Email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing channels for manufacturers. When done right, email campaigns can drive substantial revenue growth by nurturing leads, converting customers, and retaining loyal buyers.
This article provides 11 proven email marketing tips tailored specifically for manufacturers looking to expand their business.
Whether you’re just getting started with emails or want to refine an existing campaign, these practical recommendations will help you boost engagement and sales.
Importance of Email Marketing for Manufacturers
Email marketing delivers an exceptional return on investment for manufacturers. On average, email generates $44 for every $1 spent, overperforming other marketing channels like paid search and social ads.
Beyond revenue growth, email strengthens customer relationships and loyalty. Segmented campaigns allow manufacturers to guide buyers through every stage of the customer journey – from product awareness and education to post-purchase support.
Automated emails also provide significant time savings compared to telephone outreach. Ultimately, manufacturers cannot afford to overlook this high-converting digital channel.
Investing in email marketing will pay dividends through increased sales, lower customer acquisition costs, and higher lifetime value of existing customers. I also recommend using email marketing platforms to help out with the email marketing process.
1. Collect Emails from Website Visitors
Capturing email addresses should be a priority for any manufacturer’s website. Unfortunately, many businesses do not make it easy for visitors to opt-in to email communications. To increase sign-ups, add simple yet visible call-to-action links and forms across high-value pages.
For example, website headers, product pages, and blog posts are opportune areas to promote an email subscription.
When designing sign-up incentives, emphasize the exclusive perks of joining your mailing list. Offer sneak peeks of upcoming products, special discounts, or first notice on seasonal sales. Be transparent with the frequency of emails subscribers can expect to receive.
Assure visitors their contact information will never be shared. Lastly, make the forms short with only essential fields like email address and first name. Adding too many required details results in high abandon rates.
Pop-up subscription forms can feel intrusive but are highly effective. Use pop-ups sparingly on website exit pages or after a visitor has spent substantial time browsing. Whether you choose embedded forms or pop-ups, optimize design and messaging to maximize conversion rates.
A clean, mobile-responsive interface encourages sign-ups while you build a targeted subscriber list.
2. Offer Content Upgrades for Downloads
Once users have signed up, you can offer welcome emails like the one in the example below:
Digital content remains some of the best bait for capturing new subscriber emails. When visitors download assets like whitepapers, ebooks, or infographics from your website, require an email address in exchange for access. This content upgrade tactic allows you to nurture leads while delivering valuable educational materials.
The most effective giveaways relate directly to your product line and customer needs. For example, manufacturers can provide guides for maintaining equipment, checklists for compliance, or data sheets with material specifications. Gate this premium content behind subscription forms to grow email lists segmented by job function, industry, or other attributes.
When promoting gated assets, develop compelling messaging and calls to action to boost downloads. Emphasize the exclusivity and utility of accessing the content simply by submitting an email.
If offering multiple assets, A/B tests various titles and descriptions to determine which resonates best with your audience. Just make sure the quality of each giveaway aligns with the expectations set by the promotional language.
3. Send Personalized Abandoned Cart Emails
Few things are more frustrating than customers filling their online shopping carts yet failing to complete the transaction. Abandoned cart rates average around 70% across all industries. Manufacturers miss out on sales and customers do not get the products they initially wanted. Sending automated abandoned cart emails rallies buyers to return while recovering revenue.
The most effective abandoned cart emails include the customer’s name, their selected items, a reminder of the benefits they would enjoy from purchasing, and an incentive to complete the checkout process.
Given customers have recently viewed the products, there is no need to overload the email with additional images and details. Keep the design and messaging simple, personalized, and action-oriented.
Abandoned cart flows typically send an initial email shortly after a customer leaves items in their cart – usually within a couple of hours. Follow-up emails get sent over the next few days reminding the prospect again about the abandoned items.
Just be careful not to send too many messages as that may annoy potential buyers. Recovering even 25-30% of abandoned carts translates to a revenue windfall for most manufacturers.
4. Promote New Products to Existing Customers
Launching new products presents a prime opportunity to engage existing customers. Use email campaigns that showcase the latest offerings you worked hard to develop. Provide subscribers with an inside look at products before revealing them to the general public.
Messages displaying new arrivals should highlight product specifications and customer value propositions. Use dynamic content to target buyers who previously purchased similar items or operate in relevant industries. Tailoring images, descriptions and calls to action boosts relevancy and conversion rates.
Following a new product email, nurture subscribers with educational content exploring common applications and potential use cases.
For example, send a series of emails covering best practices for incorporating the item into operations, complementary products that boost utility, or maintenance recommendations to sustain optimal performance. This positions your business as an advisor while increasing cross-sell and up-sell revenue.
5. Use Customer Segmentation and Journeys
Generic email blasts fail to resonate in an overly saturated inbox. To cut through the noise as a manufacturer, you must segment your subscriber list based on attributes like demographics, interests, and purchase history. You can then customize campaigns around the unique needs of each target group.
For example, create separate customer journeys for prospective buyers versus those who have already made purchases. Use lead nurturing emails to move new contacts through the sales funnel by educating them on products, delivering value, and addressing common questions.
Meanwhile, tailor messages to existing customers to encourage loyalty, provide product maintenance tips, offer renewal discounts, and announce complementary product releases.
Regardless of the segments targeted, ensure your email journeys represent a cohesive narrative.
Each message should build upon the last while moving subscribers closer toward a clear goal tailored to their needs. Map out priority segments upfront, develop specific objectives you want to achieve with each and design a multi-touch flow that brings these to life through concise, personalized content.
