Digital Marketing for a Home Service Business
Email marketing is a great way to stay in contact with your current customers. It is an inexpensive way to send out information on your new services or products. Below is a series of articles about how to setup email marketing.
Home Services Business Email Marketing
Email marketing is a very powerful marketing tool which allows you to directly communicate with current customers and potential customers. Even though social media is another communication method, email is a very effective way to talk with people. Unlike social media, email allows for many different types of content from text, images and videos but also allows for interaction in the form of hyperlinks to your website or other Internet presences. Email can be personalized automatically to speak directly to the person receiving the email. Though email has been around for decades, people still check their email on a regular basis.
Determine how to capture email addresses
The first step in email marketing is to get email addresses. The simplest method is to just ask. If people are interested in your products and services, they might want to get updated on your latest news or receive information on upcoming sales. If you ask, they might just give you their email address. Email is such an ubiquitous thing that people don’t realize its value in a business-to-customer relationship. A business is being given permission to speak to them. That is a powerful marketing relationship.
To help in the process of obtaining an email address, you may get better results if you offer something in exchange. This could be free information in the form of a checklist or guide or something of more value to your customer like a promo code for a discount. Your customers will appreciate these gestures because the time it take to look at your email is small. Plus, they can also unsubscribe to your email list if they want.
SPAM is a term used for unsolicited commercial bulk email. The term SPAM was first associated with email but now is used for represent many forms of undesired electronic communications. The origins of the work can be read more about on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Email_spam). We are don’t like SPAM and receive a ton of it everyday in our email accounts. Email clients and email servers and getting better and better at filtering out most of it but if you intent to send email to your customers, you will have to deal with lost emails due to spam filters.
The most important thing you need to be aware of is it is against the law in the United States to send SPAM. The CAN-SPAM act (https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business) explains the details. There are certain techniques you need to follow like allowing people to unsubscribe and stop sending them future emails. The key take away is that some people will consider your commercial email spam and want you to stop sending to them. Honor their request and focus your energies on the people who want to communicate with you.
Create capture method
To make it easier for someone to give you their email address, there are a number of capture methods. The first is some type of form on your website. Maybe you want to have people signup for your newsletter. You can create a form for them to enter their name and email address. You don’t have to ask for their name, but you can use this information to create a personalized email which helps to have the person open the email. However, use caution of the amount of information you ask for. If you are offering your email newsletter, asking for address and phone number is probably too much since this information isn’t needed and starts to remind the person who are probably going to market to them or send a sales pitch. With email marketing, the goal is permission marketing. If you need the phone number, explain why you are asking for it.
Another way to capture email addresses is as part of a transaction you might be having with the person. If could be in the form of confirmation email you want to send after they purchase something from your business online. This is called “transactional” email and everyone expects it and probably wants it. Please like to receive updates on the status of their order or a confirmation with someone is arriving to perform a service. But, be aware that people might not then want future marketing emails. This is called “opt-in” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opt-in_email). People want the “option” to agree to receive future emails. This means they are giving their permissions to the send emails and thus they are not unsolicited or spam. The reverse is “opt-out” which means they want to unsubscribe from future emails.
Finally, there are some methods that make an email capture form “pop-up”, slide in or stick to a web page. These methods make the form more prominent to the website visitors. Like most things in life, they can be done well and enhance the website visitors experience or they can be done in a way that turns off a website visitors. But, they exist because they work.
Email marketing service
Typically, someone sends an email from their email client by directly addressing the email message to one or a few people. If you intent to send multiple emails, an email marketing service will save you time but it will cost some money. But, you get other benefits of using an email marketing service.
- You can send email to a large number of people at the same time
- You can track if someone opens your email and if they click on anything in the email.
- You can then send a follow-up email based on a number of triggers.
- You can personalize the email with unique fields related to the person receiving the email.
