B2b newsletters. (Did you just yawn?) We hear you! They’ve developed quite a bad rap with many people clicking delete or unsubscribe as soon as it hits their inbox. But fear not! When executed properly, b2b newsletters can deliver valuable information, genuine personality and a human touch that leaves your audience wanting to hear more. In fact, a recent study by Campaign Monitor found that for every $1 spent, email marketing can generate $44 in ROI (cha-ching).
Clearly, having a well-crafted email marketing strategy is more important than ever. They can boost revenue, boost business and boost your presence in the b2b field. So without further ado, here are 4 useful tips to turn your b2b newsletter from drab to fab.
Tell, don’t sell
In the b2b sphere, you have to assume that most of your readers are industry professionals who are unlikely to fall for cheap sales taglines. Therefore, you should avoid pitching with typical marketing language; remember, sending a b2b newsletter shouldn’t be about quick wins, it should be about developing and maintaining positive relationships with your current and prospective clients.
Your newsletter content should be geared towards providing insights that build awareness and establish your brand as an industry leader. Focus on blogs, case studies, whitepapers and ebooks that address the pain points of your buyer personas - they are seriously worth their weight in gold!
While it’s of course important to keep things professional, don’t forget that your b2b newsletter is meant to communicate with the individuals reading your message, not the companies that they represent.
Appeal to your audience with personal, engaging stories that inspire some sort of emotional reaction. Unlike b2c, the purpose of your b2b newsletter is not necessarily to try to get someone to buy a new product instantly; you’re simply trying to establish your authority and cultivate a positive reputation in your niche. Business professionals are busy people, so keep the actual content of your newsletter short, and drive traffic back to your website with a strong CTA!
Of course, most of the content in your newsletter should come from within your company, however that shouldn’t be the only place you source your information. Broaden your horizons by adding in valuable and insightful third-party content; it will help build your credibility by showing your audience that you’re only interested in sourcing the most relevant information (even if it’s not yours).
Curated newsletters are a chance for you to offer your readers a variety of the best industry material that you’ve hand-selected for them. And, with over 7 million blogs being published on the web every day, a curated b2b newsletter has serious value.
Curating a newsletter is like creating a playlist; you find the best songs (content) in a genre (your industry) to share with your friends (your audience). In doing so, you establish yourself as a thought leader (or chief playlist maker) to your audience.
On another note, don’t be shy to repurpose older content as long as it’s still relevant. It’s a great way to increase the longevity of your content, and your readers won’t even know the difference!
Create a catchy, click-worthy subject line
First impressions count, which is why having an intriguing subject line can make all the difference! They are often treated as an afterthought; something quickly thrown together after all the hard work is done, and you’re ready to press send.
However, if your subject lines aren’t slick, you will literally get no clicks (see what we did there). Everything from your open rate, click rate and CTA conversions depends on how well-written your email subject line is. Think about your subject line as a movie trailer - if you can’t hook your audience with a two-minute clip (or, in this case, a few words), don’t expect them to stick around and watch (or read) the whole thing.
It sounds like a lot of pressure lies on one sentence, but once you understand what makes a scroll-stopping subject line, you’ll be cranking them out effortlessly. If in doubt, you can always segment your audience and conduct an A/B split test to see what subject line lands a better result!
Here are some of our tips for creating a catchy subject line:
- Keep it short and sweet: According to Campaign Monitor, the magic number for a subject line is 41 characters (or approximately 7 words)
- Create FOMO: Nobody likes to miss out, so grab the attention of your audience with some action words like ‘join’, ‘save’ ‘help’ or ‘change’.
- Keep it personal: Adding a personal touch, such as a name, to your subject line is a standard technique to make your readers feel special and increase open rates.
Monitor and optimise the performance of your b2b newsletter
You can put together an amazing b2b newsletter, but if nobody opens it, you’ve wasted your precious time. That’s why it’s so important to track, monitor and optimise the performance of your content. Using data to monitor the success of your newsletter is essential, and will help you address common problems that affect the success of your content. A few KPI’s you should be monitoring closely include:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Bounce rate
- Unsubscribe rate
Keeping a close eye on these figures will help you understand what’s working, and what needs a little tweaking. Timing is key, so we recommend following Hubspot’s advice and send mid-week around 10 am for the best click & engagement rates.
For even better results, you may want to segment your audience, by job role or seniority, to accommodate for different behaviours and daily routines. There is a fine line between helpful and annoying, timely and spamming, converting and unsubscribed. A monthly b2b newsletter is the most common cadence, as it’s not too frequent to bother your audience and it provides you with enough time to develop fresh, quality content.
Of course, the ideal frequency depends on the preferences of your audience, so don’t be shy to ask them and see what will work best!
Now that we know what makes a b2b newsletter great, let’s look at some businesses that are delivering just that.
- Reforge: Delivers case studies, interviews and data analysis from top companies straight to your inbox! They give readers exclusive access to industry professionals which helps build credibility and authority within their niche.
- Australian HR Institution: Offers a weekly newsletter to keep members up to date with the latest news and industry resources. They must be doing something right, with a 25% open rate!
- Salesforce: Keeps readers up to date with the latest blogs and resources, and does so effortlessly with bright imagery and strong CTA’s. (Remember the goal is to drive traffic back to your website.)
Well there you have it folks, our 4 simple tips and tricks to help take your b2b newsletter straight to the top of people’s inboxes. To learn more about the marketing skill set you need to succeed, download our ebook, The 5 Marketing Skills Your Business Can’t Do Without.
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