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6 B2B Email Marketing Mistakes (and how to fix them)

By May 27, 2016February 10th, 2023Uncategorized

As a savvy  marketer, you understand the role email plays in B2B inbound marketing campaign.  You’ve heard the statistics, such as, 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue (BtoB Magazine). So, you and your marketing team create database and lead nurturing emails  in order to capture a piece of this revenue generating pie. But every time you analyze the data the results are less than stellar. Where’s all your traffic? Why aren’t your emails performing better?

Before you give up on B2B email marketing,  remember that only 59% of marketers are generating revenue from email marketing. That leaves 41% who aren’t seeing the results they were expecting. If you are currently in the latter group, check out these common email marketing mistakes.

Mistake #1: Your emails are too long

The best emails should whet the appetite of prospective clients, enticing them to click through and read more on the landing page. A common email marketing mistake is turning emails into mini novels. One of the best examples of email marketing we’ve run across is the Neil Patel style email.

Short, to the point, and, with strategically placed calls-to-action, this type of email just begs to be opened.

Mistake #2: Your email subject lines stink

How many emails do you receive per day?  How many of those emails are now lying unopened in your deleted message folder?  Your prospective clients  get a TON of emails every day and unless there is a good reason to click, it’s more than likely going to end up ignored.

One of the most common reasons your emails end up deleted is the all-important subject line.  Those 50 characters often mean the difference between your prospects clicking or deleting. So how do you ensure your email does not end up in the trash bin?  

  1. Ask Questions. Asking a question in your subject line can draw readers in. Engage with them by asking a question, such as “Are you making these email subject line mistakes?” or “Do you know no one is clicking on your email?” Human nature draws them it to see if they are indeed making these dreaded mistakes.
  2. Solve Problems. Your prospects have problems and opportunities they are trying to solve and you have knowledge that can help.  Use your subject line to let them know that you can help them solve those problems.
  3. Change your subject lines. A subject line shouldn’t be like a lucky pair of socks. Just because it had great results once doesn’t mean it should be the only one you use.  It’s ok to use something similar once or twice, but keep it fresh to keep your audience engaged.
  4. Keep subject lines short, Most people are scanning subject lines quickly, so make sure to keep yours short and sweet. This means keeping your subject line to 50 characters or less. This may take some creative thinking, but it’s effective.
  5. Be Funny. Or be serious. Whichever you decide upon, make it unique so it will stand out amongst the crowd of other emails

Mistake #3: You’re Mailing From a Personal Account

According to Quora, in 2014,  there were about 500 million Gmail accounts out there and for good reason: they’re free. And if your organization is just starting out and is looking for ways to save money or has just always used Google, stop. Not only is mailing from your personal account the height of unprofessional behavior, it will backfire. Established email providers know the ins and outs of email deliverability, meaning that messages sent from their platforms are more likely to wind up in your recipients’ inboxes than their spam folders. After all, your subscribers can’t take action on your message if they don’t see it in the first place!

Mistake #4: Don’t under (or over) email

A few months back I wrote a blog about ways your lead nurturing can annoy prospects. In it, I talked about a time I downloaded an eBook only to be emailed by the company nine times in three days. While over-emailing will undoubtedly drive people to unsubscribe, under-emailing can be just as detrimental. If you email once every few months, it’s quite possible your prospect may have forgotten who you are or why you are emailing them at all. I can’t tell you what that balance is for your industry. Testing and analyzing data will help determine that answer.

Mistake #5 – You don’t have a call to action

Once you’ve got your mailing frequency down, make sure every message you send out provides value for your organization by prompting recipients to take some specific action after reading. This could be anything from downloading your most recent eBook to inviting the to your next webinar. Shoot for two to three links within the email or at least one CTA to engage your prospects.

Mistake #6: You Aren’t Using Email List Segments

The subscribers on your list aren’t a monolith, so why are you sending them all the same message and hoping for the best? The process of segmenting your customers assumes you have collected key information, for example, company affiliation and position in the company. If you’ve only captured emails to date, shame on you! Moving forward, ensure that, at a minimum, you ask for company and position in your offers. Knowing the role your contact has at a company and their associated seniority level is valuable in segmentation.

It’s simple, the more information you have about your contact, the better! It makes your job easier and their experience better as you can make sure your prospective client is receiving information of value to them. Now, there are an endless number of ways to segment your email list. Some others to consider include geographical location, buyer persona, purchase cycle, and industry.

Globally, segmented campaigns achieve 59.99% more clicks than non-segmented campaigns. List segmentation in email marketing can help you achieve higher open rates, lower unsubscribe rates, and increased deliverability!

 Have you encountered other mistakes that have caused your email marketing campaigns to fail? Share the problems you have encountered and the solutions you implemented by leaving a comment below! 


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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.