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John Hayes
By
January 21, 2016

Email for Industrial Marketing – Back from the Dead?

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Marketers and tech gurus have long been calling for the death of email.  Now that spam filtering tools in Gmail and Clutter for Outlook have made it harder to get through to engineers, and services like Slack are replacing some email altogether, their arguments are getting even stronger. 

What’s a marketer to do?  If email stops working, how else will you get responses to your white paper or free trial campaigns at a reasonable price?

Read on to learn what engineering marketers are planning for email in 2016.

Industrial marketers are increasing their investment in email

First of all, email is not dead to industrial marketers.  Every year, we survey engineering and industrial marketers to get a gauge on their marketing strategy and budgeting. In 2015 over 45% of respondents reported that they would allocate more than 10% of their marketing budgets to email.  In 2016 that number grew.  Now more than 55% say they will allocate more than 10% of their budgets to email campaigns.   

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As a publisher, we are seeing this in more orders for email.  2015 was a record year.  So why are marketers increasing their budgets for email campaigns to target engineers?

 

Engineers report that they still read email

According to this 2015 survey of 580 engineers, 89% said that they are still receptive to email.  Many read every email, and most at least scan the subject lines to make sure that they don’t miss any important messages. 

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Another reason for the increase in the use of email may be that marketers now pay more for social media.  Facebook and Linkedin have large audiences, but even they have some limits to their inventory if you are targeting engineers.  As a result, prices have risen which makes email look more attractive. 

 

Email still works for marketing, but we have to work harder to get it right

Email is still going strong as a channel to reach engineers and industrial audiences. In fact, last year at ENGINEERING.com, we received 21% more orders for email marketing campaigns compared to 2014. 

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We send emails to engineers every weekday.  A few years ago we could send the same message to 100,000 engineers and get a double digit open rate.  Now, we have to segment the list more carefully, sending targeted emails to say, 20,000 engineers at a time to get the same results. 

Beyond segmentation, we try to follow these six email best practices to keep our audience happy and remain a trusted sender.  As a result, email open and click-through rates have stayed relatively steady, but the effort going into emails has increased. 

Technology has improved for email sending.  That allows marketers to gather the data they need to do a better job of personalizing messages.  Marketing automation also allows marketers to use email to nurture prospects through a sales funnel. 

Most marketers have learned that they have to become a trusted source of information to be successful with email.  Becoming an information source can require too big an investment for most marketers. That may be why so many marketers are allocating a significant portion of their budgets (ie, more than 10%) to purchase email blasts from publishers.

 

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Research Report: How Engineers Find Information
Research Report: How Engineers Find Information
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