11 Expert Email Marketing Strategies For Service Businesses

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An effective email marketing campaign unlocks the infinite potential to grow your service business. Not only does email marketing have the power to skyrocket your business’s revenue, but it’s also arguably one of the most cost-effective, practical ways to market the value your business provides to the world. And yet, many underestimate the power of email marketing, assuming it’s too difficult to learn and not worth your time and effort. However, if you had the chance to earn $36 for just $1 spent, would you make the investment?

In my own home service businesses, we utilize email marketing in multiple ways as I have found it incredibly effecting at nurturing leads in the sales process.  The best part is that the automations remain the same, so there is very little cost to this form of marketing as we don’t have to pay to reach the customers.  

If you have a service business, email marketing is a direct line of communication where you can build your trust and credibility with both current and prospective clients without paying to reach them. Imagine, if you had a home repair issue that required you to hire an outside service, would you pay someone to come into your family’s home to do a job without adequately building a sense of trust and reliability with them beforehand?

Email marketing provides you this opportunity to forge these connections so you form lasting relationships with your clients. Yet, sending mundane emails about your service versus riveting emails about the value and discounts you can provide your clients are two very different things.

That’s why in this article, you’ll learn the 11 expert email marketing strategies your service business can follow to not just earn more money, but build long-term connections with your clients.

Why Email Marketing is important for Service Businesses

Before plunging into the depths of email marketing strategies, it’s essential to understand why your service business needs email marketing in the first place. If you had to break the benefits of email marketing down to just two reasons, they would be:

  • Build trust
  • Form genuine relationships with your clients

It is really as simple as that. As a service business, your clients are relying on you to provide a certain caliber of expertise, reliability, safety, and security. Otherwise, in some service industries, a client can (depending on the job required) just do it themselves.

In other words, you need to show your clients not only why they should pay you but why they should trust you to fix the leaky pipe in their child’s bathroom, dye their hair, or clean their home.

As a service business, it’s essential to realize you’re not only competing from related service businesses like yours but the client’s ability (in many instances) to just do the job themselves. This is why an email marketing campaign with proven strategies is essential for your service business to take on new clients and keep those clients for years to come.

11 Proven Email Marketing Strategies for Service Businesses

Let’s get started.

1. Send a Welcome Email Sequence packed with Value

Consider your welcome email sequence to be your first impression of a prospective client. Not only is a welcome email the perfect chance to thank the person for signing up for your email list, but it is a great way to prove why signing up for your emails was a good decision.

In your welcome email sequence (which can be anywhere from 1 to 3 emails), you should show:

  • Appreciation: Show appreciation for signing up for your email list.
  • Benefits: Highlight the benefits, special discounts, and insider advice they’ll receive.
  • Call to action: Motivate your contact to do certain actions like make an account on your website, schedule a free phone call with you, or whatever is relevant to your service.

Again, your welcome emails serve as a first impression to prospective clients, so make it a good one. Get your new contacts excited to open your emails, even if your service is, respectfully, mundane.

2. Add Style and Personality to your Email Messages

Sending emails is one thing. Sending engaging email messages that your contacts will actually enjoy reading when they’re drinking their coffee in the morning or walking their dog is another thing.

That’s why you need to add some personality and creativity to your email messages, even if you are a plumbing company, car repair shop, or service business that may often not showcase your creativity or personality often. Ways to spice up your email messages include:

  • Adding images, gifs, videos, or other visually appealing content
  • Writing concise, digestible content that is reader-friendly
  • Expressing your own unique charm and personality through word choice, while maintaining a sense of professionalism

And, this goes without saying, all your email messages need to be error-free to further prove you’re a capable, reliable service business. If you’re not a grammar fan, consider downloading free grammar-checking software (i.e. Grammarly)  to ensure your emails are spotless.

3. Craft Creative, Professional Subject Lines

Don’t waste time crafting clever email messages just for your contacts not to open them! Creating eye-catching, professional email subject lines is essential in leading a successful email marketing campaign. Without contacts opening your email, how will they know all the value your service provides?

That being said, steer clear of writing overly exaggerated, false subject lines. This will not only disengage your contacts upon realizing what your actual email is about but risk losing your contacts’ trust. Carefully construct subject lines that are clever and relevant to that specific email message.

Examples of engaging, click-worthy subject lines include:

  • Your FREE ebook Awaits!
  • Limited Discounts You Don’t Want to Miss
  • 10% Off ALL Services

4. Provide Genuine Testimonials as Social Proof

Trust is critical for your service business in gaining and retaining clientele. The accessibility of DIY tutorials and other digital content makes it easier now more than ever before for your potential clients to simply learn how to just do the service themselves. That’s why providing testimonial emails that highlight genuine, positive feedback from a past client of yours is essential. Social proof exponentially builds virtually any business.

For your service business, a testimonial email helps show prospective clients why other people who were in a similar situation, who could have (likely) done the service themselves, chose you to do the job for them.

5. Offer Quality Discounts, Deals & Referral Incentives

Who doesn’t love a sale? Another effective email marketing strategy is offering limited-time deals and discounts to your contact list. These time-sensitive discounts will be a friendly push for new clients, who may be on the fence about booking your service to take the plunge and buy now.

Two main things about offering discounts via email are exercising a feeling that the contact has limited time to book your service. And, you don’t want to send discount emails too frequently, as this inevitably lowers the value of the discount and makes prospective clients wonder if your services are overpriced.

