests avoiding industry jargon and using terms that real people understand. No one wants to open an email and have to try to decipher it.

Tip: Instead of saying “look how smart we are,” try taking a look at this from the lead’s standpoint. They aren’t looking for the smartest guy in the room, they are looking for the person who is going to be willing to step up, help their company and build a relationship.


Reason #3: It’s not about you.

According to Outbound Engine, personalization has been shown to increase unique open rates by 29 percent and unique click rates by 41 percent. It’s hard to personalize an email that’s all about your company. Contacts aren’t opening sales emails, they are opening emails to gain industry knowledge, learn best practices or keep up with trends. Boasting about your company as the best fit for their problem doesn’t mean it’s true and only makes you look desperate.

Tip: Check out these best email marketing campaign examples collected by HubSpot to gain inspiration. Crafting emails your audience finds relevant and adding personal touches will make your contacts want to engage.


When it comes down to it, it’s best to ask yourself “would I like to receive this email?” Picture the email coming into your own inbox and how you would respond. By putting yourself in your contact’s shoes, you force yourself into making a harsher, more realistic, evaluation of your email campaign. Is it clickable or deletable? Make sure it’s not the latter. 

CTA: Get My Free 2019 Marketing in Tech State of the Industry Report Download