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How to Write Killer B2B Email Copy (With Real-Life Examples)

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

Unsubscribe rates are at an all-time high and with good reason. Email marketing is a powerful strategy for increasing engagement and sales, but only when it's done well.

Writing killer email copy isn't rocket science. It begins with a clear understanding of the purpose of your email, who you are targeting, and what kind of message will resonate with your audience.

Today I’m going to show you 5 tips for how to write effective emails that resonate with your audience that drive them to take action.

1. Make sure your copy and subject line are in sync

2. Use actionable language

3. Share relevant content

4. Make it personal

5. Focus on the benefits, not the features

1. Make sure your copy and subject line are in sync

A good email subject line is not meant to be clickbait-y, rather it should give your audience an idea of what they can expect to see when they open your email. One way to look at it is like making a promise, and fulfilling that promise in your email copy. But this doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your subject line and provoke curiosity.

Here's an example from HubSpot:

This one really piqued my interest as it’s timely and relevant to what I’m doing right now. When reading this subject line, you expect to find the secret in the email, and Hubspot delivers:

Delivering on your promise creates trust, and your audience will come to appreciate that when they open an email from you (because the subject line encouraged them to), they know the content of the email will deliver on the promise made in the subject line, and they’re more likely to open your emails.

Some best practices:

  • Keep it short and sweet - 44 characters or less and don’t be afraid to bring it to life with an emoji.

  • Keep it real - by offering something relevant, personalized and timely.

  • Go beyond the first name - and zero in on your prospect’s job role, location, and more. Then use that info craft a killer subject line!

2. Use actionable language

The internet is a noisy place. You can't expect people to read your email, open your links, and take action without telling them exactly what to do.

Each sentence (and word) in your email needs to be relevant and actionable. Your call-to-action should be prominent. Your links should be short, sweet, and relevant. And you need to repeat the same message multiple times throughout the subject line and body of your email.

Take a look at this email from Asana. They tell their reader what to do right away: "Start working in Asana and join in your team’s success". “Three things to try out now” makes it easy for the customer to get started, and quickly gain value from the product. Also, they have actionable headlines that are short, but to the point:

As you can see, email copywriting is different from writing a blog post, for instance, because you have to invite people to take TWO actions:

  1. They need to open your email, and

  2. they need to click-through to your target page.

3. Share relevant content

Your subscribers are bombarded with thousands of emails a day. When you have something to share with them, it's important that the content be relevant and valuable. Anything less and they'll either delete the email or unsubscribe from your list. When it comes to giving subscribers relevant content, you should focus on the following:

  • Start with a topic that is of value to the reader.

  • Make your email no longer than you would like to read it.

  • Offer a reason to open your email.

  • Make your email compelling by offering something of value to your reader.

  • Include a call to action so the subscriber can respond if they wants more information.

Here’s an example from DigitalMarketer where they share a guide and a tracking sheet to help their subscribers optimize their email marketing strategy. And it’s offered as a free gift to their subscribers:

See how short and actionable that email is? Your subscribers have too much to read in each inbox and they don't want to spend time reading emails that aren't worth their time. Make sure your emails are worth their time by adding value.

4. Make it personal

It should no longer come as a surprise that you should personalize your email copy for your reader.

But what many B2B brands don’t realize, is that personalization goes beyond a merge tag with the receiver’s name in the subject line. It requires you to understand the person you are talking to and their needs, wants, and desires.

With permission based marketing, we have gained permission to send targeted emails to specific people, so the next logical step is to start targeting them based on their persona!

But how do you do that?

Here’s an example from CleverTap’s winback campaign:

Notice how the focus of this email was not about selling CleverTap, but understand why they never want ahead with a demo in the first place.

Even though this email is automated, it seems more personal because the focus is on the receiver and describes what’s in it for the them.

Here’s another example from Clearbit:

Clearbit tailored the subject line, messaging, and CTA based on the prospect’s role, what tech they use, and other attributes. What’s really cool about something like this, is that each email looks like they’ve been sent by a person who did some research.

And their stats don’t lie 👀

Even though this is clearly a cold email, it saw a 59% open rate and a 6% conversion rate, because this email was sent the moment a prospective customer showed interest (filling out a contact form or otherwise submitting their email on their website). Amazing stuff.

5. Focus on the benefits, not the features

Don’t focus on the features.

Instead, focus on benefits.

If your product is new and has no history, focus on the benefits.

I’ve seen so many businesses waste time talking about a feature of their product or service without talking about the benefits.

The challenge is that most companies do not have a good grasp of what their customers really want.

What’s the problem your product will help them solve?

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience, and think about what they’re struggling with or what they want to achieve.

Take this example from Adobe:

They address the benefits right away: Creative Cloud gives you the resources to realize your creative vision.

To summarize:

Planning and composing persuasive email copy isn’t rocket science, but it definitely requires researching your audience and figuring out how to best approach them with the writing style and triggers that will get them to respond.

First, consider your most recent email marketing campaigns.

What would you have done differently knowing what you know now?

If you know the answer, you can write an effective email immediately.

It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that.


Christian Baun

Christian Baun is an email marketing specialist with a background in demand generation, content marketing and marketing automation.


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