B2B Email Marketing Fails

Getting personalised email marketing right

If your inbox is anything like mine, it’s likely that you get inundated with email marketing campaigns from businesses saying ‘Download your free eGuide now’ or ‘Watch our upcoming webinar’. Typically, these emails go straight into my deleted items as they’re impersonal and lacking in intrigue.

There are a number of reasons these emails really frustrate me, mainly because it’s such a missed opportunity. Best practice says emails shouldn’t be generic and boring, instead they should be personalised and human. Adding a bit of personality in your campaigns will give standout and better traction. So, how do you start a personalised email marketing campaign that resonates with your future buyers or your customers?

Your buyers

We already know about profiling, so you’ll have a clear picture of your buyer and hopefully a documented buyer persona. When writing personalised email marketing campaigns, it’s essential to have this person in mind. Visualise them and write the email as though you’re speaking directly to them.

[Tweet “When writing personalised #email #marketing campaigns, have your buyer persona in mind.”]

The copy can be friendly, serious or business-like depending on the relationship you want. It’s more important that the tone reflects your brand and that you’re positioning yourself and your business in the right way. Use your own personal style and use natural language, just make sure you don’t slip into marketing mode with automated-sounding jargon.

Making the most of your data

When you capture data from your sign-ups, you’re given a gift. With that gift is the opportunity to use that information in future conversations. In real life, if someone told you their name, you’d use it. So, first and foremost, use the name of your recipient to kick start your personalised email marketing campaign. Even the most simple email marketing tools allow personalisation at this level, so there’s no excuse.

For example, your initial email might start:

Subject: Configure Modern Media’s service desk, no code required.

Hi Jason

We spoke recently about Modern Media’s service management software…



Follow-up quickly (probably with an automated email), but make sure that the copy sounds like you’ve just written it. You have their name, so include it in the copy a few times and test it in the subject line of the email too – it may have a positive impact on your open rate.

Subject: Thanks, Jason, your guided demo is on the way

Hi Jason

Thanks for requesting a demo, I’ll be in touch shortly to arrange a convenient time. I’ll have a quick look at Modern Media’s website first and then give you a call.In the interim, you can watch a 30 second introduction to our software on our website. I’m looking forward to speaking with you…



It’s likely you also asked for the name of their company on the sign-up form, so use this in appropriate places too.

After a few discussions, and assuming a lengthy buying cycle, it’s likely you’ve also captured the data of other members of the buying team (this may be something you get your sales team to do as part of their qualification process). You could consider including managers or co-workers in later email copy too – as long as it makes sense and adds value. Done in the right way (and with a clean, well-managed database), it could really improve your interaction rate and conversion rate.

Landing page personalisation

Personalisation doesn’t just extend to the email you send your database, it should also be considered for the landing page content where the recipient clicks through to. Again, it’s important that this feels natural as it’s easy to get it wrong.

So when it comes to personalised email marketing there is a lot of opportunity to make your emails stand out. The simplest way to start is by mentioning their name and company, then experiment with the information in the database at your disposal. You’ve got the data, so you may as well use it.

How do you make your emails more personal? Tell me on Twitter: @N1colaray. 🙂

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