How to Master Short-form Marketing Content

Last month, the Maven wrote a post offering tips for writing and producing long-form marketing content, such as white papers and research reports. This month, we’ll explore short form.

If long form is anything over 1,000 words, then short form is anything less. The majority of marketing content your company produces is likely short form, such as emails, blog posts, infographics, and social media posts.

Short-form content offers a number of benefits for both you and your audience:

  • Due to decreased attention spans on the part of your audience, especially in the digital sphere, short form is less intimidating and more likely to be consumed in full.
  • Short form is easier to see and read on mobile devices. Up to half of all content is accessed on mobile devices.
  • Short-form content is faster and cheaper to produce than long form.

Don’t Mistake Short for Easy

Just because short form is short doesn’t mean it’s easy to create or that you can treat it more casually. Short form is challenging because you have to do a lot with so little, you need to quickly capture your audience’s attention, any tiny mistake is magnified, and you need to be concise and to the point.

As the French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal famously wrote: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” That’s because being brief takes careful crafting and editing.

Here are some tips for mastering short form:

It All Starts with the Headline

News editors know that story headlines must do two things: get the reader’s attention and reveal the main point of the story. It’s true for marketing content as well.

Write headlines that will intrigue your audience and set expectations. For example, the headline to this post—“How to Master Short-from Marketing Content”—should interest marketers tasked with creating short form and also promises “how-to” tips. The headline isn’t fancy or clever; instead, it does the job it’s intended to do.

Follow the Inverted Pyramid Rule

Again, we’ll take advice from the world of journalism. The inverted pyramid rule states that the most important information comes first, followed by secondary information. There’s no need to attempt to build suspense in the reader. They don’t want suspense—they want the main points as quickly as possible.

Stick to a Narrow Topic

If you can’t fully cover your topic in a thousand words or less, then your topic is too broad for short form. If you have to make more than one key claim along with its supporting information, then again, you shouldn’t be using short form.

If you find yourself in this situation you can do one of two things: switch to long form to cover your topic, or segment the topic into smaller units that can be covered in short form.

Edit Carefully

Nothing bashes credibility like grammatical errors or typos in a short piece. They really stick out and your audience will judge you negatively. Ruthlessly cut extra words, but proofread your final product with an eagle eye.

Choose an Appropriate Content Format

Research studies, white papers, and in-depth customer interviews or articles don’t lend themselves to short form. Instead, choose a format that dovetails nicely with short-form writing. Here are some examples:

Listicles—this ever-popular format (“Top 10 Ways To . . .”, “8 Tips for . . .”) offers a quick read and digestible information. Pro Tip: Keep your introductions to listicles to a minimum amount of text, or abandon the introduction altogether. You have to admit that when reading listicles you’ve skipped past the intros to the first item on a list.

Infographics—This combination of text and graphics is especially appealing for presenting and interpreting data.

Checklists—Kind of like listicles, checklists give straightforward information, such as “Must-have Features When Purchasing X.”

Visual + Caption—A single visual element with an extended caption. Take a look through your slide decks. Can you pull anything out that can stand alone with the help of a caption?

Three Questions With . . .—A mini-interview with a customer, partner, or subject matter expert. You’re already telling your audience this will be short and to the point. Variations on this include “Did You Know?” in which you promise an important and relevant fact or piece of information.

Social Media Posts—Get right to the point you want to make and your audience will be appreciative you are respecting their time.

Less Obvious Short-form Content

To really become a master, treat every little thing you write as short-form content. Comments you add on posts from companies or influencers you follow? That’s short-form content. Treat it as carefully as you would your own marketing content. Description tags on web pages? Same thing. Your company descriptions on social media profiles? Make your point, be clear, be helpful to your audience.

Content Marketing Digital Media E-Mail Marketing

Ten Tips to Increase Clicks in Your Marketing Emails

Earning a click-thru on a marketing email is a badge of honor. It ranks higher than an email open and is a measure of an engineer’s engagement with your content and your skills as a marketer.

With upcoming changes Apple will be implementing to protect user privacy (see companion article), clicks will take on even more significance as an email marketing metric. Here are ten tips for increasing click-thru rates on marketing emails.

