Email marketing for manufacturers continues to perform well, but there are some serious challenges to overcome. It is a mixed bag of good and bad news. Keep reading for all the details based on research conducted by highly respected and independent third-party sources [rt_reading_time label=”Reading Time:” postfix=”minutes” postfix_singular=”minute”]
Email marketing for manufacturers continues to be very effective for reaching engineers and technical professionals. Year after year, manufacturers have successfully used email marketing despite all the talk about social media. There are good reasons for it being a core component of a good industrial marketing strategy.
According to Thomas ™ For Industry (ThomasNet), “Email is the single most important channel for industrial marketers in terms of ROI.”
Here are some more mind-boggling statistics on B2B and industrial email marketing.
- Email generates $38 for every $1 spent, which is an astounding 3,800% ROI (DMA)
- 82% of manufacturing marketers use email to distribute content (CMI)
- 96% of engineers will at least consider an email in front of them (Engineering.com)
- Nearly 50% of engineers subscribe to two to three e-newsletters (IEEE/GlobalSpec)
- 83% of B2B companies use e-newsletters as part of their content marketing program (HubSpot)
With those kinds of numbers, you can be assured that email marketing for manufacturers is as relevant as ever.
Manufacturers use email for lead nurturing and content distribution
If you are a manufacturer of complex engineered systems, you deal with long sales cycles that involve multiple touchpoints with a variety of stakeholders. Nurturing leads is critical to your success for converting top of the funnel leads into sales opportunities. Similarly, email is a very popular method for content distribution.
Combine videos with email marketing
81% of manufacturing marketers use videos in their content marketing. This is followed closely by email newsletters at 74% (Source: Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020). Why not combine the two for a powerful 1-2 punch?
The 2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers® survey reported that 88% of engineers found Product demo/how-to videos to be Somewhat to Very Valuable when doing their research. The interesting part about this statistic is that there are differences among countries and age groups.
Engineers in South America and India/Asia/Russia place more value on case studies than their peers in the U.S. and Canada. Engineers under 35 and between 46-55 are more likely to value product demo/how to videos. It is important for manufacturers to win the mindshare of younger engineers as they take on more decision-making roles.
Email marketing for manufacturers is an integral part of the mix
Email marketing is an integral part of industrial content marketing. That doesn’t mean you have to rely on it 100% of the time. In the past, I’ve written about how manufacturers use a combination of push and pull strategies in industrial marketing.
My thoughts were based on the annual survey, Trends in Industrial Marketing conducted by IEEE GlobalSpec.
- 81% of industrial marketers use both push/outbound (email, tradeshows) and pull/inbound (corporate websites, online catalogs) marketing initiatives
- 60% of the companies use email marketing to in-house lists
Challenges remain in email marketing for manufacturers
Stats are great but take those numbers with a healthy grain of salt. Plenty of challenges remain for manufacturers to overcome to get their emails opened and actually engage with engineers and industrial buyers.
The old ways of “batch and blast” don’t work well and 100% promotional or salesy emails won’t cut it either.
Junk email filtering has become much more sophisticated over the years, so getting your emails into the inboxes is a huge problem. It is a known fact that open and click rates from emails have been declining over the years.
Average email campaign stats in 2019 for the manufacturing industry according to MailChimp are as follows:
- Average Open Rate: 19.82% compared to 21.33% for all industries
- Average Click Rate: 2.18% compared to 2.62% for all industries
How do engineers interact with email newsletters when they receive them? The chart below is from the same report, 2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers® report.
NOTE: These numbers are based only on e-newsletters that engineers have subscribed to and trust.
Based on my own experiences working with industrial companies, I can say email marketing for manufacturers does work, but it isn’t easy and there are some serious challenges to overcome if you want to get results.