5 B2B Email Marketing Strategies to Boost Performance

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Why Email Marketing? It Works!

As social media has exploded over recent years, marketers have increased their focus on social marketing, yet the less glamorous channel, email marketing, remains tried and true.

With billions upon billions of websites, how many could you visit where your username is your email address? Using email is practically synonymous with being on any digital channel. Working with clients, we’ve seen that email is the most scalable digital channel while allowing clients to deepen relationships with their audiences through unparalleled personalization… when it’s done strategically.

A recent study found email marketing was the most effective digital marketing strategy for driving new business:

  • 87% of B2B marketers said email marketing was the best tactic to generate new leads[1]
  • 59% of B2B marketers cited email marketing as the channel that makes the biggest impact on revenue[2]
  • Email marketing delivers an average return of $44 for every $1 spent[3]
  • U.S. marketing executives agree email alone drives the same ROI as their social media, website, and display ad efforts combined[4]
How can you get the most out of email marketing?

Let’s look at five strategies that can boost your B2B email marketing campaigns:

  1. Data and List Quality
  2. Deliverability
  3. Subject Lines
  4. Personalization
  5. Content and Messaging

#1 Data and List Quality

Before starting any email campaign, it’s essential to review your current list and ensure that it is updated and accurate. In fact, Campaign Monitor conducted a survey of 245 marketing influencers and found 66% see “increased email list quality” as their top priority. The priorities are shown in the graph below.

Email List Strategy Survey

Source: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/why-your-email-address-list-needs-quality-over-quantity/


The second part, perhaps even more essential, is to make sure you are targeting the right audience for your campaign in order to increase conversions. If you’ve successfully segmented your contact list, it should look different across various campaigns.

Takeaway: Scrub your list! If you aren’t reaching the right audience, your email campaign will be ineffective.

#2 Deliverability

Getting your email delivered is the first step to a successful email campaign.

A  2022 B2B email marketing study found that 15.8% of all emails go missing or are caught by popular spam filters.[5] For these reasons, it’s critical that you watch engagement metrics and take action if you see an uptick in unsubscribes or bounces, a decrease in clicks, etc.

Not sure which tactics you should start with in order to improve deliverability rates? See below for tactics you can get started on.

Source: https://www.mailmodo.com/guides/increase-email-deliverability/
Source: https://returnpath.com/newsroom/highly-reputable-email-senders-see-20-percent-messages-delivered-inbox/
Get more opens with a non-open protocol

With volumes of email on the rise, many emails get lost in the inbox. One strategy to get more opens is to establish a non-open protocol.  Resending your email with a new subject line, 2-3 days after the first attempt, to anyone who didn’t open the first email will dramatically increase the open rates of each send.

Increase your deliverability by following these actions:

  • Remove non-responders from your list after 18 months.
  • Monitor bounce rates and retire hard bounces.
  • Get the bad data off your list.
  • Watch deliverability stats on your email dashboard.

Better list quality will make sure you are white-listed as a responsible sender.

Takeaway: Implement a non-open protocol to improve open rates.

#3 Subject Lines

The subject line is the first thing that recipients see in their inbox and will determine whether or not someone chooses to open an email. This engagement is essential to your campaign success. In fact, 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.[6]

To optimize your subject lines, follow these guidelines:

  • 66% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. On these smaller screens, subject lines longer than 50 characters (4–7 words) are cut short.[7]
  • Subject lines with 44 characters or less have the highest open rate. [8]
  • A study of 93,000 CTAs found that personalized messages performed 43% better. [9]
  • Personalized subject lines receive a 27% boost. [10]

Additionally, utilize preview text. If a subject line is your title, the preview text is your subtitle. While the subject line is what a subscriber sees first, the preview text gives you another chance to inspire someone to open your email. See the graphic below for category thought starters.

Source: https://www.mailmunch.com/blog/email-open-rate


Takeaway: Your subject line should give recipients a reason to act.

