Email Marketing for Manufacturers Isn’t Dead: 5 Tips for Success

Even in a world of Instagram, LinkedIn, and Slack, email marketing for manufacturers remains a solid choice to reach target customers. In fact, a study by HubSpot found that email marketing can generate an average of 5.8 leads per 1,000 emails sent. It can also help businesses increase their sales by an average of 12%.

But if we’ve learned anything after helping hundreds of customers improve their email marketing efforts, it’s this: Progressive marketers have long moved past the spray-and-pray email marketing method. Today, it’s all about being intentional.

Strategy and Segmentation are Critical Pieces of Email Marketing for Manufacturers

To send better emails that lead to better outcomes, you need a strategy and a deep commitment to database segmentation. Because even though email marketing is alive and well, it’s not a one-size-fits-all marketing plan.

At Lake One, we believe that to be successful at email marketing, you need to know who’s in your contact database and leverage that appropriately. This means asking:

  • Where did this contact come from?
  • What led them to opt in?
  • What does that tell us about who they are and what they care about?
  • How are we segmenting this contact to ensure our content aligns with their interests?

Then, as you plan content for each segment, you should run your ideas through a litmus test to ensure that they’re timely, newsworthy, and relevant to your contact. Here are some examples of what that looks like:

  • Timely – you have a component or part in stock that all of your competitors are out of
  • Newsworthy – you just created a thought leadership freebie that your targets will care about
  • Relevant – you’re running a promotion for the same product your contacts opted in to learn more about

When your emails pass this test, your contacts will sense that you understand who they are and what they care about. As such, they’re more likely to stay tuned and take action when the moment is right.

5 Tips: Email Marketing for Manufacturers

If you’re looking for email tips like writing a strong subject line or improving email deliverability, HubSpot’s Knowledge Base and blog have you covered. They produce great content, and we use it ourselves all the time.

Our email marketing for manufacturing tips are focused on how the ideas of strategy and segmentation translate into specific actions you can take to improve your results – starting today. 

Tip #1: Plan Engaging, Brief Content

Emails are meant to be short, concise, and focused. Think about your own email habits and put yourself in the contact’s shoes. What emails do you open? Why? What content holds your interest? Why?

Look for opportunities to add variety and include video or photo content that breaks up a contact’s inbox and grabs their attention. And make sure your content is easy for your personas to digest – especially because they’re probably reading it on their phone.

Here’s an example of how Lake One uses images and videos to spice up emails:

Image of an email with images to break up text
Image of an email utilizing video

Tip #2: Include Just One Specific Call to Action per Email

After you’ve earned the reader’s eyeballs, please don’t ask them to complete multiple tasks. Instead, give them one clear call to action per email and no more. Give this some real thought, and again, consider how you consume email content. Your goal with a call to action is to make it easy for your personas to digest the information and take the next step. That’s it. 

Tip #3: Get Personal

The idea of segmentation has been around for decades, but only some companies leverage segmentation factors as deeply as they can. Go beyond location and demographics and include factors like behaviors and interests.

For example, say you manufacture three types of bikes: mountain bikes, road bikes, and hybrid bikes. Everyone who’s opted in for your emails is probably interested in general biking content – to a degree. But imagine how much more effective your content would be if your mountain bike content is targeted at outdoor enthusiasts, your road bike content is targeted at fitness enthusiasts, and your hybrid content is targeted at commuters and casual riders.

There are a variety of ways to think about segmentation. The more personal you can make your content, the higher your open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates will be.

Tip #4: Test, Test, Test

Email is highly trackable and testable, making it a go-to option for data-hungry digital marketers everywhere. So, if you don’t see results, start testing your approach. For example:

Want to see whether your send time or the day of the week matters? Test it.

What to see which subject line leads to more clicks? Test it.

Wondering whether a download or a link is more effective? Test it.

HubSpot offers options ranging from a simple A/B test to multivariate testing. And we promise this can be easy.  

Image of HubSpot's Email Health Tool

Tip #5: Analyze, Refine, and Improve

Part of what makes HubSpot an effective email marketing tool for manufacturers is its ability to help you analyze data and use it to plan your next steps. HubSpot’s Email Health Tool makes it easy to see what’s working and what’s not. For example:

  • Do your open rates need improvement? Look at your subject lines and focus on making them more eye-catching in the future.
  • Are contacts opening your emails but not clicking on the links? Ensure your content isn’t buried, unclear, or misaligned with their goals.
  • Are you getting a higher-than-usual number of unsubscribes? Look at your last 3-5 emails and honestly assess your approach. Is your frequency too high?

Be curious and brave as you analyze your approach and commit to steadily improving your strategy and segmentation month over month.

A Quick Note Re: Email Marketing vs. Sales Prospecting

The tips we’ve offered here apply to using HubSpot’s email marketing tool to reach large audiences of people who opted in to receive your content. HubSpot also provides a Sequencing tool designed for one-to-one sales prospecting and allows you to create automated sales outreach sequences.

When deciding which tool is right, ask whether the contact opted in. If they did, use the email marketing tool. If they didn’t, the sequencing tool is a better option.

Be a Good Steward; Always Deliver Value

At Lake One, we believe your email marketing success is tied directly to whether you’re a good steward of people’s email addresses and prioritize adding value.

Never abuse or take advantage of someone’s willingness to trade their email address for something of value. Email marketing is a give-and-take. Do your part by having a clear strategy, taking a segmented approach, and staying highly purposeful every time you click send. 

We’re Here if You Need Us

If you need help building an email marketing strategy for your manufacturing company, we can help. Start the conversation.