Using email to market your service-based business to potential customers might seem like a waste of time at first.
Who’s buying from companies that clog up their inbox?
A lot of people, actually – the average return on investment for email marketing is 3,800 percent.
What’s more, 72 percent of people prefer to receive promotional material via email rather than social media.
Image source: Wikimedia
If we take a step back, it becomes more obvious as to why that is. People generally choose to be on email lists (and can easily opt out), and email is a more personal and direct medium than a sponsored post on Facebook.
So where do you go from here? It’s certainly not as simple as blasting your email list with pleas to hire out your business.
But if you read on, you’ll find that there are lots of ways to put that email list to good use and generate business consistently.
At the most fundamental level, emailing reminds current and past customers that your business exists.
With a service-based business, where customers may not need you again for weeks or even months at a time, this is vital.
A follow-up campaign is exactly what it says on the tin: You follow up with past customers and remind them of your services.
A good example of where this is useful is with seasonal work.
Landscaping, for instance, is often done only once a year, or at least in all seasons besides winter. When spring is around the corner, then, a follow-up campaign gets customers scheduling work for the upcoming warm weather.
Follow-up campaigns put your business back at the front of customers’ minds – where they might otherwise have forgotten about the good work you did.
Speaking of that good work, wouldn’t it be nice if your happy customers told their friends how happy you made them?
Service businesses thrive on referrals, and you can help that along nicely with a referral-based email campaign.
By offering an incentive to customers who already use your services, you can generate leads from throughout your customers’ network of family, friends, and co-workers.
Referrals work because they have the benefit of trust – 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations over any other kind of advertisement.
It doesn’t have to be a big incentive, either; offering $100 per referred customer or a discount on their next purchase is plenty, and it pales in comparison to the value of gaining a brand-new customer.
Of course, that incentive makes the referee happy, too – giving them another reason to stick around.
Your website can do a lot for building your company’s image, as you list referrals, descriptions of services, and contact information.
But remarketing campaigns are still generally thought of as a social media marketing tool – putting targeted Facebook ads in front of your customers, for instance.
Many of the same principles and best practices still apply when remarketing via email, however – the difference lies in how you go from visitor on your website to an email in their inbox.
If customers log in to your website, or if they’ve given you their email address on a particular page, you can use that data to send targeted emails.
From there, it’s a simple matter of using information about what they were looking at to push them from potential customers to paying ones.
Flash sales are those advertisements you see urging you to “buy in the next 24 hours” for a special discount.
Yes, they’re overused – but if your business is trustworthy and you’re not inundating your customers already, they’re incredibly useful.
As with the referral campaign, you’re offering an incentive – a free consultation, a flat discount, or anything else you can think of that drums up business while keeping you in the black.
The goal is to benefit your customer while creating a sense of urgency as encouragement to buy.
At the end of the day, well-timed flash sales make adding cash flow to your business as easy as pressing “send.”
The last campaign requires something of you – but it may be the most effective in generating revenue.
Launch campaigns are built around your business expanding in some way – a new service being provided, a new region of operation, or even products to go along with your services.
The great thing about launch campaigns is that they give you an excuse to email your customers multiple times – building up excitement as you get closer to the launch date.
You might offer discounts on the new service for those scheduling early – and when the launch date rolls around, the orders roll in.
Just make sure your business is prepared to handle the new influx of business, and your launch campaign will go off without a hitch.
Email might seem like an old-school medium, but it’s (perhaps surprisingly) the most tried-and-true method of putting your business back on customers’ radar.
You can even mix the above ideas together, offering discounts within launch campaigns and so forth.
And as you get more used to coming up with original and well-timed campaign ideas, you’ll understand even better why businesses turn to email for marketing time and again.