Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Web Dude
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Alright, a little meat for dem dur bones. Here are two quick techniques that can be implemented by the beginning of next week with results you could see before the end of that weekend.

Before I start I want to be absolutely crystal clear on this: Email Marketing is not SPAM marketing.

I hate SPAM, you hate SPAM, and something tells me that the fellas sending out SPAM don't like to get it either.

This has nothing to do with SPAMMING RANDOM LISTS

You cannot and will not have success if you buy a 3rd party list. I don't care how targeted the seller of the list claims it to be, people will always be resentful of unsolicited mail in any form (snail or electronic).

You have to be able to generate your own list of people who are giving you permission to market to them. But that's what makes it so effective anyway.

--

Technique One : Free report or Newsletter

Basically, you're offering them valuable information/special pricing/compelling content for the price of their name and an email address.

I'm sure you've seen (and possibly signed up for) a couple of these on other websites. They're pretty common. It's a quick little form that takes about two seconds to fill out, and you get the report/newsletter delivered right to your inbox.

This is gold for both sides. They get the information they wanted, and you get their contact information so now you control the pacing of the marketing. This is a major principle in what I call Throw Marketing. You no longer have to hope and wish for them to call you, you can reach out to them on your own terms.

Quick story:

A couple of lifetimes ago during the summers (remember I'm in my 20's so that means like 5-6 years ago haha) I was a gopher for a GC. He had this old timer roofer sub that we worked with a lot, and I got to really like the guy. He pulled some of the greatest pranks I've ever seen pulled, just a cool guy.

Anyway, I recently saw him at the hardware store and we got to talking about business. Like a lot of old timers, I had a hard time explaining how he could use the web to his advantage.

I told him all about email marketing, and if he'd write a report up on how to know if your roof needs replacing I'd do the rest for nothing.

Couple weeks later, he's got the report ready to go. I have 500 business cards printed up online that said "Want to know if your roof needs replacing? Go here for your free report" and I designed an 8x10 flyer to go with them.

The website literally had those exact words from the flier and a two field form. That's it. Nothing to win any awards, but it produced.

I got the green light from the fellas at our local hardware store to leave 250 of them and a flier. I brought the other 250 to a hardware store a couple of towns over and set em up.

Two weeks later Ron called me up and told me he didn't know what to do with all the work, if I could pull the website.

Email marketing works baby.

--

Technique Two: Follow up for previous customers

This is where the absolute diamonds hide. A good 75% of my business is generated from pervious customers or the referrals they give.

Everyone knows (or should know) that it is roughly a trillion times easier and cheaper to sell to a previous customer than it is to go out and find a new one. And yet the majority of businesses ignore their old customers. The one and done mindset will have you leaving a ton of money on the table.

When things got slow last spring, I shot out a message to my previous customer list with some pointers on the importance of a Google Local listing and offered to do it for them for free. I got 43 responses back, and 13 of them were also hoping for payed work to be done. I made a cool chunk of change from a single email blast, and I haven't been slow since.

You can't come up with something once a month you can educate your clients on? How to care for wood floors, dangers of a dirty chimney, special pricing on glass tile, whatever.

Even if they don't need work done, you're still staying tip of the tongue and you can bet your sweet ass that they are going to remember you when somebody asks about the work.

--

What are you doing to win Mitch's business?

You know Mitch, he's the guys who's wife really wants to have a new kitchen, but he won't be able to swing it economically for a couple of months.

But she's really hounding him, so like all good husbands he does some research on the computer with her to get her off his back. Dude just wants to bowl.

Mitch and Sweetheart go to your site, then to your competition's, then to their competition's, then to some out of state jobber. All in all he's probably looked at like 20-30 websites.

How are you making sure he remembers you when it comes time to whip out the wallet?

Well if you combined the free report/newsletter and the follow up with prospects systems, you've not only provided him with an item of value and positioned yourself as an expert, but now you can market to him as often as you want.

Don't loose the lookers just because. Give them a reason to remember and they will.

--

The big thing to remember about email marketing is this: Don't just send marketing crap at them.

If all your sending is ads, they are going to pitch them in the trash and jump off your list crazy fast.

Build a monthly relationship and market when you need to. Provide some value and the checks will follow.

