Consider this your three-quarters wrench in your marketing toolbox. We’re here to unclog your creativity and get fresh leads flowing through all email and digital marketing efforts. Welcome to the first installment of your plumbing internet marketing crash course. Today we’re discussing email marketing for plumbers!
In this crash course, we’ll cover:
- A bite-sized overview of email marketing for plumbers and best practices.
- Easy-to-implement subject line strategies that will increase your open rate.
- A best-foot-forward approach to tracking the performance of your email campaigns.
- How to test multiple versions of your emails to see which works best with your clients.
This quick crash course will help you become an email marketing pro for your plumbing business. We’ll provide you with real tips that you can put into action today!
Use these Plumbing Internet Marketing Strategies to Increase Conversions with your Email Campaigns
It seems every business demands their customer’s email. Either this is used for a loyalty or rewards program, or just because… It’s for this very reason that we recommend being mindful of how frequently you reach out to your clients via email.
It’s a privilege to be able to contact your clients free of charge, when previously you’d have to pay a sizable sum to create a direct mail campaign. Now, it’s as easy as the press of a button.
We’ll discuss the best practices and most effective techniques you can use to increase the impact of your email campaigns.
1. How to Build the Perfect Email
Writing an email sounds like a simple task. However, as a plumbing business, you’re fighting an uphill battle of spam filters and dozens of other marketing messages all jockeying for the attention of your client every single day.
How you craft each component of an email campaign will directly relate to how well you achieve the desired outcome. Let’s discuss:
Messaging Matters in Email Body Copy
A marketing email’s body copy needs to be clear and concise, directing the reader to perform an explicit action.
This could be as simple as providing a clear CTA (Call to Action) (e.g. a call, or clicking a link to an offer on your site). Whatever you want your reader to do, let them know – avoid any fluff!
Find clever ways to weave your CTAs into your regular newsletters sent to your audience quarterly or monthly with helpful tips and seasonal service reminders.
Any confusion or delay getting to the point of your email’s purpose is inching their hand closer to that unsubscribe button… or worse, the spam button.
Plus, when you use plumbing software with an ESP (email service provider) integration, like Mailchimp, you can add merge tags that will create personalization for each recipient. You can include their name, location or other identifiable differences that will help each recipient feel the message was crafted specifically for them.
The Artform and Guidelines of Email Subject Lines
This deceptively simple element is far more tricky to nail than you might initially think. A well-crafted subject line does more than just grab attention. It also compels an action from its recipient.
You want to create a certain amount of intrigue and desire in your marketing email subject lines. Sure, you want to be approachable in your wording, and you want your message to come across as effortlessly friendly without sounding forced. However, you still want to entice the recipient to open your email and learn more about the offer.
“Avoid using words like sales, discounts, free, or act now, which can trigger problems. Subject lines with these words often go straight to the spam folder,” suggests Mckenna Hallett of My Golden Words.
Avoid being even remotely deceptive, no bait and switch in the subject line. Think of the long-term relationship you want to create with clients. Every client wants to feel personally engaged with the brands they welcome into their lives. Be relatable and respectful of your email recipients’ time.
Also, don’t forget to play around with adding emojis to subject lines, but remember to stay true to your brand voice to avoid confusion and ensure consistency in overall branding strategy.
Images in Email with Plumbing Internet Marketing
Ask a hundred marketers their opinion on images in emails and you’ll get a hundred different answers.
The key is knowing why you’re adding an image. Is it to display a product or service? Do you want your logo front and center? Make sure you have a solid reason for including any images, and always test the message’s understanding should the images fail to load.
Depending too heavily on imagery in your marketing emails can lead to confusion if a recipient’s mailbox, like Outlook, prevents images from loading initially.
In a recent survey on Medium, more than 82 percent of respondents use dark mode in Mac OS X. This extends to their mail app as well. So you’ll need to consider how your images will look on a dark grey background along with a standard white background.
In practical terms, this means saving your logo as a PNG or other file type that allows for transparencies. You’ll be able to remove the standard white background from around your logo.
You can find many free online tools that help to remove backgrounds in your images. One free option is removal.ai, which uses artificial intelligence to remove any image’s background.
Also, test to verify how your images will appear in various email clients. Many email marketers have cited Outlook as a common culprit in strange image sizing issues.
