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3 Cardinal Rules of E-Mail Marketing

With summer winding down soon, it’s time to start thinking about inexpensive ways to market to your database. While you should definitely not dial back your marketing for new customers, it’s important to show your database some love.
Allow me to share my 3 Cardinal Rules of E-mail Marketing:
  1. Keep it SHORT – The less text, the better.
  2. SHOW, Don’t Tell – Use engaging images to catch and keep their attention. Show them what you’re going to do.
  3. Drive ACTION – Use buttons, links, and phone numbers to get them to act.
Here’s an example that I put together.
Scott's Labor Day Sale Example

Keep it SHORT

Subject Lines: Subject lines are your customer’s first look into the content of your e-mail. Give them a clear reason to open your e-mail. Keep it short and concise (ideally, 6 words or less) and enticing.
Content: I’ll talk more about this in the next section, but remember that the majority of people are far more stimulated by images than by text. Keep your content short and don’t combine too much into one e-mail. You’re probably only e-mailing your customers at most every 4-6 weeks, so you’ll feel tempted to cram as much information in there as you can. DON’T! Give them a maximum of 3 key pieces of information.

SHOW, Don’t Tell

With so many of your customers reading e-mails on mobile devices (probably in excess of 85%!), you’re probably best served to use pictures to deliver your message. There are TONS of resources available to you, like:
  • Pictures on the Gateway
  • Printing Vendors
  • Before/After pictures from the Facebook Group
With so many resources, it should be able to throw something together without a lot of effort.

Drive ACTION

Much like your website, I don’t really care about how many people read your e-mail. I want to know what action people took from your e-mail.
Here are a few things to do:
  1. Inject a tracking number in your e-mail. Since so many of your customers will read from a mobile device. They won’t go looking for your phone number. They’ll just touch the number in your e-mail to call.
  2. Link a picture to a specials page on your website.
  3. Create a “Book Now” button that links directly to a form-fill page on your website.
  4. At very least, offer a (shareable!) coupon code in your e-mail so you know exactly how many jobs or customers you got from it.

Big Takeaway:

E-mail marketing is incredibly cost effective and can make a HUGE difference in your profitability this fall, but you have to do it right.
  1. Be short. Get people the information they need quickly.
  2. Show them why they should call. Use images to tell the story.
  3. Get customers to take action by providing actionable things in your e-mail.
If you’d like help putting together an e-mail campaign for this fall, or just want to show me what you’ve done, click here to schedule a 30-minute coaching call with me. Otherwise, you can simply reply to this e-mail or call me directly at 435-890-1055.
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Constant Contact That’s Custom

Last week, I talked about how you should be focusing on marketing to your most valuable resource as a business owner – your database.

I’ve had several people approach me and ask for some help with creating a custom template with Constant Contact. Well, here it is.

It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3…

To break it down for you, it’s really very simple.

If you haven’t signed up for an account with them yet, click here.

After you log into Constant Contact you select that you’d like to send an email.

Then you pick a template. You can choose from pre-designed templates from HRI.

Or you can choose any of the HUNDREDS that Constant Contact has already put together.

Found one you like? Great. That’s step 1.

Step 2 – Making it Work

As a Chem-Dry owner, you need to make sure any communications you send out are brand compliant. To help with that, you need to have a copy of the Chem-Dry Official Rules & Guidelines booklet. It will have all the brand color HTML (RGB) and hex codes for your email text and backgrounds, which will be very useful.

Now, change up the font and color of the text to match the guidelines. I also recommend changing the color schemes of the template to match Chem-Dry green or blue. Whatever color background you choose, make sure that there’s enough contrast between it and the text color that it’s easy to read (i.e. light/white text on a colored background, or dark/black text on a light background).

Step 3 – Making it Yours

Now comes the fun part. Time to change up the content. Add text, photos, links to videos, coupons… Just a few rules:

– Keep it relevant.
– Keep it short.
– Keep it interesting.

Big Takeaway:

You need to be e-mailing your past customers. It’s cheap. It’s effective. It’s EASY.
  1. Make your own Constant Contact template. Watch the video to learn how.
  2. Send it out to your customers. They need to hear from you.
  3. Lather, Rinse, Repeat next month.
Take control of your marketing today and establish a better future for your business. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.
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Featuring Protectant in Advertisements

In my many coaching interactions with franchise owners, my biggest focus is to help them utilize advertising and marketing avenues to not only increase job count, but also to increase their profit margins. Too many of us get caught up in trying to use ads only to get more jobs, but why not use it to get BETTER jobs?
Here’s what I mean. Many in our franchise network do not offer Protectant. Can you imagine that there are actually some who don’t leverage this remarkable solution that refreshes the popular stain fighting power on carpets? It’s an opportunity lost. Imagine the possibilities.
Many of you have campaigns using Pay-Per-Click, Social Media, even postcards and emails that are focused on landing a job using your basic cleaning statistics and quotes. But what about talking about Protectant when someone may be looking for information about keeping stains out of their carpet? Here’s an example:

What I Would Do

If I were setting up a new campaign, I would come up with ads that feature my different services and offerings. Here are a few examples:

Pay-Per-Click

I would try and have a PPC ad campaign focused just on people who are looking for protecting their carpets. You can do the same thing you do for tile & stone, granite, and leather.*
Or make it more promotional like this one:

* please make sure your ads meet the Advertising Rules & Guidelines and include your Full Franchise Name instead of the generic ‘Chem-Dry’. 

Email

When you email a customer, a best practice is to give them something quick and easy to take action on, whether it’s calling you right away or watching a video. Why not show your customer the Protectant demo video?

