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ABM Email Best Practices in The Digital Engagement Era

Adi Aloni
,
December 3, 2018

In today’s digital engagement era, in order to deliver a customer buying experience that is both consultative and engaging, it is imperative to routinely communicate across marketing, sales and customer success departments. However, it’s true that consistent collaboration across “The ABM Trifecta” to fulfill the promise of the Bow-Tie funnel strategy – of targeting, winning and maintaining your top tier accounts – can sometimes cause confusion and blur the lines of functional responsibilities.

For example, while content marketers may be extremely comfortable drafting campaign emails to drive traffic towards registering for a webinar, they may not be as adept communicating a request to a prospect for accepting a business meeting. Sound familiar? As such, many of you have reached out asking us for help and guidance as to email best practices across the Trifecta. Well, we heard you loud and clear and since “tis the season of giving,” consider this our Folloze holiday gift to you.

So, without further ado, below we present our sales and marketing email best practices, complete with recommended cadences and average expected response rates.

Marketing vs. Sales Emails

As mentioned above, it’s best to first understand the distinct difference between the purpose of a marketing email and a sales email. A recent Inc. article, “Why Cold Emails Should Never Look Like Marketing Emails” explains it well, but the gist is that marketing emails are meant to keep you top of mind with prospects and customers, while also educating and building awareness over time. Sales emails, on the other hand, are sent to prospects with the goal of getting a response, usually with the intention of starting some kind of conversation for sales or business development.

While our marketing audience is more than likely well-versed in writing marketing emails, for those less so, last month’s Marketing Profs article, “13 Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid” is a great reminder of what NOT to do. With Folloze, however, it is important to remember that marketers often set up campaigns that will be sent by salespeople, so the language, look, and feel needs to change and adjust accordingly.

Sales Emails Best Practices

As a salesperson looking to start a back and forth dialogue with a prospect, there are several key best practices to keep in mind. First, as noted by Sales Hacker, it’s always important to keep the tone of your email’s human and conversational. If as a marketer you are writing emails for your sales reps, also remember that prospects and customers expect a conversation between two individuals. As such:

  • Stick to text, with minimal or no images
  • Avoid jargon, use language that resonates with your customers
  • When incorporating a link as a CTA, consider keeping it exposed and not hyperlinked to avoid phishing suspicion

Additionally, it’s always smart to keep the email short and to the point, to use a short subject line, and not waste real estate. A recent Openview article states, “according to TOPO, prospects open less than 24% of sales emails. That means three out of four emails you’ve agonized over and sent to buyers in the past month were likely not worth writing at all.” Depressed yet?

Don’t be. Because if you actually have something of value to offer, prospects can and will be interested to learn more. And this is easy to do in Folloze. Simply point your prospect to a Content Board, or even to a specific asset on the Board that you think will resonate with them, and explain why you think this is a good fit for them.

Email Frequency and Response Rates

When sending an email campaign to cold or warm prospects, it’s always best to plan multiple touchpoints beyond the first email. Here at Folloze, we recommend emailing each prospect at least three times to ensure your prospect received your message. You may also want to consider a Folloze content play, which is an easy way to create an email drip campaign that leverages the content on your board.

With regard to email response rates, they will vary based on the existing relationship with the prospect. From our experience, here is what we’ve seen for expected engagement for emails:

Cold prospects - No, or minimal, existing relationship

  • 9-10%  average email open rates
  • 2-3%    average click thru rates

Warm prospects - Typically a message to an existing customer such as a newsletter, event, or upsell oriented message

  • 15-25%  average email open rates
  • 5-10%    average click thru rates

The Net-Net

While email marketing has been a standard part of the marketing tech stack for many years, its best practices regularly evolve and change – much like that of social media – and even the lifetime value of a customer. Keeping up to speed on the latest tips, tricks and technology, while synergistically working across the ABM Trifecta, will greatly support your engagement efforts and should always be a foundational component of any successful ABM strategy.

Still scratching your head, a bit? Don’t worry, drop us a line – we’re here to help.

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