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How Stories Make You Money

Kindra K, Marketing Coordinator

May 10, 2016 @ 9:14PM

Are you taking advantage of email marketing? If you you need ideas to get started or to up your current campaigns, this is for you! The secret is telling a compelling story...

Email is the most effective marketing tool you have in your arsenal. It reaches the largest audience, leads to more purchases than any other marketing method, and is the medium through which most customers would prefer to receive promotional content. However, if you don’t give your email campaigns enough attention, you may not get the best response from customers! So, how can you make your emails stand out?

Let’s think about it from the customer’s point of view. You probably receive emails all... the... $%^&... time! You probably take a quick glance at the subject line, sender, and the first few sentences before deciding whether or not it’s even worth your time to read. More than half of readers spend less than 2 seconds looking at an email. Two seconds?! That’s all the time an email recipient is going to give you to get your message across, so what do you do? How do you grab their attention and make them want to read more?

The answer is simple: tell a good story.

Storytelling is the basic foundation of communication and the backbone of word-of-mouth marketing. For your service business, that story can extend far beyond a personal tale. You can craft a narrative around how you care for your customer’s homes, through holidays, seasons, or even generations. You can share a unique experience shared with a customer. You can gather testimonials from happy customers and spread the word about the value of your services. No matter where you start, you can use stories demonstrate how your work solves problems and lives up to (and hopefully exceeds) expectations.

How to Get Started When you’re coming up with the story to tell your customers, you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. Who is the target audience – are you reaching out to all of your customers, or are you only reaching out to some, like new customers, or families?

  2. How do they like to communicate? What sort of tone should you be using? (ie. professional, humorous, etc.)

  3. What promotional offers will benefit them the most?

Once you’ve narrowed that down, you can select the type of story you want to tell! A good marketing email will do three things: Entertain, Educate, and Earn. Entertain your readers with a story or metaphor. Provide some type of content or education connected to the story. Finally, use your story to earn the trust and loyalty of your customers.

Timing is Everything You could have the most interesting message in the world, but if your customers don’t open your emails, it won’t make a difference. The pattern that you send your emails in (such as how many, how far apart, etc.) can have a huge impact on how well your message is received. Send too many emails, and you risk annoying your customers. Send too few, and your message can slip through the cracks.

This pattern depends on the type of email campaign you want to run. Here are some guidelines:

  • Repeat business:

     If you are trying to remind your customers about your company's services in time for them to book you again, the spacing between your emails depends on your industry. For example, carpet cleaning might be every three months, whereas maid services might be every other week. You just want to be sure to catch your customers early, before they might start searching for a service on their own!

  • Branding:

     If you just want to stay top of mind, try sending out a biweekly or monthlynewsletter, with updates about your company, community news, new hires, or other fun facts!

  • Reviews and Referrals:

     Campaigns based on your company's performance should be tied to jobs themselves. For example, you could send out one email the day after service is completed, asking for feedback on your customer's experience, one email three days after that with links to review sites if they were satisfied, and one email the following week offering a discount for referrals.

The time of day you send your emails is important too. Most messages land in inboxes in the morning, so those sent in the afternoon have a higher chance of being noticed, opened, and clicked. Additionally, emails relating to homes and finances are most likely to be opened between 3-5 pm, when your customers are starting to lose focus at work, and are thinking about their personal lives, so take advantage of that window!

Other Tips:

✔ Use attention-grabbing subject lines! For some tips on subject lines, check out this post.

✔ Set the stage. The first two sentences of an email are the most important, so you want to make sure your email is captivating write off the bat!

✔ Less is more. Keep your message clear and concise, and stick to ONE call-to-action per email. If you are the customer, do you really want to read through long paragraphs in order to get to the point? Keep it simple and short!

✔ Make it emotional. The key to positive attention via email is enticing content. Make your story is one that excites, empowers, or tugs on your customer’s heartstrings, and it’s sure to be unforgettable!

We know this is a lot of emails to keep track of,  which is why we're here to help! HouseCall Pro can help you automate your email campaigns to help you stay organized without sacrificing your free time. We can’t wait to hear what stories you have to tell!

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