Industrial email marketing is alive and well in 2017 despite what you may have heard or read to the contrary. To quote Mark Twain with a slight modification, “The reports of my its death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Here are some stats from the 2016 State of Marketing Report from Salesforce.com.
- 80 percent of marketers agree email is core to their business
- 79 percent of marketers say email generates ROI, a 48 percent year-over-year (YoY) increase
- 64 percent have also integrated their email marketing activity with their overall marketing strategy
Some marketing gurus have even said that social media has killed email marketing. I disagree.
Let me put that in the context of industrial email marketing for engaging with engineers and technical professionals. In my experience with industrial content marketing, both email marketing and social media can coexist happily and deliver a powerful one-two punch.
Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it. Let me try to convince you by presenting stats and facts from various research studies/surveys about industrial marketing.
How engineers respond to industrial email marketing
97% of engineers will consider an email in their inbox. (Source: 2016 Market Research Report: How Engineers Find Information)
If you think you can just go out and buy or rent an email list of engineers and do a “batch and blast” email campaign, think again. The same study also found that 83% of all engineers use spam filters.
Make sure that the rest of your industrial content marketing builds strong relationships based on trust if you want engineers to subscribe to your email list and whitelist you. Otherwise your emails won’t get past their digital gatekeepers, aka spam filters.
Craft compelling subject lines that will pique the interest of engineers and persuade them to read the rest of your email. Don’t try to fool them with cleverly disguised product promotions.
Email marketing and social media go together in manufacturing content marketing
It is not enough to just publish blog posts and create landing pages for downloading white papers and other premium content. You need a plan for distributing your content to maximize its reach. Content distribution should be an integral part of your over-arching industrial marketing strategy.
According to the 2017 Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends—North America published by Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, manufacturing content marketers on an average used 5 different channels to distribute their content.
How engineers and industrial professionals use social media
You’ve probably read or heard that engineers and industrial professionals tend to be “passive participants” in social media. That part is true, so you shouldn’t expect many of them to comment on your blog posts or share them with their social networks.
Then why bother using social media channels to distribute your content?
Here’s why, especially if you are trying to win the mindshare of younger engineers who are usually tasked with gathering information during the Needs Awareness and Research stages of the industrial buy cycle. If you look past #3, you’ll see that your audience does use social media for finding work-related information.
The chart below is from the 2016 Social Media Use in The Industrial Sector published by IEEE Engineering 360.
I firmly believe that industrial email marketing integrated with the right mix of social media channels will make your content marketing efforts much stronger and more effective than using one or the other.