If you invest your limited time and effort in a marketing strategy, you want the biggest payoff possible. Email marketing can cover a lot of ground for your investment.
No wonder email ranks among the top three most preferred marketing channels. It’s effective and versatile. It barely costs a thing and has incredible returns. And, most of all, it’s easy to get started.
You’ve probably tried HVAC email marketing. If so, you’ve seen first-hand what simple marketing emails can do for your HVAC business.
Done right, email marketing is an easy, quick, and effective way to pitch new customers. It can connect you with your audience on a personal level. You can also remind existing clients to continue doing business with your company.
And we’ve barely scratched the surface of email marketing possibilities.
If you’re serious about marketing your HVAC business, it’s time to take your emailing campaign to the next level.
That’s what this article is all about — getting more out of email marketing. We’ll discuss what it takes to build a high-quality HVAC email list. You’ll see how to drive successful email marketing campaigns. It also covers email analytics, testing, and ROI.
Let’s get serious about email marketing.
The Basics of HVAC Email Marketing
First things first, let’s get the basics out of the way to ensure we’re on the same page.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing refers to sending promotional/commercial emails to potential or existing customers.
Sounds simple enough.
However, there’s much more to email marketing than simply writing and sending emails. But don’t get it wrong. Even writing HVAC emails calls for some penmanship. And there’s a method to sending promo emails, too.
First, you need an email list. It should comprise high-value contacts who might want to read or act on your emails. Such contacts generally include individuals who’ve already bought or would be willing to buy your HVAC services.
Second, email marketing requires a well-crafted plan. Planning means creating several email campaigns. Each should target specific segments of your audience or stages of the customer journey.
Third, HVAC email marketing involves a fair amount of bookkeeping. It’s important to track various key performance indicators. Use indicators such as open rate, click-through rate, reply rate, engagement over time, and conversion rate.
Such metrics tell you how well (or poorly) your email marketing efforts are doing. This info enables you to calculate each campaign’s ROI.
That’s email marketing at its most simple.
Now, we’ll go into more detail. But first, here’s a quick reminder of why emailing matters to your HVAC company.
Why You Should Prioritize HVAC Email Marketing
We’ve established that email is one of the most effective marketing strategies across the board. But more specifically, email marketing for HVAC businesses is about keeping customers close.
Local service businesses, such as HVAC contractors, thrive with repeat customers. Emailing them is a simple and non-intrusive way to drum up repeat business for your HVAC company.
Upsell and cross-sell your HVAC services and get more customers to sign HVAC contracts.
Industry stats show up to 65% of sales come from existing customers.
If you increase customer retention by just 5%, you should expect to boost profits by 25% to 95%. And retaining an existing customer is five times less expensive than acquiring a new one.
Email is an excellent tool for nurturing HVAC customers. A well-orchestrated email campaign can turn one-time customers into loyal, long-term clients.
This conversion is what you need to stabilize your company’s income, secure its future, and growth.
Email marketing is also a direct, easily targetable, and customizable tool for scoring new HVAC jobs. You can use email marketing to qualify HVAC leads and move them along the sales funnel.
Building a Quality HVAC Email List
Creating a clean and targeted email list is the first step in excelling at email marketing. A clean email list is a collection of valid contacts that are highly likely to engage.
You can’t send HVAC emails to just anyone. You want to target high-quality leads. These are recipients who actually want to read your messages.
Your email list should include the following contacts:
- Subscribers to your blog, membership program, service contracts, etc.
- Prospects who’ve shown some interest in your HVAC services or brand.
- Past customers.
- People or companies who you’re pretty sure could use professional HVAC services
A high-quality email list guarantees meaningful customer engagements.
Sending promotional emails to the wrong contacts will earn you nothing but spam complaints, email bounces, and high unsubscribe rates.
How to Create an HVAC Email List
The more high-quality contacts you have, the more effective your email strategy is. A longer email list means you cast a wider net.
The question is: How do you get HVAC prospects and customers to share their email addresses?
Here are some effective techniques for gathering email addresses from relevant, high-quality leads:
- Add a pop-up form to your HVAC website’s home page. Ask your website visitors to provide their contact info before they leave the page. While pop-ups convert only about 3.8% of web visitors, they can still generate substantial contacts.
- Collect email addresses using business documents. Ask for them on HVAC order forms, service estimates, contracts, and invoices.
- Add an email signup button to your social media pages.
- Have customers sign up for newsletters using their email address.
- Incentivize email signups. Offer rewards such as discounts and club memberships.
- Tap into your referral network for high-quality email contacts.
Clean and Segment Your Email List
Collecting email addresses is only the first phase in building an email list. Once populated, an email list requires careful management. This ensures that as many emails as possible find their mark and elicit the desired response.
First, you need to segment your email list.
