As a carpet cleaning service provider, email marketing might not be a priority in your mind, but it is important to understand that it has the highest ROI of all digital marketing mediums. With an average ROI of 42:1 (that’s 4200%), there is no reason why your carpet cleaning business shouldn’t invest time in this marketing strategy.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of outbound email marketing, what kind of results you should expect as a carpet cleaning business owner, and the steps you need to take to set up your first email marketing campaign.
First, let’s start with a simple question…
How do carpet cleaning service providers get clients?
Carpet cleaning service providers primarily use two methods to get clients, inbound and outbound marketing. Inbound marketing refers to advertising and content marketing, anything that gets customers coming to you. Outbound marketing is any method of proactively reaching out to prospects, such as email marketing and cold calling.
Inbound marketing has its place, but it can be time-consuming and expensive. In comparison, outbound marketing is less sexy, but the return on investment can be huge.
Why email marketing?
Email marketing is a perfect way to reach out to your customers as it is less invasive than phone calls or text messages, it’s easy to set up and profitable.
What results does email marketing produce?
On average, we see a 2% conversion rate (closed jobs) for email marketing campaigns we run for other carpet cleaning service providers. For best results, we recommend a mailing list of at least 100 contacts.
Here’s what that looks like in the real world: Let’s say your primary lead source is a contact form on your website, and you receive around 50 submissions a month. In just two short months, you have built a sustainable mailing list. Most email marketing providers are free for the first 1000 monthly emails/contacts. So, to get started, you’re just looking at a time investment, a few hours at most.
Where do you start?
How to get started with email marketing
Before you can start sending emails, you need to build a mailing list. For those who want to DIY it, we recommend using MailChimp for its easy-to-use interface, and at the time of writing this article, they have a free plan that allows you to send 10,000 emails/month.
If you are looking for a more sophisticated lead nurture automation that combines everything from emails to text messages, voicemail, and live outreach reminders etc. then we suggest you check out our preferred tool, Carpet Cleaner Lead Pro
Start by building your email list
Most carpet cleaning service providers do not have an active emailing list. This makes sense given that email marketing is an underutilized channel in the industry. Fortunately capturing emails is easy, but it can take time.
Let’s review the two primary methods of capturing new contacts:
Any contacts you capture yourself are considered a first-party contact. These are the best leads as they have established buyer intent by providing their contact information, they are familiar with your business, and they are exclusive to you.
The best way to obtain these leads is by utilizing the tools at your disposal — your website.
Whether you go with a service like MailChimp or a full lead automation solution, this step is pretty easy. Simply create a contact form on the platform and embed it on your website. The contact form will function as any other contact form would, but it will automatically add contacts to your new lead mailing list at the same time.
While we recommend against blatant “cold outreach”, the fact is you can use data aggregators to quickly build a mailing list. This option expedites the process, but you’re purchasing leads that others in your industry have likely tapped into as well. Also, since these contacts are cold, they’re completely unaware of your business so you can expect conversion rates to be a lot lower.
For residential leads, we have found success with services like Leads Please. Simply target new homeowners and define our relevant demographics, and typically for under $100 we can have a new list of 250+ qualified contacts, which is more than enough to get started on a new email campaign!
For commercial leads, we recommend Coldlytics. They have extremely targeted lists, fast turnaround times, and they even verify email addresses before delivery.
Create your email template
When it comes to email marketing in the carpet cleaning industry, it’s important to create an email template that reflects your brand’s logo, your Compelling Sales Proposition (i.e. slogan), and color scheme. Keeping it clean and simple is the key to success.
Your email template should consist of a header, body, and footer. The header and footer can remain the same for all your emails, while the body can be customized for each campaign you run. This way, you can save time and focus on the content of your message.
Personalize your emails using separate campaigns
For carpet cleaning service providers, it’s recommended to have at minimum, two separate email campaigns: one for leads/prospects and one for past customers.
Personalization is the key to effective email marketing. However, it can be difficult to personalize an email without knowing the recipient’s first name. To solve this, you can segment your contacts into categories and tailor your message according to their interests.
By segmenting your contacts, you can send targeted emails that will encourage opens and clicks. This will increase your chances of converting leads into customers and retaining your existing ones.
