When building your performance website, consider the analytics you need to track and analyse once the site is live. This will help ensure that the...
Trying to decipher the myriad of interactions involved in the specification process can feel daunting but, the truth is, it only takes one contractor to be attracted to your product for them to you. It is as simple as that! The actual key to the specification process comes with the question of what makes specifiers choose you.
And, the answer is not straightforward.
This is because most of the research a specifier conducts happens way before they decide to get in touch with you. According to the Specifier Insights survey conducted by SpecifiedBy in 2018,
- 38% of specifiers prefer doing initial research before speaking to a product rep
- 30% of specifiers prefer having done thorough research and having a clear interest on a product before speaking to a product rep
- 3% of specifiers would only speak to a product rep once they have made the decision to specify them
These numbers revealed that up to 71% of specifiers confess not being receptive if they are contacted through cold, outbound, direct sales. They will just not be up for it.
And there is a good reason why they would not be receptive. They are being bombarded by other product companies, among which you can probably find your competitors, with information that they do not really need. In fact,
- 40% of specifiers receive cold calls from product companies on a weekly basis
- 25% of specifiers receive cold calls from product companies on a daily basis
The problem is that, however, if you wait until specifiers are receptive to start the conversation about your product, it is very likely that they have already done some research and that, even, they have made a decision!
So, how do you sell to specifiers?
5 Elements that Drive Specification
Yes, you probably guessed it! The most important part of the specification process is research, and it is on that particular phase of the specification that you should focus most of your efforts! As we mentioned above, it is likely that specifiers have done a fair part of their research by the time they are willing to speak with a product rep. With that in mind, it is essential to guarantee that you are in their minds much earlier than that, here how:
Specifiers have a tendency to be self-sufficient. Each specifier will be looking for clear, affordable, and easily available information. If they are unable to gather the information they would need for the specification of your products quite straightforwardly, they will be quickly discouraged. Similarly, ensure the data available is accurate, guaranteeing that specifiers have all the information they need for their research.
With 2 out of every 10 specifiers receiving unsolicited information about building products on a daily basis, it does not come as a surprise that they look at many of those interactions as mere spam. It is essential that, through each interaction, you manage to add value to the conversation, either offering some new knowledge or elaborating on information about your product that you truly believe will be helpful for the specifier.
For specifiers, time is of the essence. They do, nevertheless, recognise the value of devoting time to a brand that demonstrates respect for their attention. It is essential that your interactions reflect that respect, that you ensure your responses are accurate, complete, and timely, and that, without requesting to much of their time, you provide them with an experience that will encourage them to reach out to you for their next specification.
While specifiers often choose to drive their research independently, they will check with other specifiers of the sector and take on their suggestions when looking to a new product to specify. And it is very likely that, if another specifier has specified your product in the past and has had a satisfactory experience with your brand, they would recommend you for other projects.
Curating an attractive digital presence will be key to stay relevant for specifiers. In 2017, 98% of specifiers headed online when looking for new construction solutions for their specifications, with 40% of the revenue of building products coming from digital sources. This means that you should not reduce your interaction to one single channel, but make sure that your digital presence is multi-channel and all-encompassing.
Why Email Marketing is The Most Powerful Specification Tool
I know what you are thinking... How are you supposed to offer availability, show value, demonstrate respect, establish trust, and curate a flawless digital presence for your specifiers before you can even give them a call?
The key tool here is email marketing.
Email marketing continues to be one of the most successful marketing strategies, with active email users set to increase up to 4.48 billion by 2024. In a recent State of the Email Report, Litmus found that
- 1 out of 3 marketers consider email marketing the most effective marketing channel in their organisation
- 4 out of 5 respondents confessed they would rather give up social media than email marketing
- 78% considered email marketing vital for the success of their organisations
But, why is email marketing so effective?
Truth is, email marketing is not effective just because. Email marketing can help you reach a bigger audience and increase your brand awareness. It is, in contrast, through excellent email marketing that you will see remarkable results. There are certain elements that, together with email marketing, can help your brand growth beyond any expectations.
Not all specifiers are looking for the same solution or, rather, not all specifiers want to be introduced to a specific solution in the same way. It is important that you conduct a thorough research that should provide you with more in-depth information about what exactly different types of specifiers might be looking for when looking at your building product. With that information, you should personalise your outreach.
With the limited time specifiers have, an effective email and CRM software is essential for success in the area of email marketing. A good CRM should allow you to segment your contacts and use features such as email automation both tools that can get you a chance to improve sales conversions, send your audience unique offers, and regularly keep your prospects updated with the latest goings-on in your business.
One of the characteristics of email marketing that most marketers underlined when surveyed by Litmus was that it is measurable. There is an enriching range of metrics that you can infer from the interactions your audience has with your emails, including open-rate, conversation-rate, click-throughs, etc. Ironically, Litmus and Trello found earlier in 2020 that inaccurate reporting within the area of email marketing was very common!
