What elements should I always include in my b-to-b message templates?

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Answer: E-mail templates help you focus on the content of your e-mail rather than the format. But while e-mail templates can speed up the process of creating and delivering campaigns, it is important to incorporate the necessary components to ensure a successful message. Below are a few suggestions.
  • Subject line: The subject line is the No. 1 reason a message gets opened. Make sure it doesn’t contain any Spam triggers. Also, does it encourage recipients to open the message? Rewrite it a few different ways to come up with the best approach.
  • White-listing instructions: Remind recipients that adding your company’s name to their white list will increase the odds of your e-mail passing through spam filters. Include white-listing instructions at the top of each e-mail. If you have a lot of recipients using Web mail clients, use a link that includes instructions for white list addition.
  • Company logo: Customers align themselves with certain brands, so it is important to make this connection by including your company logo in the top of the e-mail message. Many businesspeople use the Outlook e-mail client. Because it uses a preview pane by default, logo usage at the top of the message is critical. Also, don’t forget to link your company logo back to the home page.
  • Forward message: Include a viral marketing option, such as a forward-to-a-colleague link. Better yet, provide a short list of the types of people who would benefit from your message.
  • Personalization: In today’s technology-driven marketplace, individual, personal connections can make all the difference. Make personalization relevant and credible. Include an area in which the recipient’s first name can be included or, better yet, try to incorporate past purchase history or sales representative affiliation within the body of the message.
  • CAN-SPAM compliance: The CAN-SPAM law requires that the option to opt out is included in all subscriber-based communication. Make this a button, not a long, unwieldy message. Customize the unsubscribe landing page. For example, association members may want to unsubscribe from product offers but continue to receive important public affairs information. Also remember to include a physical mailing address—it’s the law.

Tricia Robinson is chief marketing officer for Atlanta-based Accucast Inc. (, a provider of e-mail marketing solutions.

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