3 Quick Email Tips for You

by Karen

You’ve likely read this about B2B email dozens of times: Be brief and to the point. Avoid jargon. Make it worth their while to respond.

B2B email guidelinesThose three statements aren’t the only solid guidelines for getting a reply to your B2B email … but let’s keep our focus narrow for today.

To illustrate these guidelines I’ll choose one of my pet peeves: Asking readers to respond to a survey.  For the record, it’s HOW B2B companies ask for customers to respond to a survey that usually irks me.

1.    Be brief and to the point.

This subject line is often used because it works for survey-like emails: Some quick questions for you

However, it’s better to be specific. Here a number would strengthen the email subject line and likely increase response: 3 quick questions for you

This illustrates being brief and to the point within your subject line. But the same holds true for the body of the email.

And speaking of the body text … keep your sentences and paragraphs short. Aim for an average length of 16 words in a sentence. Less is even better. And I recommend paragraphs that are one-to-three lines long, with a longer one here and there if need be.

2.    Avoid jargon which includes numerous adjectives and adverbs along with ambiguous marketing and/or industry phrases.

For example:

We’re re-inventing our website design services by integrating secure technology with high-end artistic value for products that define the true meaning of multimedia.

We would like to get thoughts from real people like you so we know precisely how to make people excited about what we offer and how our web designs perform for their company.

Who cares that you’re “re-inventing.” That’s a prime example of jargon. Or at least it’s a worn-out phrase.

In the first paragraphs everything after, “…services by…” is jargon in my opinion. It’s also ambiguous and doesn’t tell the reader anything tangible.

The second paragraph is something out of a TV commercial. You know, that tiny text at the bottom of your screen that says: Real people. Not actors.

I’m still trying to figure out what a non-real person is. Using the word “people” also strikes me as cold and awkward.

The other problem I have with the second paragraph is that it’s a lousy disguise for trying to collect marketing intelligence. The author is really asking the reader to admit what they need so the author can turn around and offer it to them. What’s more it sounds phony.

3.    Make it worth their while to respond.

Folks, your customers and clients are also busy. Their time is valuable.

Even a few minutes to answer 3 quick questions demands a darn good reason for them to stop what they’re doing and answer your questions.

Why should they do that? What’s in it for them? Can you offer them an incentive?

By the way, I didn’t make up the example text I used to illustrate my three quick tips. Although I did have to alter it slightly to keep the author/company anonymous.

Conclusion: If you can’t write reader-centric B2B emails that are brief and to the point; avoid jargon; and clearly show how it’s worth their while to respond … then please stop trying.

For the sake of your business, hire a professional copywriter. Your customers will be grateful. What’s more you’ll see the difference in your bottom line even if your customers never say a word about it.

Related posts:

Do your B2B email subject lines perform like a great race horse? Or more like a tired nag?

3 industry examples of jargon versus reader-centric copy they can understand

6 email subject line tips

4 reasons B2B copy is ineffective … How is the content in your B2B marketing?

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