2. How to Measure the Success of Any Email Campaign
Once you hit send, and then release your marketing emails into the wild, you might think your work is over. But it’s only just begun! With digital messages, we’re afforded a wealth of metrics and feedback data that will help us tune future campaigns.
But how do you even gather and make sense of all this information? And what’s the difference between CTR and UTM? Is that even English?
All the Metrics to Measure
In the digital age, every action we perform with our wondrous mobile devices are captured and tracked. As a plumbing business, this should come as welcome news. This means you can see, in real time, just how well messages are performing.
A few key terms to keep in mind as you devise your metric tracking plans:
- Open Rate:
The open rate reveals the percentage of recipients that clicked on your email and opened it to view the body contents of your message. Historically, this data would provide a rock solid view into just how well your subject line was performing.
However, Apple recently announced a plan to create a proxy network for its users. This means the open rate percentage that you’ll see will not actually indicate the amount of Apple users opening your email, as every email sent to an Apple user will appear to have been opened, even if it never was…
Since the open rate metric will become less reliable, you’ll need to double-down on your focus on your CTR metric.
- CTR (Click-Thru Rate):
You can discover your click-thru rate by taking the number of clicks you received from your call to action and dividing it by your distribution amount.
You’ll still get solid data on the percentage of recipients clicking through to your website. You’ll be able to see overall how well the subject line and body messaging is compelling recipients to complete your CTA (Call to Action).
This, along with the next term, are among the most valuable metrics you can gather to see just how well your email marketing efforts are performing.
“UTM parameters are a simple, straightforward, and reliable way to track traffic online.” Urchin Tracking Modules, or UTM for short, are simple tags to add into website links so you can gather data on where the visitor clicked from originally (e.g. from an email, social media post, affiliate site, etc.).
UTMs are useful in assigning unique IDs to specific campaign links, which helps track the success of individual campaign emails. All this data is available in your Google Analytics.
Hubspot offers a fantastic primer on the basics of getting started with UTM parameter tracking in your email campaigns.
- Unsubscribe Rate:
Use your unsubscribe rate to track how many recipients tap out from receiving further emails from your company. And yes, that can feel like a punch to the gut initially.
However, this data can show the disparity between an effective subject line and ineffective body messaging. After all, you got the recipient to click on your subject line and scroll through your message to get to the unsubscribe button.
So, your unsubscribe rate isn’t the worst metric in the world, as long as it isn’t consistently high. Clearly you’re hitting your recipient’s inbox, not their spam folder. They’re clicking and scrolling. So you’re doing something right! Now it’s all about testing and tuning your messaging.
Testing Your Hard Work
So you’ve got a great subject line and body message in your email campaign. You’ve got a handle on all the metrics that can track the success of your work. Though, you have this sneaking suspicion that your message might convert better with a few tweaks.
You can compare how well those tweaks would perform by using something called A/B Testing (i.e. split testing). This is where you send two versions of the same email. However, keep in mind, to properly perform split tests, you can only change one variable at a time to ensure you know what caused the outcome.
We won’t go too deep into the details on testing here, but we will say that some good software integration goes a long way in keeping the details straight as you go.
For example, here’s a simple way to see immediate results from A/B testing by creating two competing emails for the same campaign (email software can help with this!):
- Send one version to 10 percent of your distribution list
- Send the other to a different 10 percent of your list
- Gather the data from the metrics we discussed earlier
- And after about four hours you can confidently crown your winner
Send the winning email to the remaining 80 percent of your distribution list. That’s one simple way to A/B test your email campaigns.
Plumbing Internet Marketing Is a Marathon… Not a Sprint
Emailing clients is an artform. There will always be new metrics to tune and new guidelines to follow. The best course of action is to take it slow, deliver messages you truly think clients will value, and then go from there.
We’ll always stay up-to-date on any guidelines or issues that might affect your efforts. So, be sure to watch this space for plumbing internet marketing updates.
With this crash course, you now know:
- Best practices and strategies to entice clients to click on subject lines.
- How to compile your email body message to clearly convey your CTA.
- The best ways to track metrics during the course of your email campaign.
- A simple way to test multiple versions of the same email to see which yields the best results.
Use this simple email crash course in plumbing internet marketing to drastically improve your email campaigns. Also, if you haven’t started email marketing for your plumbing business,you now have a great foundation for your first attempt.
Do you want to integrate email campaigns into your plumbing software? See how FieldEdge can help by booking your FREE personalized demo today!