B2B companies learned the value of email marketing long ago, and with $38 earned for every $1 spent, it’s easy to see why the digital marketing tactic is used by 92% of manufacturer marketing professionals.
B2B Email Marketing Works
The email channel is a marketers dream. By enticing prospects to give you their contact information, you have a direct conduit where you can send that person marketing content whenever you wish. The problem comes when you find yourself struggling to stand out.
The fight for inbox prominence is a very real one. All of your competitors are likely using the same language, speaking to the same pain points, and offering similar products and services. How do you separate yourself?
Some frustrated marketers might use subject lines with all caps and tons of exclamation points, for example. Doing so can certainly draw the eye, but you risk coming across as spammy, which isn’t very good for business.
Instead of trying to be outrageous just for the sake of improving open rates and click-throughs, here are ten email marketing tips for manufacturer marketers that will help you stand out and get noticed in the digital age
Choose the Right Email Marketing Software
Don’t be among the manufacturing and distribution companies that struggle to remain up-to-date with the latest technological advances. More millennials are filling B2B decision-making positions, and those prospects are probably making heavy use of their smartphones to wheel and deal. Therefore, your email marketing software should give you several options to streamline your outreach efforts.
First things first, you should be able to automatically send emails to prospects who subscribe to your newsletter, thanking them for their trust. Be sure to never abuse that trust, and only send something when you have a purposeful message to send.
You can then drip-market your content at regular intervals to keep your company top-of-mind. A monthly newsletter is an excellent concept that is inviting and can be welcome by recipients if it’s well done. A quality newsletter is short, about a page in length, and contains inviting media, like photographs and video snippets, as well as useful and interesting content.
Popular newsletter topics include changes to your company, new product announcements, industry news, as well as useful tips your clients can use to enrich their business efforts.
The email software you choose should also be able to send out an automatic email the moment a form is filled out, a download is completed, and other critical actions are taken by your prospective clients.
Whether you decide on Mail Chimp or a comprehensive digital marketing software like Hubspot, ideally, the email system you choose will be connected with your CRM so that you can import leads, stay on top of warm prospects, and even up-and-cross-sell to customers long into the future.
Use Media & Personalization to Be as Immersive as Possible
Today’s web-savvy decision makers want all the necessary details before they commit. They also want to feel important. To assist them in making their decisions, try to make your emails as sensory-heavy as personalized as possible in order to stand out from your competition.
Using your email recipient’s name in the subject line and the body is an excellent way to create a well-received message. This comes back to the email software you select. The best systems will not only insert the recipient’s name, but also details such as when they first subscribed or became a customer, how many products they’ve purchased, or even celebratory messages for birthdays, marriage anniversaries, and other personal details that will make your messages even more friendly and, most importantly, memorable.
Video and graphics will enable your recipients to experience your warehouse, products, and services, at least virtually. WIth up-close photography, you can show what separates your products from competitors, and how your products and services work to make your clients’ lives easier or better.
When using graphics in your emails, think simple. A single main image will do, but a few smaller ones will also work, depending on your layout. If your email looks too busy, you’ll lose a majority of your subscribers. Think colorful and try to make your images appear as if the email recipient is in your showroom, holding your products in their hands.
Get Personal with Effective Email Copywriting
Your emails should be short so that they can be easily consumed. Stick to the subject and only provide enough information to inform or educate your recipients. Once again, manufacturing decision makers want to know why your products and services are unique, and they want details. Be concise and give your prospects exactly that. Get right to the point and don’t beat around the bush.
For longer newsletters, separate your content into columns to make it easily digestible, like a newspaper. If you need to share longer content with your subscribers, offer a link to a page where they can learn more. An example might be a link to your About Us page, where prospects can learn about your company’s mission statement and values, for instance.
Your emails should be written in second person, as if you are speaking to the reader directly. The idea is to breed comfort and to ensure your readers that a living, breathing person is, in fact, on the other end.
Always Offer Quality Content
Emails shouldn’t always be about trying to sell your products. Instead, focus on providing valuable information, such as your company’s safety standards, pressing matters in your industry, and interviews with luminaries in the field.
Most of all, focus on content your recipients can use, as 72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content with their colleagues via email. For best results, focus on common problems, such as finding quality products that last, solutions like how to find the best manufacturer for your clients’ needs, and tips and advice like how to get the best value for your products, as well as how to use your products properly.
Other ideas include technological developments in your industry, breaking news, and emerging trends.
Case studies can also help to sway prospects and make excellent emails that prove to recipients exactly what your company can do.
Send enough valuable content, and you’ll be on your way to becoming a thought leader in your industry. Soon your recipients will look forward to your emails and instantly share them without a thought. This is entirely possible as long as the quality always comes through.
Again, only send something out when you have something to say, as today’s savvy email users are highly reactive against blatant efforts to sell.
Prioritize Subject Line Optimization
A recent study showed that great subject lines can increase open rates by 90% or more. The study also showed that subject lines containing the words “Money” “Revenue” and “Profit” performed highest, while “Help “Free” “Reminder” and “Percent Off” performed lowest. However, properly test your subject lines to see which common words and phrases your decision-making audience responds to most.
Subject line length also matters as subjects between 40 and 50 characters seem to work best.
Lastly, ensure that your subject line is relevant to your content or else your emails may be relegated to Click Bait and, ultimately, Spam.
Put Your Opt-Ins to Work
You can’t email the subscribers you don’t have. Therefore, your first priority should be to ramp up the amount of manufacturer decision-makers on your email list. Look for any opportunity to place an email opt-in, such as your website, downloads, and even on brochures, you hand out at trade-shows. Once you have a prospect’s consent, they’re yours to contact, as long as you don’t do anything to make them unsubscribe.
Make Your Opt-In Offer Irresistible
Few visitors to your website will give you their contact information out of the blue. You’re going to have to cough-up something of value that you can trade for their personal details. A whitepaper describing your company’s mission statement, values, accomplishments, and offerings is a great start. Other ideas include a virtual catalog or an instruction manual for how to use your products correctly.
A popular blog post, list of industry statistics, and even an offer for a free assessment or quote are other excellent ideas of “giving to get.”
Measure & Maximize Your Success
The best way to find out what our audience responds to is to experiment. Do videos work better in emails or photographs? Do case studies perform better than top-ten lists and whitepapers? Only by receiving enough data and then crunching the numbers can you gauge the effectiveness of your manufacturer email marketing campaign.
Once you have the data, put it to work and keep tweaking your campaigns according to what works, and success will soon be yours.
Send at the Right Time
The timing of your marketing emails matters. Studies show that the best times to send B2B emails is between 10am and 11am. But, again, this is something that should be tested to find the sweet spot your audience best responds to.
Segment Your Subscribers
It’s likely that each individual on your subscriber list has varying interests. Your subscribers are also at various stages of the buyer’s journey. Some prospects may be slightly warm, but wish you’d follow up in a few months, while others are closer to making a final purchase decision.
All of these categories of subscribers should be segmented into different groups so you can send unique and relevant content to each one. Remember, personalization is key. Make your recipients believe that every email was sent to them personally. Segmentation and personalization will help make that happen.
When marketing to manufacturing decision makers, you can stand heads and shoulders above the rest by selecting a cutting-edge email system, personalizing and segmenting your content, measuring your results and tweaking your efforts along the way. Sending emails at the right times and spreading your opt-ins far and wide while selecting subject lines that demand attention are all ways to supercharge your email marketing campaigns. Follow this advice to follow in the footsteps of world-class B2B manufacturer marketers.
Need help crafting your email marketing strategy? Find out how the experts can help!