At Silverpop's recent Masterclass, I was asked Do you have any design tips for B2B marketers? I thought this was worth postiing here as well.
The first is to remember that whether it is B2B or B2C marketing you’re in – the recipient is an individual and should be treated as such. You can do this in a number of ways such as using personalisation or personalised messaging that targets their preferences or responds to their behaviour in previous emails or online.
Also, think about the kind of emails you enjoy reading and consider putting some personality into your content, maybe even creating an editorial voice for your newsletters. In our creative study, we found that B2B recipients responded well to text based layouts, but they are increasingly busy with overloaded inboxes so you need to make sure the text is easy to scan in a few seconds using bullet points and/or bold or coloured text to highlight key points. This doesn’t mean you should stop using images, but use them wisely and keep them relevant and not in the top left corner. Consider coloured backgrounds rather than massive images if you are looking to make an impact and break up the email (Texas Instruments do this well).
Finally consider your mobile audience and include a quality text version of your email but also think about how people use their mobiles for email. I know that I often look at my inbox on the way in to work, deciding what messages I need to follow up on later and often deleting emails I don’t have time for or am not sure what the message is. I don’t have an iPhone, so it is the first 20-25 characters of the subject line as well as the first 3-5 sentences of text that allow me to make a decision. A link to an online version which is part of a website that takes ages to download doesn’t interest me and neither does an article snippet that goes through to a web site that renders the entire article as part of an entire webpage that I can barely read on my phone because of the navigation and other content. However, a compelling offer I can identify as interesting straight away will get saved for later and an article I can read whilst on the train will hold my attention (and keep me busy on the train) and mean I’ll have another look at the email and act on it when I get to my computer.
As you design your emails, think about your own behaviour on emails and ask friends, colleagues and user base what they like in the business emails they receive. Focus on ensuring the message is instantly clear (in the preview pane and without images) and making an impact in a few short seconds whatever the recipient’s platform.
eMarketing Strategy Consultant
(Image courtesy of daviddesign)