A Guide to Email Marketing for the Bioprocessing Industry
Another marketing email!
We’ve all been there. Probably numerous times per day. A cluttered inbox messes with your mojo. Time is lost unsubscribing from lists to which you never signed up. Yelling at your screen for the fourth time that day, “I DON’T WANT A CHANCE TO WIN!”
Nobody wants to be that person- bombarding unsuspecting recipients with unsolicited, useless information, and inflicting collateral damage in the forms of annoyance and stress.
It’s no surprise that Email Marketing gets a bad rap.
However, when done well, email marketing can deliver some of the highest ROIs of any digital marketing technique. According to email marketing optimization provider Litmus, the average email campaign generates $36 per $1 spent, resulting in an ROI of 3,600%. In part, this is because email campaigns are relatively inexpensive to run. The key point is that they must be executed properly. Rather than inducing groans and eye rolls, a well-planned, strategically executed email campaign can enhance your brand and deliver conversions at a fraction of the cost of other strategies.
Before we delve into the how, let’s take a look at the what:
1. What are the Types of Email Marketing Campaigns?
Broadly speaking, there are three major types of email marketing campaigns:
A. Email Blasts to Third Party Rented Lists
B. Email Blasts to Existing Customer Lists
C. 3-Step Nurturing Email Campaigns
A. Email Blasts to Third Party Rented Lists
Not every company has a ready-made database of potential clients to target with well-constructed promotional emails. If you need to boost your brand recognition and develop leads quickly, this may be the option for you.
You’ll no doubt be familiar with companies that offer you bullet-proof lists of “qualified” leads to rent or purchase. These can be a cost-effective means of reaching a wide audience quickly and efficiently. However, before you jump in, there are a few questions you need to ask:
- How relevant is the list to your target niche?
- Can the data provider supply you with detailed demographics and analytics to ensure the list meets your criteria?
- Does the provider comply with the latest data privacy and safety regulations?
Whether or not to invest in a third-party list will ultimately hinge on the nature of your promotion and the objectives of the campaign. The lists offered by most providers include a broad bioprocessing audience—from R&D scientists, to manufacturing managers, to high-level executives. The broader your target market and scope of your product or services application, the more likely you are to succeed.
Conversely, the narrower your niche, the less likely the list will be of sufficient relevance to make it worthwhile.
Most companies operating in the Life Sciences and Bioprocess fields have a reasonably well-defined market with a better-defined client base than other less-specialized industries. For example, your promotion may be best suited for a manufacturing audience rather than R&D or process development scientists. Put simply, you already know who most of your potential clients are and they already know you—or so you may think.
If that sounds like your organization, you will need to consider the value proposition of renting the list compared to the likelihood of the provider reaching your target audience and generating an impression. Or better yet, generating leads.
B. Email Blast to Existing Customer Lists
Accumulating your own, robust list of qualified prospects and clients is an organic process that can take time and effort to achieve. However, there are a few vital advantages to this strategy:
• Brand Recognition: If they’ve signed up to your list, they’re already engaged with your brand. Email recipients will be far more likely to open and read the content and respond to the Call to Action (CTA).
• Qualified, Warm Leads: These leads have most likely either had a conversation with someone in your organization or have sufficiently familiarized themselves with who you are and what you do to sign up via your website. This inevitably places them further down the sales funnel and more likely to be receptive to the right messaging.
• Personal Connection: If the recipient feels that they already know you or your organization, they’re less likely to see your email as spam, and more likely to view it as something that may provide helpful information.
Before you send out your first email, walk through these three steps:
First, make sure that everyone on your list is there because they want to be. You can do this by ensuring that you have ethical opt-in strategies. Start bombarding everyone whose business card has ever come into your grasp and you will swiftly alienate the very people you’re trying to entice.
Provide your target customers with simple, fast, and entirely voluntary ways to opt-in to your email list. Sign-up forms on your website, at conferences, or other appropriate methods are all safe bets.
When it comes to developing your own list, it’s all about quality over quantity. It’s far better to send an email blast to hundreds of potential clients who want to hear from you, than thousands who do not and will quickly consign you to trash without so much as opening your missive.
Second, wherever possible, segment your list. Whether it’s by product, application, geography, or professional role, break down your list into groups. Email each group with targeted information that is most relevant to them. The more specific and relevant your information, the more likely the recipient will be to open, read and hopefully take the action you’re hoping for. It may take more time to plan and write multiple emails that speak directly to each segment. However, when done well, it’s worth the effort.
Lastly, ensure that all recipients have a quick and simple way to unsubscribe. Nobody likes rejection. Trust us, the cold shoulder is preferable to tarnishing your brand and reputation by bombarding no-longer-willing recipients with unwanted spam.
In many cases, you will find that the individual has unsubscribed simply because they want to clean out their in-boxes. Sometimes, folks would simply rather get information from your website when it’s convenient for them. Keep your engagement honest and you leave the door open for them to reconnect with you when the time is right.
C. 3-Step Nurturing Email Campaigns
Like any form of digital marketing, the best results are achieved when you guide the target customer through a journey. A nurturing campaign does just that.
In most cases, nurturing campaigns employ an email marketing software platform that is programmed to deliver a sequence of personalized emails that guide, filter, and segment your list based on the actions of the recipient.
Most email sequences will fit into one of the following three categories:
- Welcome Sequence
- Product/Service Sales/Launch Sequence
- Cold Subscriber Re-Engagement Sequence
The first iteration will typically introduce your company, announce the launch of a new product or marketing campaign, or aim to reignite the recipient’s interest.
