HVAC Email Marketing: How to Maximize Engagement

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Open rate. Click-through rate. Bounce. Unsubscribe. With so many email marketing metrics to analyze, it's easy to get lost in the numbers. Clicks, opens, conversions, booked jobs — what should you focus on?

Whether you're an HVAC email marketing pro or this is all starting to sound Greek to you, we've got some actionable advice for improving email engagement across the board.

A few things to know about HVAC email marketing metrics

Before we dive in to tried-and-true strategies for boosting engagement, let's cover a few misconceptions about email marketing for local service businesses.

Know the benchmarks and set realistic goals

It's highly unlikely any of your emails will get a 100% open rate. And a click-through rate of 50% is a pipe dream. Don't be surprised to see email open rates of around 20% and click-through rates of around 3%. This is fairly standard across all industries, including HVAC.

Some emails will perform better than others

Engagement rates will vary depending on an array of factors, from the type of email to the day of the week. Welcome emails in particular perform well, with over 55% open rates on average. Tuesday is the best day to send emails, with an 18% open rate on average.

Of course, what works for everyone else might not work for your business. Which is why it's important to test and experiment often.

A cluttered email list will hurt your engagement

If your list is cluttered with dozens of subscribers who never engage with your emails, your overall open rate percentage will drop.

This doesn't always mean your emails suck. (Key word: always!) You should constantly test your email copy and subject lines to find what works and what doesn't.

But all sorts of things can happen. Emails get lost in spam folders. Customers sign up with inactive email accounts. You get the idea.

Purge your list once every quarter or 6 months to ensure you're sending messages to active, engaged customers and leads.

Approximate industry benchmarks for HVAC email marketing

A recent study on email marketing results identified industry benchmarks for construction, contracting, and manufacturing. (The figures below are rounded to the nearest whole number where possible.)

  • Open rate: 22%
  • Click-through rate: 3%
  • Unsubscribe rate: 0.3%
  • Bounce rate: 2%

Compare those benchmarks to the averages for all industries combined:

  • Open rate: 18%
  • Click-through rate: 3%
  • Unsubscribe: 0.1%
  • Bounce rate: 0.7%

Tips for maximizing engagement on your HVAC emails

Now that you've got some benchmarks to work from, let's take a look at a few ways you can maximize email engagement as a local HVAC brand.

Personalize your emails for segmented lists

If you're planning to send out the same email to your whole list, here's a tip: don't. Unless you want to tank your engagement. The last thing your customers need is more irrelevant emails in their inboxes.

Before you start sending out emails, take some time to segment your list into buckets. You might bucket customers by how much they spent during a certain time frame, when they were last serviced, or even their birthday. Which leads us to our next HVAC email marketing tip.

Send gifts, just because

Who says you can't send gifts via email? One of our own clients partnered with a local chocolate factory and sent their customers a voucher for a Valentine's Day gift.

Your gift doesn't have to be super elaborate, and it doesn't even have to involve a partnership with a local business. For example, you might offer a free service to customers who spent a certain amount over the past 6 or 12 months. Another idea is to waive the dispatch fee.

Host contests and giveaways

Who doesn't love free stuff? Customers are more likely to open your emails when they know there's a chance to win something. Contest entry confirmation emails have an open rate of nearly 50%. Giveaway ideas for HVAC range from small gifts like a branded thermostat to a sweepstakes for a new furnace.

Re-engage past customers

The terms "email marketing" and "lead generation" are practically synonymous. Many local businesses are laser-focused on growing their customer base, and by extension, their email list.

But don't get so caught up in chasing new emails that you neglect the ones you've already collected! Re-engage with those past customers — don't just assume they'll return because they've already booked a service. Check in with them to see if they need any work done.

Offer email-exclusive rewards to loyal customers

Customers love discounts and special offers, especially if they know they're recurring and not available anywhere else. New customers will be more willing to sign up for your email newsletter if they know they'll receive regular rewards.

A similar idea is a loyalty program or a service plan package. You might charge a flat fee for annual maintenance costs, plus extra perks like equipment coverage, replacement parts for no extra fee, and a significant discount on emergency services.

Educate your customers with actionable home improvement tips

Maintenance checklists. Easy ways to save money on the heating bill. Quick fixes for common issues. This is all stuff your contacts can use on a regular basis. Educational emails are always a safe bet because you're providing value and asking for nothing in return. It's also a clever way to generate business — homeowners who aren't comfortable checking out their own systems are more likely to call you in for the job!

Encourage referrals with incentives

This HVAC email marketing tip is a two-birds, one-stone tactic. Not only do your customers get an incentive, like a credit toward their next service that never expires, but you also get new leads and email contacts. It's a win-win!

Call the people who are engaging with your emails

This is a secret weapon for maximizing engagement on your HVAC emails and works especially well for businesses that have a small marketing and/or customer service team. In a world where so many communications are automated, a phone call is a more authentic way to follow up with loyal customers who engage with your content.

Call up your customers and thank them for taking the time out of their busy lives to read your email. A quick catch-up shows the customer you value them and keeps you top-of-mind. It also gives them an opportunity to book that service appointment they've been postponing.

Spread the word

How will you generate new contacts for your email list if no one knows about it? Posting a form or pop-up ad on your website isn't gonna cut it. Get the word out on your social media accounts and even mailers and flyers.

Maximizing engagement in HVAC email marketing: wrapping up

When it comes to engagement, HVAC and other home service emails get great open and click-through rates.

But creating an HVAC email marketing campaign from scratch is a lot of work. That's not including cleaning out your contacts, testing multiple subject lines and email designs, reviewing analytics regularly — you get the idea.

Overwhelmed just thinking about it? We get it. Many of the local business owners we serve singlehandedly manage HR, customer service, marketing, sales, and operations. Which means they just don't have the time to create and execute an effective HVAC email marketing strategy. (Even if will generate thousands of dollars in booked jobs and repeat business.)

That's where the Engagement Engine comes in.

Retain more customers with less time and effort by harnessing the power of automation backed by humans. An email marketing solution tailor-made for local HVAC businesses like yours, the Engagement Engine comes complete with customized email content already written for you, plus intuitive analytics and intelligent segmenting. Some of our own clients have seen open rates of 40% on average and generated $80k in revenue!

We know you're managing a million and one things. When you welcome ZyraTalk to your team, we'll take some tasks off your plate so you can focus on what you do best: serving your customers.

Contact us today for a free demo to discover how the Engagement Engine can generate more repeat business by engaging your past customers.