No-Doze B2B E-Mail Campaigns

Too bad my keyboard doesn’t have a “snooze” button. I could catch a few Zs after reading most of the business-to-business (B2B) email advertising that passes through my inbox.

Many email marketers rely too heavily on banner templates for their messages. Yes, an attractive banner template, which can be reused to create a recognizable look for your email campaign, is a cost-effective way to go. Templates are the online equivalent of letterhead: professional-looking and credibility-enhancing but not terribly motivating.

That’s why it was like a breath of fresh air to see this conceptual B2B email for RSA Security created by Mothers of Invention direct marketing agency.

You can read the case study on the site, so I won’t belabor it. But it’s interesting to see what great results an ad with a little attitude can generate: 2,151 responses in the first 72 hours.

When you click on the ad itself, you see it includes all the bells and whistles of an effective email message, including a whitepaper download and an early bird offer of a Travel Sentry Lock.

You can view another successful email ad from Mothers of Invention, this one for Extol Business Integrator. The ad to CIOs was a lead generator, promising a solution to the hairy problem of connecting isolated business information systems without manual coding.

The visual illustrates how manual coding is a monkey on the back limiting business opportunities. It features a chimp draped around the neck of an IT professional. The offer of two free “King Kong” movie passes to the first 100 respondents ties in nicely with the ad concept.

The results? Thirteen percent of respondents downloaded a free white paper.

And as we’ve discussed in previous columns, an offer that appeals personally to the reader is a great motivator. In this case, both the luggage lock offered in the RSA email and the movie passes offered in Extol’s ads were early-responder incentives in addition to the free white paper downloads.

We’re still in the early stages of email advertising, and there are many ways to get good results. Text-based email can also generate high response rates. You’ll look even more professional with an email template. But the medium is maturing, and your audience will expect their inboxes to offer the same quality creative they see in other advertising media, including business publications and TV. Otherwise, they’ll hit the “delete” button faster than you can smack the “snooze” button when the alarm rings.

Keep Karen from snoozing over her inbox this summer. Send her your best creative B2B email campaigns.

Want more email marketing information? ClickZ E-Mail Reference is an archive of all our email columns, organized by topic.

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