1. Place buttons “above the fold”

“Above the fold” is a newspaper term referring to the top half of the paper. In an email, it refers to the area a user can see without having to scroll. Make sure the first appearance of your call-to-action (CTA) button is visible without scrolling, making it possible for a quick decision to click.

2. Use both buttons and text for links

Buttons in bright colors are attention-grabbing and might attract clicks, but text links within copy are just as important for users who block images or like to read the copy. Sprinkle both buttons and text links in strategic places throughout the email.

3. Use action verbs on buttons and text links

Make it easy for your email recipient to understand what to do and what they will get if they click. Action verbs get the job done. Words like Download, Read, Register, Watch, Get, Listen, Calculate, Compare and other action verbs are perfect for enticing clicks.

4. Offer different types of content

Notice some of the action verbs in the tip above: read, watch, listen. Each of these words promises a different type of content. Many engineers prefer to read the content. A growing percentage are watching videos. Podcasts offer another option for delivering content. Not every email has to contain all content types, but try out different formats and track your metrics to see what is popular.

5. Main offer, secondary offer

Each email should have one specific purpose with a CTA you are using to entice your audience to click. This main offer should be front and center to command the attention of your audience. However, it is also effective to add secondary content and click opportunities to your email. An engineer who does not find your main offer attractive might notice and click on a secondary offer.

6. Create a sense of urgency

Offers that are good for only a limited time or limited to a certain number of people such as event registrations that are closing soon or even “breaking news” are all ways to instill a sense of urgency in your audience and possibly increase clicks. However, do not deceptively use this tactic. If a discount on an event registration always applies, do not say it expires in two days.

7. Use responsive email templates

More than half of all emails are opened and read on mobile devices. For this reason, you need responsive email templates that render the content in an easy-to-read format on any device, whether the recipient is using a desktop, tablet or phone. An email that is too small to read on a cellphone or requires horizontal scrolling will likely be ignored. You will not get many clicks that way.

8. Use A/B testing

A/B testing is simple: divide your list (or a part of your list) in two and test two different versions of an email to see which one gets more clicks. Create your first email, then change only one aspect of it to create a second version. It might be your button placement, offer, headline, or another variable. You should only test one thing at a time in order to understand the results from that one change. If you have multiple changes you’d like to test, then you can perform more than one A/B test.

9. Segment and personalize

If you only have one product, one message, and one customer type, then you can ignore this tip and send everyone the same email. But it is more likely you have different types of customers who have different interests. The more you can segment your list and personalize content for them (even ‘Dear Dave’ is helpful personalization), the more likely you are to get clicks.

10. Be relevant

We would not be the Maven if we did not harp on relevancy. This is the most important tip of them all. The more you are tuned into your customers’ wants and needs—and address them with targeted content in your marketing emails—the more they will pay attention and the more clicks you can earn.

Content Marketing Digital Media E-Mail Marketing Marketing Measurement Marketing Strategy Marketing, General

Will Apple’s Privacy Changes Hurt Email Marketing?

Source: primestockphotograpy – stock.adobe.com

Apple’s recent announcement about protecting users’ privacy has marketers wondering about the implications for their email marketing efforts. Some pundits are declaring the end of email marketing, while others are mostly shrugging off Apple’s maneuvers.

Nothing is scheduled to take effect until September when a new version of the Apple operating system rolls out, and a lot can happen between now and then, but marketers will need to pay attention and likely make some adjustments to their email marketing tactics.

Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection applies specifically to the native Mail app on iPhones and iPads, and the desktop email application.

According to the Apple press release, “In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email, and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.”

There will be other changes as well, but these are the most significant for industrial marketers:

Email open metrics

You will no longer be able to track email opens from those using the Apple mail app. Apple will also block forward tracking. If your subscriber forwards an email to another email address, you will not receive any tracking information on the forward.

Masking IP address

Apple will mask a user’s IP address, which will prevent marketers from tracking a user’s location or other online activity. This means less insight into your subscribers’ behavior and tendencies.

