It is easy: send them valuable content every month.
Just like the rest of us, your fencing customers are inundated with social media posts and daily news blasts from television and the internet every day. You may think that sending them more information would be a waste of time. You’d be wrong.
Emailed monthly newsletters are an effective way of keeping close to your customers. And it’s affordable.
According to the Harvard Business Review article “The Triumphant Return of the Email Newsletter,” Morra Aarons-Mele says that guiding customers through all the “chaos of so much content” on the internet is an important skill.
“Today there’s no better way to do that — and demonstrate influence — than producing an email people will actually open,” she asserts, adding, “Most of us don’t want more content --— we want less, but better.”
When you can provide a newsletter that is regular, lively, easy to digest and that offers memorable take-away content, you will build your fencing brand as well as your customer base.
So, now let’s look at how you can create and send out a newsletter each month that your customers will want to open and read.
Step 1: Capture the email of every customer and prospect.
The first step is nailing down your newsletter subscription list. Train your staff to ask everyone (customers and prospects) for their names and email addresses. In addition to simply requesting this information, here are some other methods to use:
Include a link to your newsletter sign-up form on your website.
Create a newsletter sign-up button on your company Facebook page and other social media pages.
When you attend conferences and trade shows, bring a newsletter email signup method with you such as a clipboard, tablet or other mobile device. Ask each person you talk with to sign up.
Include a link to your newsletter registration form in your email signature.
Place a newsletter signup form next to the cash register if you have a retail store. Have your employees direct people to sign up.
Start a birthday club and offer such as a discount on installation to those who register with their email address.
Offer an incentive to employees who add new subscribers to your newsletter list.
Step 2: Choose your free email marketing software.
Now that you have a core list of subscribers, it’s time to think about putting your newsletter together.
Constant Contact, Active Campaign and MailChimp are top email marketing companies that can help you get your newsletter out to your customer base. They offer email templates that you can easily customize for your fencing business. And the best part is that if you have a mailing list of under 1,000 (or in some cases, 2,000),
you can use these services for free.
Internet marketing companies, such as MailChimp and Constant Contact help you gather contacts send emails automatically and even track results. These software programs allow businesses of all sizes to connect with their customers in ways that make it seem as if you have your own marketing department.
Step 3: Plan a year’s worth of newsletter topics in advance.
There’s nothing worse than having to come up with great ideas for content in a rush. To avoid last-minute pressure, you can plan your newsletter topics and themes in advance – even 12 issues at a time if you’d like.
Here are 12 possible topics for a year’s worth of fencing newsletters:
What’s the best way to care for your vinyl fence?
What kind of vinyl fence is best for your pets?
What does your vinyl fence warranty include?
How do you maintain your gates?
Is your vinyl fence is eco-friendly?
What do you do if someone throws a baseball through your fence?
Is your vinyl fence wind-resistant?
How do you install your vinyl fence by yourself?
How to get your neighbor to share in the cost of your vinyl fences?
How does vinyl compare against wood?
When is it time to upgrade to a new vinyl fence color?
Why does it matter that your fence is manufactured in the USA?
(Did you notice that many of these topics reinforce the reasons they purchased a vinyl fence in the first place? It is always good to remind them. Also, it is okay to repeat topics.)
Step 4: Write and design your newsletter—for free.
Now it’s time to put the pieces of your e-mail newsletter together. It helps to think of your newsletter as a service to your customers rather than as a selling tool. Strive for content that is mostly educational and less promotional.
“Converting someone into a consumer of your brand… is a delicate process that can be derailed by aggressive upsells that are poorly integrated,” warns Lindsay Sakraida in her Forbes article “How to Avoid Being Too Aggressive in Content Marketing.”
Concise, creative copy will win over your fencing customers and have them looking forward to your next e-mail newsletter. Therefore, taking the time to research and to write quality, useful content for your newsletter is well worth it.
You can help make your writing clear and avoid grammatical mistakes by using Grammarly, an online editing tool. You can use the basic editing functions of this app for free. Online marketing services, such as MailChimp and Constant Chatter, offer free design tools and templates to give your newsletter a professional look that is right for your fencing company.
Step 5: Send your newsletter—monthly is best
When your newsletter looks how you want it, you may schedule it to be sent immediately or at a later date of your choosing. We recommend you e-mail your customers and prospects at least monthly.
E-mailed newsletters are an inexpensive yet highly effective marketing tool for fencing companies. Did you know that, according to a recent Business Insider survey, 98.4% of consumers check their e-mail daily? Therefore, you can connect with new and potential customers in a meaningful way by showing up in their inboxes.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, you can get $40 for every $1 that you spend on e-mail marketing!
Here are some resources for putting together your free emailed newsletter: