The Importance of Industrial Email Marketing for Targeting Engineers

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Industrial email marketing is and should be an important component of your content marketing strategy when targeting engineers and technical professionals. I’m sure you’ve heard or read about email marketing being replaced by social media.

Industrial email marketing continues to be very effective in promoting content, nurturing leads and building thought leadership. I say that based on my personal experience working every day with manufacturers, distributors and engineering companies. It most certainly isn’t dead! The often-used quote by Mark Twain applies here, “The report of my death was an exaggeration” or if you prefer the more popular misquote, “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Do engineers respond to industrial email marketing?

I’ll cite various independent research studies to show how engineers use the information from email marketing for work-related purposes. According to the report, “How Engineers Find Information 2019” published by engineering.com, engineers rank email as a preferred means of acquiring information.

Email is the most preferred information source for engineers

It should be obvious about the importance of the subject line in your emails to grab the attention of engineers.



The second study is named, “2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers Survey” which is published by IEEE GlobalSpec in partnership with TREW Marketing. The survey found that 43% of engineers subscribe to two to three email/e-newsletters, and 26% subscribe to four or more. 89% of engineers found emails/e-newsletters that they subscribe to be very valuable to somewhat valuable.

How many email marketing newsletter do engineers subscribe to?

The value of email marketing information for engineers

The third research finding is from the Manufacturing Content Marketing 2019 report published by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs.

Manufacturing content marketers use email marketing to nurture leads

Challenges remain in industrial email marketing

While 96% of engineers will at least consider an email in front of them, the biggest challenge is getting through to their inboxes. This is not an easy problem to overcome given the sophisticated SPAM filtering systems implemented by most companies.

The next challenge is the size and the quality of in-house lists. Even though your own list will outperform rented or bought lists, you are limited when it comes to reaching new contacts and/or markets. It is difficult to grow your email marketing database by using rented lists because you don’t own those contacts unless someone signs up using one of your online forms or contacts you directly. Most of the time, a rented list is for one-time use only unless you pay for it again.

The contact information in your in-house lists may be outdated, since people change jobs. It is difficult to maintain list hygiene unless you regularly do merge-purge and verifications.

Getting over the hurdles of industrial email marketing

An effective strategy for overcoming the challenges mentioned above is to use third-party e-newsletters published by trusted media partners. There are several advantages to this option:

  • You can be very selective in choosing your contacts from the publisher’s list by slicing and dicing the list to meet your criteria
  • You can carefully craft your message, making it more relevant to your target audience instead of using one-size-fits-all email content
  • The odds of your email reaching inboxes go up significantly, since publisher lists consist of subscribers who have opted in to receive information
  • You can target new and global markets with third-party e-newsletters
  • You don’t have to worry about being compliant of antispam regulations and/or GDPR because the publisher takes care of all that
  • The publisher takes on the burden of list maintenance and hygiene
  • In-house resources required for email marketing go down quite a bit when using outside media partners

Incorporating videos into industrial email marketing

Engineers and technical professionals love videos in their daily work. 84% of engineers who use video sharing websites watch how-to videos and tutorials, 72% watch training videos and 64% watch product demos. (Source: 2019 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector, IEEE GlobalSpec).



Use videos in industrial email marketing

Why not combine the two for a powerful 1-2 punch for industrial digital marketing? Adding videos to your email marketing campaigns is a bit more complicated than plain HTML or text emails. You can’t just embed your videos because most email clients can’t display embedded video content and will strip the code from your emails. Check with your service provider or your Marketing Automation vendor on the correct way to incorporate videos in email marketing campaigns.

You’ll find other posts that I have published here on the topic of industrial email marketing.

To sum it up, industrial email marketing should be an integral part of your content marketing strategy for targeting engineers and technical professionals, even if you are using social media.

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