Let’s start with the basics. What is marketing automation? Marketing automation is the use of any software that automates your marketing actions. Think emails, social media posts, and other steps that you may take to communicate online. Automation helps you reach more people in less time, and helps you tailor your content to your customers, allowing for higher quality leads and a robust sales pipeline. Marketing automation exists to make your life easier, without compromising the authenticity of your content.
Sometimes when remodelers check out the latest marketing intelligence for their industry they can feel left out. That’s particularly true when the information marketing experts talk about gets into topics such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM). It can be easy to think that that kind of marketing sophistication is for “the big boys.” What if your remodeling business does less than $1M in sales a year? Isn’t CRM overkill? Do you really need it?
It’s one thing to find new homebuilding clients, but it’s another to keep them coming back to you time after time. Good service is obviously the best way to retain customers, but how do you keep your company top of mind with clients that only have work for you occasionally? You can’t keep contacting them to find out if they’re planning any renovations. Or can you? The good news is that there are a number of ways to manage your customer relationships, keep in touch and remind clients of your existence through email marketing—all without bothering them continuously!
Tip #1: Develop a Database
It’s impossible to nurture existing and prospective customers and manage relationships with them if you don’t know who they are. Develop a database using tools such as Microsoft Access or online software like the free ZohoCRM or low-cost community SugarCRM. Both of these programs enable you to record all your customer’s data, activities and purchases and segment them into groups based on identifying criteria. At a glance you can see (or pull reports) on which clients have spent the most money with you and when last they gave you work.
Example: If you recently painted their master bathroom but didn’t install new plumbing, it may be a good opportunity to pitch fitting a new bathtub with water jets.