How often do we send emails? For most of us, email is a tool used daily to communicate; sometimes more than we talk face to face with those we work with. While using email as a channel to land new clients and run day to day operations, often times we choose to overlook the opportunities right in our Outlook or Gmail Sent Folders.
For service-based businesses, email is primarily used with customers during initial stages of communication (such as a "cold call" email or serving as a primary contact method after a meeting or phone conversation with a prospective client). Throughout a project or transaction, service providers will utilize email to facilitate progress updates, schedules, and final invoicing. Best case scenario: for future opportunities, customers will continue to use the already established email chain when further services are needed.
More often than not, it's easy to gravitate towards customers who we regularly do business with and don't require us to reach back out to reignite a relationship after a singular, one-time transaction. For businesses in construction, aviation, and manufacturing, additional value can be had by investing in email marketing focusing on those "one-time hitters." While the 80/20 rule still applies to revenue generation, here are some factors to consider when building out a sales outreach list for the next year:
Sales Cycles: Past one time clients may only purchase or use a service every few months (or years). Some may just be starting their customer journey and can become a larger revenue customer if additional attention is given to their needs. Some parties may have not been ready to proceed and used your firm to help educate themselves before making a decision, sometimes a year or longer since their last contact with you. Not everyone has the ability to agree to a purchase. More often than not, a long term contract or large asset purchase/lease includes layers of people and red tape. Closing a sale often requires 10+ interactions with a brand before making a purchase decision. This also applies to customers who have not closed yet. Timing is key, and last time just may have not been the right time.
COVID Fall Out: The economic downturn of the past few years has caused many companies to either shut down entirely or reduce their labor force. This is a phenomenal opportunity to grab new or previous one time clients who may be in need of a replacement provider due to (1.) dissatisfaction resulting from decreased quality (due to labor shortages, talent loss, or supply chain disruption) or (2.) considering new partnerships after their primary source has gone out of business. While this is not a positive trend we like to see, or a chance to jump on organizations who are down on their luck, this is an opportunity to grow your existing client base by respectfully fulfilling a need that previously was not their before for clients in crisis.
Changing Decision Makers: Recent job market volatility has caused many to change roles or jobs completely. That purchasing agent that ignored you last year may be at a new company with a fresh start (and a new need). There may be new decision maker(s) who is looking to make their mark and find the perfect solution (your business) to kick-off a fresh role on a different team. Last year's ignored email may be next year's biggest opportunity yet.
Changing Service Offerings: Many companies have pivoted in the past 12-36 months, amongst construction, aviation, and manufacturing firms alike . Meet with your team on any new, upcoming, or modified services that previous prospects or one time customers may have a need for, that at that time previously contacted, was not being provided.
Among other factors, the main points listed above have many deployment methods to achieve success. Some may require additional lift outside of email, but rest assured, here are a few ideas on delivering messages to your under-served prospective clients:
1.) Plain-old "cold" email. They stink to do, but sometimes they really work wonders. Reach out to those contacts with a simple message describing any updates. Also, ask about how their roles/companies have changed and the new best method of communication with them moving forward. Add them to you CRM and keep tabs quarterly.
2.) Start a newsletter. This can be for both internal and external recipients. A once-a-month send can bring value through a professional, concise update on your firms projects, services, and new team members. Setting up a similar email blast to internal team members can also spark new ideas and form connections to outside opportunities just by presenting information that may not be known by everyone in the company. Being that many people work remote, this can be a positive way to disseminate information in a different and fun way.
3.) Utilize software to do these things for you. There are many free or low cost software solutions on the market that will help you design, track, and gain feedback from email campaigns and industry-specific CRM's to help with sales data. Scale to what your organization needs; start on the low end (or even a spreadsheet) to track data and activities relating to email marketing. Make sure your website is set up to allow people to subscribe or contact key team members on new opportunities and connections.
Moving into 2023, doing a few simple things can make a big impact with your least suspecting customers. Think outside the box and take a chance on previous one-time transactions or no-hitters and you may be surprised at the result.
Have a wonderful Christmas and a safe New Year!
For any marketing assistance in and around the construction, aviation, and manufacturing industries, contact Marketing@edgesolutions.online today.