Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways for contractors to reach potential customers and grow their business. Used strategically and consistently, email enables contractors to build strong relationships, promote their services, and increase conversions over time.
In this article, we provide 13 powerful tips to help contractors get the most out of their email campaigns.
Whether you’re just starting with email marketing or looking to improve existing efforts, these best practices will guide you in creating targeted messages, automating workflows, and analyzing results – ultimately empowering you to expand your subscriber base and 5x your business. I also recommend using an email marketing platform to streamline the process even further.
Importance of Email Marketing for Contractors
Email marketing is critically important for contractors looking to grow their business. One of the main reasons why email is so important is that studies show that email converts at 3x the rate of social media – and delivers $42 back for every $1 spent.
Beyond increased revenues, dedicated email marketing provides contractors with both predictability and stability month-to-month, establishing continual customer touchpoints. This enables better cash flow forecasting while also reducing reliance on expensive seasonal ad buys.
Additionally, email is the preferred communication method for 77% of customers – allowing contractors to deepen relationships and improve retention over time.
With such a substantial upside, making email marketing a priority can pay huge dividends through more leads, higher conversion rates, larger projects, and repeat/referral business. The numbers speak for themselves – a focused email approach can quickly be 5x a contractor’s bottom line.
1. Offer Discount on Services for Email Signups
One simple but effective way for contractors to rapidly grow their email list is to offer a discount on services in exchange for email signups. Rather than simply asking potential customers to hand over their contact info, sweeten the deal by providing an instant incentive that delivers value.
You can structure this offer in a few different ways. For example, contractors can offer a percent-off discount that subscribers can redeem on their first purchased service. The discount amount can range from 10-20% off, enough to entice signups while still bringing in revenue on provided services.
Alternatively, you can offer a fixed dollar amount discount such as $50 or $100 off the customer’s first job.
When promoting your discount offer, communicate it clearly across your website, print materials, invoices, and other assets. Ensure people understand the exclusive nature of the deal for your email subscribers.
You’ll also want to place email signup forms strategically near sales touch points – embedding them on service pages, your contact page, checkout flows, or anywhere prospects are already inclined to engage. This convenience factor will boost conversion rates.
While this form of ‘bribing’ subscribers may seem desperate or unsustainable, the long-term value of each lead acquired still pays dividends. As long as you continue nurturing subscribers with helpful content and offers after signup, you’ll maximize customer lifetime value and ROI. Just focus first on rapidly expanding your contractor email list.
2. Share DIY Tips and Construction Knowledge
Sharing your expertise with subscribers through DIY tips and construction knowledge is a savvy email marketing strategy for contractors. While some may think handing out pro advice could lead customers to tackle more projects themselves, the benefits far outweigh any risk.
For starters, DIY content helps position your brand as an authoritative industry resource. This nurtures trust and loyalty with both potential and existing customers, increasing the likelihood they’ll think of your services for larger projects they can’t handle alone.
Useful DIY content also promotes repeat traffic and engagement as customers reference your tips again and again – ensuring your emails stay top of mind.
Even if some customers do end up leveraging your pointers to self-service small jobs, you still win by providing value. Customers will remember your assistance, be more inclined to share your brand with friends and recognize you as the go-to expert if they get into any tricky situations.
Emailing regular DIY tips and construction knowledge is all about playing the long game through helpful education and relationship-building. Just focus the majority of content on projects still complex enough to justify hiring a professional.
3. Promote Seasonal Maintenance Services
With customers increasingly time-crunched, contractors would be wise to promote seasonal maintenance services in their email campaigns. Tie your offerings directly to the current season and risks homeowners face by letting issues linger.
For example, winter is primetime to recommend insulation upgrades that lower heating bills, gutter cleanings that prevent ice damming, or vinyl siding power washing to remove built-up mold and mildew.
Pull in local weather forecasts to reinforce seasonal urgency. With spring, you can shift focus to AC tune-ups, outdoor living upgrades before peak entertaining months, and safety inspections as summer storms approach.
The key is spelling out the exact risks and frustrations customers will face if they don’t take action based on spring, summer, fall, and winter pain points. Tie promotional offers and sales directly to ideal project timelines while weather permits.
This sense of urgency converts – with email subscribers more likely to take the next steps knowing a short project backlog awaits if they delay. Promoting the right service at the right time drives results.
4. Send Project Update Emails and Reminders
Ongoing project communication is vital for contractors to deliver exceptional service and spark future referrals. Don’t just leave customers hanging after selling your services – keep them looped in with timely project updates and reminders via email.
