Are You Leveraging the Referral Potential of Your Email Marketing?

A growing number of contractors are collecting customer email addresses and, with their permission, sending customers useful tips, reminders, and special offers. Surprisingly, most contractors miss the opportunity to send the same information to their employees and their families and friends.

Email is a great customer retention tool, allowing you to keep your name in front of your customers for pennies. It’s also a great way to build referrals because it’s so easy for the recipient of an email to forward the mail to others. So why not add everyone remotely affiliated with your company to your email marketing list?

An employee might like to forward special offers from the company to his or her friends. Similarly, the employee’s spouse might like to share an offer.

For that matter, your vendors might appreciate receiving your email specials and might also pass them along. Have you asked your vendors if they would like to receive your company email promotions? And if a vendor declines, maybe it’s a sign the vendor is not truly a part of your team.

Just building a big list is not enough. Your offers and/or information must be compelling. They must be significant enough for someone to take a second or two to pass the email along to others.

You can afford to make your promotional offers better than average. Not only are the marketing communication costs pennies on the dollar, but the people you attract through email marketing already have a relationship with you. They are more apt to trust you, to avoid shopping, and to spend more. Your overall marketing costs are far less with them than with customers at large.

Exclusivity is also attractive. People like to be part of the inner circle. Note that the offers are special, for the family and friends of your company, and not available elsewhere.

Just as your people give you permission to send them email, you should also give your list recipients permission to share the special offer with their family and friends. Otherwise some might hesitate due to the exclusive nature of the offer.

Make sure your email is regular without becoming a nuisance. About one to two emails a month seems be the right number. Anymore and you risk getting blocked. Any less and your recipients might forget who you are and also block you. If you don’t have time to send a monthly email, use one of the low cost services like Service Roundtable MoneyMail.

Let your employees know what you are doing. Bring them in on the strategy. Tell them that this is one more way to add customers and generate repeat business, which means more work and job security for everyone. Ask them to forward the emails you send and to collect the emails of their family and friends.

In the rush to collect customer email addresses don’t overlook your employees and vendors. Afterall, they have a stake in your success.

Matt Michel is the CEO of the Service Roundtable and Service Nation Alliance. For a free tour of the Service Roundtable, call toll free, 877.262.3341 and ask for Patty. For information on the Service Nation Alliance, call the same number and ask for Chris. To become a preferred vendor and participate in the company’s Roundtable Rewards program, ask for Liz. To learn about MoneyMail, ask for Sarah.

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