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6 Email Marketing Tips for the Scientific Marketer

The Dos and Don'ts of Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the best ways to connect with your audience, when it’s done right. Successful email campaigns help land new leads and encourage return business. In fact, 89% of marketers say that their primary source of lead generation is email.

193.3 billion emails are sent every day...

So many companies are using email marketing because the return is so high. Each day, 193.3 billion emails are sent. Of these, 108.7 billion are from businesses. Email obviously works, but not all companies do it right. One bad email and you can lose readers for life. For an email campaign to be effective, it needs to be well-crafted. But what if it’s never even read?

The average person receives 121 emails a day. - Well ok, that's a huge average stat but you get the point when you add all of the RSS feeds, Junk e-mails, Newsletters to your multiple inboxes.

With that much email flying around, how do you compete?

We have comprised a quick cheat sheet to give you the dos and don'ts of email marketing.

1. Match Ultra-Targeted Users with Ultra-Targeted Email Content

If an email doesn’t provide relevant content, why would someone read it? It’s easy to pass emails by. About 84% of email traffic is spam.  

Great email is tailored to fit the needs and interests of the person who reads it. You might have written some all-star content about laboratory techniques, but if this hits the inbox of a HR consultant, it will never get read.

Segment your lists - Email isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Even if you cater to one industry, the people working within that industry are not all the same. The researcher, lab technician or engineer might be influential in determining what gets purchased, but the project manager might have the final say in terms of budget. How your email speaks to each of these individuals needs to reflect their priorities. You can segment your lists according to each reader persona - You should then use these segments to put yourself in the shoes of each persona and adjust your subject lines and CTAs accordingly.

Below, we have a couple of examples which directly address the challenges of the product's end user:

Lithium Analysis in Geological Materials Separating 6063 and 1100 Al Alloys

With the two above examples, everything about the email has been specifically composed with the end reader in mind. It is in fact the same product in both campaigns, however the focus is totally on the two very different applications.

In order for content to be engaging, the user has to be able to take something away from it. Whether it sparks an emotion, teaches something new or builds involvement, it can’t just be a plea for a sale.

Incorporating visuals and videos is another great way to help your emails avoid the trash folder.

Emails with compelling visual aspects and graphics generate up to 94% more views.

2. Attention-Grabbing Email Subject Lines Give You a Fighting Chance

So, now that you’ve targeted your content to your market, everyone who receives your email will read it, right? Well, not if they never open it.

  • You have one second to buy the next 5 of your reader's attention.
  • Convey your content's main USP within the subject line.
  • Utilize your pre-header text too!

33% of email recipients open an email based on subject line alone. Here are some of our favourites:

Applications of Nitinol Wire in the Medical Industry

Learn More About Inverse Gas Chromatography

Why LED Flicker is a Problem and How you can Solve it

When we send such a niche subject line out to an equally focused audience, we see very positive open rates.

3. Think About your Copy

Journey to the Microscopic World

They have opened your email, that's the hard part! Anything from 20-25% open rate can be considered a success. Now you have bought an extra 3-5 seconds worth of consideration whilst they read your copy... so make sure it's worth reading:

  • Use imperative action phrases like "Learn More", "Discover How", "Find out why..."
  • Convey the unique value of clicking through in the first sentence, then elaborate with the rest of the paragraph.
  • Display a prominent Call to Action button which summarizes the paragraph in 2-4 words.

Take the "Journey to the Microscopic World as an Example". The campaign is part of FEI's educational outreach programme targeted specifically at early stage education, teaching and management. The programme is instrumental in getting students excited about science and technology. Great copy accompanied by interesting SEM images

Target the Right People from the Very Beginning

Email use is so common that just about everyone is data-savvy enough to pass by email they don’t view as relevant. People read what they want or need to read and they know where to find the dreaded “unsubscribe” feature.

Placement of your opt-in and opt-out forms should be strategic. When you build a subscriber list that’s engaged and interested in what you have to say, the leads will follow.

We have seen what you should do, now let's take a look at 3 cardinal sins of email marketing...

4. Don't Sell Hard

Only around 3% of your market are in the purchasing stage at any one time, so sending an offer out for a 20% discount seems a little primitive or even presumptuous that they are considering a purchase. We find that campaigns which focus on the applications and how the reader can benefit from the product are much more successful (see above examples!). If you must include your offer, don't lead with it - People are far more likely to click on something educational and then look at a commercial offering, not vice-versa.

5. Don't Rush

Every email marketer knows the feeling of hitting send on their campaign only to be notified two minutes later by their colleague "Did you mean to send that?". Take your time, build up a checklist to work through for each email and when you think you are happy, test it a few times to make sure it is just how you want it. You don't want to undo weeks or even months' worth of hard work by turning your readers off- Remember, one bad apple spoils the barrel.

6. Don't Buy Generic Lists

Don't be afraid to ask where a list has come from or how it has been created. As a subscriber you will often be asked to tick the box to receive information from third parties only to receive dozens of calls, emails and texts about PPI, loans and credit cards - It lacks class and really is an outdated example marketing at its laziest!


We realise that our subscriber base is one of the most important parts of our business. We regularly cleanse the database, use opt-in as standard practice and will ONLY send subscriber's information related to their specific areas of professional interest.

Now that you know more about email marketing, you’re probably anxious to get started. We work with clients who cater to those in the scientific, medical and technology fields and help them develop email campaigns to the most specific and focused of audiences. Click here to learn more about the email marketing process or contact us directly to see how we can make a difference for you.

Posted by Frank Barker

Having spent his younger years playing Rugby in the sunny climes of Spain and Australia, Frank graduated from Loughborough University with a BSc in International Business before settling back in rainy Manchester. Frank has helped numerous Science, Engineering and Healthcare companies to create marketing strategies that engage with niche audiences. Having started his career in Sales, he now runs the Marketing department for AZoNetwork. He specialises in data management for sales teams, equipping them with the most actionable, real-time marketing insights from the first touch point through to revenue generating opportunity. A sportsman at heart, Frank still enjoys lacing up the boots for his beloved Macclesfield 1st XV Rugby or pulling on the whites to represent the more serious Macclesfield 3rd XI Cricket team.    

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