The latest installment in our Marketing for Manufacturers series will teach you everything you need to know about email marketing and how to use it in your manufacturing business to boost leads and sales.
What is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a type of digital marketing that involves sending specific messages to a targeted audience via email. These messages can include promotional content, product updates, newsletters, and other information intended to build relationships with subscribers and encourage them to take a desired action, such as making a purchase.
Email marketing is an effective and cost-efficient way for your business to reach its target audience, build brand awareness, and drive conversions. It can also be highly personalized and targeted, making it an ideal tool for building relationships with customers and keeping them engaged with your brand.
Email Marketing for Manufacturers
Email marketing is a long game for manufacturers, as there are usually many stakeholders involved in a purchasing decision, and purchasing decisions can take months or even longer to make.
Some of the tried and tested email marketing strategies that work for B2C (business-to-consumer) businesses won’t work for your B2B (business-to-business) manufacturing company: For example, you can’t create the sense of urgency to push someone into an impulse purchase with a cart abandonment email. But, email marketing can be an effective way to increase sales for a manufacturing business by providing a direct line of communication to potential customers.
Through targeted and personalized emails, your business can share information about its products and services with interested subscribers, highlighting features, benefits, and special offers.
Email marketing nurtures leads over time, builds relationships with potential customers, and keeps your brand top-of-mind. While it can be easy for your company to get lost in the shuffle that happens when a potential customer looks at all of their options, reevaluates objectives over the time it takes to make a purchasing decision, and becomes preoccupied with day-to-day operations, email marketing tools such as a monthly newsletter can keep you and your message fresh in their minds.
By staying engaged with your audience through different types of email content, your manufacturing businesses can build customer loyalty, increase repeat purchases, and ultimately drive more sales.
Email Marketing Automation
Email is a great marketing automation tool. Email marketing automation lets you create and schedule email campaigns in advance, segment your email lists based on various criteria, set up triggered emails that are sent based on specific actions or events, and measure the success of your email campaigns through analytics and reports. Automating these tasks can save time, increase efficiency, and improve your overall email marketing performance.
Using email marketing automation, you can create campaigns that send a series of messages to prospective customers whenever they take a specific action. By including clear calls-to-action in these emails, such as a link to a product page or a request for a demo or consultation, you can guide subscribers through the sales process and increase the likelihood of conversion.
An example of a marketing automation campaign for a manufacturer:
- A whitepaper or ebook about a type of food manufacturing equipment is downloaded by a prospect, who gives you their email address to access the whitepaper.
- Over the course of a few weeks or even months, you send them a sequence of emails. These emails may include information on how to improve their operations, the time and/or money they can save by using your piece of equipment, and how your equipment can help them improve quality and consistency in their facility.
- Every email includes a new touchpoint and a new call-to-action informing the possible customer that you are available to give them a quote or other relevant details that can help them to place an order.
By sending regular and valuable content to subscribers, you will build long-term relationships with your audience, increase engagement rates, and encourage subscribers to take action.
How To Use Email Marketing in Your Manufacturing Business
Email marketing is a powerful tool for manufacturing businesses looking to increase sales, build customer relationships, and improve brand awareness — however, you must approach it strategically and thoughtfully. Email marketing can be one of your best-performing marketing strategies in terms of ROI, but you can’t just start sending off random messages. You must first devise a solid strategy and plan how to use it in your manufacturing business.
Here are some steps to follow when implementing email marketing in your business:
1. Build a Quality Email List
The foundation of any successful email marketing campaign is a quality email list — but this is often where manufacturers make their biggest mistake. Even though building a quality list is more challenging for manufacturers than for companies in other industries, do not purchase an email list; you must take time to grow your list organically.
There are still several ways to build an effective email list: One option is to offer a free guide, ebook, or whitepaper related to your industry in exchange for an email address. Another option is to collect email addresses at trade shows or events. Over time you will build up a list of potential buyers so you can start sending out emails.
2. Divide Up Your Email List
Once you’ve built your email list, it’s important to divide it into segments based on various factors, such as industry, job title, and interests. This allows you to send targeted emails to specific groups within your audience, improving the relevance of your messages and increasing engagement.
3. Create Good Content
Quality content is one of the most important — and challenging — things you must do to have a successful email marketing strategy. It’s no use sending out emails if the information you provide isn’t compelling, interesting, and relevant.
To keep your subscribers engaged, you need to create content that prospects will find useful and will encourage them to take action. This could include product updates, industry news, or educational resources related to your products or services. Try to make your content helpful and emotional by addressing common pain points, providing insider tips and tricks, or offering a fresh perspective on an industry trend. Be sure to use a mix of content types, such as blog posts, videos, and infographics, to keep your emails visually interesting.
4. Include Calls-to-Action
Every email you send should have a clear call-to-action (CTA). This could be a link to a product page, a request to schedule a consultation or demo, or an invitation to attend an event. CTAs help guide subscribers toward the next step in the sales process and increase the likelihood of conversion.
5. Test and Optimize
Like any marketing campaign, email marketing requires ongoing testing and optimization. This could involve testing different subject lines, CTAs, or content formats to see what resonates best with your audience. Use data to track your email performance and make adjustments as needed.
6. Ensure Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Finally, ensuring that your email marketing efforts comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the United States, is crucial. This includes providing a clear opt-out option and including your business’s physical address in all emails.
With some time and effort — and backed by a solid strategy — you can turn email marketing into one of your company’s most effective marketing tools to increase sales, build customer relationships, and improve brand awareness.
Stay tuned for the next installment in our Marketing for Manufacturing series, where we look at how pay-per-click and Google ads can help you to expand your online reach and get seen by more customers.
Want to catch up on all of our Marketing for Manufacturers series? Check out all of the articles here:
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