How to create email content that engages and drives to action

In 2013, marketers sent over 838 billion emails, according to Forrester Research . However, the average click-through rate for B2B marketing emails in Q2 2013 was 1.7%. Emails are the most common form of content marketing. In the typical lead nurture process, emails play a crucial role. Because we send so many of them, we sometimes tend to overlook their impact on our overall marketing success. It’s worth taking into account the following 5 tips when planning or rethinking your email marketing.

1. The basic, “Safe” lead nurture email structure
If you are new to email marketing and lead nurture, consider, at least for the beginning, to stick to the following email structure –
Start with a personal greetings and the reason why the receiver is getting this email. Add 2-3 sentences explaining the importance of the content or your offer, with added benefits in no more than 4 bullet points. Then finish with the call-to-action, explained again, in a different way. Sign your email with a real name and title.
Make sure you have hyperlinks to the CTA in every paragraph.
Here is an example:
email example
2. The subject line is as important as your email content
The subject line is going to determine your open rate, and therefore the success of your email. Make sure it doesn’t include anything that is too salesy – avoid “free offer!” and such. No one will open your email, and it will appear as spam. Write quality subject lines that relate to your customers, and explain the benefit of your offer.

3. Minimal design is better than overly designed emails
Ideally, you’ll be able to test different types of design, so over time you will learn what works better for your audience. But for the beginning, I would recommend going for the minimal approach. Banners and overly designed emails are sometimes a turn off, and imply a hard sell. A CTA button is good to have, but you should also experiment with simple, plain text emails. They imply a personal approach.

4. Be relevant: Use current events for content your audience can relate to
Here’s a quick content tip for you: Use what’s happening now to support your case and have your audience relate to your content. It can be industry-related news, or general news and events that anyone can relate to. For example, if your audience is in education, acknowledge if it’s the beginning of the school year. If you are writing about a social media product, acknowledge the latest company acquisition in the industry. Of course, it all needs to relate to what you’re trying to say.

5. Use the right content for the right lead stage
Not all leads are the same. Make sure you have the right content marketing to refer to in your emails. For cold leads than need education, have articles and white papers ready. For warmer leads, higher in the funnel but not ready to buy yet, have customer success stories and relevant blog posts. For sales-ready leads, have product sheets, brochures, and other sales enablement tools.

Remember, the emails are just the beginning. They are by far the most accessible, and easy to deliver marketing tactic. But you need to make sure you use them wisely. If you have any email content tips you are ready to share, we’ll be thrilled to use them and share them.