A recent analysis of franchise marketing activities has indicated a shift in online job acquisition.
Over the past year, the percentage of jobs acquired online has risen by approximately 40%, which is GREAT! However, a deeper look brings something important to light – the majority of those jobs are new customers, which are more expensive to acquire. I think we may be failing to focus on more fruitful opportunities online – your database.
E-mailing Your Database
Here’s the thing – e-mail is one of the only marketing activities you can do that reach your past customers wherever they are. Upwards of 66% of emails are now being read on mobile devices, which go EVERYWHERE.
One franchise I’ve worked with just recently started e-mailing their database with monthly newsletters. With the first email in September, they had a back to school offer which brought in 3 jobs totaling over $500. Since Constant Contact costs around $30/mo, that’s a return of nearly 17:1. How would you like to book a job that only cost you $10 to get?
You’re probably saying, “Scott, I don’t have any customer’s e-mail addresses. How can I start getting them?”
The first and simplest answer is this: ASK. When you’re booking a job, when you’re leaving a job, or calling to follow up on a job, ask the customer for their email address. You’d be surprised how many of them will just give it to you.
To help ensure you get valid email addresses and to improve the likelihood of getting the email, give them a reason why you would like it.
– “I’d like to send you an email confirmation.”
– “I’d like to email you a receipt.”
– “I’d like to send you some tips about preparing for the cleaning appointment.”
You can use the great sign-up form tools in Constant Contact. They can connect with your Facebook page, or create a sign-up form for your website. Any entries into the form automatically go to your Constant Contact mailing lists.
If you want to collect e-mail addresses in Facebook, try offering something like a drawing for a free 3-room basic cleaning, or a year’s supply of spot removers. Whatever you choose to offer as an incentive, it needs to be valuable enough to entice them to hand over a REAL email address.
If you just say “Join our Mailing List”, you’re much more likely to get a “junk” e-mail (admit it, you have one yourself).
“I’m More ‘Analog'”
It’s okay if you’re not big into digital marketing. That’s why I’m here. If you’re not doing yet, start collecting customer email addresses NOW.
In the meantime, you should at least be mailing to your database of customers. Use programs like Fill My Schedule (one of the MANY great reasons to use onTrack), Postcard Guru, Signpost, or others. Make an offer they will want to use.
Another *hot tip* I’ve discovered with franchise owners is to mail your database with a short action window. For instance, today is October 5th. Mail out to your top 20% of customers with a great offer that’s only valid if they book on or before Halloween. When you add a deadline, you see increased reaction.
- Email your customers on a monthly basis with new offerings or a deal just for them. Segment your database and market to past services if you can.
- Add a “lead collection” form to your website and Facebook page. Offer something for free if they join.
- At very least, send a postcard to your customers that haven’t cleaned yet this year.