Business Tips, Marketing

8 Essential Email Marketing Tips for Service Businesses

Stephanie Figy
November 14th, 2019
9 Min Read

Email marketing is a key component of a solid marketing strategy for service businesses. Not only does it help build awareness with prospects, but it keeps your company top of mind with the customers you already have. If email marketing is not yet a part of your digital strategy, it may be time to revisit your marketing plans.

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Why Email Marketing?

Email marketing is one of the most cost effective marketing channels, with $44 in revenue for every dollar spent. That’s a whopping 4400% potential return on your investment! And in a recent study conducted by Thrive Analytics, 68% of homeowners are open to receive email marketing communications from home service providers at least quarterly, while only a third of homeowners are open to direct mail (32%) or text (35%).

Choosing an Email Marketing Strategy

1. Segment Your Audience

If you’re sending one email to your entire custom database, then you are not sending the right message to the right audience at the right time. Take a look at your customer list and see how you can segment and target them with relevant messaging that resonates with their needs.

Some ways you may want to segment your audience include:

  • Zip code

  • Age of homeowner

  • Has an open estimate

  • Age of equipment

  • Membership status

  • Date of last service

  • New homeowner

2. Go Beyond the Generic Newsletter

Sending different types of emails to your customers is an easy way to keep your campaigns fresh. Try seasonal campaigns, special promotions, transactional emails, event invitations, and informational emails. Send thank you emails after a job has been completed and “we miss you” emails if it’s been awhile since your last visit.

The point is not always to drive sales with every email but to maintain awareness of your brand. That way, when the lights go out or that drain gets clogged, your business is the first one a homeowner thinks of to call.

3. Add Value to Every Email You Send

Whether you have plumbing, HVAC, electrical or other home services business, nobody knows the in-and-outs of the trade like you do. Educate homeowners on the basics by creating content for your blog or YouTube channel and then deliver that content to your customers’ inboxes.

Alternatively, you can also offer tips and best practices exclusively by email and encourage homeowners to subscribe to your email list in order to get this content. The more value they receive from you, the more likely it is they’ll book a job with you when the time comes.

4. Craft Catchy Subject Lines

Your subject line and to some extent your preview headers (“preheaders”) will determine whether homeowners open your email or not. You want to be able to capture their attention and get them curious enough to open your email and find out more.

Here are some tips to create subject lines that drive higher open rates:

  • Avoid spam triggers including words like “Free”, multiple exclamation points or dollar symbols, or using all caps.

  • Create urgency by adding a deadline: “Fall tune-up special ends tomorrow!”

  • Ask a question: “Embarrassed by your bathroom? Call for a bathroom remodel estimate.”

  • Add a number: “Top 5 ways to improve energy efficiency in your home,”

  • Keep it short. Remember, many homeowners will be reading your email on their mobile phones, so keep subject line length in mind. Move the most important information to the beginning of your subject line so it doesn’t get lost.

5. Build Trust with Sharp-looking Design

Are your emails professional looking, easy to read, and actionable? When your customers open your emails, do they think your company is experienced and reputable? Customer service oriented? Take the time now to build trust with your customers so that it’s not just about price later on.

Always put your best foot forward by having a designer create your emails or using pre-built email templates that you can easily customize for your business. Your emails should look similar with your logo and brand colors consistently represented. Same goes for the content you create, whether it be educational videos, surveys, or a seasonal promotion. If homeowners know what to expect from you, the less likely they will be to skim past your emails when they hit the inbox.

The #1 newsletter for the trades.

6. Automate Your Emails

It’s important to never miss an opportunity to make a sale or engage with your customers. You should already be following up on all your open estimates, sending thank you emails after a job is complete, and sending emails to your customers whose memberships are about to expire reminding them to renew.

If this is a manual process for you, create automated emails based on triggers. This will ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and frees you up to focus on more strategic areas of your business. Tools like ServiceTitan Marketing Pro, for instance, allow you to automate these types of emails easily based on data already collected in ServiceTitan.

