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Email Marketing Don't: Ignoring Personal Accounts

Many IT professionals use their personal email accounts to gather information and cull content from potential new vendors. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them in those channels to get their attention.

As part of our ongoing market research, UBM Technology Group recently conducted a survey of more than 370 IT professionals to determine the preferences of the people you need to connect with to create your next set of customers. One of the questions we asked was, “When registering for content or other communications from a tech vendor, how do you prefer to be contacted?”

The answers we received were closely aligned with what we learned in a similar survey from a few years ago. Approximately 20% of our respondents—one out of every five tech decision makers—said they prefer to be contacted via their personal email accounts, rather than their work email addresses.

Many technology marketers make a big mistake by overlooking or dismissing leads from professionals who register to receive vendor information with a personal email account—whether it’s Gmail, Yahoo or a similar service provider.  The fact is, a personal email account can offer a number of advantages.

When Business Becomes Personal

According to our research, one of the reasons IT pros use their personal email accounts to collect information is that it enables them to store content all in one repository, using it as an content management system for easy access. Equally important, this strategy allows them a degree of welcome separation, relying on their work email to focus on job-specific information and tasks without encountering the clutter that could easily ensue by storing all of their emails in one place.

Another reason often cited was the fact that firewall restrictions imposed by their companies often prevent your information from getting through, or relegate it to the spam inbox. Some organizations are very strict about allowing outside emails to be received by their employees, even to the point where company servers automatically reject emails unless they come from a “whitelisted” source.

Tracking Today’s Mobile IT Professionals

Another important factor in this equation is the mobility of today’s tech pros—and we’re not talking about people on the go. We’re talking about people on the move, because the days are long gone when a person chooses to stay at the same company for 20 years.  Many of today’s IT pros only stay a few years at a company before moving on to pursue other opportunities.

That’s why a number of our respondents said that it’s much easier to stay connected to their non-work-related content and vendor information by using their personal emails.  That enables the relationship to outlive any job, ensuring that the content belongs to them, and not the company they’re leaving.

Think of it as a separation of work and state. Because sometimes it’s easier, more efficient, less confusing and more long lasting for the IT pros with whom you want to connect to use their personal emails to store your information. By any measure, it’s a clear case of making business more personal.

Email Marketing, Lead Generation, buyer's journey, digital marketing, marketing best practices, brand awareness, content marketing, Tech Marketing Smarts Blog