Email Is & Is Not
Conventional wisdom is that email success in the home services industry should be measured by a short list of performance metrics.
- Percentage of emails opened
- Percentage of emails clicked through to a landing page or website
- Number of calls or information requests (leads)
- Service appointments made
- Revenue generated
All of these measurements are important and should be closely watched, but there is so much more that also matters. Email marketing serves many different purposes. It is time to take a deep dive into what an email program IS and what it IS NOT for the home services industry.
- Email IS an opportunity to teach customers about the products and services that you provide.
- Email IS an opportunity to introduce new products and services.
- Email IS an economic way to stay in front of your customers year-round, helping to make you the first option that comes to mind when they need your services.
- Email IS NOT a replacement for all other marketing tactics.
- Email IS a means to convey loyalty program benefits to your best customers.
- Email IS a method to generate revenue year-round, boosting sales during the busiest months and continuing to market your services during the slower months.
- Email IS NOT a replacement for search engine marketing during any part of the year.
- Email IS a viable means to attract and develop new customers. Very good new customers.
In the heating and cooling portion of the home services industry, there is the legendary search engine-acquired new customer who calls two weeks before Thanksgiving in a panic because his entire HVAC system is dead or dying and the entire family is coming for Thanksgiving. The HVAC company responds appropriately, sends their guys out wearing capes and becomes the hero who saved the day. Then they never hear from the saved customer again for the next ten years because they did a really good job of installing a high-quality new system that performed flawlessly.
A solid email marketing program would have kept them in front of that customer over the years. They may have been able to sell them a preventative maintenance plan and, years later when the customer needed service again, he may have remembered the name of the hero company who helped him out years earlier.
There is good evidence that new customers who were acquired by email remain active customers for many years. Search engine-acquired new customers usually don’t even remember the name of the company they previously used. There is a difference in the lifetime value of new customers acquired by each of the different marketing channels, and email-acquired customers tend to be the most loyal repeat customers in terms of their likelihood to purchase again.
The power of email to develop customer loyalty goes well beyond putting something in an in-box every week or two. Emails that provide a service in and of themselves tend to get more attention and develop loyalty more quickly and strongly than simple email blasts. The best email programs utilize automated emails that are individually triggered based on customer activity such as:
- Welcome emails to new customers.
- Reminder emails that it is time for spring and fall tune-ups
- Anniversary date of a new installation
- In-your-neighborhood program emails
- Lapsed buyer reactivation emails
Firestorm LeadGen can get you set up with an email program to help you build stronger relationships with your customers.