Email marketing is an extremely effective customer conversion method for contractors to have in their marketing toolbox, but what makes a good email marketing campaign?
It is about so much more than simply blasting your customers and potential leads with the same, templated email. Your email marketing messages should provide value, through personalization. Of course, your technicians visit many different customers on any given day and you have hundreds of contacts to follow up with, so how do you personalize messages on a larger scale to achieve the results you want?
Send the Right Message to the Right Person at the Right Time
What type of people should you be targeting with your email marketing campaign? When should you contact them? What data should you be collecting? Knowing the answers to these questions speaks volumes to the type of customer service and value you provide as a contractor.
Creating a customer persona is one way to know who you are speaking to. For instance, the average HVAC customer is looking for one of 3 things when they contact an HVAC contractor:
- HVAC system repairs
- HVAC system installation
- Professional HVAC maintenance
The general customer is looking for exceptional customer service, convenience, and solid, trustworthy communication from the technicians in their home. But these are just the basics–your email marketing messages should go beyond this to truly meet the unique needs of your individual customers.
Marketers see an average increase of 20% in sales when using personalized experiences.
The goal of this kind of personalized marketing is to truly engage customers by communicating with each as an individual. This starts with the data that you are collecting. Your service technicians do this already right from the start at the customer’s front door, but it doesn’t end there.
For instance, if your technicians notice that a customer is a dog owner, they may recommend an indoor air quality system for that customer, such as an air scrubber, and your email would benefit from being sent right before allergy season.
Knowing how long your customers have been with you is a vital tool for email marketing as well. In fact, it can be 6-7 times harder to obtain new customers than to retain the ones you have, through email marketing–and increasing your customer retention rate by as little as 5% could boost your profits by 25%.
So if you knew you had a customer whose HVAC system was installed over 12 years ago, the right message would be that systems over this age will see a dramatic drop in efficiency, and the right time to send that message may be every 2 months before conversion.
Utilizing Email Marketing for Annual Maintenance Agreements
How can you use this method of sending “the right message to the right people at the right time” in renewing annual maintenance agreements (AMA’s)? By focusing on retention and thanking the customer for their loyalty. When you look at your customers, the “right people” are those who are currently subscribed to your AMA program. The “right time” will typically be 30-60 days before their renewal date. The “right message” is particularly important here.
Sure, you could send a standard, “it’s time to renew your AMA agreement!” to these customers, but this is not utilizing the personalization techniques we’ve outlined above. A more appropriate message will vary by contractor, but an example of how to make this message stick out to the reader is by truly honing in on the personalization aspect:
“Dear [*first name*],
Thank you for your continued loyalty. We’ve noticed you’ve been a customer with us for 10 years, and we’d love to have you for another one. We noticed your maintenance program renewal date is coming up. Please contact us to renew!
What If Your Customer Isn’t Already an AMA Member?
Whether you are contacting a long-time customer or emailing someone who has never enrolled in your AMA program before, remember that in all your messaging, you’re looking for a unique solution to meet their needs and budget. When contacting a customer not already enrolled in your AMA program, you’ll want a long term email marketing strategy. Let’s look at a common example for a new customer who is not a current AMA Member.
Introduction Email > Explanation of AMA Benefits > “Still Not Convinced?” > “You’re Due for a Tune-Up!” > AMA Promotion > 2nd “Still Not Convinced?” Email with Explanation of Benefits > AMA Promotion #2 > Ideally, a Conversion of Customer Investing in AMA or Scheduling a Tune-Up
Essentially, the goal of email marketing for contractors is to develop an omnichannel customer experience driven by hyper-personalization big data, through marketing automation. This is marketing speak for: You want to create a one-on-one experience!
74% of online consumers get frustrated when targeted online content has nothing to do with their interests. 78% of online consumers are more likely to be a repeat customer if a brand provides targeted, personalized, offers.
By anticipating your customer’s needs and giving them the experience they want, you maintain credibility and relevance, thereby increasing customer retention and improving your sales.
For email marketing solutions and to learn more about our full suite of contractor marketing products, contact iMarket Solutions.