Pest Control Email Marketing 101

Email marketing has been around since the dawn of time. Okay, not exactly. But it is one of the earliest forms of digital marketing, and because of this, it often gets undervalued by marketers. In their haste to chase “what’s new” in marketing, they forget that email marketing is one of the most powerful tools for engaging customers, boosting retention, and growing a company’s bottom line.

Effective and regular email marketing keeps your business connected to its customers. This is critical when you consider that research shows the most common reason for losing customers is a lack of contact and relationship building. In fact, this accounts for 67% of customer attrition.

We all know customer retention is important, but did you know that just a 2% increase in retention can affect profits as much as cutting costs by 10%?

That said, it isn’t as easy as clicking send to your entire customer base and then watching the business pour in. There are many pitfalls along the path to successful email campaigns. This guide will outline key steps to creating highly successful email marketing for your pest control business.

Selecting an Email Service Provider

The first question you need to ask yourself is, how will I send my emails? Using your default email service (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) won't be the right tool for large-scale email marketing campaigns.

To facilitate the volume of emails you’ll need to send to be successful, you need a service provider that specializes in email marketing. An email platform gives you the ability to manage customer lists, build email campaigns, schedule send times, track email performance data, and more.

While dozens of email providers are available today, many platforms lack direct and seamless integration into a CRM. This is a critical distinction because by integrating your business management software with your email marketing, you save hours of work every week through automation.

When a new customer is entered into your CRM, they are synced directly into your email audience. This automation keeps your contact lists consistently updated and eliminates manual work for your team. You can also create automated emails to keep customers engaged at crucial stages, like failed billing notices, cancellation follow-ups, appointment reminders, and more.

Even better, look for a pest control CRM that includes email marketing functionality, like Briostack. This all-in-one solution means you get business management and email tools in one solution, avoiding the need for data integration between two different platforms.

Email Marketing Success Metrics

To launch an effective email marketing campaign, you need to know your goal and which metrics to track to see how close you are to achieving it. Here are the email marketing metrics you should follow.

Deliverability rate:

This is the percentage of recipients that actually received your email in their inboxes. Several problems can occur between clicking send and the email hitting your customer's inbox.

Goal: >95% deliverability rate. If your deliverability drops below 90%, you have a problem. A dropping deliverability rate indicates that an audit of your database is needed.

How to improve: Email marketing tools classify undelivered messages as either hard bounces or soft bounces.

Soft bounces are temporary bounces that indicate the recipient's inbox was full or an issue with their server prevented them from receiving your message.

Hard bounces are more problematic and mean 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 email services include many security features to block marketing spam and unwanted emails.

Open Rate:

This is the percentage of recipients included in your email blast who clicked to open the email.

Goal: A healthy open rate is between 15 and 20% across most industries. An open rate in this range indicates that your message resonates with your target audience.

How to improve: Your subject lines most directly impact open rates. If you have a poor open rate, then a vague, over-salesy, or non-engaging subject line is likely the cause.

The strongest subject lines share common attributes. They promote urgency, generate curiosity, and are about a timely and relevant topic. Whether you write your own emails or partner with a marketing agency, make sure your subject lines include these factors.

Click Rate:

This is the percentage of recipients who clicked a link in your email. Click rate is calculated based on the total number of people who received the email, regardless of whether they opened it. It’s important to note that this is different than the click-to-open rate, which uses only the number of recipients who actually opened the email to calculate its percentage.

Goal: 2.5% click rate. In most cases, the success of an email 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: Every part of your email’s body should work toward making your call to action —the step you want your customer to take after reading the email— as compelling as possible.

Your email should have a clean and concise design layout that draws the reader’s attention to the call-to-action link or button. The call to action should be relevant to your email’s audience. The email content should clearly explain the value the recipient will see by clicking on the included link.

Additionally, A/B testing your emails is a great way to learn what content topics and email marketing strategies resonate with your audience, so you can improve overall click rates.

Unsubscribe Rate:

This is the percentage of recipients who clicked the unsubscribe button on your email (which you are legally required to include).

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: The most important factor in avoiding sky-high unsubscribe rates is ensuring your email content is relevant to your audience. The last thing you want is for a customer to read your email and ask, “Why did I get this?” If you send pest control emails to five hundred renters who expect their landlords to handle pest management, you'll see your unsubscribe rate balloon out of control.

Next, make sure every email provides value to the reader. If your audience knows your emails offer helpful information and relevant updates, they won’t mind seeing them in their inbox. But if every time you reach out, you knock them over the head with sales pitches, they will opt-out of future communication.

Lastly, finding the right cadence and frequency is vital to maintaining a connection with your audience. Make sure they are expecting to hear from you but that you don’t overstay your welcome.

Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

An essential characteristic of a successful email marketing campaign is personalization. Something as simple as using the recipient's first name in the subject line can dramatically improve open rates.

However, there is a fine line between effectively using personalization and being creepy. You have a lot of information about your customers. Not all of it is appropriate to use to personalize your emails.

Good personalization includes using the recipient’s name, their address (if this is needed to verify service location), and information about their scheduled services.

Pest Control Email Marketing Templates

Now that you know how to define the success of your campaign, it’s time to determine what emails you should send and when you should send them.

We’ve put together 10 pest control email marketing templates for you to use to get started with your campaigns. Each template includes a prewritten email that follows marketing best practices and a suggestion of when to send it to your customers.

  1. Free Quote Request Auto Response Email: Send this email immediately following a request for a quote from your website.
  2. 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.
  3. Appointment Confirmation Email: Send this email anywhere from 3 - 7 days before a scheduled appointment.
  4. Post-Service Feedback Request: Send this email immediately following all completed jobs.
  5. Billing/Invoice Email: Send this email once an invoice for a completed job is available.
  6. Billing Invoice Reminder Email: Send this email a week before an invoice is due as a reminder of the upcoming due date.
  7. NPS Survey Email: Send this email to established customers to request that they complete your NPS survey.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Click here to get instant access to the email templates in Briostack's Playbooks and start putting them to work engaging your customers.

Conclusion

There is a massive amount of potential business waiting to be earned by companies who effectively use email marketing. These tips will help you get started, but there’s always room for improvement.

Creating and writing email marketing content is often a pain point for pest control operators. Even with marketing and email templates, generating content (not to mention segmenting your customer base) can be time-consuming and intimidating for pest control businesses without marketing expertise or dedicated resources. Relying on a marketing agency can also be daunting because they may not be as familiar with the industry’s nuances.

That’s what sets Briostack’s Playbooks apart. This automated service takes the guesswork out of email marketing. Leveraging nearly 20 years of experience in pest control marketing, the Briostack team has created pre-written email campaigns tailored to your customers' needs. With Playbooks, you can select the specific emails you want to use, then set it and forget it. Briostack sends the emails automatically for you, simplifying the entire process.