Our recent survey of 1,003 engineers asked, “what is your preferred way to acquire engineering information?” Their number one response was Google, or more generally, search engines. That’s not a big surprise.
What you may find surprising is that their second favourite way to get information was to visit a digital publication followed by….wait for it….. email! Yes, email. I was pretty shocked, but it seems that engineers actually read their emails. 57% of them said that they prefer to get information this way.
We are seeing additional growth in email marketing campaigns here at ENGINEERING.com. This could be due to marketers intuitively sensing, or more likely recognizing through analysis of email metrics, that engineers do have an affinity for email. So how do engineers manage the email that gets to their inbox?
We’ll dig into this finding more here, or you can sign up to download the full research report on how engineers get their information.
Of course, many engineers have sophisticated ways of sending your marketing emails straight to the spam penalty box, so maybe the emails that make it to their inbox are only those they really want. This hypothesis is supported by the following chart, showing that 97% of emails that land in an inbox receive consideration.
The question we asked was, “how do you process emails that land in your inbox”:
- 6% said they read every one
- 40% said that they open every one and scan them for interest
- 51% said that they at least read the subject lines
- Only 3% said that they delete most emails without consideration
So why the high success rates and the renewed hope for email marketing in general? Well, I don’t have exact answers right now, but these results suggest hypotheses we can test in our next survey of engineering marketers (that means you!). The simplest answer is that marketers are being smarter and more scientific in their approach to email marketing through better A/B testing subject lines, copy, graphics, etc.
A second hypothesis is that marketers are getting better at segmenting and nurturing their email lists. This is a process we’ve implemented with success here at ENGINEERING.com, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this is a big part of why engineers are paying attention to email. It’s because they’re getting content tailored to their interests, and the frequency that they receive it is based on their own digital body language. All of a sudden, the content they’re receiving in their inbox isn’t just an email everyone else gets, but email that builds on an idea or story they’re already interested in. How great is that? What are the odds that you would want to read that email if you were the engineer? My guess, it’s about 97%.
I’ve really appreciated your comments on this research, so please keep them coming,