Email Marketing for New Cleaning Business Owners

Email marketing is the most powerful customer acquisition tool - adding it to your marketing toolbox should be a no-brainer.

Email marketing is not dead, 24 minutes after clicking 'send' we get a $5000 gift card purchase ๐Ÿคฏ - Queen Bee Cleaning Service

This is the power of email marketing.

Yes, this old-fashioned, non-flashy style of marketing, that's been around since the stone age, still works. Yet most cleaning businesses are not taking advantage of this tactic.

That was me a few years ago.

I had just started Eloise's Cleaning Services and growing our recurring customer base was my top priority. The only problem was that I had exhausted every non-scalable solution:

  • Constantly bidding on jobs through Thumbtack
  • Trying to be that first 'neighbor' to respond on Nextdoor
  • Responding to Facebook posts, "Looking for a cleaner..."
  • Annoying property managers with a stuttering cold call

That's when I discovered email marketing - a scalable sales tactic that's vastly increased my customer base.

Today you're going to learn:

  • The definitions of confusing email marketing jargon
  • The anatomy of a highly converting sales email
  • 3 email campaigns you can adopt right now
  • Platforms that make the entire process a breeze

What in the World is Email Marketing?

It's not what you think it is...

  • Spammy emails that are quickly filtered into everyone's virtual trash can
  • Eye-rolling, sales-y messaging that communicates, "I'm here for your money"
  • Coupon graphics that never load and are expired before you even click on the link

Email marketing, when done properly, is a way of staying "top-of-mind" with your audience. It's like a friendly reminder to your leads and customers that you have a solution to their "dirty home" problem.

Before you start writing your first sales email, there are quite a few jargony terms that need to be defined.

Lead Capture

It's impossible to send an email without an address...

Lead capture is how you gather your leads and customer's email addresses. You can do this the old-fashioned way and ask for an email address over the phone.

Or you can automate the process and add a lead form to your website.

You've probably seen thousands of lead forms while surfing the web. They come in all shapes, designs, and sizes, but they're typically those pop-ups offering an enticing freebie in exchange for your information.

Here are some creative ways cleaning business owners are using lead forms on their sites:

Queen Bee Cleaning Service
Eloise's Cleaning Services
Desert Maids

As you can see, these cleaning businesses are offering something juicy in exchange for personal information.

This is key - leads landing on your website are unlikely to leave their info without some sort of juicy offer.

Most cleaning businesses use a free online estimate, but you can get creative. Other freebies can be free digital download teaching homeowners, "The only method to remove those pesky hard water stains." Even a simple coupon can go a long way.

You can use email marketing software (which we'll discuss later) to add a lead form to your site.

Subscribers

Every lead and/or customer who is on your email list is a subscriber.

Ramit Sethi (the guru who can teach you how to live a 'rich life') considers subscribers "the lifeblood of your business."

He argues that your list of subscribers is way more valuable than your social media outlets or your Google My Business page with 100's of reviews.

Why?

Because you own your email list and you don't have any control over other platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Google). Platforms can change their policies or their algorithms and you can lose traffic, likes, and hard-earned reviews overnight.

With an email list full of subscribers, you have absolute control.

Copywriting

No, copywriting (in this context) is NOT the legal term that means "the owner of intellectual property."

When referring to marketing, copywriting is the actual text used to communicate on different advertising channels such as websites, emails, landing pages, and more.

What you're reading now is a form of copywriting and so is whatever you type in your emails to your leads and customers.

Instead of using boring, wordy definitions let me just show you some of my favorite copywriting examples:

This is a snippet written for a copywriting course
Humorous packaging from a pair of shorts I recently purchased
Sales page from one of my favorite writers

The first example built desire through empathy while Birddogs and Laura Belgray used humor to build trust. Either way, all examples made you want to answer their 'call to action.'

Copywriting doesn't have to be persuasive, sleazy-car-salesman writing.

It's your own way of communicating your business's personality to your customers. Define your brand's voice and use it in your emails.

Learn more about how to up your copywriting game before you start writing your sales emails.

The Anatomy of a Highly Converting Sales Email

Emails are like the human body, they both need a few key ingredients to work properly but can vary in appearance dramatically.

Miss one of these 5 key ingredients and your emails will flatline.

Subject Line

The most important part of the entire email. If your subject line is bland and boring then the rest of the email doesn't matter because it's not going to be opened. This needs to be compelling enough to inspire your subscriber to open the email.

Laura Belgray's 33 Non-sucky Subject Lines is a great place for inspiration.