Dynamic content and device information

Apple will block dynamic content, such as live poll updates, carousels, and hamburger menus, forcing the user to actively download this content. In addition, marketers will no longer be able to discover what type of device is reading the email, which will impact email design decisions.

How industrial marketers should respond

Marketers should start preparing now for the upcoming changes Apple is implementing. One important measure is to look back at your analytics over the last six months to a year and identify trends.

Email opens have long been a metric tracked by industrial marketers to measure engagement. Your history of email opens documents how you’ve been trending in this area. Now you can expect a change, depending on what percent of your subscribers use the Apple email app. Your email open metrics are bound to increase, which will be inaccurate because with the Apple changes the open will be recorded as soon as you send the email.

Open rates can often be equated to the strength of the sender and subject line. They are not, however, the best measure of engagement. Nor is this the first time that marketers have fretted over open rates. Remember when email preview panes first became a thing? Subscribers could read some or all of the email content without actually recording an open of the email.

Most important: be relevant

The more important engagement metric is a click-thru on email content. A click-thru shows how interested your subscriber is in what you have to say and what you have to offer. The key takeaway is: make your content relevant to your audience. Click-thrus and subsequent conversions are the most powerful measurements of how relevant your content is and how well you engage your audience.

You may also need to pay more attention to other engagement metrics beyond email to get a better perspective on your audience. These include website visits, social media activity, orders, and account activity.

Another way to gain valuable information and increase engagement opportunities is to ask subscribers to update their preferences. Typically, you might ask what type of content subscribers are interested in receiving and how often. You can also add questions about whether they prefer dynamic content and what type of device they prefer to use.

Getting around masked IP addresses and the blocking of live content are more complex issues, although fewer marketers will need to contend with them. If you send live content and use IP addresses to track online behavior or location, you will likely need to get design and technical experts involved to work on solutions.

Ultimately, the impact of Apple’s privacy changes on email marketing remains to be recognized. It will likely be neither doomsday nor a non-event and instead fall somewhere in between. The Maven will continue tracking the situation and keep you updated as the new Apple OS rollout gets closer.

Digital Media E-Mail Marketing Marketing Measurement Marketing Trends Marketing, General
focused female employee reading information on computer in office

How to Build Trust Via Email – 8 Tips

focused female employee reading information on computer in office

Forty-three percent of engineers open most or all newsletters they subscribe to and they either read every one or at least scan for content. Another one-third of engineers scan subject lines and open the ones that intrigue them, according to the research report “2020 Smart Marketing for Engineers.”

These numbers could be higher. The way to increase email effectiveness is to build greater trust with your audience. When engineers trust you, they gain confidence in you, and are more likely to engage and do business with you.

Here are eight tips for building trust via your email communications.

1. Get permission

This isn’t just a tip, it’s a requirement. Unsolicited email does the exact opposite of building trust—it sows suspicion and doubt in the recipient, violates spam laws, and can harm your brand.

When you only send email to opt-in recipients, you are taking the first steps toward building trust.

2. Always make yourself known

Even with opt-in email, you need to use the ‘From’ line to your advantage by letting your audience know who the email is from. It could be from your company or from a specific group within your company (for example: GlobalSpec Media Solutions send out the Marketing Maven newsletter).

You can also use a person’s name in the ‘From’ line, such as a sales representative or a business leader, as long as that person is known to the recipient. This name recognition tactic and one-to-one communication fosters a greater sense of trust.

3. Set expectations—and adhere to them

When someone signs up to receive email from you, let them know how often you will email them and what you will be emailing them about. If possible, give them options for the type and frequency of communications they want to receive.

Don’t violate this pact. If they are opting in for only a monthly newsletter, don’t send them weekly promotions. Keeping your promises is one of the best ways to build trust.

4. Make the content relevant

This is one of the most important factors contributing to the building of trust via email—and to the success of your email communications.

Engineers are looking for educational, informational content that helps them do their jobs better, grow their knowledge, and make more informed buying decisions.

Try to segment your audience into groups based on product interest, roles and responsibilities, or other criteria, and then craft emails targeted to their needs and interests. Forty-five percent of industrial marketers produce content for 2-3 audiences and 27 percent for 4-5 audiences, according to “Manufacturing Content Marketing 2020,” produced by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs.