Segmentation means breaking the email list into distinct groups. Group contacts at a particular stage in the customer journey or from a certain source.
For example, you can have separate segments for past customers, new prospects, fresh signups, referrals, and so on. Segmenting them lets you personalize email content. Create multiple email campaigns to address a specific issue or interest. Each one can target a different audience segment.
Second, you must constantly clean up your email list. Weed out all the fake, invalid, duplicate, inactive, and unsubscribed email contacts.
According to ZeroBounce’s Email List Decay Report for 2023, an email list degrades by at least 22.71% every year. Reasons vary. People change their email addresses or lose interest in a business. Then, invalid addresses accumulate in the list.
Crafting Compelling Email Content
So far, we’ve seen that it matters where you send HVAC marketing emails. How you write them matters a great deal as well. A poorly written email will have fewer readers and conversions.
So, how do you write a great HVAC marketing email?
Writing good email copy boils down to the quality of content, the relevance of the message, and the presentation. Follow this checklist to write winning HVAC marketing emails:
Use Subject Lines That Grab Attention
The subject line is the first thing the reader sees. It’s crucial that it grabs their attention.
Write clear, punchy subject lines that summarize the email’s message. Pique the reader’s curiosity. A good subject line sparks interest in the email but leaves the reader wanting more.
Subject lines should ideally be short—no more than 41 characters—to avoid getting cut off or losing the message.
Write High-Quality and Relevant Content
You can think of email marketing as highly targeted content marketing. Email copy must be spot-on in quality, voice, tone, and relevance.
For starters, make sure each email relays a meaningful message. Before sending an HVAC email, ask yourself these three questions:
- What does the customer learn from reading the email?
- Can the customer relate to the message?
- What kind of response am I looking for?
Remember that you’re communicating with a human. Avoid an uptight, formal tone in your emails.
Write in a conversational tone. Use simple, natural language as if you were talking to a friend or colleague. A lighthearted tone helps make real human connections with customers.
It also helps to use active language and strong verbs to make the message more impactful. You want to sound authoritative and confident.
Incorporate Visuals and Multimedia
Plain black-and-white text blurbs are boring. They can be off-putting to many readers.
Lively visuals are a big part of the appeal to read. Ask any comic book enthusiast.
We live in a world of short-form videos, audiobooks, memes, and augmented reality. Text-only emails just won’t cut it.
Maximize reader engagement by enriching your emails with captivating visuals and multimedia content. Include graphics, videos, GIFs, or animations.
91% of consumers prefer visual content to text-only. Custom personalized visuals have also been shown to increase conversion rates by a staggering 200%.
However, don’t overdo it. Use visuals sparingly. You don’t want to overload the email client or distract the reader.
Personalize Customer Engagement
Personalization is the key to successful HVAC email marketing. Seventy-one percent of customers expect personalized interactions from businesses. Companies that personalize communication have 40% more revenue potential.
Here are some ideas to help personalize HVAC emails:
- Tailor each message individually.
- Address individual HVAC needs.
- Recall previous services (if any).
- Address the recipient by name rather than generic terms such as “esteemed customer.”
- Engage in trivial local banter.
Once you’ve properly segmented your email list, it becomes pretty easy to personalize email messages. Draft one email for each segment. Then, sprinkle in further personalization cues at the individual level where possible.
It also helps to encourage recipients to engage with the email content. Include a link to follow. Have them answer a question or select an option in the email.
Keep in mind that customer engagement doesn’t have to be purely purchase-based.
Provide Well-Structured Content
Content presentation is also critical in email marketing. Think about how people read and engage with online content.
Unsurprisingly, 80% of people scan emails rather than reading them. With that in mind, break down your HVAC email content into small, bite-sized snippets.
Most people use smartphones to read emails. So keep the content concise so it fits on most smartphone screens. Carefully consider the position of buttons, links, and white space for the same reason.
Check out professional email marketing templates. Sample the various HVAC email layouts and structures.
Effective Email Campaigns for HVAC Companies
Email marketing is very versatile. You can send emails to engage, inform, or even entertain your HVAC customers. It’s also a powerful tool for spreading the word about your HVAC company.
Establish your brand as an authoritative source in the local HVAC scene.
Here’s an overview of campaigns you can run with HVAC marketing emails:
Promotional emails are the most common type of marketing emails. They inform prospects or existing HVAC customers about a specific offer.
The goal is to get your audience excited. To do this, the email must highlight the promotion’s value or benefits to the customer.
HVAC maintenance and contract renewal reminders also fall under promotional emails.
There’s a lot that customers can learn from HVAC contractors. Educational email marketing campaigns educate them in some way.
Educational emails could revolve around how-to, advisory, and instructional topics such as:
- Troubleshooting and light maintenance work on HVAC systems
- How to run an HVAC system efficiently and safely
- The best HVAC units for various commercial and residential applications
- When to repair or replace faulty HVAC systems
- The best ways to improve indoor air quality
Normally, educational content comes in the form of newsletters, blogs, social media posts, white papers, or videos. The email only points the reader to the material and builds interest.
