What Excites Engineers? Email Newsletters Aren't Their First Choice

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.

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