So, in our carpet cleaning business I’ve just organised our Automatic Job Reminder letter for February to go out. It’s part of the Daily Marketing activity in GetBookedUp and this particular tool is in the Professional+, Business Builder and Turbo Charged Editions.
So what’s Automatic about it? Well, this is a letter generated automatically by GetBookedUp, exactly when it’s due without you having to search through any records or diaries. You just run the Daily Marketing activity and the systems does the work for you and tells you how many are due. You just then choose the letter you want to send, and we include a template to get you started, click print and away they go, IT’S THAT EASY and automatic.
Why is it different to the normal reminder letter? Well, this letter is only sent to those people who asked us to remind them to have the items cleaned again. Ie, when we left the questionnaire on completion of the job the last question on there is “When would you like us to remind you to have the item cleaned again 12/18/24/36 months? Please delete as applicable.” Whatever the client chooses this is recorded in the client record and the system does the rest, as above. What makes this work so well is that the letter simply says “When we worked for you on (job date) you asked us to remind you in (timeframe). Well, it’s (time frame) so here’s your friendly reminder. Call us now and we’ll get you booked in as requested.” Basically, they asked us to remind them, we have, so they automatically respond and call, simple.
The conversion rate on this letter is typically 40%, so the 118 letters that have gone out as our February run of Automatic Job reminders could turn into 40-45 JOBS meaning a HUGE ROI on the cost of 118 letters!
If you’re not using software to help you run your business, or your current software doesn’t offer this feature then why not take a look at GetBookedUp now. These and many other clever little tools like it will save you time and make a massive difference to your marketing spend and ROI.
Here’s a quick video showing you how easy this is to use, and this feature IS included in the one off fee, £289 + VAT, Professional+ Edition too. It’s just one of the tools so many of our users have told us they SWITCHED from other software to GetBookedUp to use. So, now you can see how powerful this one tool is, ask your existing software provider to add it as soon as possible, and if they won’t, you should make the switch to GetBooedUp now. The sooner you switch and start recording these too, the sooner you start to get a return, so what are you waiting for, take a look at GetBookedUp now.
Imagine when you come to sell your business the added value this will give your business. If you could show a potential buyer that you have a list of people who have asked to be remind at a specific time to have the work done again, and the response to that reminder is typically 40%, imagine what that does to the VALUE of the business, for very little work, just a few clicks on each record when the job is done.
I’ve had a few people get in touch asking what the book was that I mentioned in my Marketing Presentation at the NCCA Meeting recently. Well it’s John E Kennedy’s “Reasons Why Advertising” and it appears to be OOP and hard to find in the format I have. The only ‘copy’ I can find is on Amazon, link below. That’s for that book republished with his follow up book ‘as one’. BUT if anyone wants to borrow my copy of the original I’m happy to mail it to you if you promise to mail it back promptly 🙂
I’ve side by side tested letters with just different opening paragraphs, some using “Reasons why” and others with a more ‘corporate’ feel to them, and hands down the response is FAR better from “Reasons why” opening Paragraphs.
Then I’ve tested the best performing “Reasons why” opening paragraphs and tested with the rest of the letter “Reasons why” format, and the rest of the letter a more corporate content. Again “Reasons why win hands down every time.
In a nutshell, for those that didn’t make it to the NCCA event, “Reasons Why” talks about composing your letters in a conversational manner and tell the client why your writing. Give them a reason why you write. Give them a reson why you’re making the offer, and not just “January sale” use conversation language to tell people why you’re having a January sale. As part of the mailing we’ve send in the Pre Christmas marketing in our carpet cleaning business I give people a reason for the offer in January…
“Post Christmas is always a little quiet as carpet and upholstery cleaning is the last thing most people’s minds, especially if it’s wet, snowy weather. We’re busy in January, but most of that work is for commercial clients, cleaning up hotel conference rooms, and other party venues after the festivities. Most of that is evening and weekend work though; which means we’re quieter during the day. You see everyone wins, it means I keep our technicians busy during the day in January, and valued previous clients like you <<title>> <<Surname>> can take advantage and save pounds on the usual price, everyone wins!”
IT WORKS! I’ve tested this and other’s side by side.
Kennedy then talks about reassurance, so I use…
“We may be cutting the price but you have my absolute assurance that we will not be cutting back on our high standards. As always, ALL our work is fully guaranteed, if you’re not completely satisfied we will put it right or refund your money, NO QUIBBLE!”