Bucket #1: Leads and prospects
This one is obvious, simply create a campaign that triggers each month with information on the uniqueness of your company, highlights of recent projects along with a promotion or incentive. Tailor your promotions to the season or current events, for example, you could offer a bundle and save discount on carpet and upholstery cleaning services during the spring cleaning season. Other examples include:
- Introductory offers for specific services
- Free in-home soil and wear assessment and quotation
- Pet stain and odor consultation
Bucket #2: Past customers
Your past customers are your most valuable resource. These contacts have already experienced the quality of your work and are more likely to hire you again. A personalized email campaign targeting past customers is a great way to stay top-of-mind.
We recommend sending a personalized thank you email immediately after the job is complete. This email should contain a request for feedback in a survey along with a link to review your business on Google etc. The next day, follow up with another email asking the customer to refer you to friends and family. This sequence can be automated so you don’t have to worry about manually sending emails.
Other reasons to email include:
- Happy Birthday emails are a great way to stay in touch
- New service offerings — customers love being “in the know”
- Project stories from other recent customers
- Care tips for around the home
- Complementary service offerings, such as a free XYZ with any project over $XXX dollars
- Free spotting touch-up at 3 or 6 month
How to Ensure Your Carpet Cleaning Emails Don’t Land in the SPAM Folder
Email warmup is a crucial step in avoiding the dreaded SPAM folder when sending marketing emails to your carpet cleaning leads and customers. To achieve this, it’s recommended that you send your emails slowly at first to ensure they reach the recipient’s inbox and not their SPAM folder. There are several factors that contribute to inbox placement, including:
- the age of your domain name,
- the frequency of your emails,
- and the quality of your mailing list.
If you’ve recently purchased a domain name, you may have trouble reaching inboxes at scale for the first 6-12 months. Most email providers, such as Gmail and Outlook, use domain age as a weighted factor when determining which emails are automatically marked as SPAM. Additionally, how often you send emails will determine how likely your emails will land in a junk mail folder. It’s recommended that you send no more than once a week, but at least once a month, especially in the beginning. Consistency is key!
Another factor that can contribute to your emails being marked as SPAM is the quality of your mailing list. You may have been provided a fake email or the address could have been mistyped. Sending to bad email addresses can result in the blacklisting of your domain.
To mitigate this, you can upload your email list to a service like NeverBounce. These types of services check to confirm which emails are valid and which are unreachable.
Send at the right time for best results
When it comes to the best time of day or the best day of the week to send emails for optimal engagement, there are several schools of thought. For carpet cleaning service providers, it’s best to avoid sending emails on busy days such as Monday mornings or Friday afternoons. For best results, send mid-week on Wednesday or Thursday first thing in the morning.
By following these best practices for email warm up, you can ensure your carpet cleaning emails reach your leads and customers’ inboxes and avoid being marked as SPAM.
Track your results
Once you’ve sent your first email campaigns, it’s important to track your results. Most mailing and list management tools have built-in analytics that provides valuable insights into your email campaign’s performance. Use this data to refine your campaigns and improve your results.
You measure the success of your email marketing efforts using the following metrics:
- Delivery rates are a measure the quality of your domain (see How to avoid the dreaded SPAM folder above).
- Bounce rates can be used to determine the quality of your mailing list.
- Unsubscribe rates can be used to determine if you’re sending emails too often.
- Open rates are a measure of your subject line. More opens = a captivating subject line.
- Click-through rates are used to determine the effectiveness of your email content.
- Conversions to determine the overall effectiveness of your campaigns or emails. This is typically measured in calls, email replies, and booked estimates.
Email marketing is a powerful tool for carpet cleaning service providers. It’s easy to set up, cost-effective, and has a high ROI. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can build a sustainable email list that generates new business each month. Remember to personalize your emails and track your results to refine your campaigns over time. With a little effort, you can take advantage of this underutilized marketing channel and grow your carpet cleaning business.
About the Author: As a business owner in the carpet cleaning and cleaning service industry for over 30 years as well as a marketing consultant and author, with well-over a decade of lead generation experience managing a results-driven marketing agency for Professional Carpet Cleaning and Residential Cleaning Companies, John Clendenning is wildly known as a leading Marketing Expert within the Professional Cleaning Industry.
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