Email marketing services either charge based on the number of emails you send or one the number of email addresses you have. There are a number of email marketing services to choose from:
- Constant Contact
- Active Campaign
Once you have selected an email marketing service, the next step is to create an email campaign. An email is composed of the email addresses you want to send to plus the email template you want to use. The email templates can have text and images along with merge field that will automatically inserted the personalized data. Most of the email marketing services have templates who can customize or you can start from scratch. Each email campaign will have a number of general settings also. Once you have everything set, you can run the campaign or schedule it for the future. You will then have a report to view to see your results.
Summary about Email Marketing
Email Marketing allows you to directly communicate with your potential or current customers using email. There are a number of ways to create an email list but the best way is to ask or offer something to get people to give you their email address. It is very important to ask people to “opt-in” and allow them to unsubscribe so they don’t think your email is spam. The best way to send emails is to use an email marketing service and create an email campaign. Email marketing is a very useful marketing method to communicate to your customers.
HOME SERVICES BUSINESS EMAIL MARKETING VIDEO
Digital Marketing Extreme is your source for digital marketing tips and techniques for your home service business.
Why do you need email marketing for your home service business? This video will go over what is email marketing, examples, email marketing services, email collection, and regulations.
If you would like the video slides as a PDF, click to download “Home Services Business Email Marketing“.
In this presentation, I’ll go over Email Marketing for Small Business. Our agenda for this video is to first discuss what is email marketing, then to show some examples, will next talk about email marketing services. And we’ll finish up with talking about email collection and regulations.
What is email marketing
So what is email marketing? First, email marketing is just simply communicating with email. But it’s more of a plan systematized way. So the first thing you might do as a part of an email marketing service is to actually do order notification. So send an information if you’re selling a product, then you can follow that up with a shipping confirmation. Another form of email marketing is to stay in contact with your customers and this could either be through newsletters or sales promotions.
Some of the benefits of email marketing is one is it’s inexpensive. Yes, the email marketing services do cost money, but the email itself is free. The other benefit is you can actually avoid phone calls, you can contact your customers asynchronously. You don’t have to wait for them to pick up the phone or leave a voicemail and wonder if they actually got it.
One of the other things that email marketing allows is personalization. This is the ability to use data merge fields to personalize the content of the email. So this could be like their first name, information about the service or product they’re receiving and address. Basically, any data you can capture about your customers, you could actually use to merge into a email marketing campaign and personalize that the biggest benefit of email marketing is the ability to automations you can send a large number of emails at the same time. So again, this would be like a blast email where you’re sending out your newsletter to you Your entire customer base. You can also send follow up emails based on action. So if they click on a specific thing, or open the email or do some other action that can be tracked within that email, you can actually do a follow up.
So let’s look at some examples of email marketing. The first is a newsletter. This can be a way for you to update your business and provide further information, you could actually send out information such as tips or other information your customers may find useful about the products or services you had. You can also send actually articles of interest that may be against something that’s of interest to your customers. The other example is again confirmations. You can send out the orders you could send out the receipt for the payment you could send out a notification of the upcoming appointments. Again, there’s lots of confirmations that occur within a business customer transaction that email can be used for.
Some other options that are maybe a little outside their traditional selling products or services are opt in offers. This might be a way where someone signs up by giving an email address, they can exchange for, say, a digital product like a checklist or an E book. Sometimes these are called lead magnets. The other option, another example is what are called nurturing or drip campaigns. These are actually a series of emails that actually move somebody through. So this could be again a sales process where you start out with a opt in offer with a lead magnet for a checklist. And then you try to nurture the potential customer through a series of additional emails moving towards specific actions you’re trying to accomplish, like maybe selling your product or signing up for a course or something like that.
