How many emails flow into your email InBox each day? Have you noticed a significant pickup in the total number of emailings you receive each day? I have, big time. From folks I never heard of and didn’t request any information from. Actually, marketers report they are inundated with pitches from mailing lists, print services, marketing services, production services, product pitches (don’t get me started!) and a host of other business to business services they did not solicit.

Please understand, most of these emailings are from solid b2b product and service providers but the problem is they weren’t requested. So they get deleted or worse, opted out, which disconnects them from those they have spent considerable time and expense trying to their attention.

So here are four rules that will increase the effectiveness of your email response rates and protect the integrity of your brand and list serve:

  1. Ask, don’t tell, throughout all of your initial communications. By providing a set of possible solutions that the customer may be interested in and allowing the choice to be theirs will increase, not diminish, your response rate greatly.
  2. Provide “how to” articles that are of particular interest to the specific person you are reaching out to.
  3. Deliver practical advice in the form of “case studies” that show the customer what has worked for other companies which is more convincing than simply listing the five benefits of using your new widget.
  4. Target your messages to the exact right person. The more exact the better. Criteria to ensure this is targeted include job title, industry and market trends.

Knowing your target audience well will allow you to prepare content that has a greater chance of being of interest to your targets. And remember, for this to really work it needs to become a two-way discussion. So keep your targeted messages in line with your prospects interests so they will want to continue the conversation.