Pest Control Email Marketing 101
Email marketing has been around since the dawn of time. Okay, not exactly. But it is definitely one of the most tried and true forms of digital marketing.
Across all industries, marketers can use email as a means of lead generation, nurturing new leads, converting them into customers, and driving ongoing engagement and evangelism with their customer base.
That said, it isn’t as easy as clicking send to your entire database and then watching the business pour in. There are many pitfalls along the path to successful email campaigns, and this guide will help you get started.
Email service providers
The first question you need to ask yourself is, how am I going to send my emails? Using your default email service (gmail, outlook, etc.) is not going to be the right tool for large scale email marketing campaigns.
To facilitate the volume you will need to be successful, you need an email service provider that specializes in email marketing. These platforms have all the tools you need to send, track, and report on email campaigns.
In addition to these basic functions, many of these providers have also integrated AB testing features into their solution as well, giving you the opportunity to consistently improve and optimize your campaigns.
One of the nice features within ConstantContact is that it comes with more than 100 prebaked templates that you can use out-of-the-box. You can also take these templates and customize them to your brand and specific use case, but this allows you to get started quickly and efficiently.
While they do have some basic AB testing functionality, it is limited to just testing subject lines.
Price: They provide two different price points, $20 and $45 per month, differentiated primarily based on the number of contacts you want to store.
There aren’t many differentiating features of the iContact solution, but their customer service has been noted as standing out from competitors. Unlike many of the other options out there, your subscription comes with a strategic partner who will help you launch and optimize your campaigns.
iContact has the ability to AB test subject lines as well as the body of the email. This helps to optimize your campaigns for a number of different success metrics.
Price: There are 3 different base price points starting at $15/month and going up to $45/month depending on the number of contacts you have. If you want the full functionality of the platform, including landing page hosting, then the price point increases to $30 - $90/month.
In addition to being one of the leading email providers for years, MailChimp also differentiates itself in the thought leadership they give the market. If you are looking for insights into email marketing, then definitely subscribe to the MailChimp blog
The platform comes with more sophisticated nurture tracks, multivariate testing, and advanced segmentation than some of the other solutions.
Price: The price can vary dramatically depending on your needs. Starting at $14.99/month, the standard plan will provide most basic email marketers with everything they need to be successful. The premium plan started at $299/month and is the plan you would want to use if you are looking to do in-depth testing and segmentation.
This is another of the full-suite email marketing solutions on the market. Depending on the plan you select, ActiveCampaign has the features you need to launch full, sophisticated email marketing campaigns.
An added bonus of working with ActiveCampaign is that it comes with 500+ marketing automation recipes to get you started.
Price: Ranging from $9/month up to $229/month there is a plan for most companies here. It just depends on the features you need and the number of contacts you are looking to store.
These are several of the dozens of solid options available in the market today. One of the things that many of these platforms are missing is a direct, seamless integration into a CRM. This is why all Briostack customers get access to email marketing capabilities directly in our pest control software.
Email marketing success metrics
In order to launch effective email marketing campaigns requires you to define success metrics at the start. So what are some of the email marketing metrics that you need to be aware of?
This is the rate of recipients that actually receive your email in their inbox. Between the time you hit send and the email enters the inbox there are a number of problems that can occur.
Goal: >95% deliverability rate. If your deliverability ever drops below 90%, then you have a problem. A dropping deliverability rate indicates that an audit of your database is needed.
How to improve: Most ESPs will break down undelivered messages into a couple of primary categories: hard bounces and soft bounces.
Soft bounces are temporary bounces indicating that the recipient's inbox was full or there was an issue with their server that prevented them from receiving your message.
Hard bounces are more problematic and indicate that either the email address is invalid or the recipient’s email server has permanently blocked you from sending them messages.
The latter cause is more common with commercial accounts, as they will have specific security settings on their servers that may prevent your messages.
Audit your database for problematic emails to improve the overall health of your sends. This will also potentially reduce the amount you have to spend on your ESP subscription.
This is the rate of recipients who click to open your message in their inbox.
Goal: Across most industries, a healthy open rate is between 15-20%. An open rate in this range indicates that the message you are sending is resonating with the segment you sent it to.
How to improve: The factor that most directly impacts your open rate is the subject line. If you have a poor open rate, it likely indicates that your subject line is not resonating.
This article breaks down some fantastic recommendations for improving your subject lines including writing subject lines that promote urgency, curiosity, and timeliness.
This is the rate of recipients who click any link you included in the body of your email. It is important to note that this rate is different from the click-to-open rate, which is the rate of those who opened your email that clicked.
Goal: 2.5%. In many cases, the success of an email marketing campaign is contingent on the recipients clicking a link.
Are you trying to get new leads to schedule their first service with you? That requires a click. Are you trying to get your existing customers to fill out your NPS survey? That requires a click. You get the picture.
How to improve: Similar to open rates being focused on the subject line, improving click rates requires you to look at the body of your email.
Are you using a clean, concise design that helps to highlight your calls to action effectively? Are your calls to action relevant and compelling?
AB testing functionality will really help when trying to improve click rates.
This is the rate of recipients who click that unsubscribe button at the bottom of your email (which you are legally required to include in your emails).
Goal: This rate represents the segment of your audience that wants you to stop talking to them, so you want to ensure that it stays as low as possible.
How to improve: There are many different factors that can lead to your audience unsubscribing. Make sure you are sending highly relevant messages to the right audiences.
Cadence and frequency is also an important factor in maintaining your standing with your audience. Make sure they are expecting to hear from you and that you don’t overstay your welcome.
Personalize, personalize, personalize
One of the most important factors of successful email marketing campaigns is personalization. Something as simple as using a recipient's first name in the subject line of an email can dramatically improve open rates.
There is a fine line between effectively using personalization and being creepy. You have a lot of information about your customers, and not all of it is going to be appropriate to use in email personalization.
Personalize recipient’s name, address (if being used to verify service location), as well as information about upcoming services (problem pests, established cost of the service, etc.)
Pest Control Email Marketing Templates
Now you know how to define the success of your campaign, but what emails should you be sending? When should you be sending them?
We have put together 10 pest control email marketing templates for you to use to get started with your campaigns.
- Free Quote Request Auto Response Email: Send this email immediately following a request for a quote from your website
- Free Quote Request Follow-up (customer hasn’t scheduled yet): Send this email a week after the original quote if the customer has not yet scheduled their initial service
- Appointment Confirmation Email: Send this email anywhere from 3 - 7 days before a scheduled appointment
- Post-service Feedback Request: Send this email immediately following all completed jobs
- Billing/Invoice Email: Send this email once an invoice for a completed job is available
- Billing Invoice Reminder Email: Send this email a week before an invoice is due as a reminder of the upcoming due date
- NPS Survey Email: Send this email to established customers to request that they complete your NPS survey
- NPS Survey Follow-up - Promoters (9-10): Send this email as a response to all customers who completed your NPS survey with a score of 9 or 10
- NPS Survey Follow-up - Neutral (7-8): Send this email as a response to all customers who completed your NPS survey with a score of 7-8
- NPS Survey Follow-up - Detractors (<=6): Send this email as a response to all customers who completed your NPS survey with a score of <=6
You can fill out the form below to get instant access to these 10 email templates.
There is a huge amount of potential business waiting to be earned by companies who effectively use email marketing. These tips will help you get started, but there is always more improvement to be found.