Email Marketing 101 For Contractors

 

Email marketing is an amazing tool for businesses of any size. While time and energy must be put into creating a good customer database, email marketing has a huge advantage over traditional mail. It is cost effective. As opposed to physical mailings that can cost a dollar each just to mail, an email marketing campaign can include a gorgeous, full-color flyer for no greater expense than the creation of the file. Are home improvement contractors taking advantage of this marketing opportunity? Often, they are not.

Getting Started With Email Marketing

The first step to setting up a contractor email marketing campaign is developing good customer data. If you are not already using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, you need to start. This will allow you to track customer data and store information on prospective clients. A CRM that is appropriate for your business will allow you to quickly categorize clients and prospects into various groups that would be appropriate for different types of marketing efforts. Just search “CRM” in your favorite search engine and you will get plenty of physical and software as as service-type apps to choose from.

Stop spending your marketing dollars and time with physical brochures and door hangers. At best people throw them in the trash, at worst they are annoyed that you put it there in the first place. Let them find you online where they are looking for you. Through use of email marketing, a solid website and social media, a home improvement contractor can develop a much more effective marketing plan.

Who Should be On Your Email List?

While having an online presence through internet marketing is vital, so are targeted efforts like email marketing campaigns. Email marketing allows you to remind past customers of the wonderful work that you performed for them, offer them discounts on additional work, or ask them for referrals. You can also choose to target prospective clients, who you have met at a home show or other event. Perhaps they requested a quote but never took the next step. These are ideal leads for full color emails featuring photos of your most impressive renovation work. Offer creative, affordable packages to people who could not afford the full job that they had quoted. Remind them all that you are there, waiting to help them. Email marketing campaigns can help contractors stay in touch with customers.

Many people are more likely to respond to an email than they are to pick up the phone, plus there are no worries about pesky business hours. If a client decides at 11pm that they would like to have you quote a job, they can reply to your email then and there. You won’t lose the job because it has slipped their mind by the next day. With email marketing keeping your services in the forefront of their mind, you are more likely to get repeat work.

You can use email marketing to establish a relationship beyond the next job. Create a monthly newsletter with home maintenance tips, seasonal advice, and other valuable homeowner information. Your customers will begin appreciating your company for the help that it gives them, knowing that your emails provide more than a sales pitch. Make sure you provide plenty of links in your emails for clients looking for more information and to improve your SEO.

Don’t SPAM Your List!

There are few marketing options as cost effective as an email campaign. It can lead to more new clients than old media ever did, but make sure you plan your campaign carefully. The last thing you want to do is cause your clients to mark you as spam. Only use email addresses that people have given you for the purpose of sending them information about your company, and make sure your emails are interesting and informative. Confirm that your name and subject clearly describe the email’s content, and always give an option to opt-out. If you are sending quality content, your clients will appreciate your emails rather than deleting them upon receipt.

You may be wondering how to build a database of customer emails to use for this type of campaign. If you don’t already, begin asking all of your contacts for an email address and permission to send occasional messages. Another great way to build this information is to offer a promotion or hold a drawing on your website that is entered by providing an email address. Of course, you would promote this through your social media accounts. Offer an email newsletter that clients can sign up for on your website or provide a blog that can be subscribed to. Your time will be much better spent building your customer email data than delivering door hangers.