Do you think industrial email marketing is dead? It would be easy to jump to that conclusion given the declining click rates and the difficulties in getting past the sophisticated email spam-filtering methods. Engineers and technical professionals know how to opt out and have much higher expectations from vendor emails.
Think twice though before you discard the tried-and-tested industrial email marketing strategies. Sure, the old way of “batch and blast” is no longer effective and email marketing is facing challenges, but it is not dead by any means. I can say that based on my own experience working with manufacturing and engineering companies on a daily basis.
Reaching engineers with industrial email marketing
According to the research report “How Engineers Find Information 2018” published by engineering.com, 95% of engineers will consider an email in their inbox.
There is a catch of course, “If you can get your marketing message through the email filters, you have a serious opportunity to earn consideration. Only 5% of engineers dismiss emails that land in their inbox out of hand. Nearly 50% opens every single email that lands.”
Need more statistics to convince you that industrial email marketing does work to engage with engineers and technical professionals? Here’s a finding from the 2017 Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector published by IEEE GlobalSpec.
“Forty-four percent of technical professionals subscribe to three or more free e-newsletters, and 35 percent subscribe to three or more free digital trade magazines. On average, engineers subscribe to two free e-newsletters.”
What is the most effective industrial email marketing method?
It is obvious that engineers and technical professionals do read emails, at least the ones that manage to get through to their Inboxes. Most find value in e-newsletters and they subscribe to multiple e-newsletters. This audience uses e-newsletters throughout the buying cycle.
You must be mindful of the fact that engineers and technical professionals want to be informed, educated and kept abreast of the latest developments in the industry. They don’t want to be sold to. So, follow the golden 80/20 rule instead of making your e-newsletters overly salesy.
Challenges in industrial email marketing
There are challenges to making your industrial email marketing engaging. Some of the big ones are:
- Earning trust for your emails to be white listed
- Competing for attention when there is already an information overload
- Creating content that your audience will find relevant
- Delivering your emails on a consistent schedule and not sporadic email blasts
- A robust tracking system that goes beyond measuring open and click rates
It is a fact that in-house email lists outperform all other lists. However, you don’t have to rely solely on your own list. Consider advertising and/or contributing content to targeted e-newsletters published by trusted industry publications and portals. These e-newsletters are delivered directly to your audience’s Inbox. It will increase your exposure to a captive audience and help grow your subscriber list in the long run.
Don’t ignore social media channels to reach people who may not be on your list. LinkedIn is an effective top of the funnel prospecting channel to grow your list. Coordinate across many channels and make your emails mobile responsive.
Your company’s website, social media presence and email marketing must all work together in providing a consistent message that is a true reflection of your business. Don’t confuse your audience with conflicting content which can dilute your branding and reduce your credibility. Email marketing should be an integral part of your overall industrial content marketing strategy.
Email marketing when done right can be one of the best ways of building stronger relationships in today’s digital world. Help start and create conversations with your audience instead of thinking of industrial email marketing as campaigns.