An easy way to make sure your email marketing strategy has all the tools needed for it to succeed, including the ability to personalise your emails, automate your interactions, and report on your strategy, is to manage your email marketing campaigns through purposefully-designed software. As HubSpot partners, we recommend HubSpot as one of the most successful email management software currently available.
[Updated for 2022] This is The Best Time to Send an Email in the Construction Industry
So, as you can see, email marketing helps you understand what you would be providing to specifiers, why you should be ensuring they have accurate information on your products available and, ultimately, how you should be interacting with them so you are respectful with their time. We have not yet, however, answered one of the most important questions for email marketing...
When should you be sending that email?
But, before we answer this question about time, it is important for you to also look at time zones! And that is where efficient email management software comes into place. You might only be interested in speaking to an audience based in a specific region but, if you are looking at an international outreach, it is essential your email marketing takes into account time zones and sends emails accordingly!
Let's look at this question through recent statistics.
the Best Day of The Week to Send Emails In the Construction Industry
According to recent research by Constant Contact, the day for getting the highest email open rates within the construction sector is Wednesday! This research focused on the US construction industry, with limited parallelism when compared to the UK construction sector. Nevertheless, it gives us some insights! Blue Mail Media also compiled some statistics on the best day to send an email in construction, identifying Tuesday as key.
While there might be some difference between surveys, most reports on email success agree that Saturday and Sunday are the worse days when looking at sending promotional emails. Furthermore, Mondays have also been pointed out as one of the least recommended days to send newsletters or promotional emails, since people might be suffering from Monday Blues and, therefore, not in the best mood...
the Best Hour of The Week to Send Emails In the Construction Industry
The survey by Constant Contact had a clear winner, Wednesday at 8PM! But, again, this number focuses on the US construction industry. If we look at the UK, mornings are definitely the preferred time for professionals to receive mail. Data shows that emails are more likely to be opened when sent before 10AM, due to people opening their emails at the beginning of their working day.
Based on research from GetResponse, it has also been noted that the highest click-to-open rates are at 10 AM! They also observed peaks in email activity around 1PM, which could correspond to the period after lunch, and after 7PM. Last peak of the day is identified after 8PM, with a big part of the audience checking their emails right before they go to bed!
TOP 5 Key Metrics To Track The Success of your Email Marketing Campaign
In one of my previous blogs, I wrote about some of the key metrics to track when sending emails to ensure that you measure your all-important ROI. We explored click-through rate (CTR), click-to-open rate (CTOR) and open rate (OR). The following data that I’m sharing is taken from CampaignMonitor, which collected the metrics taken above and presented it in a table to demonstrate the most successful email-sending days.
Email Open Rate
Probably one of the most evident metrics of email marketing is the email open rate. This is the percentage of the total number of subscribers who opened an email campaign. This metric can quickly become a vanity-metric, especially if we believe that every person that opens our emails is actually ready or taking an action about it. Did you know that a high percentage of people open emails just so they do not leave them as unread?
A great alternative to looking at email open rates can be to start reporting on the click-through rate of your emails. This refers to the number of people who click on a link or image in an email. As it’s calculated based on the total number of emails sent, your CTR will always be smaller than the open rate.
Another great metric to look at when seeking to gain a deeper understanding of the performance of your email is the click-to-open rate. In a sense, this metric is grounding, and it will keep you from focusing just on one of the previous two. This is when you compare the number of people that opened your email and the number that clicked on any links. This information helps you identify the information that is relevant to your audience.
Not all metrics that you should be looking at should be about the success of your emails. In fact, with email marketing, keeping an eye on metrics like bounce rate is essential! Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people that didn’t receive your message because it was returned by a recipient mail server. A high bounce rate can lead email servers to consider your domain as spammy!
Another one of the metrics that you should keep consistently checking is the unsubscribe rate. Unsubscribing is the action that a user takes when they opt-out of getting any more marketing or promotional emails from your brand. The higher the percentage, the more worrying it is. If you see this number going up, you should start looking at potential causes that might be prompting people to stop the conversation with your brand.
Two separate reports identified that two of the best potential times to send an email in the construction industry were Wednesday at 8PM and Tuesday at 10AM! These numbers, however, will vary depending on the audience that you are reaching out to or the region that you usually reach out to.
With that in mind, being mindful of your audience is probably the best strategy here. Ultimately, the most successful emails are the ones that capture your audience. An eye-grabbing subject line, professional and purposeful content, clear graphics and calls to action are the best ways to ensure email success.
If you found the information in this post insightful, we recommend you look into some of the most popular articles in the Insynth Blog regarding content marketing! Our favourites are:
- What Is Content Marketing In the Building Product Industry?
- Plan Your Framework For Content Creation in 6 Steps
- 5 Steps to Build the Perfect B2B Buyer Persona for Your Construction Company
- Why Construction Blogging Is Important
- 3 Content Marketing Examples for Construction Product Companies
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website design, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.
For specifiers, clear and consistent technical information is essential to make informed decisions about building products and materials. Architects...