From contract construction managers to small business owners who specialize in luxury homes, builder marketing is a function that deserves special attention. While every industry is different, builders may find it easy to create email marketing campaigns that deliver more punch where it’s needed.
After all, their audience already fits into a very clear niche: people likely to have money (at least enough money to hire a builder), inclined to invest in highly personalized service, and wanting things done quickly, well, and at a value-driven price.
1. Build it and they will come
While the above mantra isn’t necessarily true for anything but baseball stadiums—and even then, there’s no guarantee—it is crucial to focus on building a database of customers before you draft a killer email template.
The first question to ask is: Who will receive these emails? Are they current or previous customers, referrals, or people who possibly fit into the niche market? Every builder should start with a maintained database of people who are separated into these various groups.
2. Give freely
The purpose of any email campaign is to build a customer base, generate more business or get money. However, readers tend to expect something from you. This might consist of some easy DIY home improvement tips, discounted services with referrals, or video tutorials on the basics of house flipping. Doing this doesn’t just create good karma; it enables the builder to foster a relationship with the clients.
3. Give just the right amount
Make sure that emails are sent at the right time and in the right amount. The average newsletter or outreach campaign can get by with just one a month. Anything more comes across as spam and will likely get ignored, deleted or even filtered toward the trash.
Besides, it takes time to come up with a great email campaign, especially for busy contractors. Focus on once a month, and send it at a time when people need a distraction or entertainment.
4. Make sure it’s readable
Your recipients might be checking their mail on anything from their iPhone or tablet to a PC or laptop. It’s critical that your messages are easy to read, links are visible and click through, no matter what the platform. Thinking this way is called responsive design, and it’s an essential part of any email marketing campaign.
Contract with a webmaster every six months or year to check the template for responsive design and update it accordingly. It’s well worth the effort for professionals who aren’t in the tech industry.
5. Keep plugging away at the database
Every time an email comes back as undeliverable, update it in your system. At the same time, continue to build the database. This means you need to make networking come full circle. Reach out to new prospective clients and provide motivation for them to hand over their email address.
Maybe you offer a discount on services for their contact information. Whatever you do, make sure their information is handled correctly and never shared or sold to anyone else.
While building an email campaign is important, don’t dismiss the potential for social media. A builder with an active Twitter account, blog, or Facebook site can reach a lot more people than with email alone. However, both social media and blogs require a lot of ongoing time and skills. As a builder, you are already swamped with work (one hopes).
Only take on as much as is feasible, depending on your schedule, skillset, and time. If it just seems like too much work, there are always professional email marketers that can take over and help you build an effective campaign.