Since our infancy as a business, August Ash has worked closely with manufacturers, distributors, and OEMs of all shapes and sizes.
If you work in this industry, let our little preamble act as an ode to your profession.
It’s blown our minds to witness the groundswell of technological shifts that have made your organizations more productive and profitable.
With the implementation of Artificial Intelligence, it’s impressive what manufacturers, distributors, and OEMs across the world have accomplished.
These innovations have led to huge industrial boons such as responsive engineering, enhanced supply chain agility, and smarter shop floors, etc.
Honestly, we can’t help but admire how much your industry has leveraged the technologies of today to enhance efficiency.
Then, we must ask, how come those involved in your industry don't always apply the same approach to your email marketing strategy?
Sure, when it concerns technical aspects and workflow, it’s all about equipping yourself with the latest and greatest. Yet, when it comes to email marketing, many manufacturers are decidedly behind the times, still on old email marketing platforms that require manual coding of emails, have limited segmentation abilities, don't integrate into other systems, and aren't using automation to nurture and lead prospects.
No, we’re not saying that your marketing approaches are primitive. It’s not like you don’t use email to reach prospects and clients about company picnics and office closings.
But it’s 2020, and there’s so much more value that can be extracted by using automation technology to bolster your email marketing as a manufacturer or distributor.
Let’s explore this notion further:
Combining Old School with New School
As a B2B marketer, you might mistakenly believe that all you need are the old-fashioned marketing methods of the past.
Networking ventures such as tradeshows, as well as referrals, reputation, and longstanding business relationships, have always seemed to do the trick.
And guess what—those traditional forms of marketing are still as valid today as they were forty years ago. It’s just that in today’s day and age, there’s the potential to combine the power of email marketing and automation with the timeless methods that have always generated results.
If you don’t believe the above statement, the next section will discuss how much an impact B2B email marketing, alone, can have on your bottom line as a manufacturer or distributor.
The Many Benefits of B2B Email Marketing
Studies claim that behind colleague recommendations and thought leaders in the industry, email is the third most influential source of information for B2B audiences.
Furthermore, according to 59% of B2B marketers, email is the most successful revenue-generating channel.
At the end of the day, as a B2B business, you need to consider where your audience spends most of their time. Professionals (or B2B consumers) spend much of their days glued to their email inbox, waiting on and sending project updates and other operations-based communications.
And while we’re sure your business is performing perfectly admirably without concentrated email marketing, the stats above prove you’re missing out on opportunities. Your manufacturing or distributing company will ALWAYS maintain and grow using the old style. However, applying a concerted email marketing strategy where you establish yourself as a source for relevant content will help take everything to the next level.
Beyond that, utilizing an automation platform will segment while providing emails and content to any leads that come into their system. But we’ll discuss automation further a little bit later.
With both a fully fleshed email marketing strategy and automated tools in place, your organization will open itself up to brand new and more lucrative business opportunities.
What Kind of Content Can Be Sent Through Email?
If you’re currently only using your email minimally, there’s a strong chance you aren’t writing a blog.
In and of itself, failing to write a blog means you’re missing out on a vital opportunity to engage customers and increase revenue. Specifically, B2B marketers that use blogs get 67% more leads than those that do not.
Also, a blog can guide a potential buyer through the first few stages of the sales funnel. In fact, 47% of buyers looked at 3-5 pieces of marketing content before any contact with an organization.
The second statistic is particularly useful if an email subscriber is on the fence about purchasing with your company. Successful B2B companies regularly plug their blogs through their marketing emails to generate clicks to their website (which vastly improves SEO) and lead to sales conversions.
Plus, sharing that kind of valuable content with your audience establishes your organization as an authority. When email recipients think of manufacturing and distribution, your company will be top of mind.
If you don’t think that writing a blog and promoting it through your email marketing will work, there are plenty of resources proving otherwise.
2. Video Marketing
Mixing email and video marketing is generally a recipe for success.