These personalized emails should recap key milestones completed, preview what’s on deck, and confirm upcoming appointments or next steps required by the customer. This transparency into project progression builds trust while heading off any potential confusion.
You can also embed quick video clips spotlighting recent progress to make communication even more visual and dynamic.
Beyond project updates, use reminder emails to prompt customers on outstanding items they need to address to keep projects moving briskly. These could range from decisions needing to be made around materials or design to payments coming due to paperwork required.
Whatever the case, friendly reminders demonstrate exceptional organization on your end while saving customers stress. The more you can quarterback the construction process with consistent communication, the stronger your contractor-customer relationship will become.
5. Segment Lists by Service and Project Type
Rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing, contractors should segment their subscriber list based on service offerings and project types. This allows you to deliver highly targeted, relevant messaging to different customer groups.
For instance, you may create segments for customers who have completed kitchen remodels versus bathroom remodels or exterior home projects. You can then send content specifically addressing concerns and considerations unique to each type of renovation.
Similarly, separate subscribers interested in landscaping, fencing, concrete work, and so on if your company covers various specialties.
Getting more precise with email segmentation empowers you to fine-tune messaging based on customer needs. This not only lowers the cost of email marketing overall but also results in higher open and click-through rates as you educate subscribers on ideal solutions for their particular projects.
Just be sure your email service provider makes list segmentation simple to put these targeted campaigns into action. The more tailored your outreach, the higher engagement and conversions will climb over mass blasting your entire list.
6. Cross-Sell Additional Maintenance Services
Savvy contractors constantly look for opportunities to cross-sell additional maintenance services that complement completed project work. Follow-up emails present the perfect channel to circle back with customers to promote these add-ons.
For example, after finishing a kitchen remodel, offer to return annually to re-caulk counters, touch up grout, adjust doors/drawers, and complete minor repairs. Or if completing an extensive landscaping project, remind homeowners to book you for regular garden bed care, pruning, and treatment to keep their outdoor oasis thriving long-term.
The key is tying recommended maintenance directly to investments customers have already made with your services. This prevents previous work from being compromised while locking in ongoing revenue streams.
Even minor tune-up services add up substantially over months and years – especially as you expand cross-selling outreach across your entire customer base.
Just be sure to lead recommendations with the customer benefit of preserving what they’ve invested in vs overtly selling more from you. A maintenance reminder email approach naturally drives higher customer lifetime value.
7. Automate Lead Nurturing Campaigns
Instead of taking a purely sales-driven approach to email, contractors should also nurture leads over time through automated campaigns. This builds awareness and trust with potential customers well before they engage you directly.
For example, design a simple 3-5 email sequence introducing yourself, spotlighting current specials, linking to portfolio projects, and promoting high-demand services. New contacts get automatically enrolled to receive this pre-sale nurturing content over a set timeframe such as 2 to 4 weeks.
This allows you to continually demonstrate expertise and provide value before the customer reaches out with a project.
Smart lead nurturing exponentially expands your marketing reach, establishing your brand with contacts you haven’t yet interacted with personally. Just ensure your email service provider makes creating automated sequences simple and tracks contacts graduating from specific streams into your main subscriber list.
As lead nurturing reporting reveals content resonating best, double down on those messages to accelerate conversions. Before you know it, your sales pipeline will overflow thanks to email marketing automation.
8. Email Testimonials and Case Studies
Positive word-of-mouth referrals are everything for service contractors like you. That’s why consistently featuring client testimonials and case studies in your email marketing is so effective.
Rather than just saying you offer 5-star service, let happy customers do the talking for you. Pull the most glowing praise from online reviews or written testimonials and embed these brief quotes in emails. You might also feature a high-res before and after photo from a recent project along with the client’s endorsement.
For particularly impressive projects, develop full case study emails showcasing the client scenario, solutions provided, and exceptional finished outcomes delivered by your team. These storytelling spotlights build even greater trust while allowing prospective customers to envision what their ideal result working with you might look like.
Just be sure to always get client permission before publicizing any private residential project examples via email. The more proof points of raving fans you can showcase, the faster new customers will flock your way.
9. Promote Warranty and Loyalty Programs
Contractors can further strengthen trust and retention with subscribers by promoting specialized warranty and loyalty programs via email. These value-added perks convince customers they’ll be taken care of should any issues arise down the road.
For example, you might offer 5-year or even lifetime structural warranties on certain renovation projects or installations. This provides peace of mind that major components are covered.
Similarly, create a loyalty program providing exclusive perks for repeat customers such as future project discounts, free maintenance appointments, customized payment plans, or VIP treatment.
