How to Make Your B2B Tech Marketing Emails Stand Out in Crowded Inboxes

Erin Barr
minutes read 6-Minute Read

I have a confession. I’m a deleter.

The first thing I do when I open my inbox is scroll, choose and delete with barely a glance at the subject line or sender name. Is it fair? No. Do I care? Not really.

It may seem harsh but I know I’m not alone. Actually, there are facts to back me up on this. According to Neil Patel, “75% of people don’t open emailsand that about 95% of those who do open them don’t bother to follow any of the links.” People are busy and if your email isn’t going to help, entertain or offer something of value, then it doesn’t have any business being in an inbox.

So, how can your emails avoid the dreaded delete button? Keep reading.

Jim Carrey quickly typing on a keyboard deleting information

Write a subject line that passes the one-second rule.

Even before your recipients gets to “Hello,” they’ve already judged you, your company and your email. Once again, is it fair? No. However, it’s life and marketers need to perfect their subject lines with one-second testing and a dash of A/B testing.

What is one-second testing? Have anyone in your company, on the bus, in your spin class, take a one second look at your subject line. Did they understand what you were offering? Were they intrigued? Were they confused? If you have to explain your subject line, the email is as good as trashed.

There are plenty of blogs dedicated to crafting the perfect email subject line but our favorites are HubSpot’s How to Write Catchy Email Subject Lines: 19 Tips and the examples in DigitalMarketer’s 101 Best Subject Lines. Check them out to gain inspiration.

Offer genuine value for your contacts.

Promising value is a fool-proof way to pass the initial deleting phase but the caveat is that you have to focus on what your audience wants. The key to this is segmenting your contact lists. This can be as basic as segmenting leads versus opportunities versus current customers.

If you’re an automation wizard, creating workflows for segmented lists is a simple way to get more granular with your contacts’ nuances. Creating workflows to organize leads by location or customers by the product or service they use can create a whole new following. Voila! Now you can send free demo emails intended for new leads without spamming existing customers.

A pitfall to avoid when sending marketing emails is to stay away from being too self-promotional. It’s easy to get caught up in your Saas company’s awesomeness but email recipients may not be ready to buy in. Feel like you’re guilty of this tactic? We have some helpful tips to steer you back to user-focused content.

Personalize. Personalize. Personalize.

While list segmentation is a great start to personalizing marketing emails, there are other necessary steps to ensure the email sent has a one-off feel instead of a spammy quality. According to Experian, “personalized promotional mailings have 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates than non-personalized mailings.”

The easiest way to customize an email is to use a contact’s first name in the subject line. A majority of email platforms offer this cool feature. Something to keep in mind however is that this only works if your contact database is clean. A task that should be monitored regardless, scanning first names in your lists for potential misspellings can save you (and your email) down the road. It may be unbelievable but sometimes people move so fast, they mistype their own names! When in doubt, check LinkedIn as there are some unique spellings out there.

Besides personalizing based on the recipient, personalize the email from your company as well. Your company’s “from” and “reply to” contact information should be familiar. Leads probably don’t know who your owner or president is, therefore sending an email from them would be confusing. Sending from the “Team Company Name” would be more appropriate. Same applies to the “reply to” email addresses. This doesn’t have to be a specific person but your “reply to” address should suggest there’s a person at the other end, such as

K.I.S.S. - Keep it short, stupid.

May sound harsh but a lot of us get in trouble here. No one wants to spend hours in their inbox. The goal is to get to the point and contacts can click into links to get the longer version of whatever your company is offering. Keep it short and sweet. There is no need to give an entire sales pitch right then and there. Constant Contact’s team found that “emails with three or fewer images and approximately 20 lines of text result in the highest click-through rates from email subscribers.”

When you’ve written your email content, proof and cut copy multiple times. Be clear and direct. Similar to the one-second test, a glance test of your email will verify the content communicates your intent effectively. Once again, have someone take a quick peek at your email. Were they able to pick out the highlights? Do they understand what you’re offering? Is the CTA obvious?

How to truly succeed in standing out.

Snagging your email recipient's attention is half the battle. People are busy so personalized, valuable offers attract the most engagement. Keeping emails short and to-the-point makes it easier for readers to scan and also shows that your company acknowledges their time is important.

When in doubt, think of your own inbox and how you handle marketing emails. Are you a deleter? Which type of subject lines resonate with you? By putting yourself in your audience’s shoes, you’ll gain an objective viewpoint which helps you focus on the ever important user-experience and avoid the virtual trash can.


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