Start Your Own Successful Email Newsletter
As a Specialist Sub-Contractor here’s the number one way you can grow your business, no matter what are of construction or engineering you work in.
Build the biggest list (database of prospects and clients) that you can and direct market to that list frequently.
By direct marketing rather than hoping that Contractors and clients pick your business and return to it, you give yourself a greater degree of control over the revenue that your business can generate.
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Need a revenue boost?
Then put an attractive offer together full of buying triggers and send it to your list.
So long as the offer is right; offered at the right price; and your product or service fixes real problems that your prospects have, you will generate enquiries and ultimately revenue.
There are dozens of ways you can follow up most prospects. You can use direct mail or perhaps telesales. But the easiest and most cost effective method of follow-up is to use e-mail marketing.
This also tends to be the one that scares Specialist Sub-Contractors the most! There’s a perception that e-mail marketing is hard to implement and technically challenging.
Absolute nonsense. These days it’s simple to set up and the simpler you keep it often the easier it is to cut through.
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We also recommend to our Specialist Sub-Contractor clients that they start an e-mail newsletter for their business. At the bare minimum it should be sent monthly; although often weekly or fortnightly is better. The frequency tends to be set by the kind of marketplace you operate in.
Your e-mail newsletter has a number of purposes. Its most important is to generate enquiries, but it is also there to maintain your list for you.
If you don’t keep in touch with people on your list on a regular basis, they will forget who you are. And that will push response rates down and unsubscribe rates up when you do send an e-mail.
E-mail newsletters are also very good for establishing reputation, building customer loyalty, creating a sense of community and educating your audience about the services and products that you sell.
There are three main considerations when sending newsletters.
1 The Challenge Of Getting An Email Delivered, Opened And Read
This morning I did what I always do first thing: I opened my e-mail, scanned the list, and immediately deleted a number of e-mails without evening opening them.
I judged the content of each e-mail and its likely relevance to me on the basis of the person or the business that sent it, and the contents of the subject line.
This is what you are up against. The factors that make e-mail such an attractive way to communicate – it’s virtually free, it’s easy and it can be automated – are exactly the reasons why e-mail marketing is becoming less and less effective.
Even with sophisticated spam filters, we all suffer from too much e-mail. And we’ve learnt to spot marketing e-mails and delete those we don’t want without even reading them.
Getting into an inbox is one thing. Getting the email opened is another.
You have two areas in which to persuade people to open the e-mail: the box that says who it’s from and the subject line. People like familiarity and they like to be e-mailed by humans not businesses. You may be more likely to open an email from ‘Richard Branson’ than you would ‘Virgin Trains’.
The subject line is the where the real magic is done. You have up to 70 characters to write something so compelling that they can’t do anything but open your e-mail.
Your e-mail subject line would typically be the headline of your email and preferably, should feature a benefit of buying from your particular business.
Remember that people are more motivated by the fear of loss of money than they are by the opportunity to gain something. “7 mistakes that are costing you money” will usually get more opens than “7 ways to save money”.
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2 Getting the Content Right
The best kind of e-mail content is when you give something away. Typically this would be your knowledge or advice.
Never worry that if you give that away there will be nothing left for people to buy from you. The more you give away, the more people perceive that you have lots left to give.
Compelling e-mail content is relevant to the person reading it. It must relate to their life or their business problems in some way.
There are literally hundreds of different things you could put into your email newsletters.
Here are some ideas:
· Articles giving advice or tips
· Information about the products or services you sell
· Case studies and stories about how clients have used them
· Problem solving and the benefits of specifying your product or service
· Company news
· Industry news
· Questions and answers
· Interviews with experts
· Your opinion on matters that affect your market place
Again we find that many Specialist Sub-Contractors struggle to put together
compelling marketing content.
Dont worry, we specialise in sales and marketing for sopecialist Sub-Contractors
Finally, there are 10 success factors that you should use in your email newsletter:
1. One Newsletter One Thought
Many businesses fill their newsletter with lots and lots of content. It’s normally more effective to put one piece of content in a newsletter and send it more frequently.
This also helps you get round the problem of “What am I going to put in the newsletter?”
You’ll need to get feedback from your clients, but you will often find that they are more likely to read and respond to a single page of content anyway.
2. Build An Ideas Bank
Sitting on a train and thinking about a subject that relates to your market? Then write it down. Get in the habit of building up a bank of ideas. Keep clippings from newspapers and magazines and bookmark interesting web subjects you can write about.
3. Develop A Writing Schedule
You will find yourself a much more effective writer if you get into the habit of doing it on a regular basis. Set aside the same time each week to write your newsletter.
This is why weekly newsletters are more likely to happen than monthly ones; because you have made a weekly commitment to your list to send them something, and it’s easier to allocate the same time each week to do it.
4. Give Your Newsletter A Personality
Bland corporate newsletters don’t usually work, even if you are speaking to a bland corporate audience. People buy from people. So allow your newsletter to have some personality. The easiest and most authentic personality to give it is yours.
5. Use Guest Writers To Keep It Fresh
Or, guest interviewees, maybe. Your email newsletter can have your name on it but it does not have to be written by you all the time.
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6. Write What You Know
The best email content comes from what you know and are comfortable writing about. This is not the arena to push your knowledge. Stick to what you do best and explore the many different facets of it.
7. Don’t Be Afraid You Are Giving Too Much Away
As I said earlier, the more you offer, the more your prospects will want. The Law of Reciprocity states that. Often it’s useful to tell people what they can do but not tell them how to do it.
8. Tell Readers What You Want Them To Do
This goes back to the purpose of your email newsletter. Decide what you want readers to do and tell them how to do it. Want them to order a product or make an enquiry at the end of your newsletter? Don’t be shy about saying this, and telling them exactly how to do it. People aren’t stupid. They know deep down that your newsletter isn’t there just to enrich their lives, but to contribute to enriching your pockets. Never be afraid to put a ‘sell’ into your newsletter.
9. Test and Measure
The main email marketing providers will tell you how many people have opened your email and clicked through. The figures are never precise because of a number of factors (for example if they open the email in the preview pane of Outlook it’s difficult to know) but you will get an idea about which of your emails are more popular than others. Over time this will give you valuable free feedback on the kinds of subjects your list of recipients is really interested in.
10. Re-use Content
Why not reduce the content that the email newsletter contains and then get your readers to click through to your website to read the rest.
Apart from keeping the email to the point and allowing you to top-line the subjects people are clicking through to read, you also get the benefit of lots of extra web content. This is good for search engine optimization (SEO). You can also re-use email newsletter content in special reports or information packs to give to clients. And give your articles to bloggers and forums to republish in return for links to your website.
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Our marketing ideas and expertise work for groundworkers, brickwork contractors, electrical contractors, fencing contractors, heating and ventilating contractors, joinery contractors, landscape contractors, labour only sub-contractors, mechanical contractors, pipe fitters, plasterering and boarding contractors, roofing contractors, shopfitters, sprinkler companies, tiling contractors...
You can rely on us to provide practical and cost effective marketing for all Specialist Sub-Contractors.
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