Promote these special guarantees and membership plans prominently in your email marketing. Spotlight their benefits over competitors along with clear instructions for customers to redeem offers.
Dedicated warranty and loyalty emails act as powerful motivators convincing subscribers to continuously turn to you over one-off providers. Just be sure your operations can sustain these programs long-term without cutting into profits. The effort pays off handsomely through higher customer lifetime value.
10. Send Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Even once projects wrap up, contractors shouldn’t cease communication with customers. Emailing a short satisfaction survey provides critical feedback to improve service quality long term.
Keep the survey concise, asking customers to rate and provide commentary on elements like quality of work, timeliness of project completion, responsiveness of your team, pricing fairness, and overall satisfaction. Consider also asking if they’d recommend your services, along with an open field to voice any other praise/concerns.
Distributing easy-to-complete satisfaction surveys is all about continuous improvement for your contracting business. Pay close attention to any critiques around poor communication, messy worksites, or billing clarity to tighten up weak spots. Also, double down on service aspects earning rave reviews to become even more customer-centric.
Just demonstrate you’re taking feedback seriously by thanking customers for input and directly addressing concerns raised post-project. Closing the loop strengthens engagement while helping you provide a better overall service experience.
11. Announce Sales, Bundled Services, and Deals
Every contractor knows securing new business requires attracting customers with appealing offers. Given email’s track record for boosting conversions, subscribers represent the perfect audience for announcing time-limited sales, bundled service packages, and special deals.
When crafting promotional emails, provide irresistible but concise details around discounted pricing, project scope inclusions, and unique bonuses for acting fast. For example, you might bundle 5 core services together at 20% off standard rates or throw in free ad-ons like design consultations for signing contracts within 2 weeks.
Whatever the deal components, craft compelling copy urgently touting value and exclusivity to incentivize customers. Maintain these emails as a regular part of your contracting email strategy, with new limited-time promotions deployed every quarter to inspire action from idle subscribers and newcomers alike.
Just avoid conditioning customers to constantly expect discounted work – intermittent special deals prevent race-to-the-bottom pricing in the long while still providing the urgency needed to convert subscribers.
12. Create Referral and Rewards Programs
Referrals are the lifeblood of every service business, with studies showing referred customers deliver up to 25% higher lifetime value than non-referrals. That’s why contractors must motivate happy customers to spread the word through referral and rewards programs promoted via email.
These programs should make the referral process extremely simple for customers by providing pre-written email language or online forms to recommend your services. In return, offer increasing tiers of rewards based on the number of successful referrals provided within a set timeframe.
The image below shows an example of a referral program for PHI:
Rewards might include cash payouts, account credit for future work, gift cards, entries into prize giveaways, donations to charity, or some blend of incentives.
Promote your referral program prominently within emails – educating subscribers on the easy process to participate and highlighting the range of rewards in store at each tier.
Brainstorm creative but cost-effective prizes leveraging your contractor capabilities such as custom patio upgrades, landscape design services, or storage solutions. The urgency around limited-time rewards amplifies viral sharing potential.
Just make participation and reward redemption fast and seamless to maintain program momentum. With email subscribers personally vouching for your services, new business growth accelerates exponentially thanks to word-of-mouth social proof.
13. Track Campaign Analytics to Continuously Optimize
The hallmark of effective email marketing is continually testing and optimizing based on detailed analytics. Contractors shouldn’t just set campaigns and forget them, but closely monitor performance indicators to maximize results over time.
Be sure to track essential metrics like email open rates, click rates, email shares, link clicks, and most importantly, conversions per campaign sent. Review analytics both at an aggregate level and down to specific email message performance. Identify poorer performing messages to modify going forward and higher engagement emails worth revisiting.
You can also A/B test email content variations and subject lines to discover what resonates best with your audience for future sends. Work towards sending emails at the optimal day/time for higher open rates as well based on historical data. Essentially, let data guide your evolving email strategy month over month.
With regular review and testing, your messages and campaigns will only get sharper. Before you know it, every email sent will feel highly personalized to individual subscribers – driving exponential conversions and business growth.
Email marketing remains a proven driver of measurable growth for contracting businesses. By implementing these 13 tips – from offering exclusive discounts to optimizing through analytics – contractors can rapidly expand their subscriber base while squeezing more revenue from existing customers.
Just remember, quality interactions trump quantity emails. If you provide subscribers with truly valuable information and craft personalized messages, your efforts will yield game-changing results.
Approach email marketing as an ongoing conversation with customers, not a one-way broadcast channel. Do this, and you’ll quickly witness 5x growth as outreach converts into sales. Now get out there, start building those lists, and transform subscribers into your business’s biggest advocates.