6. Send Cart Reminder Emails
Shopping cart abandonment damages more than just one-time purchases. Customers who leave items behind often do not return to complete their transactions. Sending personalized cart reminder emails brings these sales back from the brink.
Effective cart reminder messaging incorporates dynamic customer details like first name and selected products.
Keep the content focused on rallying the prospect to finish their purchase. Use countdown timers or expiring discount codes to instill urgency. Make the call-to-action button highly visible as the priority is recovering lost sales, not cross-selling additional items.
Spacing out cart reminder emails boosts performance. Send the first reminder within a day of cart abandonment. Allow another 1-2 days before the next message. Limit reminder campaigns to 3-4 emails maximum over 7 days to prevent frustrating subscribers.
The majority of recovered sales happen within the first 48 hours indicating the importance of prompt and personalized follow-up.
7. Highlight Sales, Promotions, and Discounts
Special offers entice subscriber engagement and drive incremental sales. Promote time-sensitive discounts, seasonal sales events, and exclusive promo codes through dedicated email campaigns. Tailor messaging and product selections based on customer attributes to boost relevancy.
When showcasing sales in emails, curate products aligned with subscriber interests. Dynamic content helps scale personalization to highlight specific items each contact previously viewed or purchased from your catalog. You can also group products by themes like seasonal maintenance for additional segmentation.
To maximize results, A/B tests different discount percentages, promo code mechanics, and display formats to determine which options resonate best with your audience. Send a series of reminder emails leading up to major sales ending to instill urgency. The scarcity created by expiring discounts frequently yields a surge in transactions.
8. Send Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Customer satisfaction surveys offer invaluable feedback for manufacturers to improve products and purchasing experiences. Solicit ratings, reviews, and verbatim responses with targeted email campaigns. Surveys provide visibility into what aspects of your business are satisfactory while unearthing areas requiring enhancement.
The easiest way to obtain survey participation is by sending emails with embedded questionnaires or links. Tailor the content and timing of messages based on customers’ purchase recency and product selections.
Request feedback shortly after a transaction occurs when details remain top of mind. Limit survey length to boost response rates. Offer incentives like discount codes to motivate engagement, as in the example below:
Analyze trends in sources of delight versus dissatisfaction looking for quick wins. Address systematic issues through root cause analysis and process improvements. Follow up with customers regularly to track how sentiment changes over time based on interventions.
Voicing discontentment means customers still see potential value in the relationship. Thus manufacturers should embrace surveys as an opportunity to strengthen loyalty.
9. Gather Testimonials and User-Generated Content
Positive customer testimonials and user-generated content may be a manufacturer’s most persuasive marketing asset. Direct from the source, this content highlights real-world applications and value derived from using your products.
Proactively seek out written reviews, video demos, and images showcasing installed equipment. For customers willing to provide a thumbs up, send emails with specific requests, directions, waivers, and submission forms to lower participation barriers. Incentivize top contributors with credits towards future purchases or by featuring their business in your marketing channels.
When sourcing content, encourage variety capturing different environments and use cases. Then obtain customers’ consent before publicizing anything showcasing logos, products, or employees.
Feature user-generated stories prominently across websites, advertisements, and email campaigns. This authentic peer advocacy sells as today’s buyers have learned to tune out promotional product messaging in favor of trusted referrals.
10. Add Email Capture Forms at Events/Tradeshows
Industry events and tradeshows allow for valuable in-person connections with potential customers. Manufacturers should capitalize on these interactions by capturing attendee contact information for future sales and marketing outreach.
Place email signup forms visibly at your booth, behind the counter when completing transactions, and on tables with educational materials. Incentivize submissions through giveaway entries and content downloads.
Train event staff to promote subscriptions during live product demonstrations. And display a text-to-join keyword allowing interested prospects to easily opt-in from their mobile device.
Following up with attendees after events keeps your brand top of minds once they return home. Send a personalized email recapping the discussion with links to related educational assets, special offers attended, and upcoming webinars.
The prompt after-event outreach heads off competitors also marketing to event leads while relationships remain fresh. Just be careful not to over-email at once or risk getting blocked.
11. Analyze Metrics and Continuously Optimize
The hallmark of effective email marketing is continuous optimization based on performance data. Manufacturers must closely monitor campaign metrics like open, click-through, and conversion rates. Review analytics segmented by subscriber segment, message type, and other email attributes. Trend directional progress over time with an optimization mindset.
If certain emails consistently underperform, analyze the content, messaging, audience targeting, subject lines, and calls to action for improvement opportunities. Test new formats, incentives, and promotional techniques through A/B testing to validate enhancements. Iterate based on learnings, building upon elements that resonate best with each subscriber group.
Ongoing optimization also involves regular subscriber list hygiene. Remove inactive email addresses no longer engaging. Leverage behavioral data and user feedback to further refine customer journeys. Seek new lead sources to expand reach. While email marketing results take patience, applying analytics insights accelerates growth.
Email marketing delivers proven results for manufacturers when executed strategically over time. Align messaging to customer segments for greater relevancy, automate journeys to drive action, and continuously optimize based on insights.
With these 11 email best practices, manufacturers can nurture more sales-ready leads, convert interested prospects, and strengthen loyal customer relationships while boosting revenue. For such an affordable marketing channel, the ROI from email is unmatched. Start putting these tips into practice today to see your business and subscriber list grow.