People have been using email for around 30 years. In technology years, that’s ancient. So you would think that email marketing is long dead, replaced by social media or other forms of reaching customers.
But you would be wrong. In their 2021 benchmark report, “The State of Email Marketing,” Validity found that email marketing is alive and well. Only 23% of marketers reported that the effectiveness of email marketing is declining, compared to 77% saying that it is holding steady or improving.
Clearly email marketing remains an important part of many companies’ marketing mixes.
But not all email marketing efforts are the same. Different organizations in different industries use email to achieve different objectives. The Validity report identified five strategies for using email marketing. For this article, we’re going to focus on the three strategies that are most useful for home building and remodeling contractors:
- Communicate with Prospects
- Communicate with Customers
- Build Brand Awareness
We’ll look at each of these, then discuss which one is best for you.
Communicate with Prospects
This is probably what most people think of when considering email marketing. They view it as a tool for reaching out to potential customers who may be interested in your services.
It’s an effective tool for building & remodeling contractors, because it gives you a chance to educate them about your process, help them understand what to expect, and get them to dream a little. Hiring a contractor is a “high consideration” purchase, not one customers will take lightly.
The more they get to know you through email, the more likely they are to sign a contract.
The drawback of this approach is you have to get people to sign up for your emails. You can’t just blast out emails without permission. They have to want your emails, and getting that kind of permission can be tricky.
Communicate with Customers
Using email to keep in touch with current or recent customers is another effective strategy for contractors.
The first benefit is it’s easier to get customers’ permission to send them emails, because you can bake it into your sales closing process.
But more importantly, it allows you to stay connected with customers once the contract is signed, during the building or remodeling process, and after the project is done. It helps you manage expectations during the project as well as get repeat business and referrals.
Build Brand Awareness
Of the three, this one is probably the toughest to execute and takes the longest to bear fruit. But it also holds the greatest benefits.
For any business, brand awareness is one of the most valuable things you can have, and building and remodeling contractors are no different. Homeowners only think about a major project every few years, at most.
When they do decide to take one on, you want them to think of you right away, instead of doing a Google search or asking a friend. That’s what a well-known brand can do.
There are many ways to build brand awareness, including email marketing. Again, the trick is to get people to sign up for your emails. But once you do, you can send them interesting, valuable content that they can use and that helps them remember who you are.
Which strategy is right for you?
So now the big question. Which one should you use? There are a lot of factors that help determine this, but the basic answer is this: user whichever strategy is easiest for you to execute on a consistent basis, right now.
The key to email marketing, like other disciplines, is consistency. The best thing you can do is get started as soon as possible. Most likely, that will be communicating with current customers, because you have relationships with them already, and it will be relatively easy to get permission to email them.
But it’s also very possible that you have a good list of emails of potential customers, in which case you can use that for the first strategy as well.
And here’s another insight: whichever strategy you choose, it will help you accomplish the others.
Communicating with prospects will help you close sales, creating new customers that you can email separately.
Communicating with current or past customers will help create referrals and new business, so in a way it’s like emailing prospects.
And everything you do should be done with your brand in mind. Every touch point prospects or customers have with you serves to strengthen your brand and build awareness.
With email marketing, as long as you respect your audience’s time and give them information you can use, you almost can’t go wrong.