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Industrial email marketing

7 Tips for Effective Industrial Email Marketing

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Do you believe that industrial email marketing for manufacturers is outdated and ineffective? Think again!

While it’s true that open and click-through rates have seen a downward trend over the years, email marketing continues to be among the highest-performing industrial marketing strategies.

The Power of Industrial Email Marketing

As a manufacturing marketer, you know the importance of sending the right message to the right people at the right time. However, you also know that reaching engineers, technical professionals, and industrial buyers isn’t easy.

Our inboxes are inundated with junk emails, and we are constantly bombarded with online ads. Rising above the noise and capturing attention has become increasingly challenging. But fear not—one industrial content marketing tactic has proven to be incredibly effective: email marketing.

In this post, I’ll talk about how manufacturers, distributors, and engineering companies can use industrial email marketing to engage with their target audience, maintain top-of-mind awareness through long sales cycles, and build stronger relationships with their customers.

Tip 1: Maintaining email list hygiene: an essential prerequisite for effective industrial email marketing

Maintaining email list hygiene is not just a “good-to-have” option; it’s essential for industrial email marketing. The success of your marketing efforts is directly tied to the quality of your email list.


A clean email list ensures your messages reach the right inboxes of individuals most likely to engage with your content and convert into valuable customers, assuming your emails can get past spam filters.

This could be the difference between a successful campaign and a wasted effort for manufacturers, distributors, and engineering companies. So, don’t overlook the importance of email list hygiene. It’s a prerequisite for effective industrial email marketing, enabling you to reach the right audience with the right message at the right time.

There are plenty of list cleaning service providers available. Just Google list hygiene services. (About 435,000,000 results).

Tip 2: Rented email lists vs. in-house lists: which performs better in industrial email marketing?

Understanding the difference between rented and in-house email lists is key to successful industrial email marketing. While rented lists can quickly boost numbers, in-house lists, cultivated over time, offer more targeted engagement and significantly higher conversion rates.

Plus, there’s the legal issue of compliance with anti-spam laws, especially in the EU with stricter GDPR requirements.

There are exceptions, of course. I have found that buying lists from industry-specific organizations and trade show organizers can be effective. Another option is to ride the coattails of respected industry media publications that have a captive audience of opt-in emails who want to hear from you.

Read the fine print, though; there may be restrictions on how many times you can email to their list, and you do not own those contacts unless someone takes some action on your website and you capture those leads in your CRM.

Tip 3: Segmenting and personalizing your messages for enhanced engagement

Segmentation and personalization in industrial email marketing allow you to reach out to your audience in a more meaningful way, and that’s how engagement gets a significant boost!

Through segmentation, you can categorize your audience based on various parameters such as geographic location, company size, job function, and past interactions. This enables you to tailor your messages to resonate with different audience segments, making your campaigns more effective.

Here’s a short video on creating list segments from MailerLite, my email marketing platform of choice, after trying many others.


Creating content targeting a particular segment lets you directly address that group’s interests, needs, and pain points. This tailored approach replaces the ineffective ‘one-size-fits-all’ method, helping you make a more personalized connection that fosters trust and loyalty.

By crafting emails that seem to ‘speak’ directly to your audience, you significantly increase the likelihood of engagement and conversion, thus taking a giant leap towards your marketing goals.

Tip 4: Lead Nurturing—Cultivating business relationships through industrial email marketing

Lead nurturing plays a pivotal role in long sales cycles typical in the industrial sector. This is because decisions often involve significant investments requiring careful consideration and multiple layers of approval.

Through consistent and customized communication via email marketing, industrial businesses can maintain their presence in the minds of potential clients, educating them and addressing their concerns throughout their buying journey.

This gradual building of trust and credibility can greatly influence decision-making, making lead nurturing an essential strategy for closing deals and achieving sustained growth in the industrial sector.

It is the difference between becoming a valued partner versus one of three suppliers for competitive quotes.

You can streamline lead nurturing by using one of many Marketing Automation solutions that are out there.

Tip 5: Boosting sales of industrial consumables and standard products

Email marketing can also be a powerful tool for driving sales. By sharing promotions, discounts, and new product launches with your subscribers, you can incentivize them to purchase sooner rather than later.

This email marketing strategy works best when you want to target MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Operations) professionals to sell industrial consumables like abrasives, cutting tools, fasteners, bolts, nuts, etc.

I wouldn’t recommend using promotional or “salesy” emails if you manufacture custom-engineered systems.

Tip 6: Using email newsletters to engage with engineers

I can just hear you say, “C’Mon Man! Email newsletters are so old school.” To that, I say, “Hold your horses.”

Maybe these findings from the 2023 State of Marketing to Engineers will convince you to start or continue to use email newsletters.

Email newsletters used in industrial email marketinmg

Email newsletters are perfect for sharing company news, product updates, industry insights, and technical content. You can build stronger connections with your subscribers by personalizing the content to target a specific segment of your engineering audience.

Email newsletters get delivered to their inboxes, assuming you can get past their email filters. This is an important consideration since engineers tend to be passive participants in social media; they like to read or view without leaving comments or sharing with their network. This makes it harder to track engagement than it is with email newsletters.

Use newsletters to show a synopsis of your content to get their attention and then drive them to your website or blog to read the full content. That’s where you can dive deeper into the technical topic, provide links to download white papers, read case studies, etc.

Nearly three out of four [Manufacturing Marketers] use email newsletters to distribute content.

email newsletters for industrial email marketing

Tip 7: Measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns

One of the best things about email marketing is that it’s easy to track and measure your success. You can monitor open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and other key metrics to see how your campaigns are performing. This data can help you make informed decisions about your strategy and adjust your tactics as needed.

It’s not enough to merely track open and click-through rates; understanding what actions recipients took on your site after clicking on your email links is just as essential. Post-campaign site interactions are vital indicators of your email marketing effectiveness.

This analysis includes observing pages visited, the duration of each visit, downloads of any offered resources, and, most importantly, whether they completed desired actions such as filling out a form or making a purchase.

Tools like Google Analytics can be instrumental in providing these insights. This comprehensive understanding of user behavior allows for continually improving and refining your email marketing strategy.

Email marketing may seem old-fashioned, but it remains a highly effective and versatile tool for marketers in the industrial sector. Whether you want to engage with your audience throughout their buying journey, build customer relationships, or drive sales, email marketing can help you achieve your goals.

By following these tips and staying on top of trends and best practices, you can create email campaigns that resonate with your target audience, build brand loyalty, and drive long-term success for your business.

If you are ready to take your industrial email marketing to new heights, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. With a deep understanding of industry trends and a proven track record, I can help craft tailored email campaigns that resonate with your target audience and drive tangible results.

Let’s transform your industrial email marketing strategy into a powerful tool for customer engagement and sales growth. Ready to have a conversation? Let’s talk.

[Disclosure: Some links found here are affiliate links, meaning we receive a small referral commission if you buy something using any link. It will NOT cost you anything extra.]

Achinta Mitra

Achinta Mitra calls himself a “marketing engineer” because he combines his engineering education and an MBA with 35+ years of practical manufacturing and industrial marketing experience. You want an expert with an insider’s knowledge and an outsider’s objectivity who can point you in the right direction immediately. That's Achinta. He is the Founder of Tiecas, Inc., a manufacturing marketing agency in Houston, Texas. Read Achinta's story here.
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