SyncShow B2B Marketing Blog

The Role of Email Marketing in Building Relationships in B2B Industrial Companies

While the B2B marketing world loses its collective mind over emerging marketing channels like influencer marketing and podcasts, email remains a powerful marketing tool for manufacturing companies. Why? Because email fosters lucrative business connections with consistent and personalized two-way messaging through a digital communication channel that most humans use daily. 

High Performance + Targeted Communication = Strong ROI 

Email marketing is an effective tool for manufacturing businesses for several reasons, including:

  • Top Marketing Channel: Email is one of the top three channels for marketing in 2023. 

  • High Adoption Rate: According to a study by HubSpot, email marketing is used by 50% of media planners and is expected to grow by 22% year over year.

  • Strong ROI: On average, email drives an ROI of $36 for every dollar spent, higher than any other channel. 

  • Effective Business Strategy: 64% of B2B marketers say their email marketing strategy meets their business goals.

  • Targeted Communication: Every email can be targeted to specific segments of prospects or customers based on their interests, behaviors, or demographics, allowing B2B businesses to communicate with their audience in a more relevant and effective way.

  • Reliable Performance: According to Constant Contact, manufacturing and distribution companies' average email open rate is 26.54%, and the click rate (clicks/delivered) is 1.24%.

Why Relationships Are Important to Manufacturing

Relationships are crucial because the sales cycle can be long and complicated in manufacturing. When sales and marketing leaders focus on the entire sales cycle, not just the beginning and end, prospects and customers feel nurtured and develop loyalty to the brand. Building solid relationships helps establish trust and credibility. After a lengthy conversion process, B2B buyers often stick with suppliers they trust. A good relationship can lead to repeat business and referrals. 

Long-lasting relationships can lead to mutually beneficial business partnerships. Manufacturers and customers who have built trust and reliability are more likely to form strategic alliances, joint ventures, or long-term contracts. Manufacturers can work with customers to develop innovative solutions, improve existing products, and co-create new ones. Collaborative efforts can give manufacturers a competitive edge and strengthen their market position.

Building and maintaining strong relationships can lead to business success and growth in the highly competitive manufacturing industry. Email marketing can play a significant role in building and nurturing these important business relationships.

Types of Email Marketing

Not all email is the same. Email marketing can take several forms, each serving a specific purpose or goal. Here are some common types of email marketing:

  • Lead Nurturing Emails: These emails can be triggered by a sales inquiry or a follow-up to an initial sales conversation. Aimed at guiding potential customers through the sales funnel, lead nurturing emails provide valuable content and information that addresses common pain points and questions. 31% of sales professionals rate email as the highest-performing channel for nurturing leads.

  • Welcome Emails: The goal of welcome emails is to introduce new customers or subscribers to the brand or product. A great welcome email can set the tone for a business relationship. They often include a thank-you message, an overview of what to expect, and a call-to-action (CTA) to explore your brand further.

  • Promotional Emails: These emails feature special offers, discounts, sales, or new product launches. The primary goal is encouraging recipients to convert by taking advantage of a limited-time deal.

  • Newsletters: Email newsletters feature educational content like trend reports, industry news, and case studies that establish you as a thought leader while providing value to the recipient. Newsletters are very effective at building brand loyalty and keeping subscribers informed. According to Hubspot, 81% of marketers use newsletters as a content marketing strategy.

  • Transactional Emails: These are triggered by a specific action, such as purchase confirmation, order shipment notification, password reset, or account update. While primarily informative, transactional emails offer an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell related products or services and to build brand loyalty.

  • Re-engagement Emails: Sent to inactive subscribers or lapsed clients, re-engagement emails aim to revive their interest and encourage them to interact with your brand again. These emails may include special offers, surveys, or personalized content based on their previous interactions.

  • Survey/Feedback Emails: A consistent feedback communication loop is essential to building strong customer relationships. Survey emails help you understand an audience better and improve your products or services based on responses.

  • Event Invitation Emails: If you rely on conferences, trade shows, webinars, workshops, or other events as sales opportunities, having an event email prospect list is key to success. These emails provide event details and encourage registrations.

  • Announcement Emails: Companies send these emails to inform clients or subscribers about company updates, new partnerships, or important changes, such as policy updates or product launches.

These are just some of the more common uses for email marketing. Email is flexible and accessible enough to be used in almost any marketing campaign. Each of these emails serves a unique purpose in your email marketing strategy, and a well-rounded approach often involves combining several forms to engage and nurture prospects and retain clients. 

Trends in B2B Email Marketing

In 2023 and beyond, B2B email marketing will focus on adding value for recipients through interactive experiences and useful information and decreasing unwanted email that isn't spam but still unsolicited. Here are a few trends we see on the horizon. 

  • Automation: More B2B marketing teams are leveraging automation to increase customer engagement, transactions, and efficiency. Automation involves more than choosing email software. Good automation platforms integrate with other systems like CRMs and digital ad platforms so that all marketing efforts are integrated and consistent. Automation will also provide better data and insights for future marketing decision-making. 

  • Organic Lead List: In the future, the focus will be on building a quality email list rather than filling it with acquired names or subscribers not interested in purchasing your product or service. You can now create targeted and dynamic email sign-up forms based on your marketing persona to better determine a lead's quality and place that lead in the appropriate email list. 

  • New Primary KPIs: Apple email protection updates have made current open rates useless as a KPI. Many marketers are now measuring email results through click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, conversion rate, and other engagement metrics. Setting clear goals and benchmarks for an email campaign is essential regardless of the KPI you choose. The most relevant KPIs will depend on your specific business objectives and the nature of your email campaign.

  • Hyper-personalization: Updated technology has made it super simple to go beyond placing the recipient's name in the subject line or body copy. With dynamic content, user data, and automated messaging that adapts to recipient behavior, you can include personal product recommendations, location-specific information, or references to past purchases. Emails can also be triggered by more specific customer actions like website visits. Buyers are more likely to share their data with a brand if they feel it will lead to a high-quality experience. 

  • BIMI: Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) has become crucial to building brand credibility. It is a new email authentication standard that enhances email security and brand visibility. BIMI allows you to display your logo with the subject line of your email. This visual representation builds trust and authenticity, making it easier for recipients to recognize legitimate emails from spam. It also ensures better mail deliverability by proving legitimacy with spam filters. 

  • AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) enhance subscriber engagement and take customer experience to the next level. AMP allows email recipients to fill out forms, purchase products, add events to their calendars, RSVP to an event, book tickets, and more without leaving their email inboxes. In other words, AMP provides a website-like experience within an email, leading to a better user experience. 

  • Other Artificial Intelligence Tools: Some of the trends above are the result of AI innovations, but there are plenty of other tools that will affect email marketing in the near future. These include predictive analytics tools, intelligent send-time calculators, voice-activated emails, and automated content generation. In all cases, it's essential for marketers to strike a balance between automation and human-centered personalization to maintain authenticity and build lasting customer relationships.

Email marketing is a powerful tool for manufacturing companies to generate leads, increase brand awareness, and boost sales. With it, you can build powerful relationships with prospects and clients through personalized content that provides value based on their interests and behavior. 

Additionally, targeted email content is vital to building credibility, awareness, and trust. By sending emails that address your audience's unique pain points and interests, you can deliver targeted and personalized content, demonstrate expertise, and create a positive brand image in a highly competitive market. The new innovations in email marketing will only make it easier and more efficient to do so.

If you're looking for a data-driven marketing partner to help you build a successful email marketing strategy, SyncShow's Diagnostic & Roadmap can show you precisely what you need to do to see massive and trackable returns on your marketing spend.

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