Engineers read email newsletters, but they are far from their top sources of information, according to 2019 Smart Marketing for Engineers, a study by IEEE GlobalSpec.
Only 27% rank email/email newsletters as very valuable.
In contrast, 57% describe supplier/vendor websites that way.
Next in this ranking are search engines (55%), technical trade publications (37%) and trade shows (37%).
However, email newsletters outrank the other sources in being somewhat valuable, with 62% agreeing that they are. And nearly 50% of engineers subscribe to two to three email newsletters.
Of the engineers polled, 50% scan emails for intriguing subject lines and delete the rest. In addition, 20% open most or all to scan for content and trash the others, while 175 read every one for important information.
Another 8% say newsletters are filtered to a folder and are not seen, and 5% delete most automatically.
In South America and Mexico, email newsletters rank a little higher — they are valued by 40%, compared with technical trade publications (54%) and trade shows (29%). In those countries, engineers are three times as likely to read them.
Overall, while 10% say advertisements are helpful, 62% also say they are somewhat helpful. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have 70% apiece or more who say they are not very valuable.
Who do engineers trust? They assign the following levels of trust, with 6 being the highest:
Engineering expert at a vendor company — 4.6
Industry analyst — 4.0
Online or print magazine editor — 3.7
Editorial piece in an industry print or online publication — 3.7
Sponsored story in an industry print or online publication — 3.3
Anonymous source at a vendor company — 2.5
Engineers rank the following types of contact as being very valuable:
Data sheets — 70%
Case studies — 46%
Product demo/how-to videos — 45%
Online courses — 40%
Webcast/webinars — 31%
Ebooks — 31%
White papers — 30
Application notes — 29%
Interactive content (calculator, quizzes, etc.) — 26%
Trade publication article—21%
When they fill out web forms, engineers are most likely to complete the fields for email address (74%), company name (63%), first name (57%) and last name (51%).
But companies can’t wait — over 40% expect to be contacted with 24 hours of filling out a form. And 82% of younger engineers expect contact within 48 hours.
The study also found that 90% of engineers are more likely to do business with firms that regularly product new and current content. And almost 60% of the buying process takes place online for most engineers.
IEEE GlobalSpec surveyed 354 technical professionals.