The software will then send a second iteration based on the recipient’s response. If they click on a link or button, they may receive a follow-up email that acknowledges their interest and encourages them to delve further. If they do nothing, they may receive a second note that gently reminds them of the value of your proposition and prods them to check out what you have to offer.
The software will help you to automate the prospect segmentation process, while simultaneously identifying the buying stage of each recipient. Armed with this powerful data, you can target them with the most relevant offers, such as free samples, demos and trials, discounts, or other offers.
Pepper your emails with high-quality content and offers of value and you have a formula that will maximize the effectiveness of your campaign. Relevant blog posts, infographics, tips and tricks, and other information can be interwoven with offers for free webinars, downloadable PDFs, or whitepapers. If you get the mix right, you can:
- Establish yourself as a subject matter expert and/or thought leader.
- Provide information that simplifies their purchasing decision.
- Offer tangible value to the reader.
- Create a more intimate connection with the prospect.
- Narrowly qualify the lead in preparation for a more direct approach.
Always use your email marketing software to analyze and interpret the results of your campaign to ascertain what’s working and what’s not. Consider A/B testing, different information, offers, designs, or other elements to find the best formula.
Acquiring and setting up the software that controls your campaigns can be time-consuming and involves financial investment. However, this sophisticated form of email marketing is associated with higher open rates, click-throughs and conversions. In niche industries like bioprocessing that rely heavily on specialized data and information, it’s worth it.
Now that we’ve examined the types of email campaigns, it’s time to look at how to construct a great email.
2. How to Write Effective Marketing Emails
All the planning, segmentation, special offers, fascinating insights and impressive data counts for little if the copy is substandard. There is a subtle, but indispensable, art to constructing the perfect email that entices, engages, informs and persuades. Let’s look at the most crucial aspects of successful email copy.
No email marketing campaign will be successful without the following four essential ingredients:
A. A Detailed Understanding of Your Target Audience
Before you start talking about you, it’s crucial to make it about them. What do your readers care about? What is their role in their organization? What are their pain points? How does your product or service address or solve these? If your content is focused squarely and accurately on what you can do for your prospects, they are far more likely to sit up and pay attention.
The fundamental questions you need to ask yourself before you start writing are:
- Who are you writing to?
- What do you want the to do?
If you get the answers to these questions right, everything else will flow from there. You will have set the platform for a killer email campaign.
B. An Eye-Catching Headline
It is impossible to overstate just how vital a great headline is to the success of your campaign. People’s inboxes are crowded, and competition for scarce attention is fierce.
Many of the best titles are in the form of a question that directly addresses the client’s pain points as discussed above. As tempting as it is to lead with your amazing product’s mind-blowing features, your reader is far more interested in how it solves their conundrum.
For example, a headline like:
“How Can You Achieve Higher Purity?”
Is always going to get more opens and clicks than:
“Try Our Advanced, State-of-the-Art BioWidget that Helps You Achieve Higher Purity”
Yes, it’s simple. No, it’s not flashy. But it will get the attention of anyone who’s struggling with this problem.
C. Authoritative, Goal-Focused Content
Now that your engaging title has piqued their curiosity, it’s time to deliver on your promise.
Again, we draw your attention to section 2a. Everything (well, almost everything) in your email needs to be focused on answering the question in your headline and communicating how you’re going to ease the reader’s pain.
The length of the email should grow as the recipient progresses through the funnel. Short, sharp and enticing is usually best for the intro. Once they engage, feel free to inform them with more detail and data that speaks directly to their needs. However, resist the urge to simply dump facts and figures. These are almost guaranteed to lose your hard-won attention. Instead, an effective email tells a story and guides the reader through to the desired conclusion.
D. Appropriate, Effective Language
The type of language you use in your emails can make or break your campaign. It all comes down to understanding your audience and speaking their language. Write your email in a way they can comprehend.
In person, you would speak differently to a lab technician than you would to a purchasing manager, right? The same applies in writing.
The precise tone and style will differ between industry, segment or recipient’s role. However, there are a couple of basic concepts to keep in mind when it comes to the language that you utilize:
1. Use Power Words:
These evoke emotion and arouse curiosity. They add the spice and flavor that you miss with bland language. Here are simple examples:
If it fires the reader’s imagination, it’s likely to be more effective.
2. Avoid Spam Trigger Words:
There is a fine line between evocative and spam. To understand the difference, go to your email’s spam folder.
Take careful note of the words used in the headlines compared to the headlines that made it into your inbox. See which words engage you and which ones make you hit that Delete button.
If you don’t want your email to be banished directly to spam, avoid the vocabulary of the spam headlines. It’s that simple. Even if you somehow make it past the filter, our brains are so conditioned to dismiss this sensationalist language that the recipient is likely to be turned off.
If you’ve already emptied your spam inbox, here are some examples of words and phrases to avoid:
- “Free” anything: quote, trial, preview, investment, consultation
- All words relating to money: income, debt, price, dollars, earnings
- Numbers: #1, 100%, $100/yr
An eye-catching headline uses evocative, powerful words and avoids statistics or deals. Remember, you want to engage them, not bore them. Draw your reader in by piquing their curiosity in what the rest of your email contains.
We’ve just touched the surface of what it takes to run a successful email campaign. Nonetheless, if you follow the above principles, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals and getting positive ROI from this digital marketing technique.
Need help with you bioprocess email marketing? Reach out to our digital marketing experts at Hapatune and see how we can drive up your customer engagement.
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