Studies show that adding videos to your marketing campaign boosts open rates by 19%, clickthrough rates by 65%, and reduces unsubscribes by 26%.
Another factor to consider is that 72% of B2B buyers and researchers watch videos to help them make their buying decisions.
With email videos, you’re giving your organization a chance to reach clients and other subscribers on a more personal and memorable level.
We live in a day and age where consumers (even B2B ones) love transparency. With manufacturing, where the technical details are so crucial, a video gives you a chance to explain – in the most engaging manner – the nitty-gritty of your products. As such, your client-base and target market compiled on your email list will have more confidence in what you’re selling.
3. White Papers
One of the best uses for email marketing for manufacturers is sharing relevant white papers with segmented lists.
If your company is in the habit of producing white papers on a regular basis, whether monthly or quarterly, having a segmented list of leads you are nurturing or clients in specific industries that you can regularly send relevant content to will drive up your engagement rates, increase the percentage of people coming back to your website, and open doors for sales managers and account managers to follow up with prospects.
You've spend the time creating that white paper, you know your team is passionate about it...let's get it read by as many people as possible, and make sure the right people are taking the time to read through it.
The Automated Advantage
We’ve briefly broached upon the advantages of an automated approach to your B2B marketing.
It’s easy enough for us to say that automating your email campaigns will make you more successful as a manufacturer and distributor. Also, it’s quite challenging to argue with the statement. After all, automating processes generally removes human error, speeds up operations, and makes organizations far more efficient with tasks.
However, we should get a little bit more specific about how automation will help with YOUR email marketing:
Automated Marketing is Becoming More Personalized
For starters, 82% of marketers that were surveyed claimed to experience an increase in open rates through email personalization.
In fairness, you may be wondering what open rates have to do with your bottom line. Just because someone reads your email doesn’t mean they’re going to pay for your products or services. Well, before delving more in-depth, we’ll point out that people initially need to see your marketing collateral before being converted into customers.
Though there’s a more direct statistic that highlights the success of personalized emails.
So, not only are consumers of all kinds (including B2B customers) opening personalized emails, but they’re being converted.
Now you might wonder what automation can do for personalized emails. You might assume that automation takes the personal touch out of your hypothetical marketing emails. You’d be incorrect, though.
Think about it—as your business grows, the likelihood of manually sending personalized content to thousands of subscribers is non-existent. In fact, you’d probably abandon any campaign the second its scope outgrew your grasp. Unless you’re willing to pay an in-house email copywriter far more than they’re worth to email everybody individually.
With today’s technologies, there’s a wealth of ways that you can personalize automated emails. The tools we use at August Ash, for instance, track subscriber behaviors and segment data. So, in the time it would take most businesses to personalize a few emails, you’ll be able to do the same thing with thousands of messages.
How to Most Capitalize on Marketing Automation
Automation is only as valuable as the strategy behind its implementation.
If you’re going to utilize automation for your email campaigns, you’ll only see its potential benefits if you understand your buyer persona.
In a nutshell, your buyer persona a fictitious template of your ideal customer. It’s an amalgamation of the people with which you’ve done and currently do business, as well as your desired future customers.
Comprising your “average” targeted customer means you must compile the necessary information. This process involves interviews, focus groups, and surveys, and soliciting feedback from your current client base. You’ll want to learn about topics such as your buyers’ education, skills, industry, job titles, and goals.
With such an approach, your automated emails will seem far more personalized and catered to what your audience values.
It’s Time for Manufacturers and Distributors to Leverage the Full Power of Automation in Email Marketing
You can put all the statistics and logic aside as we reach the end of our blog because here’s what you really must know:
Throughout our 20+ year time in the marketing industry, August Ash has worked with an array of manufacturing, distributing, and OEM companies. We’ve witnessed first-hand the significant impact that automated email marketing can have on your organization.
So, it’s time to take the leaps and to elevate your email marketing standards to the level of all your other operational practices.