One of the least used forms of marketing, despite its simplicity, is email marketing, in particular using email to follow up with your leads. The vast majority of our clients are very busy. After all, that is why they called us to get some help and free time. However many businesses only or call or email a lead back once or twice before giving up and writing it off as a bad lead. But think about your own life. How many half-finished projects do you have? In my case it always seems to be airline flights. Every time I start to book a flight I get about 10 minutes in, comparing different times and fares. Then I get a call from a client or employee—or a 4-year-old starts pulling on my sleeve—and I have to drop it. Often I will go more than a week before I get back to that project. I had wanted to book a flight and I am going to take that trip with someone. The big booking websites have figured this out. The last few times I had to bail out of booking a flight midway through, I started to get daily emails from Expedia with the flights on the days I had searched and their prices. I did not request this to happen, it was automatic, but sure enough about 5 days later I saw a price and time I liked and I booked it. I actually prefer Expedia now because I know if I don’t like what I see, they will send me daily updates. Really good cleaning services need to do the same thing.
Opportunities You Don't Have to Miss
Several companies I have worked with send as many as 26 emails to a client before they stop emailing them. These companies tell me anywhere from 30 – 60% of their sales come from emails number 4 or higher. This is a massive number. Anywhere from 1/3 to 2/3 of their sales come after 4 or more emails. Think of all the people you called or emailed once or twice. What if you could actually book 1/3 of them over time? That is the power of this form of marketing.
Fear of the Opt Out
Now some people are worried that the clients are going to opt out of the emails if you send them this many, and that is possible. But the truth is if they opt out it, is probably not because they are annoyed. Rather, your emails gave them the information they needed to eventually make a decision that they did not need a cleaning service. On the other hand, if a client called you or filled out a quote request form, they have requested information about your company. Emails are quick and easy to delete and not that annoying. Most people actually appreciate these little reminders. “Ugh, yeah I really need to do that”. Include details in the emails like when your next opening is, or letting them know about a discounted price. This is not going to annoy your potential client. It is going to make their life easier and save them time. And when they see a time or price they like, they are going to book. Now that is a lot of emails. Fortunately technology has made it very easy. There are many applications that can automate this process, including two which are popular in our industry, Click Funnels and Infusionsoft. Click Funnels is the easier of the two to get up and running quickly, but Infusionsoft has a lot more features.
So you have software, but what about the content for all those emails? It is really not that hard. We aim for 3 emails the first week, 2 emails the second week, then one email a week for 6 months. Those emails range from offering a link to book online, discount offers, emails letting them know we have specific openings. Mine always said the coming Monday. We normally have a spot open on Monday. If the lead calls on the rare Monday that we do not have open, we apologize and tell them that someone else already booked that spot. No need to get hung up on how to integrate it with your scheduling software. Your email content can include other useful information. Answer common questions about your employee screening or how you will get access to their home. Think of all the things that come up when you talk with someone over the phone and feed them those same answers, not in one email, but one small piece of information at a time until they finally decide, “OK, I get it. I will book.”
Join Me in Indy
Email marketing is just one of the subjects I'll cover in our upcoming event, Spring Growth 2017. It takes place April 8, 2017 in Indianapolis. For more information, click here.
Derek Christian is founder and owner of My Maid Service, Cincinnati’s largest, independent professional cleaning company. Prior to that, he spent twelve years at P&G working on household cleaning products. Derek is Co-publisher and Director of Business Development & Sales for Cleaning Business Today, and a partner in Cleaning Business Builders.