5. Personalize whenever possible

Personalization creates bonds. Bonds create trust. Personalization can be as simple as using your recipient’s name in the subject line (such as ‘David, here is an article we think will be helpful’) or in a salutation (such as ‘Dear David’).

Using marketing automation software, you can take personalization deeper by tracking what emails or content a recipient has engaged with in the past and using that data to determine what to send them next.

6. Avoid the “Do Not Reply” address

Sometimes you get email that says “Do Not Reply” in the ‘From’ line or elsewhere in the email. This phrase does not belong in email marketing because it shuts down conversation and suggests to your recipient you don’t really want to hear from them.

Again, this is no way to build trust. Instead, give your audience a way to engage with you, offer comments, or start a conversation. For example, at the end of every Marketing Maven, we include this note along with an email link: “Email the Maven. We’re interested in learning from your experiences, too! If you have a question for us or a story to share, please send us an email.”

7. Use Conversational Language

Build trust by being human. One way to do this is to treat your email communications like a conversation, using normal, everyday language. Stay away from formal writing. Put the thesaurus away and simply talk to your audience as you would to someone face-to-face.

8. Track and improve

You can always get better at your email communications, and the better you get the more trust you will build. Eighty-six percent of industrial marketers use email engagement to track the success of their content (“Manufacturing Content Marketing).

Track email delivery statistics, opens, clicks, and forwards to find out what’s working and what needs improvement. As you finely tune your email communications, you’ll also increase the trust level between you and your audience.

E-Mail Marketing

How to Create Your Best Email Ever – 9 Tips

Now that COVID-19 has vastly reduced face-to-face time, email marketing is more important than ever.

Manufacturing marketers have for years relied on email to connect with their target audience to generate engagement opportunities, strengthen their brands, and nurture leads. Email campaigns to house lists, e-newsletter advertising, and co-branded emails with marketing partners all have their place in your marketing portfolio.

Given the current climate, more emails are being sent and inboxes are even more crowded than usual. You have to stand out to get your audience to pay attention.

Here’s how to send your best emails ever:

1. Match your message to your list

You need to deliver the right message to the right audience. The first step is segmenting your list in a way that makes it easy for you to craft targeted emails. For example, new customers get welcoming emails, current customers get upgrade emails, hot prospects get purchase offers, nurtured leads get educational information.

2. Treat every email component as a call to action

Even the ‘From’ line is a call to action (CTA). It’s telling your recipient to pay attention because this email is from a person and/or company they know and have opted-in to receive emails from.

The subject line should also be treated as its own mini-CTA. Its purpose is to have the reader take the action of opening the email. Use active and benefit-oriented words in the subject line, such as watch, download, register, get, discover, and meet.

3. Take advantage of valuable real estate

Many email programs offer a preview pane, which allows the user to see the top few inches of an email before deciding whether to open it. Those top inches are of utmost value: use them wisely. Instead of displaying a large graphic masthead or logo, use that space for teaser copy or the most compelling content you have.

4. Answer this one question

The most successful marketing emails are simple, targeted emails that answer one major question your audience asks: Why should I? Give your audience a compelling reason why they should open, read, and act, and you will have a winning email.

For example, if the purpose of your email is getting your audience to register for a webinar, tell them why they should. What will they learn? How will this information help them do their jobs better? What’s so special about your presenters? Why is your webinar the best source for this information?

5. Make it easy for your recipients

You want your audience to take action—make it easy to do so. Include bold buttons with action verbs: register, download, watch, etc. Include the CTA in text links. Place the CTA in several locations in the email.

When writing the email, use plain, straightforward language. Use short paragraphs and sentences, bulleted lists, and headings. In your copy, extoll benefits, but don’t be too salesy or promotional.

6. Keep your eye on the conversion prize

Your goal is to convert—that’s why you pepper your email with CTAs. The conversion could be a simple click-through to watch a video or read an article or download an infographic. It could also be getting your audience to fill out a form to access gated content or to register for an event. Or, it could be enticing them to fill out a survey or answer a poll question.

