Recent Posts




Use Product CAD Models Proactively to Radically Impact Your Sales

When it comes to generating new business for most industrial component suppliers, your website is the best toolbox in your shop and your product CAD models are the best tools you have!

If you’ve followed this blog you already know that 3D CAD Models of manufactured products can deliver exceptionally successful content marketing and radically impact sales for industrial component and engineered product suppliers (just as one blog post example, see this infographic).

While many industrial suppliers have yet to offer 3D CAD models of their products for viewing and download from their websites, most leading suppliers already do so. For example McMaster®, Grainger® and Amazon® all do. If adding CAD models to your website isn’t already on your website development road-map, watch out, they may already be on your competitors’ websites or coming soon! (BTW if you are not sure if CAD models can help you see many Frequently Asked Questions or give us a call to discuss it)

However, even if you have fallen behind your competitors you may be able to leapfrog ahead. This is because, in most cases, those offering CAD models are doing so purely REACTIVELY. By this we means that when website visitors find a particular product page one of the options offered is to view or download a CAD model of the product. Of course that is far better than not offering CAD models at all, but it is only the first stage of what can be achieved. Far more success is possible by marketing your CAD content PROACTIVELY!

Here’s how to use your CAD model content marketing proactively by CREATING AND EXECUTING TARGETED CONTENT MARKETING USING CAD MODELS.


Using your own media (your own and possibly your distribution partners, websites, blogs, newsletters and general email marketing), earned media (such as guest blogs), paid media (syndication to CAD search engines, CAD portals, ads on CAD search engines/portals and engineering sites) and of course re-targeting of those ads. Create landing pages to track each different content distribution channel (such as every internal and external blog post) and point to user industry specific website pages for more useful info (such as case studies on application of the product in a particular industry). Of course you can and should use excellent Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to attract as much inbound traffic as possible but the point is to proactively ‘fish where the fish are’ not just wait for them to come to you.


Generate leads either by landing page registration or by registration before a CAD download then use lead segmentation (for example by industry and job title), assign each to an appropriate Buyer Persona with personalized drip email campaigns (such as 1/week for 6 weeks of personalized emails containing additional information that adds new insights to the product or CAD model).

Then distribute those leads for immediate followup by your or your distributors marketing or sales teams to help prospects and even expand the sales opportunity.For one national distributor these leads cost ~90% less, convert faster and convert in higher proportion than traditional marketing sales leads. Download of a CAD model is also a sales trigger event, alerting you to the start of a new design that could be using one (or more) of your products.

On the registration process minimize the data you collect or use progressive profiling to make the user experience as good as possible. In all cases users should only need to register with their info the first time. When they come back for a later visit, they should only need to enter their email address (which is their User ID) to get a CAD download. If they have cookies enabled, they shouldn’t even need to enter their User ID because the cookie has already identified them.


The two key benefits of online marketing are that it is fully measurable and evergreen!

  • Keys measures such as Website Visits, New Contacts (Leads), Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and Opportunities can all be measured and reported. Return On Investment (ROI) can be calculated and marketing effort and spend directed to the most successful activities.
  • Inbound marketing campaigns (including CAD inbound marketing) don’t have to be discrete events like advertising campaigns – they’re evergreen, and as long as the product continues the CAD content will be relevant/useful. Your CAD models will continue to bring in new leads and move them down the sales funnel toward becoming SQLs, opportunities and customers. Adding new product CAD models and other new content around existing products can be used to nurture and re-target existing leads to keep them engaged.

Follow these 3 steps to use your CAD models proactively. If you have questions, would like our opinion on your situation or want to see an online demo, call or click either button below. You can also review customer case studies and videos.

Please let us know what you think below.

Posted in