Email consistently ranks as one of the leading channels for B2B sales. Whether you're trying to sell a product, a service or a combination thereof, you can send prospective buyers an email in an attempt to persuade them to make a purchase. Most prospective buyers actually prefer to receive emails from B2B sales reps as opposed to calls and direct mail.
The success of your email strategy, however, is dependent upon your click-to-open rate (CTOR). Not to be confused with click-through rate (CTR), CTOR is a measurement of how many unique clicks the links in your emails receive relative to the total number of prospective buyers who opened your emails. If an email was opened by 100 prospective buyers, 20 of whom clicked the embedded link, your CTOR for that email would be 20%. By improving your CTOR, you'll achieve greater success with your B2B sales emails.
#1) Use a Professional Design
The way in which an email is designed will affect its CTOR. You can't expect prospective buyers to click your call-to-action (CTA) link if the email looks dull or otherwise generic. Rather, you'll need to design the email so that it looks professional. Start by using your B2B company's official name, logo and other branded graphics. At the bottom of the email, include your name, job title and direct phone number. These simple elements will make your email look more professional. In turn, more prospective buyers will click the embedded CTA link after opening it.
#2) Optimize for Mobile Devices
In addition to using a professional design, optimizing your B2B emails for mobile devices can lead to a higher CTOR. Not all prospective buyers open emails on a desktop or laptop computer. According to a report by the marketing firm HubSpot, nearly half of all emails are opened on a mobile device. If an email only functions on desktop and laptop computers, it may result in a lower CTOR. Prospective buyers may still attempt to open the email on a mobile device. Upon doing so, though, they may struggle to find or click the CTA link.
#3) Emphasize the CTA Link
The visibility of an email's CTA link will inevitably affect its CTOR. If prospective buyers can't easily see it, they probably won't click it. You need to make it stand out so that prospective buyers can spot it immediately. To emphasize the CTA link in an email, surround it with whitespace. Don't place the CTA link in the middle of a sentence. Rather, place it after the main body while separating it with whitespace.
#4) Make Your Sales Pitch
Even if you've already talked to a prospective buyer, he or she may need some additional enticing in order to click the CTA link in your email and, ultimately, buy your B2B company's product or service. Therefore, you should pitch the product or service in the email. Going back to the basics of B2B sales, an effective sales pitch should describe the value of a product or service and how it can benefit the buyer's own business.
#5) Target a Narrower Audience
Another way to increase CTOR is to send your emails to a narrower audience of prospective buyers. For a prospective buyer to click the CTA link, he or she must have some level of interest in the product or service you are selling. Prospective buyers who aren't interested in your offer probably won't click the CTA. Therefore, you should send your emails to a narrower audience of qualified prospective buyers. Don't use a generic list consisting of a large and generic group of prospective buyers. Instead, refine your list so that it matches the buyer persona or personas of your B2B company's buyers.
#6) Use a Shorter Length
How long are your B2B sales emails? If they are excessively long, prospective buyers may not read them. After opening an email and discovering that it's long, they'll close it without clicking the CTA link. You can encourage more clicks and generate a higher CTOR by using a shorter length. Research shows that a maximum of 125 words typically works best. While that's only about two or three paragraphs, that should be sufficient for making your sales pitch and enticing prospective buyers to click the CTA link.
#7) Test Before Sending
It's a good idea to test a new email before sending it to prospective buyers. You may think it's properly designed, only for the email to have one or more broken elements. If the CTA link is broke, the email won't drive any new sales. That's where testing comes into play. By testing the email, you can check to make sure all of the CTA links, as well as other elements, work as intended. Just send the email to your own address, after which you can open and test it.