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Reed Manufacturing Uses Ennect Mail to Pipe Leads into the Sales Funnel

Highlights:

  • Email marketing helps qualify leads.
  • Abbreviate content for mobile readers.

For over 115 years, Reed Manufacturing has been innovating its way to a leadership position in the pipe tools industry. Family-run, the privately-held company delivers the highest quality pipe tools, along with top-notch customer service and cutting-edge product development. With a corporate culture that rewards employees for exceptional performance and service, Reed encourages continuous improvement and progressive thinking. Reed approaches marketing with the same innovative spirit.

"In the industrial sector there’s still a lot of traditional marketing going on. Flyers are still being printed and mailed out. Big thick product catalogs are still produced and sent to customers," says Marnie Caldwell, manager of marketing services. "At Reed, we began transitioning to electronic marketing ten years ago."

Ennect Mail is just one of the tools in Reed’s electronic arsenal. The company started using the Ennect on-demand solution about three years ago, primarily as a way to qualify leads and create interest in its products.

Reed Manufacturing’s website enables people worldwide to access information about its products. It complements that with on-demand training videos, warranty information, and locations of traditional-distribution retail outlets—all to simplify decision-making for customers.

To help activate use of its website, Reed cross-markets it with a variety of other activities—some of them traditional, like tradeshow participation. The tie-in is email marketing.

"Instead of sending an expensive direct mail packet to people who are registered for one of the tradeshows we’re planning to attend, we'll reach out to them via Ennect Mail to let them know what's going on in our booth," says Caldwell. "Ennect is perfect for these one-off emails."

One of the key links Caldwell places in her emails is to the Reed website to promote sign-ups for emails about new products. A recent mailer Caldwell sent out to a fresh list of potential prospects had an open rate of 33 percent.

"I was very happy with the 33 percent. I like to see a response of 25 percent or higher," said Caldwell. "A lot of the contacts we're sending to with Ennect Mail don't necessarily know us, so the opens tend to be lower. I watch my responses and check my reports from Ennect for click-throughs. In this case, I pulled the list of contacts who responded and shared them with the territory manager since these potential buyers have taken an extra step to learn about what's going on in our upcoming tradeshow booth. The territory manager knows now to watch for them. In general, mailings like this give us an indication ahead of time of the kind of interest we might find at the show."

"Do subject lines affect my email opens? Yes, they do. We have also experimented with the length of the body copy. I am conscious of the fact that a lot of people are reading our emails on their smartphones, so I want to keep the content as short and crisp as I can."

Marnie Caldwell

Manager - Marketing Services
Reed Manufacturing

Reaching Out to Various Industry Segments

What else does she do one-off mailings for? The other reason is for some leads that come in still from magazines or from the shows themselves.

Reed sells its products across a variety of different industries: plumbing, fire prevention, etc. To reach existing and potential customers with product and company news, Caldwell targets quarterly newsletters to different industry segments.

"These mailings go to contacts who have come to us via magazines as well as trade shows or other means. The program is designed to nurture their ongoing interest in Reed products and we try to increase their interest by making the mailer industry-specific. Recently, I've been able to include links to video demonstrations on our website which have turned out to be pretty popular," says Caldwell. "I don’t expect Reed to always be at the front of their minds, but hopefully the Ennect quarterly newsletters will remind them of us."

Testing... Testing...

True to the company’s innovation mantra, Caldwell doesn’t leave well enough alone. She periodically tests her emails to see if she can improve responses and opens.

"Do subject lines affect my email opens? Yes, they do," she says. "We experiment with different subject lines. We found one that gave us better than a 30 percent open rate, which was pretty good for a list of contacts that didn't know us very well."

"We have also experimented with the length of the body copy,” says Caldwell. “I am conscious of the fact that a lot of people are reading our emails on their smartphones, so I want to keep the content as short and crisp as I can. I don’t have the physical space to tell them all that I want, but I have to give them enough to interest them in clicking through. Our more recent emails are shorter than our original ones."

At Reed for 17 years, Caldwell has watched the changes manufacturing has gone through over the course of her career. "Reed has clearly innovated the way we handle outreach to customers. We're embracing new technology - even our people in the field are embracing different aspects of it. Tools like Ennect Mail empower us with the ability to do quick outreach, but we also notice some interesting trends about how comfortable different generations are with the various methods of marketing outreach. Sales people in the field tell us what works with different customers or if there's an email campaign that sparked interest. Sometimes it’s surprising how many traditional print catalogs still go out," she says.


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