Pre-header Text

Offers a sneak peek into the email. Located directly below the subject line and answers the question, "What is this email about?" Piggyback off the subject line to increase your reader's desire to open the email.

Body

When you have a conversation with someone that you really like do they spend most of the convo talking about you or about themselves? Deliver value by writing about your customer's problem and how you can solve it.

Call to Action

Don't leave your customers thinking, 'what now?' Clearly direct your audience to take some sort of action. This is from my Vacation Rental Cleaning email campaign...

Signature

Personal sign-off with a professionally designed image linking to all your contact information. Important to keep this personal. People do not like receiving messages from a business, they want a connection with a living, breathing person.

3 Email Campaigns You Can Adopt Today

A series of emails (aka drip series or email funnel) that are sent at a specific day and time during your lead's or customer's journey. Each campaign starts with a different "trigger" depending on the action that a lead or customer takes.

Email campaigns are a great way to automate your buyer's experience.

Here are a few successful email campaigns that I use in my own cleaning business:

Convert Leads to Booking

Goal: Book a cleaning

Trigger: After a visitor inputs their information in the lead capture form.

Sends 3 emails over a 7 day period to show our leads how we can help them solve their problem.

Let's go behind the scenes in Eloise's Cleaning ActiveCampaign, Email marketing account...

Eloise's Cleaning Convert Leads to Booking Email Campaign

Lead to Book #1

Lead to Book Email 1

Lead to Book #2

Lead to book email 2

Lead to Book #3

Lead to Book email 3

Recurring Cancelation

Goal: Win-back recurring customers

Trigger: After a customer cancels their recurring service

Sends a feedback form to see why they canceled and helps us improve our services. Additionally, alerts our staff to follow up with the customer to see if there's any way to win their business back.

Convert One-time to Recurring

Goal: Book a recurring cleaning

Trigger: After a customer completes a one-time booking (i.e. move-out cleaning or deep cleaning)

Points out the benefits of recurring services and delivers pricing for their home. This one also asks for an online review in a non-pushy way.

Click here for more examples of email campaigns that have a high open-rate.

Platforms that Make the Entire Process a Breeze

There are plenty of amazing email marketing platforms that vary in price AND features. Click on each link to discover which one is the best fit for your cleaning business. Or, if you don't have time to compare, then we've done the work for you below...starting with our favorite!

ActiveCampaign

One of the most powerful platforms on the market...almost too robust for smaller businesses. This makes the learning curve a little larger than most entrepreneurs have time for. However, once you have learned the ins and outs of ActiveCampaign you will not be disappointed with their amazing email features.

Pros:

  1. Deliverability is unmatched. A recent study proved that 96%ย of ActiveCampaign emails land in receivers primary inbox.
  2. Offers a CRMย (Customer Relationship Management) that is easy to use and customizable.
  3. Automation functionality is limitless. Send your subscribers down an automated simple or complex email funnel

Cons:

  1. Extremely robust. Requires a lot of time in learning all the features of the software
  2. Little more expensive than most other email platforms

Mail Chimp

The most popular and user friendly email marketing platform on the market. Highly recommend for beginners with a small business and a small budget.

Pros:

  1. Affordable pricing model - free for your first 2,000 subscribers
  2. Clean, well-designed email templates to get started
  3. Plenty of integrations and very mobile friendly app

Cons:

  1. Weak and confusing email automation interface
  2. Limited styling options for more detailed and visual emails

Constant Contact

Pros:

  1. Second best rating for deliverability (behind ActiveCampaign)ย 
  2. Uses mainly plain text style email, which makes emails feel more personal
  3. Tagging feature is better than any other platform

Cons:

  1. Limited email design - especially with visual graphics
  2. Coding is needed to customize templates

Conclusion

Shortly after sending my first email marketing campaign, I remember receiving an email from an old customer with the subject line: "Restart Services"

This was a response to a newly created email campaign that reached out to old customers to remind them that we're still here.

Katelyn is still one of our recurring, bi-weekly customers because of that one automated email campaign.

I might not have made $5,000 in 24 minutes, like Queen Bee Cleaning Service, but Katelyn's lifetime customer value could easily surpass that amount.

Boost Your Customer Base with Email Marketing Today

  1. Grow your list by adding a lead capture form to your site
  2. Invest a little money into an email marketing software
  3. Write engaging emails that get opened and clicked
  4. Turn your leads into recurring customers with a well-designed email campaign

Email marketing is the most powerful and cost-effective customer acquisition/retention tool - adding it to your marketing toolbox should be a no-brainer.