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Marketing Automation Built for the Trades: How Neighborly Brands Grow with Marketing Pro

Diana Lamirand
March 1st, 2024
9 Min Read

Neighborly, the world’s largest franchisor in the home services space, provides marketing and support services for more than 30 brands and 5,000 franchises collectively serving 12 million-plus customers. When the group sought a marketing automation tool built specifically for the trades, Neighborly turned to ServiceTitan and its Marketing Pro suite of services.

Neighborly actually began running its Mr. Handyman, Aire Serv, Mr. Rooter, and Mr. Electric service brands on ServiceTitan in 2012. And, in 2020, ServiceTitan acquired Servant Systems, the award-winning business software provider for franchise brands, including Neighborly®. 

In a recent webinar, ServiceTitan experts and an Aire Serv franchise co-owner walk through how to utilize Marketing Pro to overcome the common marketing challenges Neighborly contractors face.

Read on to learn how Marketing Pro can help you target specific audiences with specific messaging, automate your marketing campaigns using branded templates, or save time spent on manual processes to generate additional revenue and grow your business.

» Want to grow your business? Click here to get a demo.

Marketing Challenges Faced by Neighborly Contractors in 2024

Before diving into Marketing Pro, let’s take a look at how past marketing efforts typically worked for most contractors.  

“In the past when it came to marketing, it was really about broadcasts,” says Brett Kawanami, ServiceTitan Strategic Pro Account Manager. “It was about getting your name out there, being in the newspaper, maybe some bulletins or yellow pages, but just making sure people knew who you were, and it was a lot of word of mouth.”

  • Past Solutions/Broadcast Marketing = Limited/disconnected data is used to cast a wide net in hopes of attracting new business.

Next, with the rise of digital ads, in particular, came the need for targeted marketing, or sending potential customers a message that resonates and stands out in their crowded email inboxes.

“That's great, and that's where we are today,” Kawanami says.

  • Present Solutions/Target Marketing = Connected data allows you to send and automate more personalized, consistent messages to new and existing customers across channels.

With the rise of real-time data in AI now available, Kawanami says, the landscape is shifting toward predictive marketing.

“Consumers are not just going to be satisfied with you telling them something relevant, but they're going to start expecting you to anticipate what they need,” he says. “They've had this piece of equipment for 10 years or they need their spring tuneup that's coming up in a few months. They're going to expect you to reach out to them and not put the onus on them to do it.”

  • Future Solutions/Predictive Marketing = Real-time data and AI anticipates customer needs and recommends or automates marketing actions and strategies to take.

Neighborly franchise owners also report a significant number of issues with marketing inefficiencies that lead to loss of booked jobs and revenue, Kawanami says.

For example, maybe you’ve tried using Constant Contact or MailChimp to schedule an email blast to new customers. First, you have to find and download all the emails, then upload the email report into the app, create the content for the campaign, and then schedule and send it.

“Normally, you'd have to do that every single time, and it just takes a lot of time that could probably be spent elsewhere,” Kawanami says.

On top of that, you’re probably spending money on pay-per-click ads that net a few new customers who use your services once, but then you never hear from them again. 

How to Use Marketing Pro to Overcome Today’s Challenges

“One of the things we talk about at ServiceTitan and with Marketing Pro is, how do we really maximize the lifetime value of a customer?” Kawanami says. 

As shown above, there are numerous ways for Neighborly contractors to stay connected to customers, whether it’s following up on open estimates, requesting reviews, selling memberships, and more. Oftentimes, it’s about staying in contact with customers and making sure they know about all of the services you offer.

“It's just about engaging the customer, educating them about how they need to take care of their home to make things last longer, and then also how they can use you and that you want to be there for them,” Kawanami says. 

With Marketing Pro, the focus is on targeting the right customer, and avoiding the mass blast to everyone with an email. 

“That generally doesn't get you a great reputation, and people are going to unsubscribe,” Kawanami cautions. “If you can really target the right customer with the right message at the right time, that's what's going to get people's attention.”

Marketing Pro also allows users to automate much of the process, from using Audience Builder to create your target audience to developing marketing campaigns with our free, downloadable templates. Get more bang for your buck while saving time and money at the same time.

And with deeper insight into your company’s real-time performance data, Marketing Pro helps contractors drive better business decisions.

“It'll enable you to make better business decisions because you have so much more data and insight into what's happening,” Kawanami says. “We’ll show you the activity metrics of how many things get sent, how many get opened and clicked. Then we're able to connect that with showing you how many calls come in from that campaign, how many jobs get booked, and then how many of those jobs actually convert into revenue, and how much revenue are we talking about? You can even drill down and listen to the call recording if you want.”