If you are using a form, ask for as little information as possible. Three fields—name, company, work email address—are all you need to get a relationship started. You can fill in the rest of your prospect’s data as they move through their buying cycle and interact with you further.

7. Render emails for mobile devices

Reading email on mobile devices is now the norm. By making your email communications mobile-friendly, you make it simple for your recipients to review your communication on any device.

8. Be relevant

The number-one way to stand out is to send emails that contain relevant, useful content to your prospects and customers, such as white papers, articles, how-tos, or special offers.

If you understand your audience’s information needs and work to meet or exceed them, prospects and customers will look forward to getting your emails and will hunt them down in their inbox clutter.

9. Work with a partner

If you’re strapped for resources or want to broaden your reach beyond your internal lists, you can advertise in third-party e-newsletters or send a co-branded email to a new, yet targeted audience.

GlobalSpec offers 70+ newsletter titles focused on specific industry segments and products. You can gain access to a highly engaged audience of decision-makers who use them as a key resource during all stages of their buying process.

E-Mail Marketing

Nine Ways to Stretch Your Marketing Dollars

Ask almost any industrial marketer and they will tell you there are never enough marketing resources. According to the research report, “2019 Trends in Industrial Marketing,” the leading marketing challenge is a lack of marketing resources—in terms of dollars, people and time. It was reported as a top three challenge by 37 percent of marketers, and as the single biggest challenge by 21 percent.

Further constraining resources, headcounts, and budgets are staying steady for the majority of industrial companies. Only 25 percent of companies are adding marketing people; just 31 percent are spending more on marketing.

Bemoaning the lack of resources doesn’t help, and subpar marketing performance because of a shortfall of marketing dollars simply isn’t acceptable. It’s up to marketers to find ways to stretch their budget and meet their marketing goals. Here’s what you can do:

1. Always Be Aligned

Your marketing programs should be perfectly aligned with your goals. This is the simplest way to make sure you are making the most efficient use of your resources. Before you invest in any program, always ask the question: Is this the best program for achieving our marketing goals? If not, don’t spend on it.

2. Repurpose Content

Content creation can be a resource drain. Look for efficiencies when creating marketing content. Make it a priority to create content that can be easily adapted for use across multiple channels, in multiple formats, and among different audiences. This offers the additional advantage of delivering a consistent message. Other content hacks include using templates to save on design costs, creating PDFs rather than printed pieces, and recruiting internal subject matter experts (SMEs) to help write technical content.

3. Use Marketing Automation Software

There is a good selection of low-cost marketing automation solutions on the market that can help you increase efficiency and save money. With marketing automation, you can easily segment lists, streamline lead nurturing, quickly access detailed reports and much more. A small investment can pay significant dividends.

4. Be Smart About Search Marketing

Optimize the pages on your website to rise in search results rankings for specific keywords that are important to your business. Keeping content fresh and current will also help. For paid search, focus on narrow search terms that will deliver more qualified traffic to your site. Don’t waste money on expensive keywords that everyone else is bidding on.

5. Focus Your Social Media Efforts

You don’t need to create and maintain profiles on every social media platform. It’s a waste of time and money, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to keep up or attract the attention you’re looking for. Instead, choose the social media channels that work best for you and that engineers are more likely to use. LinkedIn and Facebook are the two most popular channels for engineers. They’re great places to promote that reusable content you’ve been creating.

6. Don’t Purchase Email Lists

Purchased lists are a bad idea. They historically and dramatically under perform a clean in-house list. Plus, are you sure every name on that purchased list is verified as opt-in? Purchased email addresses are expensive and if you’re not careful you can run afoul of data privacy and protection laws.

A better idea is to advertise in a respected industrial email newsletter that you know is opt-in and is targeted to the audience you want to reach. Plus, your media partner will handle all list management functions, helping you to preserve your resources for other projects.

7. Cut Back on Travel

Industrial marketers still find tradeshows an effective marketing channel. But if you exhibit or attend multiple shows every year, the expenses pile up. Can you free up resources by going to one less show this year? If not, can you opt for a more modest presence? Can you negotiate a better sponsorship deal if you also host an educational session of interest to attendees?

