Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
The contractor’s quick start guide to email marketingJune 8th, 2021 by
Did you know more than 300 billion emails were sent and received every day in 2020? What’s more, the number of active email users is set to grow to 4.3 billion by 2023. That’s well over half the global population.
These figures show just how valuable email marketing has the potential to be. Which is why this article will focus on email marketing and, even more specifically, how contractors can harness the power of email marketing to grow their businesses.
You can expect to get a high-level overview of what email marketing is, and a step-by-step crash course in how you can get started with your email marketing right now.
Let’s dive in.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing, as the name suggests, refers to marketing done via email. That can be advertisement messages, newsletters, brand stories, announcements or even transactional messages, like invoices.
It sounds simple and straightforward, but remember how many emails get sent every year? That’s what makes email marketing hard. Your potential customers already get tons of emails. Making yours stand out can be challenging.
Not to worry. We’ll help you make that happen.
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The goal of email marketing
The main goals of email marketing are …
- To generate leads
- To promote your company’s products and services
- To get your name out there, spreading brand awareness
- To bring in more revenue by closing sales
- To strengthen relationships with existing customers
Unlike other digital marketing strategies, like Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads and SEO consultation, emailing is inexpensive and low-maintenance. Plus, email marketing fits every business model.
You can definitely use email marketing to get the attention of homeowners.
Your email marketing crash course
Email marketing only works if you do it the right way. To that end, here are 7 practical tips to get you started on email marketing.
1. Build your email list
You’ll need a list of contacts before you can start sending out emails. So, first things first, create that list.
The best way to build a list of relevant email addresses is to collect contact information from existing and potential customers. Encourage your customers or visitors to fill out forms with their email addresses after a sale or inquiry. (A simple form on your website is a common way to do this.)
You can also incentivize homeowners to share their email addresses by offering something in exchange. That could be helpful content on your website, a slight discount on building services, or some other reward.
Remember, the longer your email list, the broader the marketing scope.
2. Create great content
Email marketing success will depend on whether your recipients find the emails you send out appealing.
Study your audience to determine the kind of content that resonates with them and your brand. Base your email content on what your business offers and what customers want.
For example, in addition to emails overtly asking for business, you could also send emails that share information about …
- Interesting building materials and practices
- New items in stock
- Construction trends
- And anything else your customers will want to know
Your email content needs to be well-presented, too. Make sure it includes attractive visuals and that it’s relatively short. (Folks tend to ignore long emails.)
Finally, remember to include compelling CTAs—“calls to action.” For example, you can link directly to your services landing page in your emails.
3. Get personal
Personalization is an important part of email marketing strategy. While simple techniques, like addressing the recipient by name, are a good start, there’s more to effective personalization.
Consider categorizing your subscribers based on the products and services they’ve bought or are likely to buy. Then, create unique email content for each various group.
4. Choose the best time to send emails
There are good and bad times to send email.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the most effective days for sending promotional emails. The best hours are during early or late morning (6 am or 10 am) and mid-afternoon or early evening (2 pm or 8 pm).
Most people check, read and reply to new emails during these times.
Structure your emailing schedule to match how people read emails so that you get the best possible response.
5. Encourage readers to reply
Use email as a gateway to spark meaningful conversations.
Try a friendly, conversational tone to engage readers. Steer clear of stiff business language riddled with heavy jargon.
You can even give your emails a bit more depth by letting the reader know there’s an actual person behind every email. If you’re the business owner, consider adding your own name to the end of emails you send out.
And don’t forget to always include a CTA.
6. Avoid the spam folder
Clicking “send” does not guarantee an email will arrive in the recipient’s inbox. In fact, only about 83% of emails actually get delivered. The rest either wind up in the spam folder or they get blocked by the mail server altogether.
Make sure your emails pass through all the default mail filters.
First, ensure all outgoing emails abide to set standards and regulations such as the CAN-SPAM act.
Second, avoid all-caps text and super-salesy phrases in your CTAs, such as “BUY NOW,” “HOT SALE,” or “GET DISCOUNT NOW.” Poor HTML formatting, excessive links and flashy visuals may also trigger spam filters.
7. Run the numbers
You’ll want to keep tabs on your success at all times.
The two most common numbers to track are open rates and click-through rates. The open rate refers to how many recipients actually open your email. The click-through rate refers to how many recipients click on a link in your email.
You’ll want to do a little homework to determine common open and click-through rates for contractors in your area. Once you have a baseline, you can start tracking your own results for comparison.
A well-thought-out email marketing strategy can make a real difference in your ROI. And it doesn’t even take much to start an email marketing campaign.
Like customer surveys, email marketing is a smart tactic for contractors. We encourage you to use the tips in this article to start building your first email campaign right now.