TUESDAY 31 AUG 2021 11:57 AM


Research reveals communications strategies that combines quantified impact and emotional language are most effective at driving engagement and action with early-stage B2B buyers.

The average open rate for B2B emails is between 15%-20%, but the average click trough rate is only 3%. This means that around 85% of B2B emails that get opened, do not engage with the reader enough to prompt action.

The behavioural study from the B2B agency the Marketing Practice and research firm B2B DecisionLabs aimed to identify the best way for businesses to frame early-stage communications to build interest and drive action in a B2B solutions. Conducted by Dr Nick Lee, professor of marketing at Warwick Business School, the study surveyed 500 B2B professionals to reveal that a combination of quantified impact and emotional language is most effective.

Doug Hutton, senior vice president of products at B2B DecisionLabs, says, “Selecting the right language—quantified, emotional, and with contrast—directly impacts not only how likely a prospect is to take a next step, but how urgent they consider the issue raised to be.”

The research tested three messaging variables: unquantified and quantified business impact, rational and emotional language, and the use of contrast such as risk versus future benefits. These variables were then applied across five test messages using a variation of emotional, rational and contrasting language.

Participants were most responsive to the use of quantified impact and emotional language in early-stage prospect messaging. Quantified rational messaging on the other hand, proved to drive the least urgency by 17.3%. The use of contrast also led to significantly better recall than a lack of contrast.  

“There is often an assumption in B2B that decision makers will be driven by purely rational imperatives when choosing a solution. We were keen to test that hypothesis through behavioural research and are delighted that this study has generated findings which will help B2B companies produce more effective communications,” says David van Schaick, CMO of the Marketing Practice.

The Marketing Practice and B2B DecisionLabs are running a webinar on 14 September to talk through the study findings. Sign up here.