For your construction company, email marketing can be an incredibly valuable and cost-effective way to reach your prospective customers and maintain loyalty among existing ones.
Just how effective, you ask?
Email has an ROI of $44 for every $1 spent, meaning email marketing has the highest ROI compared to just about every other digital marketing technique.
Additionally, one study found that email ROI is about 28.5%. That’s compared to just 7% for direct mail, which remains a popular marketing channel for building and construction companies.
So where to begin? The success of your company’s email marketing depends upon a number of factors and best practices. Here are some strategic considerations on how to create high-performing construction marketing emails from the ground up.
First Step: A Digital Primer for Construction Marketing
Before you get too far in planning your email campaigns, first ask yourself: is my business’s digital house in order? Start with these housekeeping tips to make sure you’ve got a good foundation for your emails:
-Your contact list. Who will you be sending emails to? You need an email list with your contacts organized and ideally, segmented. (Now is also a good time to start thinking about an automation tool -- more on that below.)
Generally speaking, it’s best to build and expand your list organically as opposed to purchasing a list. For tips on how to grow your email contacts, read How to Get People to Subscribe Your Email.
-Your website. Is your construction company’s website in shipshape? Without a website to drive people to from your emails, you may be jumping the gun on planning email campaigns.
Think about the following: does your construction website accurately reflect your business and its different services areas? Is it mobile-optimized? Does it contain a contact form that allows visitors to get in touch if they’re not ready for a phone call?
Your website doesn’t need to be fancy or award-winning, but it does need to meet these few baseline requirements. You don’t want to engage your readers in an email, only to have them click through to an underwhelming website where they’ll bounce. Be wary of these mistakes and avoid falling victim to the 9 Ways Your Website is Driving Visitors Away.
Now, with a workable list and a website, it’s time to think about the next step: building your construction company’s marketing emails.
Segment Your Construction Email Contacts
Different contacts require different messages — so think about how to segment your email list in order to structure your messages and achieve your goals. Here are some ideas for segmentation that will help you create compelling, targeted copy.
- Geography - Are you trying to grow your business among a particular region or state? Or appeal to a national audience?
- Purchase cycle - Do you have customers who need your services on a per-project basis? A seasonal basis? Or do you have high-touch prospects who want to hear from you frequently?
- Purchase history - What do you know about your customers’ past purchases? Leveraging this data can lead to powerful up-sell opportunities for complimentary services.
- Event attendance - Have your contacts attended industry events that could inform what types of future services they’ll need?
- Customers who refer - Got customer evangelists who have brought you business? Let them know they are appreciated with exclusive content, invites or special offers.
- Trade specialty - Are you aiming to build loyalty with electricians, architects, engineers and other industry partners?
Create a Personalized Email Message
After exploring your options for segmenting, now comes the big consideration: what to say in your emails? Again, this comes back to your goals. Are you trying to drum up new clients in a particular service area, like seasonal maintenance? Forge relationships with trade professionals or B2B industry partners? Position yourself as an industry thought leader?
Whatever your goals are for your specific audience, your message should feel personalized and like you’re speaking to your reader one-on-one. Try these copywriting tactics:
- Nail it with a subject line that is friendly and enticing
- Use your preview text to pay off the subject line
- Customize where possible using the recipient’s first name
- Choose words wisely! Try “I” versus “we”; use “you” versus referring to your readers in the third person
- Don’t be afraid to get conversational, even in your CTAs
- Avoid industry jargon (if you wouldn't say it face-to-face, don’t write it!)
- Include your name, contact details, and photo if appropriate
Encourage Further Engagement Via Social Channels
Are your social platforms set up? If so, be sure to include social icons in your emails so readers can easily visit and link to them. This can help you increase reader engagement, promote shareability, build followers and eventually, expand your contact list.
In the construction industry, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are a good start — but you may want to think beyond those as well. Given the highly visual nature of building projects, additional social channels like Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz, for example, could help expand your brand's reach. More advice on that here: Social Media Tips for Construction Companies.
Reinforce Your Brand In Your Construction Email Template
Your emails are a great touchpoint to reinforce your brand, so make sure they bring in design elements that are consistent across your website, social channels and other marketing materials. It’s a good idea to develop, document and adhere to consistent brand standards for the following elements:
- Logo usage
- Color palette
- Look and feel of photos and graphic
- Font style and size
- Brand message/ tone of voice
If it sounds overwhelming, rest assured — it’s not! You don’t need to hire a designer to create an email that’s attractive and on-brand. Free tools like Canva can help you compose simple design elements with little effort.
You also don’t need to create fancy, custom-designed templates. Simple text-based emails, like the example below from , do a nice job of incorporating a logo and a color palette consistent with the website's look and feel.
Pay Attention to Email Sender Name
Who will your email come from? Your company name? An individual? You can also get creative with a friendly or value-added corporate name that reinforces your brand promise, like the one below:
Keep in mind, your email sender name is not a detail to be taken lightly. Along with a catchy subject line, it is one of the most influential metrics for email open rates. One study shows that up to 68% of email recipients base their decision to open an email on the sender name.
Consider what makes the most sense for your recipients and above all, avoid sending emails from an “NOREPLY@” address. This instantly conveys that your communications are a one-way street -- and that you’re not interested in hearing from your prospects!
Identify the Action You Want Email Readers to Take
What’s the desired action you want your readers to take? It’s imperative that you map this out in advance, so you can craft a message that leads readers to the next logical step. Not all actions are direct-response actions such as “sign up now” or “call.” Instead, your desired action should be well-aligned with where your readers are in the buyer’s journey.
Here’s an example. Let’s say the goal of your email campaign is to create awareness for your brand and its custom homebuilding services. In the awareness stage, readers don’t yet know you and are not convinced of the value you provide. So an email that lists your services, followed up by a phone number, would not really be a good next step.
That audience, however, be interested in reading, sharing, and returning to a blog post on your website about “How to Prepare For a Custom Home Renovation.” So a more appropriate action may be to ask them to read the blog (and remind them to sign up for future blog updates)!
On the other hand, let’s say you’d like to email your existing customers to let them know about your custom-home maintenance services, post-construction. In this case, asking your already-happy customers to contact you for more information would be a great next step.
Determine Best Send Times for the Construction Industry
What is the optimal time to send your marketing email? Every business is unique, so the best way to establish this is to track, test and measure your open rates (along with and other metrics) over time.
You can also leverage aggregated data by industry. Consider these findings from this 2020 Constant Contact report that shows optimal send times across industry. According to the report, Home & Building Services see the highest email open rates at Wednesday, 8:00 p.m.
Automate Your Construction Marketing Emails
How will you send your emails? Most businesses do this through a marketing automation tool; a simple, cost-effective way to segment, schedule and send your emails in batches.
Not only that, but most automation tools provide access to built-in analytics and reporting that allow you to track metrics like open rates, bounce rates and click-throughs.
Many factors, such as price, ease of use, integration with other tools, etc., will go into your decision on which email platform to use. Some popular choices include the following:
Does a Digital Marketing Agency Make Sense for Your Construction Company?
With these tips, we hope you feel empowered to tackle your construction marketing plans with gusto! Not sure you want to go it alone? We’re always here to help you along with more great marketing advice.
Be sure to sign up for our blog today, or visit our Resources page for more valuable marketing tips for your construction company.