Educational email campaigns help establish you as a knowledgeable HVAC company. It also shows that you care about your customers.
Customer Testimonial and Case Study Campaigns
This email marketing strategy demonstrates social proof. Social proof refers to customer reviews and recommendations. It can also refer to real-life jobs that secure your expertise.
People are more likely to buy your HVAC services if they see evidence that others are happy with their outcomes. It’s a psychological phenomenon you can exploit to encourage HVAC conversions.
As it happens, email is currently the most trusted marketing channel. This makes it ideal for building social proof around professional contracting services.
A/B Testing and Optimization
A/B testing is also known as split or bucket testing. It’s a technique for comparing two different versions of a marketing email. Then you can see which performs better. It shows how variations impact final results.
The Importance of Testing and Analyzing Email Performance
The goal of A/B testing is to determine the best combination of email features and content for a winning email marketing campaign. It helps you optimize your email campaign for a particular audience segment.
For instance, you can measure the open rate for different subject lines using an A/B test.
Send version A to half the audience and version B to the other half. Then, compare how recipients respond and pick the winner.
Repeat the test with more variables. Then, you’ll have enough data to create a proven email template.
Elements to Test
What exactly should you test in HVAC marketing emails?
Short answer: You can test almost any variable. Here’s a list of the most impactful:
- Subject line
- Personalization level
- Layout and style
- Preview text
- Call to action (CTA)
- Interactive elements
- Visuals-to-text ratio
- Tone of voice
- Send time
Make Data-Driven Improvements
A/B tests provide insightful data. Use it to guide your HVAC email campaigns.
The tests tell you what works and what doesn’t. You can use that to fine-tune elements of your emails, such as design, targeting, content, and presentation.
Some of the best email marketing platforms, such as Sender Score, Mailchimp, and CoSchedule Headline Analyzer, are excellent for automating split tests. They keep track of variables and visualize the resulting performance data.
With powerful email marketing tools, you can seamlessly run A/B tests. Data-driven testing and optimization is a big part of email marketing automation.
Measure and Analyze Email Marketing ROI
As a marketing strategy, email is inexpensive and has impressive returns. Litmus found that marketers get $36 back for every $1 they spend on email marketing.
Here’s how to find out if you are getting a justifiable ROI from your email campaigns:
Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Analyzing email marketing ROI begins with measuring each campaign’s performance. Gauge success using these 10 metrics:
- List growth rate — the rate at which your HVAC email list grows
- Open rate — the percentage of recipients who open your email
- Sharing/forwarding rate — the percentage of recipients who forward or share your email
- Click-through rate — the percentage of recipients who click on links embedded in an email
- Conversion rate — the percentage of email recipients who take the desired action
- Bounce rate — the percentage of emails sent but not successfully delivered
- Unsubscribe rate — the number of unsubscribe requests over a given period
- Spam complaints — the number of emails reported as spam or blocklisted over a given period
- Overall engagement over time — a general overview of how recipients engage or interact with your HVAC emails
- Cost vs. revenue — the total income divided by total spent expressed as a percentage (ROI)
Leverage Analytics Tools and Software
Like other digital marketing techniques, email marketing generates tons of insightful performance data. However, you’ll need powerful email marketing software and analytics tools to gather and organize it.
Fortunately, the email marketing industry is awash with free and premium analytics platforms. You can even outsource email marketing management to a third-party email marketing agency.
Use Data to Inform Your HVAC Email Campaigns
Data generated by email marketing analytics solutions is useless if not put to good use. Study your performance metrics carefully to find patterns. These patterns will show you what you’re doing right and areas needing improvement.
- A high bounce rate means it’s time to clean your HVAC email list.
- A lot of spam complaints might point to poor segmentation.
- A high unsubscribe rate tells you to produce more relevant content.
- A low conversion rate might have something to do with the CTAs.
Get Started Now
HVAC email marketing calls for careful planning, clever thinking, and proper penmanship. It also takes time and a lot of trial and error to get everything right and start seeing tangible results. But in the end, the effort is well worth the reward. Here are three things you can do to get started right now.
1. Evaluate Your Current Strategy.
How have you approached email marketing in the past? How do you handle it now? Make a side-by-side list of what has worked and what hasn’t.
2. Compare Your Leads List to Your Email List.
Are you incorporating email marketing into your HVAC leads approach? There should be a lot of crossover.
3. Crunch the Numbers.
Email marketing may be something you want to hand off to a professional. It can be very time-consuming to do it right. Weigh the time you spend on every aspect of an email campaign. Does it take away from the time you need to actually run your HVAC business? Would it be a justifiable expense to hire someone to handle it for you?