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How to Write a B2B Email That Turns Prospects Into Customers

Roshan Nair April 05 2022

Imagine a world where everyone sat through every email in their inbox no matter how flooded it is. 

A copywriter’s paradise where people actually care about you, the person behind the email who took two cups of coffee, did ten redrafts, and umpteen rephrasals – all in hopes that your dear reader might make it past the first sentence.

Sweet, sweet musings.

Now let’s come back to reality: The average open rate for sales emails is only 24%.

Why is reality so harsh on our B2B copywriters?

How to Write a B2B Email: Best Practices

For starters, B2B clients are looking for a return on investment as opposed to B2C customers, whose emotions are the prime target. B2B clients look for logical proof that they’ll benefit from a product.

As a side effect, B2B clients take a much longer decision-making route as opposed to B2C customers.

Sure, removing phrases here and there because Grammarly said it’s redundant is a nice move. However, your B2B readers are probably going to be much more difficult to please than your high school English teacher.

That’s why we’re going to dive into the art and science of how to write a B2B email that turns prospects into customers.

#1 Use an Eye-Catching Subject Line

While the subject line is definitely the first thing your reader reads from your email, what can you do to make sure it’s not the only one? (Without sacrificing your dignity by going all caps, that is.)

What can you do to make it different from the tons of other emails in your client’s inbox?

Make an irresistible subject line!

Some great tips to write attractive subject lines include:

  • asking a question

  • including a numerical statistic

  • trying to keep it less than nine words, and

  • sounding natural and fluid.

Here’s an example: Let’s suppose you’re a B2B client in the graphic design field.

Which of the following subject lines are you more likely to respond to?

The first one is likely to have a much higher open-rate.

Why? Because the second one is way too long, is unnecessarily capitalized at the start of every word, and simply too generic for a subject line.

The first one on the other hand is short and invokes curiosity by giving the reader a sense that their beliefs are being questioned. It’s also attractive to place a number in your subject line.

#2 Keep It Short & Sweet

Now that you’ve lured in your reader with a great subject line, the last thing you’d want for them to find inside is a five-page essay. 

While it definitely stings as a writer to have to chop down your ideas, it goes against the purpose to include lengthy paragraphs. 

Keep them crisp. Keep them short. 

Check out this short, yet sweet thank you email from Unbounce:

#3 Provide Value-Adding Content to Prospects

According to a report by The Economist Group and Peppercomm, 71% of business owners don’t like to receive a direct sales pitch and would choose informative emails over salesy ones. (Belkins)

Readers respond to value first. The more value you give your readers, the more value they reciprocate. And the more value they give you, the higher your authority in your domain.

Check out this email from TurboTax that takes the global concerns over the pandemic and turns it into a valuable email, still keeping it relevant to their business:

#4 Personalize Your Emails

From using personalized subject lines and tailoring your intro line to collecting the right data, there are a variety of ways you can personalize your email to your client's interests.

This is an effective method to make a client feel more at home. 

Alter your product benefits to match their buyer traits. Or you can keep it automated. Consider this email from Grammarly that gives personified stats to the recipient:

#5 Use the Right CTA

So far, you took steps to make sure that your reader clicks on, reads, digests, and believes your email and its content. Now what?

You want them to take action using an effective CTA.

A great call to action is reasonable, clear, and is the only CTA in the email.

You can’t expect a B2B client to go out of their way and invest too much time and energy on an email they just read. So keep it easily doable.

Likewise, if the CTA isn’t clear and detailed, or if there are too many CTA’s, your reader could get confused and leave.

Check out this email from Hubspot with its single, yet unmissable CTA:

#6 Back Up Your Claims With Social Proof

As mentioned afore, B2B clients aren’t going to fall for emotional content. That might work on B2C customers who make decisions quicker, but not on the B2B client.

B2B buyers have much longer purchase journeys. They want proof of the return of their investment before they make a purchase. 

And let’s be honest, nobody trusts salespeople. Even salespeople don’t trust other salespeople. 

People need to hear it from fellow buyers. That’s why social proof works better than making claims.

Your social proof can include:

  • Case studies

  • Verified product reviews

  • Product mentions from legitimate sources

  • Business Credentials, etc.

#7 Use Signature Lines Wisely

The signature line at the end doesn’t always have to be restricted to the same old title, contact, and site link. 

This is a space you can use to let your client in on the more personal aspects of your organization say for example, how you work, or how it all began.

You can also add a link to entertaining socials, or informative blogs and webinars your organization might be hosting.

Check out Canva’s signature line:

#8 Use Calendar Scheduling Tools

If your B2B client read your email and they’re happy with it, that’s awesome. 

But what if they have questions?

What’s the best way to assess their idea of your product and clear any and all concerns they might have around it? Use a calendar scheduling tool! 

By using a calendar scheduling tool like Calendly or Google Calendar, your client can easily set up a meeting with you at their convenience. 

#9 Follow Up Regularly

It might come as no surprise that you might not hear from your client after the first email. 

Don’t lose hope. 

Your email might have gotten lost in their inbox and there’s no harm in sending another. It’s not uncommon for salespeople to have to reach out quite a few times before they receive a response.

Even after you receive a response, don’t let the conversation end there. Take it forward with more well-crafted follow-up emails.

#10 Proofread

Last but not least, proofread your email to make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. 

The last thing you’d want is for the effort and care you put into crafting the subject line, content, and CTA to go in vain all because of a few errors in your email.

Although they might seem simple, your credibility takes a huge hit with every error in your copy.

It doesn’t matter how great your email is. One blunder might be all it takes to send it hurtling to the trash folder.

Bid farewell to bad emails

Now that you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s, take a look at the recipient line once more to make sure your email is going to the right person (better safe than sorry) and hit that send button with pride.

Don’t lose heart if your emails don’t show bright results right away as B2B clients can be notoriously picky.

With a bit of practice, you’ll master the art of writing to satisfy the contemporary B2B reader. That said, happy writing!