Industrial Lead Generation – MQL vs SQL

Industrial lead generation - MQL vs SQL

Industrial lead generation is an important, if not the #1 goal of industrial marketers. Sure, there are other objectives of manufacturing content marketing as can be seen in this chart from the Manufacturing Content Marketing … Read more

Making Email the Foundation of Industrial Content Marketing

You may think email marketing is dead or passé with all the talk about social media. However, that is far from the reality that I see every day, working with manufacturers and engineering companies, especially when it comes to industrial content marketing.

Engineers and industrial professionals do read emails, provided you’ve earned their trust with valuable content and can get through their spam filters. According to the research report “How Engineers Find Information 2018” published by engineering.com, 95% of engineers will consider an email in their inbox.

You can read about this in my earlier post, Industrial Email Marketing for Engaging Engineers and Technical Professionals.

Email should be an important component of industrial content marketing

Given the above findings, it makes a lot of sense in making email marketing a key component of your overall industrial content marketing strategy. My opinion is corroborated by independent research findings.

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Industrial Companies shouldn’t Replace Email Marketing with Social Media

Right off the bat let me say that this post is not about email marketing versus social media. However, I’ve had conversations with manufacturers and industrial companies where I am asked if email marketing is still relevant and effective since all the talk these days is about social media. Yes, social media generates all the buzz but discarding email marketing, a tried and true workhorse would be a mistake and here is why.

In a March 2012 online survey of US marketing professionals, trade publication Chief Marketer found that the most popular tool in digital campaigns, according to 78% of the respondents was email marketing followed by Email newsletters (59%) and a close third was social media at 58%.

Here is a chart from emarketer.com showing the growing number of tools used by marketers to improve Website engagement.

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Using E-mail Marketing for Lead Generation

Most manufacturers and industrial companies use email marketing as a way to keep in touch with new leads and existing customers. This usually means sending out a bi-weekly or a monthly email newsletter.

It has been my experience within the industrial sector that these companies rarely use email marketing proactively for lead generation. Here I am not referring to new subscribers to newsletters and free content. To me, those contacts are prospects and not leads. There is a difference. For more on that, refer to my post, “Subscribers to Free Content are NOT Leads.”

How to generate quality leads using email marketing

Email marketing is an effective tactic for generating high-quality leads from an audience of engineering, industrial and technical professionals. However, it does require you to think about emails somewhat differently.

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Making Industrial E-mail Marketing More Relevant

E-mail marketing to a house list continues to be the top marketing channel for many industrial companies and manufacturers according to Trends in Industrial Marketing 2011 from GlobalSpec. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that industrial marketers are very happy with the results.

The biggest challenge in e-mail marketing faced by industrial marketers, besides not enough resources, is getting their subscribers to pay attention to their emails when everybody’s inboxes are already overflowing with messages. Keeping e-mails relevant has become the key factor in proving their worth in industrial marketing.

In this post, I’ve listed the major areas to focus on if you want to make your industrial e-mail marketing more relevant and productive.

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Boost Email Relevancy With Dynamic Content

Email marketing has been a staple of industrial marketing for a long time. However, many of these marketers are now experiencing declining open and click through rates.

With all the buzz about social media, blogs and RSS feeds, are email marketing and eNewsletters dead?

Not so fast!

IMO, they are and will continue to be very useful provided your content is relevant.

That’s the standard advice you are likely to get from most marketing consultants. It’s easier said than done as you’ve probably already discovered.

The solution – use dynamic content to boost relevancy of your emails and make them highly personalized in order to truly engage with your audience of engineering, technical and industrial professionals.

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Inbound Marketing Tactics to Get Bulk of B2B Marketing Budgets in 2011

As we head into November and the start of the Holiday Season, B2B marketers are getting into their budgeting mode. With the cloud of economic uncertainty still hanging over many industries, it is not surprising that B2B marketers are shifting their 2011 budgets more towards lower-cost inbound eMarketing tactics.

MarketingSherpa asked more than 900 B2B marketers how they expected their marketing budgets to change for 2011. The chart below shows the breakdown between different marketing tactics and the projected increase/decrease for the next year.

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Add Google Analytics to Emails and Gain B2B Lead Generation Intelligence

While working on an email campaign for a client who markets to manufacturers in the Process Controls and Automation industry, I was asked if there was an easy way to combine web analytics with email marketing.

He was already using Google Analytics (GA) to monitor his Web site. However, there really wasn’t a good way for him to track site activity after each email campaign went out.

My client wanted to gain a better understanding of Web site interactions that could be tied to a specific email and help him refine his landing pages to improve his lead generation efforts.

The problem with basic email metrics of open and click-through (CTR) rates is that they are very limited in their usefulness. Here’s why:

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High-Performance Email Marketing for Attracting and Engaging Industrial Buyers

In today’s “do more with less” industrial marketing environment, email marketing continues to be a productive marketing tool despite all the reports about its declining effectiveness. According to SirrusDecisions research, the B2B buyer receives 20.3 email campaigns per week, up from 15.4 per week in 2006. And that reality of the flooded inbox is very evident from steadily dropping response rates of only 1% to 3% range for traditional email marketing.

The old email marketing strategy of batch and blast or spray and pray is no longer effective. However, there’s no denying the low cost of email marketing. Therefore B2B and industrial marketers continue to favor email marketing over other direct marketing channels.

Today, it has matured to the point where marketers can deliver highly focused email campaigns to the right audience at the right time and in the preferred format.

Savvy B2B email marketers are being very creative in order to rise above the noise, get their lists to open their emails and take a desired action. They are combining video, audio and sophisticated tracking tools to deliver email campaigns with highly customized messages that engage prospects in their preferred format and measure interactions beyond just open and click-thru rates and well into website behavior.

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Don’t Count on Marketing Automation to Solve All Your Lead Generation Problems

Some B2B marketers tend to think of Marketing Automation as the silver bullet that will solve their lead generation crisis. Of course, Marketing Automation alone cannot live up to those hyped up expectations and has to take the brunt of the blame.

That is unfortunate because Marketing Automation software is a very useful tool and in my opinion, a necessity these days. However, B2B and/or industrial marketers must learn to use it correctly in order to harness its true power.

Let’s get one thing straight from the get go, if you are in a declining market with low demand for your products and services, no amount of automation will help you generate new leads. You need to rethink your business model first and fast.

Marketing Automation software is widely used to execute key marketing functions like lead scoring and routing, nurturing via drip marketing, creating email campaigns and landing pages, tracking, measuring and reporting using a unified dashboard. There’s is no question that marketing departments do become a lot more efficient by automating many of these marketing tasks.

However, is improving efficiency enough to justify investing in Marketing Automation? Or do we need to show a verifiable ROI? To most C-level execs that really means answering the question, “How much revenue did it generate?” It is the second question that seems to cause the most problems.

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