How to Improve Your Industrial Email Marketing
Are you finding that your industrial email marketing isn’t exactly delivering the results you were expecting? You expend your best efforts, maybe even hire outside experts to help you execute – but your response rate is still pitifully low (that would be below 10% in a manufacturing company.) If you can relate, read on for some tips that can help improve your email marketing campaigns.
Make your subject line priority #1: The subject line of your email is probably THE most important key to a successful campaign. If the subject line doesn’t compel the reader to open your email, you lose. You’ve got no more than 50 characters to hook them so Include as much important and relevant information in your subject line as possible. For instance, if your email contains a special offer, make sure the offer is explicitly spelled out in the subject line. Example: “20% Discount on Safety Services – Today Only”.
Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger Media suggests trying to get four fundamentals into your simple and direct subject line.
- Useful: Is the promised message valuable to the reader?
- Ultra-specific: Does the reader know what’s being promised?
- Unique: Is the promised message compelling and remarkable?
- Urgent: Does the reader feel the need to read now?
Break out your lists: Instead of sending every email to every address in your email database, try drilling down and segmenting specific groups to receive information that will be more useful or pertinent to them, or that has the greatest chance of a response. At the most basic level, segment current customers from prospects. Get creative, and experiment. The more you try to address very specific, individual requirements and interests, the better your response rate.
Make your content relevant: This may seem like overstating the obvious, but you’d be surprised how often the content of an email broadcast is nothing more than a print ad plastered into an email. Does the content of your email somehow provide value, or is it “all about me?” (your company.) You must continually put yourself in the position of your email recipients and think about what would convince them to open and act on your email. Focus more on how your products or company can ease their pain. Keep it short, and don’t bore the reader with too much content. If there’s more to be said, give them a link with the option to click over to a “Read More” page. The whole point of the email is to get the person to take the next step. What do you want that to be, and how do you convince them to do it?
Be vigilant about keeping your email list clean: Regardless of how you’ve populated your initial email list, this will be an ongoing, never-ending process – and is crucial to the success of your campaigns. Having a list that contains dead email addresses can lead to spam complaints, hard bounce-backs, (an e-mail that has bounced back to the sender undelivered without having been accepted by the recipient’s mail server) “unknowns” (non-responders) and spam traps (software filters that block e-mail addresses that are known to send spam.) If these factors continue, they can ruin your email reputation and prevent your emails from getting through to your recipients. The best email list is one that has been populated over time by the recipients themselves, by “opting” to receive information from your company (building an email list is another whole article in itself.) If you’re just starting with email marketing, chances are good you don’t have that list yet. Use a good email service provider (ESP) that provides assistance and analytics about which email addresses are no longer in use and which emails bounce back, and then delete. After a recipient has failed to open a number of your emails, segment them out into a “never open” list. If the contact seems worthy of the effort, do a little digging to try and understand how you can tailor your message more specifically to that person’s needs, and try again. If THAT tactic is unsuccessful and you know this person is a perfect target, maybe it’s time to send a postcard through snail mail with an incentive to respond. Don’t forget all your other marketing options and rely on email as the magic bullet. You can also go to LinkedInDoing this list housekeeping will keep your list clean and improve your email deliverability.
If you can afford a marketing automation tool, PERSONALIZE: I don’t mean addressing the email with “Dear John Doe.” When I say personalization, I mean the email is coming from the regional manager, account manager, inside sales person, or whomever will be interacting the most with the email recipient. Automating the process and making the emails always come from that one main contact person can increase your email response rate by 4 times. Another way to personalize is to write your copy as if you know exactly what they do and how you can solve their problems. Example: your opening line may be: “As a refinery reliability manager, we know that too many out of service pumps can keep you up at night.”
Timing isn’t everything but needs consideration: Use common sense and experiment. When Marketects sends an email for an industrial client, we avoid sending out the email early in the morning. When someone comes to their desk first thing in the morning, your email is competing with all the other automated emails that came in overnight, along with early morning meetings, urgent situations, co-workers wandering in, etc. If you send too late in the afternoon, your recipient may have already left the office – which means your email will then be competing again with the next morning’s emails. For an industrial email campaign, I recommend sending emails right before the lunch hour begins when many people are checking emails (11:00), or mid-afternoon – no later than 3:00. Consider your specific audience’s habits, and then experiment to see which times pull the best numbers.
Email marketing done right is like any other marketing tactic. It takes thoughtful planning, continued refining, and a creative communications piece. What are tips you can offer to others who are doing industrial email marketing? I welcome your comments!