Making Email the Cornerstone 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.

I recently read a research report titled, “Email-Driven Content Marketing” published by Ascend2 in partnership with leading marketing technology companies, marketing media and digital marketing agencies. You can download the full report from here.

Their findings were based on 224 marketing influencers who responded to their survey during the week of August 27, 2018. This is definitely not outdated or old data. Of the total respondents, 55% were B2B marketers.

What are the top priorities of an email-driven content marketing strategy?

At the top of the list is “Improving the quality of leads” 54%, followed by “Increasing conversion rates” and “Increasing the number of leads” at 49% each. Those are the same priorities of industrial content marketing for manufacturing and engineering marketers.

Priorities of email in industrial content marketing

It is not just setting priorities, let’s look at email’s ability to achieve those goals. More than half (54%) of marketing influencers consider an email-driven content marketing strategy to be very successful at achieving priorities. Only 5% consider the strategy unsuccessful as seen in the first chart.

Success of an email-driven strategy in industrial content marketing

The next one is from the 2018 Manufacturing Content Marketing: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America published by Content Marketing Institute and IEEE. Email is the most effective format of content Manufacturing Marketers use for content marketing purposes.

Email is the top channel for manufacturing marketers

Challenges versus priorities in industrial email marketing

So far everything I’ve said sounds very positive, but that doesn’t mean industrial email marketing doesn’t have its challenges. I’ve already mentioned the difficulties in getting in to the Inboxes of engineers because of sophisticated spam filtering methods employed by most companies; now you must also deal with GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) Compliance if you target European markets.

If you think all you need to do is blast out emails promoting your products/services, think again. The old fashioned “batch and blast” email marketing just won’t work, especially if you are considering renting an email list.

Look at this chart from the Ascend2 report that compares priorities and barriers to success.

Barriers to success of email in industrial content marketing

Creating content for industrial email marketing is resource intensive

It is not just dealing with technical issues; your email content must earn the trust of engineers and industrial professionals for them to actually read your emails and take action. If you succeed, they are likely to whitelist you and your emails will reach their Inboxes.

If your in-house marketing resources are already stretched to the max, you have another major challenge to overcome. Lack of time and expertise are probably the two biggest complaints I hear, and the main reasons why prospects and clients reach out to me.

You are not alone if you are facing the same challenge. Here are the findings from Ascend2.

Outsourcing email in industrial content marketing

While it is true email is very effective in industrial content marketing, it does have its own challenges in achieving your goals and priorities.

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