8. Conduct Joint Marketing Programs

Work with a partner that offers complementary products and services to a similar target audience as yours. With two companies sharing the costs of a marketing program, your dollars can go a lot further. It’s also a good way to gain access to a potential new customer base.

9. Find a Trusted Media Partner

One way to help alleviate the lack of resources is to find a trusted, expert media partner who can help you optimize your mix and get the most out of your budget, while allowing you to free up some internal resources for other efforts. The right media partner will help you more efficiently reach your target audience and will be nimble enough to help you tweak programs along the way for better performance.

E-Mail Marketing Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing Strategy

The Fundamentals of a Successful Email Campaign

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If you’re like many industrial marketers, you’ve been using email marketing for many years. Email remains the number one marketing tactic in the industrial space. But at this point, you may not be getting the same level of audience engagement that you have in the past.

The issue could be that email marketing has become so familiar that you might not see simple opportunities to improve performance. Sometimes the answer is to go back to the fundamentals that made you successful in the first place, and to make sure you’re doing everything right that you can control—from subject line to sign off.

Always keep the number one rule of email in mind: Relevancy drives engagement. Each of these fundamentals forces you to think about relevancy, with the ultimate goal of increasing engagement.

Choose a Template to Fit Your Purpose

Consider the typical emails you might send:

  • Offer to download gated content
  • Invitation to a webinar or other event
  • Link to watch a video
  • Share a case study
  • Promote a new product
  • Provide a collection of links to curated content

Each of these emails has a different purpose and a different call to action. If you consider your purpose first, choosing an appropriate template becomes an easy decision.

For an email with an offer you would use a template that has bold and highly visible buttons for the user to take action. A product promotion would use a template with room for product photos. A video email would use a template that allows the video to play within the email itself, or at least highlights the video prominently. A collection of links might use a simple list-format template.

Most email marketing platforms offer a variety of useful templates. Whatever template you use, remember that busy professionals tend to scan through emails quickly. Use layout elements that make it easy to quickly absorb content: bold headlines, a strong image, bullet points, short paragraphs, and a highly visible call to action in both text and button formats.

Get Your List Right

Rarely should you send the same email to your entire list. What’s important and relevant to a field engineer may not be to a product director, so they shouldn’t get the same email.

A sure way to increase engagement is to send the right email to the right audience. This requires list segmentation. The lists you create depend on the data available to you and your marketing objectives. New customers get welcoming emails. Current customers get upgrade emails. Hot prospects get purchase offers. Users of Product A get promotions for Product C.

Teamwork: From Line and Subject Line

This is what your audience sees first in their inbox, and it’s your first opportunity to be relevant and engaging.  Your email must be from a person’s name or a company name that your customers and prospects recognize. Otherwise, there’s no relevancy, and your email will likely be discarded unopened.

Subject lines are worthy of a long discussion, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that a subject line’s singular function is to motivate the recipient to open and read your email. Subject lines should be benefit oriented and convey a sense of urgency so that recipients open your email immediately rather than save it for later or pass it by completely. Here are several subject line examples:

  • Just published: Top ten reasons why hydraulic pumps fail
  • Registration closes Friday for Webinar on lasers
  • June 12, Orlando: Solar cell expert to speak at conference

Include a Strong Call to Action

‘Action’ is the key word here: download, read, view, register, get. These are all action verbs. That’s just the start. Relevancy comes in with the rest of the call. It can be longer when you use text: ‘Download five ways to boost battery power.’ Or: ‘Watch how to install an oscillating pump.’ On a button: ‘Download now.’ Or: ‘Register now.’ Use both text and graphics for the call-to-action—they lead to the same place.

Focus on Conversion

If you’re offering a download or video, conversion takes place when your recipient clicks through. Other times, you will direct your audience to a landing page form. Use similar graphics and messages in the email as in the landing page, to provide continuity and to let people know they’ve come to the right place.

If you’re using a registration form, keep it simple and easy, asking only for the minimum information you need to begin a dialog with customers and prospects. In other words, make it easy for them to engage.

