When you look at the large amount of articles written about email marketing for B2B, many talk about creating compelling content, designing for mobile and being personable – all of which is great advice.

But with this post, I’d like to offer a completely different approach to email marketing.

Try this experiment: As you look through your inbox today [via mobile or laptop], try viewing your emails with a new set of eyes.

See your inbox as a collection of winners and losers. Then think about the answers to the following questions:

  • What is it about the winner’s emails that earn your attention?
  • What is it about the losers’ emails that are simply a waste of time?

 My guess is that the winners had some (not all) of these attributes:

  • They were easy to scan
  • They had some important news to share
  • They were branded and simply designed
  • They looked equally compelling on a mobile device
  • They had content that was relevant to your career and/or industry

 And the losers:

  • Not relevant to you
  • Not credible or trustworthy
  • Focused on selling you something
  • Just asking for too much of your time

In addition to being a good time to unsubscribe from the losers, as a marketer I find this to be a valuable learning exercise to undertake every now and then.

With email, the customer (or subscriber) has all the power. With one word, unsubscribe, they can turn off your content stream and make it much harder for future engagement to occur with your business.

This why email marketing is scary to some businesses.

Email is a technology businesses often take for granted. Over on the receiving end, customers spend more time deleting emails than actually reading or clicking on them.

So how can we change this?

How To Make Email Marketing Work

Many marketers often forget the most simplest rule: the goal of an email blast is to get a click. That’s it. An email is simply a gateway to the bigger picture over on your webpage. Over on your webpage is where the magic should be happening.

This means that you’re entire web page should NOT be stuffed into the content of the email body. It also means that you should NOT have multiple competing calls-to-action and 23 things to click on.

Don’t expect too much from the email other than the stated goal: to get a click. The click is an invitation to continue on the journey onto the next phase of your funnel.

“Don’t allow unsupervised thinking.” – Dr. Flint McLaughlin

I love this quote from the founder of MarketingExperiments.com. I too am a strong believer in the less is more approach. Keep your emails simple yet focused.

Give email marketing the best chances for success

If your value proposition is good enough, then click-through rates will flourish and deeper engagement with your brand will follow suit.

As a stand-alone tactic, email marketing is only effective up to a point. By simplifying your approach, you can create a more useful relationship between email marketing, your website and the other marketing tactics you employ.

Your customer will appreciate the cohesiveness and many more are coming to expect it.

And also remember, if you don’t have anything of value to say to your customers, then don’t say anything at all. Have respect for your customer’s time.

You want email marketing to work for you and your customers, and not against your business and resources.

Strategic Value

Email still holds strategic value for businesses.

  • It produces consistent results across industries
  • It delivers solid engagement and ROI
  • And it connects your business with a growing tech-savvy mobile base

If you’d like to learn how email marketing can provide strategic value for your business – feel free to let us know or reach out to me on Twitter @MarketerDan.