7. Determine the Best Moment to Send Emails

The best days and times to send emails really depends on your audience. It’s important to test and see when open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates are highest for your email campaigns. A quick search on Google and you will find all kinds of answers, with Tuesdays often mentioned as the best days and 6am mentioned as best time for email opens. Some recommend targeting right after lunch for people who work or even Saturdays for the best conversion rates. Use your judgement, see what your competitors are doing, and test for optimal times.

8. Review Your Results & Optimize

Open rates and click-through rates are helpful in gaging whether your email campaign was successful in getting homeowners take action—but the key question you should be asking is: Did this email campaign drive calls, booked jobs, and sales?

Be sure to use a unique campaign code for every email campaign you send so you can attribute revenue to it after the campaign is complete. Email marketing solutions that can deliver true ROI will make campaign analysis much easier and will ultimately drive more revenue for your business.

Running Email Campaigns for Your Industry

Need some email marketing campaign ideas to get you started? Let’s take a look at a few email campaigns specifically for plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractors that you can include in your marketing plans.

Seasonal Campaign: Thanksgiving “Brown Friday”

Clogged up sinks and garbage disposals are the cause of the busiest day of the year for plumbers: the day after Thanksgiving. Send an email to your customer base before Thanksgiving and give them helpful tips on what they should not throw down their garbage disposal. Then follow up with an email on Brown Friday letting them know you are there for them in case they didn’t follow your advice.

Vendor Campaign: Smart Thermostats

Want to push those smart thermostats? Create an email campaign using the photos from your vendors and schedule any promotions you have with them (Tip: Ask your vendors for access to their marketing collateral and you can probably use some of those images in your email campaigns).

Severe Weather Campaign

If a big storm is heading your way, send an email campaign offering consultation for a whole house generator or offer discounts on whole house surge protection with the purchase of an electrical safety inspection. Target customers in zip codes where the storm is expected to hit.

Cross Trade Campaign: Multiple Trades

Target your customer base that have used you for one type of service (example: plumbing) and let them know you also do electrical or HVAC. Follow up with a special offer on a tune-up as an incentive to call and book a job for your other business unit.

Unsold Estimates Campaign: Water Heater Replacement

Set automated email campaigns to follow up on all your open estimates. For example, let’s say one of your techs realizes a homeowner’s 10-year-old water heater is calcified, provides three options for replacement, but the homeowner is not ready to buy at this time. You can use this information to trigger an automated sequence of emails that remind them of the importance of changing their water heater, then follow up with a discount to help close the sale.

Membership Renewal Campaign: HVAC

Target HVAC customers with expiring memberships and remind them about the benefits they will continue to receive if they renew. Highlight exclusive discounts on maintenance visits, repairs, priority scheduling, or any other type of benefit that makes your customers feel special and valued.

We Miss You Campaign: Garage Door Maintenance

Send emails to homeowners that have not had service or installation over a year and remind them of the importance of preventative door maintenance. Offer a quick tune-up and add clear, prominent CTAs to call or text you to book an appointment.

Anniversary Campaigns

Celebrating your company’s anniversary? Proud of the many years of service to your community? Schedule your first email to go out a week before your anniversary letting customers know how excited and honored you are to serve them and the community. Offer a special “thank you” by offering a percentage off all services.

How ServiceTitan Can Help Elevate Your Email Marketing Strategy

Segmenting your audience, creating professionally designed emails that are automated, and reviewing the return on investment for your campaigns does not mean you have to be a digital marketer. With ServiceTitan Marketing Pro, you can hypertarget your audience and automate emails based on the goldmine of data already in ServiceTitan. Many of the campaigns mentioned above can be created in just a few clicks, saving you time and driving more revenue from your existing customer base. By consistently reminding your customers how important you are to the health of their home, you can book and close more jobs.

There are a lot of opportunities for home services businesses to tap into with email marketing.

What email marketing campaigns have you run that have helped you close business?


ServiceTitan Marketing Pro is an automated marketing solution built specifically for home service companies on ServiceTitan. It helps book and close more jobs by giving you the tools you need to remind your customers how important you are.

ServiceTitan Software

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.

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