Published: May 8, 2020
Last Updated: Oct 27, 2020

You might ask: “With the fierce fight for attention in our inboxes and a world full of chat bots, is email marketing still a relevant channel for B2B marketers?”

Absolutely. According to HubSpot, email generates $38 for every $1 spent—a solid ROI in terms of marketing investments.

Next you may say: “B2B is different than B2C.”

Then we’d ask: “Is it really?”

No matter who you’re marketing to, there’s a human on the other end of that email that enjoys content that is fun, informative, and engaging. Don’t think that just because you’re marketing to other businesses that your email has to be formal and dry. In fact, email is an ideal channel to highlight your brand’s personality

B2B Email Subject Line Best Practices

Before you can get your contacts to see what a fun and valuable email you’ve carefully designed and crafted, you have to get them to open it, and your email’s subject line is prime place to make a great first impression. We are going to share some of our favorites in a second, but here are some best practices to keep in mind when trying to write an engaging subject line: 

  • Use specific numbers: Think interesting or compelling statistics, but make sure to avoid verbiage that might trigger spam filters, like “100% free, “#1,” or “50% off”.
  • Use engaging preview text: This is the copy that you see following a subject line in your inbox. When executed well it can really entice opens.
  • 50 characters or less: The shorter and more compelling the better.
  • Always test everything: There is no such thing as too much A/B testing. See what subject lines actually resonate with your audience by gathering actionable data.

Looking for Ideas? Here Are 10 of Our Favorite B2B Email Subject Lines

Have No Fear, Your Quarterly Roundup is Here
An email full of valuable insights and information all compiled into one place? Sign me up! 

How are you feeling about your annual goals?
When companies get through the first couple of quarters, they start to evaluate and shift strategies based on results they’re seeing. This positions you to show how you can help them keep on track with their goals (and it’s always a good idea to be goal oriented).

Overwhelmed? We can take something off your plate
This is much better than just saying “Hey, here’s all our services, go on and request that demo!” You’re offering to be helpful and empathizing with your buyer who might be filling multiple roles and wearing lots of different hats. 

Frustrated with reporting? Tell me about it.
This subject line does a good job at being human and starting a conversation about a topic that is universal but comes with a lot of pain points. 

Finally, a webinar on [topic]
Virtual events are on the rise, but webinars can be a dime a dozen. That is why you, as a marketing rock star, have created one that’s finally addressing that topic that nobody else in your industry is talking about. 

8 things only expert [title}s know about [topic]
You’re an expert in your space, so use a subject line like this to showcase how your expertise can provide specific value to your audience. And you get bonus points since this one includes a number.

A better way to [your service offering]
Your company exists to help others do business better, so why not highlight how you eliminate your buyers’ pain points? 

How [competitor] gains [high-level benefit]
We specialize in helping mid-market companies fight their 800lb gorillas. Rather than pretending your competition doesn’t exist, acknowledge what they do to be successful, then communicate how you can do it better. 

Sneak Peek of our New Whitepaper
Making an email feel exclusive is a great way to entice opens, just be sure to actually deliver value once they do open. 

I know you’re excited to read another eBook
Content fatigue is real, and, let’s be honest, marketing your resource as “free” isn’t really an incentive for conversions. Use this to send an email promoting something new and engaging you have created to help your audience (that isn’t an ebook). Infographics, interactive experiences, or videos are great formats. 

Ultimately, you want to delight and engage your audience. Don’t forget to segment your email lists so you can really tailor your message with each send. Tell your audience what’s inside, and use action-oriented verbiage to clearly indicate what comes next. Most of all, don’t be afraid to get punny.

Looking for an email tool that gets it? Meet HubSpot. 

Get Started With HubSpot For Free

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About the Author

Kady White
Kady White
Kady is a digital native marketer that has spent the past several years in the B2B technology space on the brand side until joining Idea Grove in 2018. She serves clients as a Digital + HubSpot strategist and is Idea Grove's resident HubSpot evangelist. In 2019 she started leading the DFW HubSpot User Group after almost a decade of using HubSpot's tech stack to help drive marketing programs. She has a BBA in Marketing from the University of North Texas and an MA in Communications from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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