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What B2B Marketers Can Learn From Some of 2017's Best Emails

by Colby Cavanaugh  |  
January 8, 2018
  |  4,821 views

Today's inboxes are more crowded than ever. But the silver lining for marketers is that whether you're a marketing team of one or a thousand, it's possible to compete with the emails of the biggest brands out there.

How so? With smart design and strategy, marketers from companies big or small can become the heroes of their firms by building email campaigns worth celebrating.

We've compiled an overview of some of the best emails from the past year, along with some tips to ensure yours stand out in the inbox and you're able to maximize engagement and conversion rates to achieve the highest possible email ROI in 2018.

1. A Design Strategy That Scores Major Points: Vanderbilt Athletics

Fully 80% of people are only scanning your email, according to the Nielsen Norman Group. People are busy, which means they're checking their email quickly while waiting in line at the coffee shop, say, or if they get to a meeting a couple of minutes early. You have only a few seconds to make a big enough impression for them to engage right then or remember to revisit your email later.


The email from Vanderbilt Athletics follows the playbook on how to share a lot of content in a scannable, digestible way. By breaking up the design into clearly defined buckets with compelling headlines, the company has given fans easy access to all the information they need to know; plus, the email is easy to scan on a mobile phone.

This is a tactic that B2B marketers would be wise to emulate: Instead of stuffing every newsletter with a wall of copy and text links, organize your email content into an attractive, scannable format like this one.

2. Tease Subscribers With a Compelling GIF: Southern Proper


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Colby Cavanaugh is the senior vice-president of marketing at Emma, a digital marketing platform that makes it easy to create beautifully designed emails that drive results.

LinkedIn: Colby Cavanaugh

Twitter: @colbycc

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  • by Peter Altschuler Mon Jan 8, 2018 via web

    If ever a story begged for visuals and examples to be included with the text, it's this one. Two of the points reference design, but don't show it. Another mentions a gif, but doesn't include it. A fourth mentions copy but doesn't quote it. And the last talks about segmentation without explaining how it was applied.

    Links take you to everything, but you shouldn't have to make the effort to see what the writer should have incorporated. If 80% of readers are only scanning, they're not going to click to a link that doesn't preview what they'll find.

  • by Roger from Remail Fri Jan 12, 2018 via web

    Thanks for awesome article, what are you think about lead generation with email marketing

  • by Loredana Niculae Thu Jan 18, 2018 via web

    Totally agree. Some other tips to keep in mind about b2b e-mail marketing https://nnc-services.com/common-mistakes-in-marketing-e-mail-campaigns/

  • by Zsuzsanna Blau Tue Jan 23, 2018 via web

    Great points, Peter. Also, since B2B marketers were directly addressed in this post, I would have loved to see at least a couple of B2B examples. All of these were B2C. :(

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