To my surprise, the choice of whether or not to use HTML for B2B e-mail still seems to be a source of serious debate among marketers.

From time to time, I am asked about my thoughts on the subject, and the conversation typically takes place like this: “Hello, I’m calling Mike the Marketer and I’m working in the company. B2B space We have sent all our emails in plain text.Do you think it’s a good strategy? Personally, I think it helps our deliverability. “

My answer is usually something to the effect of: “Oh really? Why do you think that? “

“Because we are dealing with B2B buyers, and they expect to receive direct e-mails one-on-one.” And plain text bypasses filters because filters do not like them not the images. “

“Riiiiight … Are you sure of that?”

“Well, yeah … is not it common wisdom on the subject?”

“Not really, and it’s certainly not what I get in my inbox, either.”

No, what fills my inbox is HTML emails designed to look like plain text emails. How do I know? Well, I can feel HTML emails a mile away. You can easily detect an HTML email by searching for hyperlinked words or phrases, such as “Click here if you do not want to hear from me.”

It is therefore shocking that the question “HTML or not HTML” is still asked so often. Do marketers always ask if they should use the most basic and reliable tool of our email quiver (the tracking pixel) when sending mail? 39, a B2B e-mail? Yes they are. And, the answer is – of course, you should use HTML!

This faulty habit of avoiding HTML because of unjustified concerns about deliverability and expectations of B2B audience plagues many traders. Here’s why the use of HTML in B2B emails is unequivocally the right choice, as well as other good e-mail marketing practices via e-mail for good measure.

Harness the power of HTML

For starters, you can code an HTML email so that it looks like plain text without missing useful HTML elements, such as hyperlinks and calls to action offering a level of interactivity with the content of your emails, ultimately generating more leads and sales conversions.

In addition, HTML allows you to include unsubscribe options, a crucial element for many B2B e-mails. Giving B2B recipients the ability to unsubscribe prevents them from tagging your messages as spam or going to their IT departments and asking that your domain and range of IP addresses be set to the index .

If you’re worried about seeing your emails too busy or rustling and scare B2B recipients, take the “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” approach: not too hard, not too soft , right juuuust. Really, all you need to include in B2B emails is a logo in the signature and perhaps in the header to keep them simple and effectively branding your business and conversation. Marking an e-mail just and not exaggerating will ensure that the focus stays squarely on the body’s content of the e-mail.

The use of HTML also helps to not overload your recipients by providing information and analysis about who opens your emails and interact with their content (ie in clicking on external URLs). Analytics will allow you to track and measure the audience engagement and refine your email marketing strategy based on what works and does not work.

Even emails sent for the sole purpose of setting up a meeting can benefit from the inclusion of a URL or two pointing to a case study. How would you know if the user clicked on the URL or if the content actually drove a person to a website, whether or not he or she accepted the meeting, without sending any e-mail? -mail in HTML format?

Other Good B2B Email Marketing Practices

Now that you do not know why you should definitely use HTML for your B2B e-mail, let’s go and bring it to your home by setting up your B2B e-mail marketing efforts for maximum success.

Here are some additional good practices to follow with your B2B emails:

  • Be as brief, direct, and personal as possible with B2B recipients, without becoming so scary.
  • Test leading e-mail hosts for professional platforms, such as Google Apps, and major antispam filter suites designed for professional mail to determine if your IP addresses and domains are safe. sending encounter problems.
  • Establish a set of sending IPs as you would for commercial e-mails and rotate them when you do a cold survey and solicitation, rather than using your IP business addresses. Make sure you configure these IP addresses correctly and use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC to align your email authentication records to protect your brand and your recipient’s inbox.
  • Do not scratch e-mail addresses or guess them. I can not say enough how difficult it is to scratch the addresses of B2B recipients by guessing combinations of “firstname.lastname” or a variation of this formula and the domain of a company. This practice, with the purchase of e-mail lists, will eventually come back to bite you. If this is not a sufficient reason, then consider the astronomical fines associated with the General Data Protection Regulations, GDPR, come into effect in a few months to send emails to recipients without an explicit and unambiguous opt-in .

B2B may have a reputation for being dry and stuffy, but neglecting the HTML in favor of plain text emails for B2B recipients is simply silly. Never let the pesky “HTML or not HTML” issue clutter you again. It’s officially time to declare HTML as a friend, not an enemy, to B2B email marketers once and for all.


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. The authors of the staff are listed here.


About the author

1509039852 380 enabling customers to drive the pace of email - B2B e-mails: In HTML format or not in HTML format?

Len Shneyder is a veteran of email and digital messaging for 15 years and the vice president of industry relations at SendGrid. Len is an evangelist and advocate of best practices, and he leads thought leadership and insights into industry trend data based on the sheer volume of emails SendGrid delivers on behalf of their clients. . Len represents SendGrid on the board of directors of M3AAWG (the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Abuse Working Group) as vice-president, and co-chairs the program committee. He is also a member of the MAC (Member Advisory Committee) of the EEC (Email Experience Council) where he is Vice President of the organization. ECE is a professional organization specializing in the promotion of best practices for email marketing. The EEC belongs to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association of America), an organization almost 100 years old, where he also sits on the Ethics Committee. In addition, Len has worked closely with the Email Sender & Provider Coalition (ESPC) on issues surrounding data privacy and email deliverability.

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