Build up your customer database
First, you must build up your customer database. How? When interacting with your clients or prospects, make it a priority to get their email addresses. Do the same with your suppliers and other tradespeople you deal with. To store and send your emails, you can use a simple excel spreadsheet and an email merge or a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) such as MailChimp, GetResponse or Ontraport. Bear in mind that there are spam rules that apply when sending emails.
Write catchy copy
Now, the key to success with email marketing (and all marketing) is the copy. Copy is what you write and how it’s put together. These are the must-haves of your email copy:
1. A catchy subject line
Did you know that only about 50% of emails are actually opened – including correspondence between people who know each other well? Industry standards for email marketing see a 35% open rate as good! The subject line is the ad for your email – and it’s vital you get it right. The trick is to include the person’s name, and a benefit to arouse curiosity. One of the best subject lines our members use is: [VIP Offer] Tony, FREE $100 Gift Off Any Plumbing (or Electrical) Work – Limit of 7.
2. ‘Reason why’ copy
In any email marketing that includes an exclusive offer, readers will automatically look for the ‘catch’ and be suspicious of your motives. The ‘reason why’ copy explains just that – why – and has to be believable and make sense to your clients. Here’s an example of 'reason why' copy: “It’s almost the weekend and we’ve had a big job put on hold till next week which means we’ll have a couple of tradesmen kicking around the workshop for the next couple of days. We’d rather they were out doing something useful than causing mischief around here.”
3. A strong offer that motivates the reader to take action
Offer something that is too good to turn down; scarcity and urgency are critical! If the reader doesn’t pick up the phone or email as soon as they’ve read your email, the chance of them contacting you later is tiny. Let me repeat – tiny!
Again here’s an example: “We’ll give you $100 off any job you book this week (for the first 7 VIP Members). No strings attached! Yep, if your job comes to $150, you’ll only pay $50!” Then we add the most important part – the part where you make you money: “Plus we’ll do a free plumbing (or electrical) inspection (valued at $79) while we’re at your place to check the safety of all your plumbing (or electrical) fixtures and fittings.”
The aim of the email is to get you on site so you can look to service any other needs your client might have.
How well does this work?
One of our Million Dollar Tradie Members, Peter and Sonya Jackson from Peter Jackson Plumbing (who just won the New Zealand Master Plumber of the Year Award) recently blasted a similar email to the examples above and generated 17 jobs within 3 hours! The resulting work kept their team busy for 10 days – and it cost them exactly nothing to send. It worked wonders for Peter and Sonya, and it can work for you too.
Plus, if you ever want to sell your business, showing the prospective buyer your successful customer database and email marketing strategy will add massive value to your sale price.
So get busy collecting email addresses – your customer database is a goldmine waiting for you to start digging!