#4 Personalization

Let’s face it, we all like to be greeted by name, so why would an email salutation be any different? If it seems informal in a business context, remember that personalization does not equal less professional.

While effective, personalization is more than just writing a name in the subject line. 64% of subscribers open an email based on who it’s from and yet 89% of all B2B email campaigns were sent from a company and not from a personal account.[11]

According to research by Pinpointe Marketing, using a specific personal name in the “from” field for B2B email campaigns will increase open rates and click-through rates by as much as 35%. Additionally, personalized calls to action convert 202% better than default or standard calls to action.[12]

Personalize and target your content using the following tips:

  • Personalize based on job seniority
    Example: “Because of the incredible interest in sponsorship for the upcoming Wealth Management Conference, we have created an exclusive panel of CIOs to discuss current portfolio trends and we’d love for you to become a panelist.”
  • Personalize based on past actions.
    Example: “Thanks for attending last year’s event. We want to make sure you have priority in registering for this year’s event.”
  • Personalize based on competitors.
    Example: “Most of your competitors will be in attendance (list), and we want to make sure you don’t miss out.”

Takeaway: Personalization is not just plugging in a first name—leverage personalization as a strategy to deepen engagement and connect with your audience.

#5 Content and Messaging

Think above the fold first. Put your best content at the top of the page including the CTA.  Many readers don’t go beyond the header. This is true for both desktop and mobile readers, as we know that one in five B2B email campaigns are not optimized for mobile devices.[13]

Now that your recipient has opened the email, make sure to answer the single most important question for your recipient: What’s in it for me?

Other ways to improve your messaging and content include:

  • Keep your paragraphs short. Use the “one idea per paragraph” rule and keep your message clear, concise, and to the point.
  • Use bullet points and lists. Information broken down in bullet points and lists (like this one) is more skimmable than sentences in a block of text.
  • Throw in headers. For longer emails, use catchy and informative headers to divide up your email.
  • Add graphics. Add relevant graphics or photographs, like snapshots of your products, to break up text and draw the reader’s eye.
  • Bold important information. If your email has a central message, like prompting readers to answer a survey or announcing a collaboration, put that message in bold.
  • Use CTA buttons. Make the action you want the reader to take obvious with a colored CTA box and clear CTA text that stands out.
  • Leave some white space. Skimming is harder without breathing room between lines of text. Use white space strategically to make your email flow.

Takeaway: Important information goes above the fold and answers the question: What’s in it for me?

Working with clients, we’ve seen how implementing even the smallest of these tips can dramatically improve engagement across email marketing campaigns. Given that email is the most effective digital channel, it’s worthwhile to review your approach and ensure that your campaigns are achieving your performance goals.

About Carpenter Group

Carpenter Group is an independent, woman-owned strategic branding, messaging and marketing communications firm that has delivered results-driven solutions to financial, professional services and technology firms for 40+ years.

Our broad cross-discipline experience enables us to craft brand messaging and carry it through to the channels that most effectively connect with our clients’ target audience, from editorial content to advertising to event marketing and more.


[1] The State of B2B Email Marketing, SuperOffice.2022.

[2] A Complete List of Marketing Statistics for 2023, Mailmodo.

[3] 2Email Marketing Stats, Litmus, 2022.

[4] 2022 B2B Email Marketing Report, The Relevancy Group, 2022.

[5] Email Tool Tester, 2022.

[6] https://www.invespcro.com/blog/email-subject-lines-statistics-and-trends/

[7] https://www.invespcro.com/blog/email-subject-lines-statistics-and-trends/

[8] https://www.invespcro.com/blog/email-subject-lines-statistics-and-trends/

[9] https://www.mailmunch.com/blog/email-open-rate

[10] https://www.invespcro.com/blog/email-subject-lines-statistics-and-trends/

[11] The State of B2B Email Marketing, SuperOffice, 2022.

[12] 15 Call-to-Action Statistics You Need to Know About to Increase Your Conversion Rate, Hubspot, 2023.

[13] https://www.superoffice.com/blog/b2b-email-marketing-report/