--

Breakdown

Basically, for around $500 beans you can have a killer marketing system put in place that you can use for the rest of email's lifespan. I know I've blown that on a single direct mail campaign before, with less than stellar results.

--

A couple quick random notes on implementing Email Marketing

Always include an unsubscribe button. Don't hold your people hostage, if they want out let them out. It's on you to create compelling information or reasons for them to stay.

Be aware of your pacing. It shouldn't be daily. It probably doesn't need to be weekly, or even biweekly. With most tradesman, I find that monthly mailings are the happy pace. It's enough to keep top of mind with the visitor without being overwhelming, and if you couple it with the next technique you'll probably be drumming up too much business.

Remember, this isn't spamming. It's communicating. If you'd be annoyed with the message you're sending or the pacing, change it.

Just like everything else using the internet, keep track of what's working and what isn't.


Professionally I say that no website looking to make you money is complete without a Contact Info Capture System and Email Marketing. It's so cheap and easy with killer ROI it's silly not to have it.

Love to hear what you guys think, and of course to answer any questions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
539 Posts
My take? (and I've been doing the marketing thing for quite some time myself)-

Dude's right. It's nothing new, but a step in the entire process of "covering the bases" a.k.a "squeezing the utter dry".

**Before anyone jumps down my throat, I am NOT referring to my customers as "COWS"--was merely a statement.

You should definitely be implementing this type of "program" or a similar one if not doing so currently.

I know in today's day and age if you think you're covering all the bases with your efforts, always take a little time to try and see what you're NOT doing.

:thumbsup:
 

·
Non-conformist
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
The big thing to remember about email marketing is this: Don't just send marketing crap at them.

If all your sending is ads, they are going to pitch them in the trash and jump off your list crazy fast.

Build a monthly relationship and market when you need to. Provide some value and the checks will follow.
I already made a similar statement in your other thread, but that was worth repeating, and worth repeating again by quoting it here.

Here's something else to keep in mind, and I believe for contractors it can make a big difference. If you are using one of those services such as Constant Contact (which is good to do), consider skipping the fancy graphics. And by all means, send the email from "you" not something like "Advertising Dept." The reason I suggest skipping the graphics is that many times, recipients are more likely to open it. It's more "real" if you keep it conversational rather than formal. I use graphics because I do graphics (kind of expected), but as a contractor, you'll probably do better without them.

Keep in mind if you want to show nice pics, you can probably build a special web page to send them to. That way, you also have them on your site if they click the link. That should be one of your goals anyway.
 

·
Non-conformist
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
My question: We have a customer base of around 3600 people in our database - what would be the best, fastest and least expensive way to get as many of their email addresses as possible?
First, you probably only get to pick two out of three.

Ideally, you need to get them to your web site to "opt-in" or it's spam if you send anything. Since your list would obviously include mailing addresses, I'm thinking a postcard or simple mailer. Since you already have a relationship with these customers, a survey might be a good approach. In return for filling out the survey, where you collect their email address, you GIVE them something. Use your imagination on what to give: maybe a free guide on something motivating ("How to save $500 a year on utilities" for example), a gift card, an entry into a drawing for a large gift, whatever.

The reason I suggest a survey is you can gather valuable info on what's important to them. How was their experience with you? How could you do better? Since many of them may be "old" contacts, you'll have to structure your survey accordingly. But you also never know how many might have a project just because you took the time to get back in touch with them.
 

·
DavidMoore
Joined
·
17 Posts
Good info here - e-mail marketing has been on my "to-do" list for a long time.

My question: We have a customer base of around 3600 people in our database - what would be the best, fastest and least expensive way to get as many of their email addresses as possible?

I'm all ears...
Another great way is to run a contest of some sort. Only require an email address to register for a give away of an Ipod, Blackberry or something of REAL value and worth taking the time to register.

You can also give away your services, "Register and win FREE installation or upgrades or materials". The drawback with services is that if they are not in a rush for your contractiing services, they may not value it as much as say a flat screen TV in time for the Superbowl.

Flat screen vs email address = seems like a reasonable trade.

Make the hook big enough and you'll catch email addresses. And like has been said earlier, direct mail is the only way you can do this without "spamming".

One thing I forgot to make clear. When the "register" for freebie giveaway, make sure they are also "OPTING IN" for your occasional email specials, newsletters, or updates, etc. They have to KNOW you will be sending them emails from time to time.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top