Another option with email is using a feature from Constant Contact called “Offers“. You can make an irresistible offer to your customer (like HALF OFF Protectant) on a whole-house special. They purchase the offer, and they can even share the deal with friends. A great way to move your audience to action, and to get them to spread the word about your services.   – Be sure to feature a coupon that the customer should show you in order to get the discount and to include your standard disclaimers such as ‘Not valid with other offers. Must mention at time of scheduling. Expires XX/XX/XX.” 

Where Else Could You Sell Upgrades?

All of our other services like tile & stone, granite renewal, Protectant, healthy home (Clean, Sanitize & Protect), and so many others are examples of how we differentiate ourselves from our competitors. These are not only revenue generators, but they’re value propositions for your customers. When you explain that you can not only clean and sanitize their carpets, but you can protect them from further stains, you enhance the perceived value of your services in your customer’s eyes.
So, where else can you highlight your expanded services? How can you advertise not only to get more jobs, but to increase your profits? Make a list and get out the good word about Protectant and other upsells.
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Making Constant Contact YOUR E-Mail Service

In the past few weeks, I’ve had several franchise owners contact me asking for some pointers of how to make the templates available in Constant Contact work for THEM. Well, here’s my answer.
Constant Contact has done a great job making their templates easy to edit and customize to meet your needs. All you need is a brief tutorial and you’ll be a template-making maniac!
I’ve prepared this video to show you just how easy making an impressive email can be.
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E-Mail Dynamics

Have you ever been to a rock concert? Or even better, a live comedian (a GOOD one)? You’ll notice that any good performer always does something in their show – they customize their show to where they are. They acknowledge WHO they’re performing for!

A good comedian will always inject some local “joke” about a local politician or other public figure that the audience can easily relate to joking about. Did you know you can do a similar thing with your emails? And it’s EASY!

It’s something called “Dynamic Content”, or content that automatically personalizes the email from person to person. For instance, if I know I’m going to have a van out in one or more remote areas and they’re not fully booked, I can send out the same email to LOTS of people, address them by THEIR name, acknowledge where THEY live, and give THEM  a special deal if they book within the next 24 hours (just make sure your mailing list has their city listed along with their name).

Here’s how I’d do it in Constant Contact.

Step 1: Pick a template. I’ve picked a VERY basic one.

Dynamic Content Step 1

Step 2: Select the content block you’d like to work in.

Dynamic Content Step 2

Step 3: Select where you’d like to put the greeting. Then click over on the left menu where you see “Greeting”.

Dynamic Content Step 3

Step 4: Select what you’d like the greeting to be (including punctuation). In this case, I’ve elected to say “Hey, <First name>.”

Dynamic Content Step 4

It will look something like this:

Dynamic Content Step 5

And the finished product. This is a VERY simple example, obviously. However, it’s really not hard at all to create a personalized e-mail campaign that you can keep around for future mailings as well.

Dynamic Content Step 6

If you’d like to start some mailings like this, feel free to reach out to me, or call Constant Contact Customer Service by calling 1-866-289-2101. They’re SUPER helpful and can walk you through doing just about anything.

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Using Offers to Reconnect With Your Customers

Did you know that there’s a new service from Constant Contact called “Offers?” It’s a great way to reconnect with loyal and long-lost customers alike. Take a look at some of the features.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

When you use “Offers” in Constant Contact, you get to pick an offer to give out to past customers that will get you back in your customers’ homes.
It works a little bit like Groupon, but your profit margin is MUCH bigger. You pay a few dollars every time someone books a job with the Offer, but customers also have
It’s as easy as:
 
Coming Up With An Offer:
Make your customers an offer that will be difficult to refuse.File Oct 02, 11 25 52 AM
For example here, I’ve made an Offer to clean 3 rooms for $80, a $105 offer.
You can also add a social aspect to the offer. You allow people that buy your offer to share it with their friends – getting you NEW customers.
Insert a summary of the offer.
Add some “fine print” to make sure you don’t get taken advantage of.
When customers buy your offer, they pay you through PayPal. The funds are immediately transferred to your account. How nice would it be to get paid BEFORE you go do a job? 😉
Screenshot 2015-10-02 11.33.34
You pick your list of recipients, review your email, and send it out. Then watch your job book fill up.
Let’s get you some great jobs during your slow times. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to keep your technicians busy.
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Filling Your Schedule Using Personalized E-mail

It’s the end of September, so you may be experiencing a slight lull in your booking rate before the holidays start. Do you have technicians waiting for jobs?

Let’s see if we can fix that, shall we?

One great way to really connect to your customers is by taking a more personal approach. Here’s what I mean:

Instead of sending them an email full of graphics and specials from a Constant Contact template (not that they’re bad), what about a personal note? You’ll find this approach may be more effective, though it’s easy to overuse.

Here’s an example.

Hello, Joe!

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken last and I wanted to reach out.

I’ve been cleaning carpets in Logan for 15 years, and I know that this is the perfect time of year to get your carpets cleaned before the holiday rush. I’ve only got a few slots left, so I’d like to make you a special offer.

Because you’ve been such a great customer, if you’ll book a job with us within the next 48 hours, I’m slashing my prices.

Book a $100 job, get $25 off. Book a $200 job, get $50 off. Book a $300 job, get $100 off! I must be going crazy, but I want to make sure we connect with you this season.

Call my office at (435) 890-1055 to schedule your cleaning. We can’t wait to serve you!

– Scott Ostermiller2014_Badge_Logo_CMYK

Owner, Hometown Chem-Dry

See how easy it is?

Let’s get your schedules full!

– Scott