How long have you been using email marketing to connect with engineers and technical professionals? A number of years, most likely. And when was the last time you cleaned your email list and made strategic improvements to your email marketing efforts? Chances are, the time has come to freshen up. It’s worth the effort, because email remains an effective tactic in the industrial sector.
The time has come to freshen up your email marketing. It’s worth the effort, because email remains an effective tactic in the industrial sector.
First, Clean Your Email List
If you are emailing to a stale list, you are likely incurring damage in terms of low response rates and brand reputation. You might even be risking having your account suspended by your email service provider if you incur a large number of spam complaints, undeliverable messages or unsubscribe notices.
There are several ways to clean an email list. You can send emails out asking recipients to verify their address and their desire to continue receiving emails from you, but if your list is poor, you’ll get a poor response and this tactic won’t help much. You can manually go through the list looking for problem addresses, which could take a long time and still not produce the results you need.
If you choose to manually validate and clean your email list, look for and remove:
- Improperly formatted addresses
- Syntax errors
- Role accounts like sales@, support@ and info@
- Accounts with words like spam, junk, abuse, etc.
To increase the likelihood that your email list will stay cleaner longer, use only an opt-in strategy when building your list. Also, consider using email to fulfill downloadable offers; sending the recipient an email with a link to download a white paper, for example. This ensures you have a valid email address.
Also, going forward, keep an eye on bounces and unsubscribes. Make sure they are removed from your lists and suppressed from future mailings. Most email service providers will do this automatically for you.
Use Analytics to Improve Performance
With a clean email list in hand, it’s time to freshen up other aspects of your email marketing efforts. Your number one tool in this is analytics. Most email marketing platforms can help you create more targeted campaigns and improve results. For example:
- Identify highly engaged recipients who most often open or click on your emails, and then offer rewards in terms of early access to a new white paper or industry research, special offers or a sneak peek at new products. Be sure to note in your copy that they are receiving the discount or special offer because they are a valued reader.
- Identify recipients who tend to ignore you and try to re-engage them. Give them a reason to pay attention again: discounts, an invitation to a special event, or a just-published white paper or video.
- Split your list in two (called an A/B split) and test various aspects of an email campaign, such as subject line, headline, copy, layout and graphics, and call-to-action. Change only one variable at a time when performing a test. Incorporate the successful changes into subsequent emails and you will get closer and closer to optimizing your email campaigns.
Incorporate these Proven Strategies
Industrial marketers have years of email marketing experience and many have learned what works and what doesn’t. Here are some proven strategies and best practices that other industrial marketers have incorporated into their campaigns:
- Use an email marketing service offering responsive design templates that will automatically render well on different user devices, including mobile phones and tablets.
- Include only one offer in each email and repeat it several times, making it easy for your readers to understand and take action. Include both text links and buttons for your offer.
- Visually break up copy and make scanning easier by using subheads, short paragraphs and bulleted lists.
- Get to the point quickly by keeping important information, including the first mention of your offer and a call to action, near the top of the email.
- Include the offer (webinar, white paper) and/or action verbs (register, download) in your short and sweet subject line.
- Create synergy between your email and landing page by repeating key copy points and using the same colors and graphics. Landing pages are a great place to put social sharing icons allowing your audience to share the content on their social media platforms.
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How are you keeping your email marketing fresh? What advice or tips would you give your peers in industrial marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.