Eight Best Practices for Creating an Effective B2B Email

May 07, 2020 | Written by Coyote Holmberg
sending an email

Email marketing is one of the most effective and cost-effective marketing strategies that you can use to nurture client relationships and scale your business.  Using best practices for email design and copywriting can help you gain that competitive edge in the inbox.

  1. Make your subject line short, but captivating
    The subject line is the most important part of your email, as it is what entices the person to open your email in the first place.
    • Keep it at around 40 characters (four to seven words) Consider including personalization, as emails with personalized subject lines are more likely to be opened, though this may vary by industry
    • It’s a good idea to come up with two or more subject lines, so you can A/B test for which version gets the most opens
  2. Include a preheader
    The preheader is the line of text visible after the subject line in the inbox. It acts as a bridge between the subject line and the email body content.
    • Keep it between 40-130 characters long
    • Include key message elements first, ensuring visibility on both desktop and mobile
  3. Make your email visually appealing
    • Begin with a hero image at the top of the email that encapsulates an overview of the most important content
    • Use colors, font sizes, typography and design elements to present a clear visual hierarchy
    • Include relevant images to make the email visually engaging and more readable
    • Ensure it looks great on both desktop and mobile
    • Don’t forget to include alt tags in case the recipient has images turned off by default
  4. Keep it concise and easily digestible
    • In general, keep it to 20 or fewer lines of text including headlines, subtitles, and small paragraphs
    • It should be brief enough to be digestible on small screens
    • Include one or more clickable links in the text
    • Use a bold font, a different color, and/or underlining to help links stand out
  5. Make your headline stand out
    • The headline can be above or embedded in the hero image to give it more impact
    • It should be short, 1 to 5 words, and counts towards that 20 lines of text
    • Use it as an opportunity to tell the recipient what to expect and lead into a call to action: “Welcome to (Company Name)! Discover your special benefits.”
  6. Emphasize your call to action
    The point of the email is to encourage your subscriber to click through.
    • Make your clickable buttons large and contrasting so that they stand out
    • The button text should give an idea of what the subscriber can expect: “Download the Report”, “Claim Your Free Trial”, “Visit our Website”
  7. Add social media links and a link to your website navigation at the bottom of your email
    A recipient that has made it all the way to the bottom of your email is interested in what you have to say or offer. Give them a chance to become more engaged and to learn more about you by including links to your social media accounts and, at minimum, to your website’s homepage in every email. Bonus if you include links to additional relevant pages on your website.
  8. Perform A/B testing on every email to find what works best for your campaign.
    Always test to find out which content or design option works the best for you. What if you can increase conversion by changing the colors of the CTA buttons? Or what if you get a better open rate by changing the subject line? Small changes can add up to big successes.

Done right, B2B email marketing can pave new avenues of success for any business. Want more tips specific to your email campaign? Drop us a line…we would love to help.