Industrial Marketing Blog

Industrial Email Marketing

How to Make Industrial Email Marketing Work for You

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Industrial email marketing may not get the same attention and love as it used to because of social media. However, don’t abandon it because it is still highly effective when targeting engineers and technical professionals.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore social media in favor of email marketing, especially if you are trying to engage with younger engineers, those that are 35 years or younger. The two can coexist very nicely as part of your industrial content marketing strategy.

What do manufacturers use for industrial content marketing?

Email newsletter is the most popular content format used by manufacturers in the past 12 months. That comes from the research report, Manufacturing Content Marketing—Insights For 2021 published by the Content Marketing Institute. There is a good reason for its popularity.

“Of all the content types they use, manufacturing marketers said videos (pre-produced) (21%), virtual events/webinars/online courses (19%), and email newsletters (13%) produced the best overall content marketing results for their organization in the last 12 months.”

Industrial email newsltters most popular with manufacturers

Engaging with engineers with industrial email marketing

Engineers are hungry for good information that is technically accurate and relevant to their work-related challenges. However, challenges still remain in reaching and engaging with them. This is a discerning audience who’ll ignore your emails if you don’t win their trust with good content.

Here are the findings from the report, “2021 State of Marketing to Engineers” published by GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing.

how engineers interact with e-newsletters

Industrial email marketing is not a one-way street

Industrial email marketing is not just for pushing out content to your audience. It is just as effective when it comes to your audience contacting your sales team.

You are probably already aware of the fact that most industrial buyers prefer to remain anonymous almost 70% through their buying journey. Reaching them is not an easy task when they don’t want to talk to your sales team.

When they are ready to engage, over half the engineers prefer to use email over any other form of communication. That’s another finding from GlobalSpec’s report.

Industrial buyers use email to contact vendors

Email list hygiene and growth

The quality of your email list has a huge impact on the success of your email marketing campaigns. It is a fact that in-house lists outperform other sources of lists. Over the years, you’ve probably collected emails from various sources—newsletter sign-ups, trade shows, networking, and existing prospects and customers.

People get promoted at companies and/or move to other jobs. You need to regularly check the hygiene of your email list. Do a “merge-purge” of your list to keep it current.

One common problem I’ve come across with industrial companies is the size of their lists. They tend to be small and/or stale. Needless to say, growing your list with new subscribers should be one of your goals of industrial content marketing.

Engineers are more willing to give up their contact information in exchange for what they consider valuable information. What can you offer engineers to persuade them to fill out your registration form? This chart from the GlobalSpec report will answer that question for you.

Content to provide for engineers to sign up

Lead nurturing is an important component of industrial email marketing, especially in long and complex sales cycles that are typical in industrial sales. This is a topic unto itself for another post or two. I have published a few posts on lead nurturing that you’ll find here. You can also find plenty of good information from HubSpot and other Marketing Automation companies.

Finding the right industry partner for email marketing

You don’t have to go it alone. Consider using e-newsletters from reputable industry portals and publications. Many of them publish several niche newsletters that can fit your exact needs.

There are several advantages to this strategy.

  • Reach new markets and expand to a global reach while sending targeted emails
  • Immediate access to a captive audience of engineers and industrial buyers
  • You don’t have to worry about SPAM and GDPR compliance; they are responsible for that
  • Easier to measure ROI of email marketing with in-depth reports
  • Some may even include the creation of HTML campaigns; all you have to do is provide the content

The only caveat is that you don’t own those contacts until someone visits your site after receiving your email and signs up for a content download or some other call to action.

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

This post should provide a good overview of how you can use industrial email marketing to work more effectively for generating high-quality leads.

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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