B2B Email – How is it being read? And why this matters.

by Karen

How are clients and prospects reading your B2B email? On a PC? On a smartphone? On a tablet? Or all of the above?

Odds are it’s a combination of PC and mobile (smartphones and tablets). I often refer to this group as “dual device” users.

And since email is such a vital part of your B2B lead generation and marketing … your emails need to be optimized for both mobile and PCs.

This matters because it impacts open rates, conversions, loyalty, leads generated, and the bottom line for your B2B business.

What does optimization include?

Consistent messaging in tone and keyword phrases even though the length of the content varies (i.e., you can have more content on emails for desktop PCs).

Yet because the mindset of a mobile user is different from a PC, you may consider testing variations of the subject line. Does the same subject line perform equally for both mobile and PC users, or do you need to vary it a bit for mobile (e.g., make it shorter)?

How does your email render on an iPhone, an Android, a Blackberry, and on the various brands of tablets? How readable is it? How user-friendly is it? Content length and imaging will probably vary as you move from one to another.

Don’t forget that emails also render differently in Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook (even 2003 vs. 2007), and Gmail.

Get right to the point in the first paragraph

Landing pages also need to be mobile-friendly and optimized

For mobile, include social media sharing buttons next to the content you believe readers will most likely share (don’t bury it at the bottom of the email)

Find a way to include some degree of urgency, especially with mobile.

Test to determine the best time of day to send emails. Mobile has modified habit patterns and mobile users check email throughout the day.

Always include a TEXT version of your emails for mobile and PCs

From a copywriting and marketing perspective, my main point is this: Don’t lose sight of your end goal during the optimization process.

Someone needs to read over all the variations to ensure the point of the message and its corresponding call-to-action haven’t inadvertently been lost. I recommend the copywriter who first wrote the campaign be your quality control person.

Within the B2B world, email is still the prime mover for most marketers. Maximize its effectiveness by optimizing it for your recipients.

After all, don’t you want your clients and prospects to have a good experience? Giving them a good experience requires you to know how they’re reading your email (what devices, time of day, etc.), and then optimizing for your audience.

Another related post: Who is this email from?

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