 

 

E-Mail Marketing

How to Maximize the Performance of Your E-Newsletter Campaigns

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As most industrial marketers know, newsletters are one of the most valuable advertising mediums. As a newsletter advertiser, you benefit from access to a highly engaged audience of decision makers who rely on these publications as a source of valuable news and content.

When establishing a newsletter program as part of your overall marketing mix, you want to ask yourself the following tried-and-true questions:

• WHO am I looking to reach?
• WHAT do I want to communicate to this audience?
• WHERE can I reach them; what publications are they reading?
• WHEN should I schedule my advertisements?
• WHY am I running this campaign; what results do I expect?

Once you’ve built the framework for your campaign, then you need to ask yourself, How do I most effectively deliver my message to my audience?

You should be aware that newsletter advertisements do not perform like traditional forms of display advertising. Engineers and technical professionals look to these newsletters mainly for new, timely and relevant content. And research shows that advertisers who consistently use fresh ad copy see better results. On average, advertisers see a 20 percent decline in performance when reusing advertising content just one time. And this performance decline increases steadily after each reuse.

To make the most of your newsletter investment, submit original content for each ad placement. Even if you are focusing your campaigns around a single or limited number of products, technologies, or offerings, you will see better results with a frequent rotation of new ad copy.

Not sure how to get started? Consider these best practices when creating your next newsletter advertisement:

1. Create a clear, concise and compelling headline. Your subject line is your first
impression. Pull the reader in with your message.
2. Feature an image that complements your ad. A picture needs to work hand-in-hand
with your headline and copy. Our research shows that photos perform better than logos. An image with a white background is optimal.
3. Emphasize the benefits – and not necessarily the features – of your product or offer.
What will the audience gain by engaging with your ad? Think about content that either
shares knowledge (such as datasheets, product specs, design kits, technical documentation, and videos), or shows how your solutions rise above the competition
(shortening design cycles, speeding product to market, or delaying technological
obsolescence, for example).
4. Use links effectively. Depending on the goals of your campaign, direct readers to an action that creates opportunities for further engagement, or to additional content for
building thought leadership and awareness.

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General

What’s Working Now in Email Marketing

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Email is one of the industrial marketer’s top marketing tactics. Most companies have a reliable house list and many publish a regular e-newsletter. But there’s also email fatigue setting in among your audience. Everyone’s inbox is overflowing. Inboxes are overflowing with emails that are irrelevant to their recipients, and unrelated to their interests and needs. Often, recipients delete emails without opening them.

Despite these challenges, email marketing can be cost effective and produce positive results in terms of reach, opens, clicks and conversions. In fact, according to  “2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers”, a report published by GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing, 89 percent of engineers said the email/e-newsletters they subscribe to are valuable sources of information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends, products or services. Forty-three percent of engineers subscribe to 2-3 e-newsletters, while another 43 percent subscribe to four or more.

However, engineers are a busy and discerning audience. They won’t tolerate poor email practices on your part. When faced with their email inbox, 50 percent of engineers scan for subject lines that intrigue them and delete the rest. Without a subject line that gets their interest, your email might never get opened. Thirty-seven percent open most or all emails to scan for content or to read every one.

Every marketer that publishes their own emails understands it takes effort and resources to manage their subscriber list, including adhering to strict General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) for any subscribers who reside in the European Union. You also need production resources, which may involve content developers, graphic designers, and others. Faced with these challenges, its easy to see why not all emails are successful.

An Effective Alternative to the House List

One way many industrial marketers are easing the burdens of email marketing while still reaping its benefits is by advertising in third-party e-newsletters published by media partners. Depending on which media partner you work with and their expertise and ability to target your audience, the advantages of e-newsletter advertising are many:

  • The publisher handles all list management. This includes cleansing addresses, managing unsubscribes, adding new subscribers to the list, and adhering with all antispam laws and GDPR regulations.
  • The audience consists of only opt-in subscribers who have requested to receive the e-newsletter and are likely to expect, recognize and open the e-newsletter when it arrives in their inbox.
  • As a marketer, you can connect with hard-to-reach members of your target audience who are not on your own house list, yet would still be interested in your content, products and services.
  • Your required production resources are much less. Often, you need only provide an image and a few lines of copy and the publisher will design your ad for you.
  • The publisher provides comprehensive and timely reports demonstrating the performance of your e-newsletter ad, such as number delivered, opens, clicks and forwards.
  • The right media partner will be able to help you integrate your e-newsletter ads with other marketing programs, resulting in an approach that makes best use of your marketing resources.