Email Marketing Services
So let’s talk about the actual email marketing services. The email marketing services, our companies or services that you can sign up for that provide the actual session. Dean of the email but also additional things related to that. So one is that they’ll actually store your email list for you. So either through manually updating the information or importing it or having a signup form that’s integrated with your website, they’ll actually store the email lists there. So again, you can have these groups of email addresses. But again, it doesn’t have to just be my addresses, additional fields could be related to that email. So first name, last name, their address, maybe some other information they might have signed up for depending on again, how you’re capturing that information. But one of the benefits that the email marketing service provider the ability to segment that so that not everyone on your email list is considered the same. So again, might have a customer list where you do want to send a tell your customers but maybe some of the customers bought specific products and so you could segment by products for future email marketing or upsells, and things like that.
The email service provides an email template. This again would be the place where you compose mostly information. Again, who’s the email coming from the subject, the body bodies where you can now use some personalization to, again, add their name or other information you want to do there, the email template can be graphically rich, so you can add some images. This may have an issue with spam. But again, if they’ve opted into it, they’re probably looking for something a little more graphically pleasing with the layout. Again, as I mentioned, the merge the data fields, and you can provide some other information maybe in the footer, such as social media accounts, and you know, your business address, phone number, things like that.
So those are sort of the basics. Now we get into what the real power of the email marketing services are, is to create campaigns and so the campaign has an email template, but then it has its own settings. It has the ability for different tracking information occur. Perhaps even triggers for example, if they sign up a specific campaign could happen. At the opening email, a different campaign can happen. Or you could just have it scheduled, you want to send a specific number of emails with two or three days between it, for example, the campaign links back to the email template and then links back to the email list.
Finally, there are the different automation types that email marketing services could provide. Again, some could be date based, some could be on sign up. Again, there may be a way within your thing you actually have them self segment themselves, like maybe you offer to provide different information and you ask them, Hey, would you be interested in option A or Option B, and depending on that, that segment joining can actually cause a different campaign to fire when they open the email or even when they click on a link.
So let’s talk about actual email collection. That are a few different ways you can do email collection. One is this again, this concept of opt in, which is really short for option into. So if again, they want to receive from the from you maybe it’s a newsletter or free PDF or an E book or something they’ll option into receiving by giving your email address at that point you have entered into a agreement where they are allowing you to send them information. The opposite, of course, is an opt out where they didn’t say, Hey, stop sending me things. But there is another way which is in transactional. So again, if you’re selling a product or service and they would like a notification of the order, shipping tracking information like that you’ve entered into a transactional relationship, and thus they’ve given your email address as part of that transaction.
Let’s speak to some of the regulations that are around email marketing. Again, first thing I must mention this is not legal advice. But as we’re all familiar with is this concept of spam or unwanted email. junk email is one farmer. But it’s also really more specific related to what’s considered unsolicited bulk email. So if somebody sends you an individual message, you don’t want to just hit delete, you don’t really think much of it. But if somebody is sending thousands, hundreds, thousands, millions of email, this is what’s traditionally considered spam.
And there are a number of different rules related to this, the United States is under what’s called the can spam act. You can go to the FTC to learn more information about it. But basically, it talks and it specifies a things that must be done in an email to not make it spam. So again, don’t be false or misleading. The header information headers, this kind of behind the scenes part of saying where the email actually came from. Don’t be deceptive in your subject line. Don’t say it’s something to do. With get rich quick, but it’s actually fake medication, you do need to identify the messages and they add, you need to tell them what you’re actually located, tell them how they can opt out of it and then honor those opt out. But the can spam up also means you have to monitor what others are doing on your behalf. All of these information are laid out and much more detail if you go to the web link that’s mentioned here.
Conclusions about Email Marketing
So in conclusion about email marketing, they’re basically a number of benefits of using email marketing one allows you to stay in contact with your customers or potential customers in a very inexpensive way. Unlike say phone calls that which require an employee to actually make the phone call. You can send these out in mass blast mass or mass mailings of email to them. So even though again, the email marketing services do cost money, email itself is very inexpensive. And finally, there is many automation options within email marketing that really provide the benefits through email templates and different automations on things if they click or don’t click.