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Email Marketing Questions to Ask

Manufacturing & Distribution

Manufacturing and Distribution Industry Discussion
Most manufacturing and distribution businesses are ill-equipped to provide their customers with white papers, educational newsletters, press releases, e-books, videos or blogs. These are the bread and butter of modern marketing and present a challenge for manufacturing and distribution businesses engaged in exclusively conventional promotions.

As a manufacturing and distribution manager, business owner or marketer, the fact is this: the majority of your customers are probably online this very minute. You don't have to hire additional staff or purchase expensive hardware to reach them, either. Any desktop computer connected to the Internet will allow you to interact with a capable, experienced, professional email service provider able to execute all elements of an email marketing campaign on your behalf.

One of the primary keys to achieving success through email and social network marketing is to understand conventional advertising is lost on a population that lives on computers and mobile Web-enabled devices. Many manufacturing and distribution businesses are applying the B.E.S.T. formula in order to comprehend and facilitate the creation of the type of content that engages an online customer base:

Behavioral - Acknowledge that everything you communicate to your customers must have an obvious purpose. Ask yourself what you want your customer to do: solicit contact, submit a form, sign up for an email newsletter or complete a survey? Ensure there is a clear and valid action you want your customer to take that benefits both your business and the customer.

Questions to ask: What action do you want the customer to take? How will you measure their reactions? How do you want the customer to feel? How can you facilitate their purchase?

Essential - Any missive you send must have a clear and necessary purpose for the prospect that circles back to your products and services but also finds a way to help them with a challenge or brings something positive to their interactive experience. How do rising energy costs affect them in relationship to your products and services? What tips can you provide to your customer to save energy, money, time and effort? What trends in your industry are likely to affect them? Think: information, education and entertainment.

Questions to ask: What does the purchaser need to know? How can my content be presented for maximum effect? What media works best for presenting this particular content?

Strategic - Though you want the customer to be delighted by your missives, remember that your primary purpose is to engage them in order to drive sales and traffic. Your online activities must be seamlessly integrated into your overall business plan.

Questions to ask: Does this email content fit into our overall strategies? Does this effort assist in reaching the company's strategic goals? Can we engage in this conversation without it seeming too much like a thinly veiled sales pitch?

Targeted - The best content is highly targeted to your prospects. You must determine the demographic, geographic and behavioral characteristics of your base and use those factors in your email segmentation and testing efforts. Capture their attention and their loyalty; speak in their language about topics close to their interests. Then dovetail this conversation into legitimate ways your products and services can fulfill those needs.

Questions to ask: Have you identified the customers you want to target? Do you understand their motivations? Can you put yourself in their position and view your offerings through their eyes?

Approaches to email marketing must vary from facility to facility, location to location and even time to time: manufacturing and distribution businesses need to implement a series of well thought out procedures in order to keep a customer base motivated in a slow economy, taking into account high rates of unemployment, small business and personal loan financing and even the impact of natural disasters on consumers.

Fine tuning the content of your email marketing campaign to cater to the location of your business and your particular demographic and behavioral customer profiles can be critical to achieving success. Online communications experts know the best way to achieve innovative focus is to apply segmentation methodologies to your subscriber list. By separating out your email address entries according to demographic, geographic and behavior based categories, you will develop targeted content that fulfills the preferences and requirements of your customer base.