Furthermore, consider offering more discounts during off-seasons to motivate more contacts to book your services. If you are a plumber and your business is busiest in the fall and winter months, consider offering more discounts in the spring and summer months when business slows down. Another way to motivate past clients to help expand your service business is by offering a referral incentive. For instance, you may offer a past client 10% off their next service if they refer a potential lead.

6. Organically Grow your Email List

You need contacts to send your emails to. This strategy is non-negotiable. You can’t elevate your service business with email marketing if you don’t have anyone to send your emails to. But you may be wondering: how do I build my email list?

Try these simple ways to organically grow your email list from zero to thousands.

  • Add existing clients, if they aren’t already, onto your email list.
  • Use social media to motivate your followers to sign up for your email list (using those same incentives mentioned above).
  • Add a signup section or page on your website. Consider offering a high-value incentive for someone to sign up to your email list (i.e. discount, free ebook, etc.)

Be patient and consistently work on growing your email list to make the most of your email marketing campaign.

7. Segment your Email List into Specific Audiences

Segment your contact list into specific audiences to deliver relevant emails to the right inboxes. You don’t want to send the same emails to prospective clients as you do current clients.

With current clients, your emails should be geared towards forging that lasting relationship so they keep coming back to your service. You can do this by sending discount emails and special offers to show your appreciation. You can also send advice emails that your current clients would find helpful to know and relevant to your service.

Meanwhile, for prospective clients, you’ll want to send emails aimed at building your trust, expertise, and credibility with them. This is because you are virtually strangers to one another. Therefore, consider sending more emails centered around testimonials, the benefits your service business offers, and general, industry advice to show off your expertise. Again, with new clients, you are fighting against not just other competitors in your industry, but the client just doing the service themselves– even if they don’t do a good job!

8. Craft Timely Emails specific to your Industry

If you know specific times of the year when your service is in high demand, craft more emails around that season and often to keep your business front of mind. For instance, for a plumber, the day after Thanksgiving can be a major day for garbage disposal repair appointments.

Therefore, consider sending a helpful email prior to Thanksgiving as a reminder of the dos and don’ts of what to put in their garbage disposal. Then, the day after Thanksgiving, craft an email to let your contacts know if they have any garbage disposal issues, they can book your services.

9. Split Testing is Essential

Experimentation is critical to optimizing your email marketing campaign. How will you know another option is more successful if you don’t test it?

Things you can split test in your email marketing campaign are:

  • Subject lines
  • Email messages
  • What time of day you send a specific message, and more

By split testing, you’ll learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what works best for your service business in terms of getting clicks on your email and conversion from your emails. When split testing, it’s important to keep other variables uniform so you can understand, one by one, what factor works and what works better.

For instance, if you are interested in split testing 4 different types of subject lines for the same email, you should still release all 4 variations of the email at the same time to ensure another factor (such as time of day) isn’t a cause for the success, or failure, of certain subject lines.

10. Vary your Email Content Format

Using a variety of email formats is another effective email marketing strategy your service business should use. Certain email types will inevitably deliver different email messages offering different “goals” in mind. For instance, a welcome email is going to be different from a testimonial-focused email.

Different email types include:

  • Welcome emailsEmails to greet new contacts and reiterate they made a good decision signing up with all the benefits your service provides.
  • Newsletters. Emails, often sent weekly or monthly, to keep your business front of mind and deliver important service deadlines and updates.
  • Booking emails. Emails to motivate your contact to schedule your services. All while listing the benefits your service will provide them. Consider using discounts and deals to motivate your contact to book your service.
  • Informational emails that involves your industry. Educational emails that are reader-friendly will help showcase your expertise and improve your credibility within your industry.
  • Testimonials. Emails that provide social proof from past clients that had a positive experience with your services will help convert prospective clients.

Using different email formats helps balance your email marketing strategy to build your trust and form lasting relationships with your contacts.

11. Efficiently Automate Email Campaigns

Last but not least, you can efficiently automate your email marketing efforts to save you time and effort. To do so, follow these two simple steps:

Step 1: Find an email service provider. You’ll first need to sign up with a reputable email marketing service provider that fits your business’s needs and budget. Some of the top email marketing service providers you should consider are:

  • Mailchimp
  • Zoho Campaigns
  • Drip
  • MailerLite
  • Campaigner

Step 2: Track your email data. Many email service providers offer tools to track specific email data (i.e. email open rates, engagement, etc.). Therefore, to know what emails are working, and what emails aren’t, you need real data to support your decisions to adjust your email marketing campaign according to your data.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have all the top strategies to run an effective email marketing campaign, what are you waiting for?

Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool that can be a game-changer for any service business. So, be creative, have fun, and follow these expert email marketing strategies to elevate your service business. (Related: Top 6 Email Marketing Hacks That Will Boost Conversions & Engagement)

About the Author

I have been in the 'online business' space since 2009 when I started an eCommerce business selling motorcycle parts (sold in 2012). Since then I have owned and operated several successful online business (and had a fair share of failures), along with owning offline home services businesses. Currently my focus is online businesses that are profitable with paid traffic. As a 'self employed individual' I do not use Linkedin, but you can connect with my on my personal instagram and youtube which largely revolve around my mountain biking passion!