If you’re like many contractors in the HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical market you have under 10 employees. So you live everyday like a juggler trying to keep all the balls in the air.
Dispatching, accounting, job quoting, inventory control, HR, marketing. Whao, that’s a lot to juggle!
Elvis Costello once said “I feel like a juggler running out of hands.”
If you feel the same, here’s an Efficiency Hack that can help on the marketing front… Marketing Automation.
A Hack refers to any trick, shortcut
or skill that increases productivity.
Marketing Automation refers to cloud-based software that automates routine tasks that marketers perform. By marketers, I mean whoever in your contracting business is responsible for the marketing function.
The main tasks these systems automate are email, social media, and workflows. Let’s briefly look at how each enhances the efficiency of your contracting business.
Sending your customers regular, timely, relevant, and personalized emails is a great way to keep them. Normally that would take a lot of work, but Marketing Automation platforms are designed to make that a “set it and forget it” task. You simply write an email (or series of emails), use built-in personalization features to customize them, decide when and who should receive it through a workflow (more about that in a minute), then let it run. Emails will go out as desired without any human intervention.
Social Media Automation
Social media is a tactic you should be utilizing to engage your customers and market. But it is very time consuming to post on multiple platforms (twitter, facebook, instagram, etc.) with any frequency. Who has time to post once a day, or even once a week? With social media automation, you can create posts, then schedule them to go out. You can have one post go to all platforms, whatever time of day you choose, and even have it go out multiple times over the course of days/weeks. Since most social media is time sensitive this gives you a better chance of your post being seen. Imagine writing one post, then having it automatically go out 5 times over 2 weeks to all platforms.
A Workflow is a set of rules that dictate who, when, and what emails automatically get sent to your customers and staff. For example, you can set up a workflow to send a series of 3 emails (over 10 days) to a person after they fill out a form on your site inquiring about your maintenance plan. The workflow can also send an internal email to someone on your team so they can follow up by phone. Have as many workflows as you want, each with their own set of rules based on your need.
Using these 3 automated tasks, you can turn even the smallest marketing operation into a well-oiled machine.
To get you started, here are a few Marketing Automation platforms that work well for Small Business:
Most of these systems have an entry-level price that is either free or affordable for small businesses. I highly recommend you try one out.
Using a Marketing Automation tool won’t keep you from having to juggle, but it should mean you have one less ball in the air.
We use Marketing Automation here at Coolfront so I’m happy to share my experience and thoughts; feel free to reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).