With the right partner on your side, e-newsletter advertising works. Is it time to add this program to your marketing mix? GlobalSpec offers 70+ newsletter titles that focus on specific industry segments and products. These e-newsletters target the very professionals you want to reach via their inboxes, giving you access to a highly engaged audience of decision makers who use e-newsletters as a key resource during all stages of their buying process.

Find out more about e-newsletter advertising here.

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General

How to Keep Your Email Marketing Lists Sparkling Clean

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Over time, the quality of your marketing list diminishes. Some experts report that email lists degrade at a rate of more than twenty percent each year, which isn’t that surprising. People change jobs or email addresses; businesses move, merge or shut down. Additionally, errors in the data entry and verification process can lead to duplicates and bad addresses in your databases.

Dirty data can derail your marketing efforts, negatively skew your email marketing metrics and harm your reputation as an email marketer. Your undeliverable and bounce rates will increase, as do spam complaints, while your open rates and click-through rates decrease.

Maintaining a clean list isn’t a luxury for industrial marketers—it’s a requirement for success. So how do you do it?

Clean your list

Data cleansing is the process of identifying outdated, incorrect or incomplete contact records and correcting any typographical errors and eliminating duplicate entries.

Sometimes you can clean your list manually, depending on your list size. You could review your list to catch common data entry errors such as misspellings of domain names, for example, imb.com instead of ibm.com, or gmial.com instead of gmail.com, and to look for duplicate entries.

Other options for cleansing a list include working with a vendor that offers list hygiene services. If you contract with an email marketing service provider, they often have tools to help clean your lists.

Append data to your list

For lengthier lists, you might use a service that both cleanses and appends data. The process matches your list against already verified lists from a vendor to replace outdated or incorrect data in your list with new, up-to-date information. Examples would be swapping a contact’s business email and title from their old job with their new title and email at their new company.

However, a service that appends email addresses to other user data you already have (such as name, title, and company) is a controversial practice in the email marketing world. Sending an email to people who have never explicitly opted-in is against best practices and sometimes against the law. Be sure to ask any vendor you might work with how they handle this situation. Find out if email addresses they append are from subscribers who have agreed to receive emails from companies such as yours.

Control points of data entry

Another way to ensure a cleaner list is to control the points of data entry. These typically consist of conversion forms on your website or data entered manually, such as transcribing an email address and other data from a printed form.

In these situations, you can take steps to reduce the potential for errors. For web forms, it’s a good practice to request that a user input their email address twice in order to ensure accuracy and reduce typos. You can also implement a process in which you send an email to the user and they must click on a link to confirm their opt-in. For company names or postal addresses that are typed in, you can use an address-matching service to check for accuracy. You can also do this for data entered manually.

Maintaining an opt-in list

Another important list hygiene practice is purging email addresses of those who no longer want to engage with your company.

To weed out unengaged subscribers or to spot potentially bad email addresses, create a sub-list of subscriber email addresses that bounce and of subscribers who have not opened your emails over an extended period of time.

Users that don’t download images or that use a preview pane to view emails still might be reading your emails, but it won’t hurt to have them on a sub-list that you email to promote engagement with your company. You just have to word your email appropriately. For example, you might tell subscribers you hope they find value in your emails and ask them to confirm their email address to ensure they continue to receive your emails.

Subscribers who don’t respond to several attempts at re-engagement should be removed from your list.

A final word

List hygiene isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that should be embedded in your marketing workflow. Put checks in place during data entry, cleanse your lists of errors and duplicates, and conduct engagement campaigns to weed out bad addresses and unengaged subscribers. If adding another task to your revolving to-do list sounds daunting, find a trustworthy media partner that can help. The result will be an improvement in email marketing metrics and better results on your campaigns.

 

 

 

E-Mail Marketing Marketing, General