Email Marketing for Manufacturers: Here’s What You Need to Know

Email marketing has been at the forefront of the digital marketing world since 1978 when Gary Thuerk promoted his company’s computers in a group message sent to four hundred recipients. That single email made him millions of dollars in sales — and email marketing has done the same for countless other companies since. 

The reason email marketing has had such successful longevity is simple: It works. People use their phones nonstop. They’re checking their email multiple times a day, every day. After all,an email inbox is a portal into an individual’s interests, business, and social life. 

Manufacturing companies should take notice. These individuals aren’t just statistics. They’re actual people —people with positions of authority at companies you care about. People that fit the target audiences of your business. With 3.9 billion active email users at the end of 2019 potentially growing into 4.48 billion by 2024, manufacturing as an industry simply can’t afford to ignore such a critical foundation of modern marketing.

Now that you know the true power of email marketing, I’m going to go through some of the most common questions I get from manufacturing companies and touch on how you can use email marketing to grow your manufacturing business.

Is email marketing necessary for my manufacturing business?

Ascend2’s 2019 Digital Marketing Strategies Survey Summary Report found that email marketing is still ranked as one of the most effective marketing channels you can use. 

There’s a number of reasons why this is the case. The main one is that any email you’re sending is going out to individuals who have, at some point, already agreed to receive emails from your business. That makes all leads from email marketing pre-warmed and more likely to convert to actual sales.

Another big benefit is that email marketing is easy to automate. Because running a manufacturing business is so detail-oriented and complex, the ability to simplify and streamline any process is crucial. 

Email marketing is necessary for your manufacturing business because the return on investment is substantial. The effort required to create and implement a plan is relatively minimal with the right tools, and returns can be exponential.

What should I send in my manufacturing marketing emails?

Just sending random emails isn’t enough. They have to be strategic. Messages sent into the void without purpose or intention will stay in that void. Over the years, I’ve found that following these two basic content rules have yielded the most positive results for manufacturing companies:

  • Start with an immediate welcome. If you don’t immediately acknowledge and thank a prospective customer for giving you their email address, you’re making a mistake. They’re giving you a gift, so treat it as such. Welcome them and let them know what to expect from your future communications. You can give them highlights of resources on your website, but don’t get too sales-y with your welcome. This is a good time to make sure they know who they can contact if they want to talk to you further, but that’s as “sales-y” as you should get in your initial communication.
  • Create a list of potential “contact” opportunities. You know your company better than anyone. Before you start developing an email marketing plan, I recommend first making a list. This list will include all the potential opportunities you can think of that would allow you to get in touch with your email contacts. Some examples include trade shows you’ll be presenting at, new product launches, industry trends, case studies, and possibly more. This list will make it easier for you to develop content quickly and easily down the line.

How often should I email my subscribers?

You’ll want to start with your immediate welcome emails. This is the series of one or two messages of greeting we mentioned above. They’re not your hard-sell messages — they’re an introduction to all you have to offer a potential buyer. 

After that, I recommend at least one additional email per month. Consistency is key in marketing. You want them to keep your company in mind but not be annoyed or irritated by the number of messages received. 

How does email marketing increase revenue for my manufacturing business?

59% of B2B marketers cite email as their top channel for revenue generation. I’ve explained above, but it’s worth stating again: That’s because email is easy to implement and automate. After your initial efforts to set up an email marketing plan, the amount of work it takes to maintain that plan is completely manageable. Not only that, but then you can make use of email marketing automation tools to make things even easier.

The fact is: Email marketing is essential, not just for manufacturers, but for all businesses. That’s because emails are accessible, customizable, and something nearly all individuals, and business owners, are open to connecting with.

During my time running Windmill Strategy, I’ve helped dozens of manufacturing companies move forward with their marketing. An integral part of every plan we’ve implemented has been email marketing — and now you know why. 
To learn more about how crucial a digital marketing presence is for individuals in the manufacturing industry, take a look at The Download: Making Sense of Online Marketing for Manufacturing. It’s Constant Contact’s guide to online marketing for the manufacturing industry — all in one easy-to-understand d package.

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