Ultimately, Marketing Pro helps businesses deliver an amazing customer experience.

“If you're sending things that are relevant to them, if you're taking care of your customer, they will respond to you, they will like you, they will refer you,” Kawanami says. “They won't be afraid to call you when something breaks because they recognize your name and they trust you.”

The Marketing Pro Trinity: 3 Campaigns to Set Up Now

The three marketing campaigns every contractor should set up in Marketing Pro are: 

  • Unsold Estimates

  • New and Expiring Memberships

  • “We Miss You.” 

Here’s a look at each.

Unsold Estimates

Kawanami says following up on unsold estimates is the lowest hanging fruit most companies can take advantage of.

“It's just reminding people after you've been there and they're weighing decisions, or maybe they're thinking about asking a competitor for an estimate. Sometimes, just following up is all you need,” Kawanami says.

Rebekah Hatcher, co-owner of Aire Serv of Aggieland, says she found huge success with the unsold estimates email campaign.

“There was never another platform where I didn't have to stay on top of it and keep feeding it information,” Hatcher says. “But with ServiceTitan, because it's already getting the information from the data that you're putting into it on a day-to-day basis, you don't have to keep feeding it information, it's all automatic.”

Before Marketing Pro, Hatcher says she might have followed up once on an unsold estimate. Now, the drip campaigns she set up using Marketing Pro follow up with customers the next day, three days later, a week later, a month later—or until the customer takes action.

“We've seen huge traction between the second and third email,” Hatcher says. “I don't know what it is about that magic number, but many people, who otherwise would not have moved forward with anything, are clicking and calling us and setting up that appointment or at least asking questions about that estimate in between that second and third email.”

New and Expiring Memberships

With many businesses today capitalizing on the subscription model, it just makes sense for contractors to offer service memberships to customers to increase recurring revenue.

“For those of you who do have advantage plans or memberships, Marketing Pro is built to help you manage those,” Kawanami says.

Not only is it simple to set up a membership marketing campaign, you can automatically remind membership customers when it’s time for their maintenance service or inspection.

“You can let Marketing Pro do a lot of the heavy lifting to reach out and let people know, ‘Hey, you already paid for the service, it's part of your membership with us, and so when can we come out?’” Kawanami says. “And that gives you a chance to get back in the customer’s home.”

Hatcher says the number of booked jobs for membership maintenance service skyrocketed once she set up a recurring services SMS campaign.

“Our customers love that,” Hatcher says. “I cannot tell you how many of our Advantage Plan membership visits are booked through chat in ServiceTitan because people want to be able to streamline that process and maybe schedule it without even having to talk to a person.

“In addition, we're sending out reminder emails through the email campaigns and we're getting people who are emailing us back ready to schedule that call,” she adds.

Early on, Aire Serv techs would sell its Advantage Plan to customers, but then the customers would call in a week or so later to ask questions about what they signed up for. Rather than answering and booking calls, the CSRs’ time was spent explaining the membership benefits.

“Now we've set up a campaign where as soon as a customer signs up for our membership, the very next day they're getting a ‘Welcome to the Club’ email that gives them all the benefits,” Hatcher says. “It sets the expectation that in six months we're going to be reaching out to schedule that prepaid tuneup.”

We Miss You 

The “We Miss You” campaign helps to keep your brand top-of-mind for customers, says Jenny Nguyen, ServiceTitan Senior Solutions Engineer.

“It’s re-engaging them, staying in front, making sure that no customers slip out the back door. That is something Marketing Pro excels at,” Nguyen says. “There's a goldmine inside your ServiceTitan database. You have all these customers, and sometimes you’ve just got to touch base with them, kind of like the dentist reminding you it's time for your appointment.”

Hatcher says the “We Miss You” campaign is also great for reminding customers about all of the services you offer, and not just the one you provided the first time.

“As an example, if we have a service call, we may send an email three or four months later that says, ‘Hey, we haven't heard from you in a while. And don't forget, we also do duct cleaning.’ So just a little something to remind them that they need us even when they don't think they need us,” she says.

Unlocking the Power of Marketing Pro for Neighborly 

ServiceTitan developed Marketing Pro five years ago, and is now unlocking its powerful features for Neighborly contractors with discounted pricing, Kawanami says. 

“What we've seen across the data of our customers is that this is powerful and it works,” Kawanami says. “It's our most popular Pro product with over 3,000 users across all of ServiceTitan and counting.”

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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