When you think of how to market your contracting business to customers and keep them coming back, email newsletters may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But if you’re not using them, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage your customers and foster lasting relationships with them.
Why email newsletters work.
If you’re already doing email marketing at your business, congratulations! That’s the first step. Email is great for service reminders and special offers, but these can only go so far in helping you build long-term brand loyalty.
80% of consumers feel they need to trust a business in order to buy from them. And email newsletters are a powerful way to connect on a more personal level—they help humanize your brand and build trust. The key is making sure your newsletter content is valuable, so your customers will want to keep receiving them. If you’re not sure how to do this, keep reading—we’ve got some tips to help get you off to a great start.
Set expectations with your customers.
When asking customers to subscribe to your email newsletter, tell them what they’re signing up for. Whether it’s seasonal homeowner tips, newsletter-only deals, or important updates from your business, let customers know what to expect.
In addition to the content they’ll receive, you should also inform them how often they’ll receive that content. Then they won’t be surprised when they get your newsletter, and therefore less likely to delete it or unsubscribe altogether.
Use engaging subject lines.
It might seem intuitive to include the word “newsletter” in your subject line when sending email newsletters to your customers. However, email open rates decrease by nearly 19% when “newsletter” is in the subject line.
Instead, use a subject line that aligns with the newsletter’s meat and potatoes. If the main focus is why homeowners should avoid using liquid drain cleaners, try a subject line like, “Why Liquid Drain Cleaners are a Bad Idea”. This subject line is likely to spark customers’ curiosity and make them more likely to open and read your email.
Pro Tip: Make your newsletter stand out in an inbox by giving it a unique name and including it in your subject line. Customers will be more likely to remember a clever, on-brand name, as opposed to “Monthly News & Updates.”
Keep content well-balanced and valuable.
When choosing what to include in your email newsletter, informative and locally-focused content is your best bet, as it provides value beyond just a sales pitch. You can include promotions, such as a newsletter-only coupon, but don’t let that take up most of the newsletter’s real estate.
Informative content builds trust and authority with your customers. Provide useful knowledge they’ll find meaningful. Some ideas you can try are:
Chimney Fire Prevention Tips for Fall/Winter
Preparing Your HVAC System for Cold/Flu Season
How Weather Extremes Affect Your Garage Door
You can even put a personal spin on your “tips and tricks” sections by letting your technicians provide their own favorite tips to include in your newsletter.
Locally-focused content pertaining to your community is also ideal for email newsletters, as customers tend to find it more relevant.
Did your shop make a “Best-of” list in your local newspaper this year? Is there a weather event impacting the community? Do your employees have favorite holiday recipes to share? These are all great examples of local content that helps you connect with your customers.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to have a little fun with your newsletters. A sense of humor goes a long way in generating positive customer sentiment. Memes, dad jokes, or funny pet photos—get creative with these, so you keep your subscribers engaged!
Opt for minimal design & copy.
When creating email newsletters, it’s good to remember that less is more. Newsletters typically have more content than other types of marketing emails, so it’s essential to keep them clutter-free.
Some good basic guidelines:
Keep your newsletter content organized.
Be consistent in heading and body copy fonts.
Increase readability by using white space to help highlight headings
Now, not every contractor may have the time or the skillset to design their own email newsletter. If you fall into this category, you can still create engaging, professional newsletters by using pre-made templates that allow you to simply plug in copy that’s relevant to your business.
Pro Tip: If you want to promote content that requires more space than your newsletter provides, add links that direct customers to a landing page or blog post on your website where they can read more. You’ll get a better email conversion rate and increased website traffic.
Make your newsletters mobile-friendly.
Optimizing your email newsletters for mobile gives your audience reach a serious boost. Almost half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, with another 42.3% of people saying they delete emails that aren’t mobile-friendly.
So how do you make an email newsletter mobile-friendly? Here are a few helpful hints:
Keep email subject lines short, and include preheader text.
Make your body copy clear and concise.
Avoid padding your newsletter with too many images.
You can also use mobile-responsive newsletter templates that look great on any device, which saves you a lot of time and effort. Just be sure to test your newsletters on different devices first, so you can see what your customers might see when they open them.
Fine-tune your audiences.
You’ve heard us talk about the importance of segmentation in your email marketing strategy. And yes, this includes your email newsletters, too.
80% of U.S. consumers are more likely to do business with brands that provide personalized experiences, so newsletter blasts to your entire email list are not the wisest approach.
For example, if your newsletter’s focus is on how to know an aging furnace needs replacing, customers who have recently had a new furnace installed won’t find this useful, so they should not be part of the intended audience. Remember, your content should be relevant to your customers, or they won’t bother reading it. Even worse, they may unsubscribe or choose a competitor who can deliver a more personalized experience.
Pro Tip: Go through your contact list once or twice a year to merge duplicate contacts and review or remove unengaged contacts that bog down your email list. Add tags to any contacts that don’t have them, so you can identify them easily when building audiences for your email newsletter campaigns.
Test & measure your results.
After you’ve created your awesome email newsletter, it’s time to send it to your customers. But how do you know it’s getting the results you want? The answer is simple: Test, test, test!
You can test different newsletter campaign attributes to see how they perform with your customers. Here are a few suggestions:
Your email subject lines and preheader text
The times of day or days of the week your newsletters are sent
The call-to-action button in your newsletter
Your newsletter’s layout design
As you test, you’ll be able to see what engages your customers and what doesn’t, which will then help you make adjustments that make your campaigns more effective.
Get better email conversion rates.
ServiceTitan Marketing Pro gives you the tools you need to hyper-target your email newsletter campaigns, so you send the right email to the right customer at the right time. Create audiences based on your ServiceTitan customer data, which lets you automate your marketing like never before. Get access to mobile-responsive templates you can use right away, so you can quickly create and send engaging campaigns.
With Marketing Pro, you’ll also get advanced reporting tools that allow you to see more than just email open rates. Learn which emails are generating calls and revenue, valuable insights that can help drive smarter marketing decisions for your business.
Take the guesswork out of your email marketing—visit https://www.servicetitan.com/marketingpro to learn more.
ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.