A manufacturer and a distributor walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Do your customers have email addresses?” They both respond, “Of course! Everyone has email!” Then the bartender says, “When was the last time you emailed your customers?” The manufacturer and the distributor both laugh and say, “Ha, yeah. We’ve been meaning to get to that.”
It’s not a joke. This is how most industrials treat email marketing.
If you do nothing else this coming year, start email marketing. You likely already have a list of past and current customers. And if you’re like most industrials, most of those customers are not aware of your full capabilities.
Emailing customers that already do business with you is the fastest way to grow your company.
Customers want your trade show schedule. They want to see your upcoming product launches. They especially want news on sales and other promotions. Tell them with email marketing. Here are seven reasons to get started:
Reason #1: Getting started is easy.
You could be emailing customers as early as tomorrow. All you need is a list of customers and something to say. Here’s how:
- Sign up for a free MailChimp account.
- Upload your email list into MailChimp’s database.
- Choose one of their easy drag-and-drop templates.
- Write your email copy.
MailChimp handles the grunt work. They’ll make sure your email complies with spam laws. They’ll even provide tips to help you avoid ending up in junk mail folders. You can automate when emails go out, as well as create groups to specify which people get certain emails. It’s surprisingly easy. Sign up at www.mailchimp.com.
Reason #2: Everybody has an email address.
Every industrial, from the 24-year-old product design engineer to the 63-year-old facility safety director, has an email address.
Ninety-one percent of consumers check their email at least once a day. No other marketing medium has that level of penetration.
Reason #3: Stay top of mind.
Phone calls are great for maintaining relationships but you can’t realistically follow up with thousands of customers each month. Print and digital advertisements are great for staying on customers’ radars, but 30–50% of qualified buyers aren’t ready to buy when they see an ad.
Email marketing is the best solution for keeping your leads warm. Use it as a monthly opportunity to share valuable content you’ve produced (e.g., white papers, case studies, videos). It’s never a bad idea to promote sales and new products, especially when you consider that over 70% of customers use coupons and discounts from promotional emails.
They may not buy today. They may not buy this month. But email marketing keeps you top of mind so customers know who to contact when they’re ready to convert.
Reason #4: ROI
According to ExactTarget, every dollar you spend on email marketing will generate an ROI of $44.25 on average.
A recent study by MarketingSherpa showed that 60% of B2B and B2G email marketing programs are producing ROI. One study participant even said, “Email marketing, even as basic as we did it in 2012, outperfor target=”_blank”med all other forms of online marketing combined for us. We are investing much more in email. It works better than PPC, better than online display ads, and provides a channel for content marketing.”
Reason #5: Emails are mobile friendly.
We all check email on our phones. According to Litmus, 66% of Gmail emails and over 13% of all emails are opened on mobile devices. Those are huge numbers that will continue to grow, which is why email marketing templates are increasingly designed with mobile in mind.
Remember the MailChimp email templates we mentioned in Reason #1? MailChimp uses responsive templates, meaning they’ll automatically work on most smartphones and tablets.
Reason #6: Emails are hard to kill.
Remember that Steven Seagal movie, Hard to Kill? Seagal played a detective who falls into a coma after being shot during a firefight with (spoiler-alert) a corrupt Senator and his goons. He awakens seven years later and takes down his attackers one-by-one through a combination of Aikido and classic lines like, “I’m gonna take you to the bank, Senator Trent. To the blood bank.”
Like Seagal, emails are hard to kill.
Nothing offers more staying power than emails. Emails will stay in your customers’ inboxes until they take the necessary steps to remove them. A Facebook post achieves 75% of its impressions in the first two-and-a-half hours. A tweet? Half dead in four minutes. Emails never die on their own; they must be killed.
Reason #7: Customers should know everything you do.
If you’re like most industrials, your customers don’t know half of what you do.
For example, we’re working with a distributor that helps companies consolidate multiple vendors into one invoice. They do this by offering a wide range of technical products and supply chain services. If you were to ask their customers what they do, their customers would say, “Oh, they’re our pump guys,” or, “We call them if we need gloves.”
Email marketing has the power to break customers out of this myopic view of a company. Emails give you the opportunity to say, “Yeah, we’re your pump guys, but did you know we also offer just-in-time inventory management for all your bearings and power transmission needs?”
Thoughts? Questions? Email Us.
Email marketing can get complex once you start generating audience segmentation workflows, doing A/B subject line testing, and incorporating automation.
If you’re only getting started, don’t worry about getting in the weeds — just sign up for an email account through MailChimp and start connecting with customers.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to up your email game or want a turnkey program that incorporates all the bells and whistles, take a look at our Marketstrong® Communicator integrated marketing program, which includes automated email workflows, A/B subject lines, and an email newsletter baked in.