Industrial E-mail Marketing: Use Application Notes to Engage Engineers

E-mail marketing to in-house lists is the most popular marketing channel for reaching engineers and industrial professionals. This was one of the findings in a recent study published by GlobalSpec. The chart below shows the different online marketing tactics that manufacturers and industrial companies plan to use in 2011.

Marketing Channels Planned Usage by Industrial Companies in 2011


Notice how e-mail marketing using rented/purchased lists drops down significantly – it is third from the bottom! You can download the full study from here.

Email content that appeals to engineers

Most industrial marketers are aware of email marketing’s effectiveness but have trouble creating content for it regularly. I have found application notes to be very useful when engaging with this industrial audience.

There are several advantages to this form of email content. Application notes help to:

  • Educate your engineering audience about the latest developments and new applications
  • Make it easier to weave in your product(s) within the text without making it too salesy
  • Demonstrate how others (their peers/your customers) are using your industrial product
  • Guide in selecting the right component/parts/products based on design parameters and requirements
  • Highlight product capabilities and advancements for use in new and sophisticated applications
  • Provide options for cost savings over older methods while meeting newer regulatory requirements

You can use application notes to create email content in one of two ways as follows:

  1. Write them as blog posts and send out a monthly e-mail newsletter summarizing new articles for that month
  2. Send out the application notes first to your e-mail subscribers to create exclusivity and then repurpose them as blog posts for everyone else

Application notes not only help to engage with an engineering audience, they are very flexible because they can be used in e-mail marketing, blog posts and/or as content for Websites.

Email marketing metrics

The problem with basic email metrics of open and click-through (CTR) rates is that they are very limited in their usefulness and flawed to some extent. Open rates are unreliable because they only track emails in HTML format with a small transparent graphic. If your subscribers have set their email client to block images (default state in Outlook, Gmail and many other programs) or view your emails in their in a preview pane, those will not be counted as opens.

Measuring post-click interactions are important to gathering lead generation intelligence, improving conversion rates and gaining a deeper understanding of Web site interactions. Consider integrating Web analytics into your email marketing. See my earlier post, “Add Google Analytics to Emails and Gain B2B Lead Generation Intelligence.”

Industrial email marketing today

The old email marketing strategy of batch and blast is no longer effective. Today, industrial marketers must deliver highly focused email campaigns to the right audience at the right time and in the preferred format if they want to engage with their industrial audience.

If you are thinking of launching your own email marketing campaign and are not sure of where to start, consider getting some outside help to set up the program and then you can manage it on your own. Here’s how we at Tiecas (my industrial marketing company) help our manufacturing clients with their email marketing to engineers and industrial professionals.

How does your company use application notes in its email marketing to attract and engage with engineers?

To all my readers in the U.S., Happy 4th of July!

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