E-mail is still a great tool for engaging prospects and customers by sending discounts or coupons and providing valuable tips or advice.
But when home improvement companies don’t follow proper e-mail etiquette, they’re practically guaranteeing the homeowners will click “unsubscribe” or report their e-mails as SPAM.
Always consider the lives of your target audience before you send your e-mails. You simply want to offer your services to them but they may not see it that way. Homeowners are busy with their day-to-day activities and they’re already bombarded by over 500 business e-mails a month.
So, how can you ensure the harried homeowner doesn’t mark your e-mails as junk? How can you continue to use e-mail to generate more leads and sales for your company?
Try these tips to help keep your next round of e-mails out of the SPAM folder and away from the “unsubscribe” blacklist:
- Personalization – Whenever you can send an e-mail directly to a person and not a “Dear Homeowner” or “To Whom it May Concern” you’ve got a better chance of connecting and having your e-mail read. If you can add personal touches like the product they’re interested in or issues they were facing, that’s even better.
- Format – Most homeowners still read e-mails on their desktop computers, but almost half are using their smartphones. If your email is not formatted for mobile, at best you’d be ignored and at worst reported as SPAM. However you are sending e-mail, test it on your own phone before hitting “Send”.
- Time it Right – When you send your e-mails is just important as what you send. Pushing through an e-mail send for Monday morning is probably a bad idea. Why would you want to be one of hundreds they have to open at the start of each week? Many studies have shown Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons are best. Some have had success on Saturday mornings. Test what works and what doesn’t, if you can (find out your open rates and unsubscribe rates if you use an e-mail service.)
- Have a Single Purpose (a Call-to-Action) – Whenever you send out an e-mail, only have one purpose. Don’t send a coupon, your latest YouTube video link, and some Before & After shots of your latest luxury project all at once. Have the e-mail be about one thing only and even provide what’s called a Call-to-Action (or CTA) where you’re asking them to do something. For example, “Click to download your 15% Discount” or “See these 4 simple things you can do to boost your home value”. Give them one topic and one task to complete so they know what you want them to do.
- Avoid Attachments – If you’re sending a coupon or a newsletter, don’t ever send anything as an attachment in the e-mail. Provide the newsletter or coupon within the e-mail as text and/or images. So many have been burned by viruses within attachments that most e-mail providers will send them automatically to junk folders – if they let them through at all. You can also locate the content on your website and simply provide a link to it in the e-mail.
- Rarely Sell – As tempting as it is, don’t send out sales e-mails asking for their business. Pass them along your knowledge, tips, funny videos, images, community events and coupons. But don’t just “Sell, sell, sell!”
Do these things when it comes to e-mail and you’ll hold on to your fans and keep them happy. And when it’s time to buy, they’ll think of you because you’re an expert and you’re constantly involved in what matters to them.
About the Author
Tim Clark is the Director of Communications for improveit! 360 and has been with the technology company for two years. During this time, the company has grown rapidly and positioned itself as a leader in delivering business management tools and expertise to thousands of home improvement professionals.