Last week’s Fast Company article on how to manage your corporate inbox carried a headline, “Email is Dead.” Wow, did that get my gander up! And get me clicking through, which was the point, I suppose.
In fact, the headline is misleading and not at all what the article reports. Email isn’t dead at all in the corporate environment—in fact, it’s so essential and powerful that many corporations are investing time and resources training employees how to use email more effectively. For instance, the EEC has recommended not sending gratuitous “thank you” emails to help reduce the flow of email.
The lesson for email marketers is that B2B subscribers have a LOT going on in their inbox. Our marketing messages have to break through not just the clutter of other marketers, but messages from the CEO, the boss, the team…all of which are likely a lot more urgent and important to the reader.
Try a quick test on your own B2B marketing emails—what chance do you have for an open or response when you consider your message strategy in context of a very crowded inbox and a day that has fewer hours than project deadlines.
Is the subject line about how the subscriber will benefit? Is there urgency? Is the topic a description of your products or is it about how they benefit the reader? Would your messages break through your own inbox clutter? Think like your customer or prospect—and answer that question again. This is why the most successful B2B marketing emails are not long newsletters or product announcements, but succinct, cogent, relevant (a.k.a.: targeted) offers for training, whitepapers or tools that help readers be more productive, intelligent, capable or impressive to their superiors.
Ensure that B2B marketing messages are truly subscriber-centric, and you’ll have a much better chance of breaking through.