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With a global pandemic, 2020 was a real kickstart for construction and building product businesses to embrace digital. One key digital channel, that was an easy replacement for face-to-face meetings, is email marketing. According to HubSpot, emails were up by 27% from pre-coronavirus levels.

With over 3.7 billion active email users worldwide, email is booming. Getting yourself in your prospect’s inbox is the first step in building a customer relationship with them, allowing you to stand out and keep top of mind against your competition.

For a strong B2B digital marketing strategy, email is a cornerstone, giving you an opportunity to really convert those ideal specifiers through targeted and personalised contact. It is so important it has even been rated as the top marketing channel of 91% of B2B marketers, according to data by Tye.

However, in 2021 we are sure to see even more changes to the industry, and construction marketing. In this blog we will explore 7 email marketing predictions for next year.

#1 Automation and Drip Campaigns

Automation is already a very popular email tool in B2C sectors but is quite underused in B2B email marketing. According to Emfluence’s report, 17.8% of automated emails sent out were B2B campaigns, whereas 82.2% were B2C campaigns.

Automating email campaigns can be so beneficial for your building product business, allowing you to save time and money, as well as be more organised. As B2B organisations benefit from a consistent email strategy of between 1 and 5 emails a month, automation can make sure you hit that target and maintain the conversation you’re having with your contacts.

This strategy can also be developed further into a full-blown drip campaign. One where the automation slowly ‘drips’ information and updates over time triggered by specific actions or behaviour by your contacts.

The drip campaign is an automated workflow where each action determines another path, and can be set in a specific order or with built-in delays. Then unengaged contacts are segmented and put into either a nurture campaign, re-engaged down the line when they could be more likely to convert, or taken off your email list if they are not a good-fit prospect.

This automation can be complex but is so effective, especially in the construction sector when building up your rapport with a prospect will more likely get you specified. Moreover, it can be super helpful for already engaged contractors who are working on projects that can last for years, so are important to be re-engaged after a period of time.

#2 Video in Your Emails

In 2021, with more people used to Zoom and virtual meetings, incorporating videos into your emails can raise your email marketing game.

Using software such as Vidyard, you can personalise your emails, and more likely keep your prospect engaged so they listen to the end of your video. This means you have a golden opportunity to get across your key messages, without being skimmed over or ‘moved to bin’. As it also directly addresses your contact, they are extremely likely to reply, giving you a foot in the door on cold-emails.

Video in email marketing is definitely going to boom in 2021. According to CampaignMonitor, video emails can increase open rates by 19%, click rates by 65% and reduce your unsubscribe rates by 26%.

Insynth Marketing | 2021 Free consultation

#3 Stronger Focus on Growing Your List

As stated above, email is growing in the B2B sector. However, that also means your competition is probably emailing the same people you are. Your goal for 2021 should be to organically grow your list of contacts so that those emails you are sending out are not just being seen by a handful of people.

Some great ways to grow your list include:

  • Advertise your newsletter on every page of your website, such as in the footer or menu. This will mean that people will know it’s out there, and those who are keen to hear more from you, whether now or in the future, will sign-up.
  • Pop-ups on key pages will further highlight your email newsletter list, and let people know if they sign-up they can gain access to helpful content such as CPDs or eBooks about their product of interest.
  • Make sure you’re using forms to collect people’s details for resources and content visitors on your site are downloading. However, make sure not to gate content that is critical in the decision-making process, you don’t want to put people off enquiring about a product.
  • Use this working from home time as an opportunity to run a digital CPD or webinar. This can get the word out about your business with the end result of gaining contact details of new and engaged prospects.

All of these tactics will grow your list, keeping it healthy with engaged, GDPR-safe, opted-in contacts.

#4 Information Based Emails

The most straight-froward way to boost your email performance is to stop sending sales emails and start sending informational, educational, and helpful ones. This means you should be answering your prospect’s questions, providing them with what they want to know, and talking less about yourself and your company.

Shifting your email content in this way will boost your open and click rates, improving your chances of conversion. Not asking for too much but instead offering tips and answers, is a sure-fire way to also decrease your unsubscribe rates, too.

Insynth Marketing | 2021 Free consultation

#5 More Personal Emails

In 2021, we will see more and more personalised and personal emails in the construction industry.

This year around 89% of B2B email campaigns were sent from a company email address. Making your email more personal starts off with using a real person’s email to send it. That creates more trust and credibility right off the bat.

Even more importantly, you must write your emails like a human. Even if you are a construction company, or other B2B business, you still are a person talking to another person. Moreover, adding your receiver’s name in the subject line will make your email 26% more likely to be opened.

#6 Plain Text Emails

With more and more email providers sending HTML-heavy emails into promotion/offers/other inboxes, getting your email to cut through the noise is so important. Making your emails plain text will strip back your marketing message and give your email a stronger chance of landing in your recipient’s main inbox.

Plain text emails also avoid any worries from your contact that emails which may not be automatically visible may cause a virus if ‘downloaded’ to the email provider.

Plain text emails also offer the benefit of making your prospects feel more directly reached out to, especially if supported with personalisation such as their name and job role in the email. This all contributes to the points above about being more personal and one-to-one.

Plain text email marketing may also more strongly engage your prospects as some people can be put off by super-salesy and image jammed emails.

Finally, with the introduction of email reading tools such as Cortana, plain text emails are more likely to be easily ‘played aloud’. When images are clogging up the page, the text-to-speech feature may mess up your marketing message and, anyway, no-one will be seeing those lovely pictures.

Conclusion: Email Will Continue to Boom in 2021

Due to the pandemic, it’s no secret that construction and building product businesses have had to switch things up. When it comes to digital marketing, email is one of the most potent tools in your marketing arsenal and shouldn’t be disregarded.

In 2021 we know we will see stronger B2B email performance from more personalised, engaging, and helpful email campaigns that will lead to stronger customer relationships and highly engaged and converting prospects.

We hope you take 2021 by storm with your newfound email marketing ideas!

Insynth Marketing | 2021 Free consultation

About Insynth

Insynth Marketing is a leading UK construction marketing agency based in Shifnal in the West Midlands. 

They use the latest inbound marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to support building product companies to grow their business by proactively driving sales lead generation activity. 

As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website designSEOcontent marketingemail marketingsales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.

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Freya Oxton-Grant

Written by Freya Oxton-Grant

Freya is a Digital Content Marketing Consultant at Insynth Marketing Ltd. She has a passion for all things marketing and an eye for creative details.