The following is another paragraph we find works really well, because it follows the guidelines in Kennedy’s book, we make it easy for the client to call now and tell them why we make it easy and why they can call now, so guess what, they CALL NOW, while they have the letter in their hand before they put it down and forget…
“So, if you want cleaning done before Christmas call us now, daytime or evening, and we’ll pull up your record and see if we can fit you in. If you want to wait until January for cleaning call us now and we’ll confirm the dates and the offer details for you. Remember, you can call us any time on your local number below, as outside of office hours they are diverted at our cost to our home. We realise you’re busy too and we don’t mind taking your call whenever is best for you to organise your cleaning. So call us now.”
PHEW! That was a longer post than I intended, but I hope there’s something useful for you.
PS. Firstly always have a PS! Secondly, “Reasons why…” works because people automatically feel an affinity to the reason why and therefore feel comfortable and ‘just do it’. So, apply reasons why to your marketing and you’ll be working smarter, not harder. You’ll save time and money in all your marketing effort by reducing the number of mailings and increasing their response, the whole philosophy of GetBookedUp.
Here’s the Amazon link:-
In response to requests from both existing users and potential users I’ve video’d the actual process, live, in our carpet cleaning business. So, what’s happened is a commercial client we clean for on a regular basis was booked in for Monday and we had two technicians booked to be there all day. This morning they have rung, they have just found out they have an inspection that day so have cancelled Monday and we’re going Friday instead. I’ve talked about this before but here is the live video of me actually doing it. With your database you really are sat on Acres of Diamonds…
I sent the email out at 10:30 ish, you’ll see on the video, it’s now 11:13 as I’m typing this post and ALREADY we have had a reply from a previous client booking for her suite and carpet to be cleaned and protected on Monday. EASY! This technique is so easy and never fails to fill the gaps.
You can target your clients however you like but we use a “Short Notice Offer” List. What’s that? I’ve talked about this before in a previous blog, but basically we ask every client a simple question on the questionnaire…
“If you’d like to know about amazing last minute short notice offers please pop your email here __________”
This does a few things, it collects emails from people who you might not have an email address for, so you can add them to you newsletter etc AND it means these people are MASSIVELY interested in EXACTLY the type of offer you are making with this email. It’s WIN/WIN.
Now I can hear you saying I don’t have many emails so this wouldn’t work for me. WRONG! Start now and you’ll start collecting emails straight away, PLUS it does work with just a few email addrsses. No matter how many emails you have this is so easy to do that in a few minutes you have the chance to fill gaps and cancellations. I guarantee we will fill two vans next Monday with this offer, as I said, it’s only 11:15 on Thursday and we’ve had one call to book, within 45 minutes of the email going out. And so can you as your list grows.
You could also do this by text message for same day cancellation gaps you need to fill. We’ve found email works best for a couple of days away, text wrks best for same day or early next morning cancellations. I think that’s because people always have their phone with them so respond to text messages immediately, btu might not open emails until they get home from work or shopping. Just my thoughts.
Anyway, that’s it, as requested, a live demo of how we use Easy Email Marketing to fill cancellations.
This tool is available in the Professional+, Business Builder and Turbo-Charged Editions. The specific, very targeted list I used is only in the Business Builder and Turbo-Charged Editions, BUT you can do a very similar targeted email in the Professional+ Edition too.
Your feedback would be appreciated, watch the video now…
PS We have many clients who have told us they only ever use us when we do an offer like this. Now you might think that that’s a problem, they only ever have work done at a discount! AH AH! THAT’S FANTASTIC, they are on a separate list (recorded as a Group on GetBookedUp) and these are the people we target FIRST with same day deals! WHY? Because these are the easy low hanging fruit to pick off no effort to fill slots. THEY LOVE IT & WE LOVE IT! It’s all about per van daily average. If we can fill a slot this afternoon at 3:00pm then we can do another £x of work today, that’s time that has gone, never to be available again to sell some cleaning in, so why not take it and keep clients, and you, happy? To me it’s a ‘no brainer’. So, if you need any help setting up templates to do this, or any help whatsoever just email or call.
The title says it all. We all know that we should keep in regular contact with our clients and the Client Newsletter has shown over the years to be a great way to do that. If the thought of having to commit to writing a monthly newsletter puts you off starting, as compiling an interesting newsletter isn’t easy, these guys have done it all for you. I’m not going to repeat everything that’s on their website here, but this is a FANTASTIC new resource available from these guys…
P.S. This isn’t an affiliate link, it’s just such a great resource I wanted to share it with you.
Just over a month ago I mentioned this and now after further testing and tweaking it’s available and ready to go, the final tutorials will go live over the next few days but it’s pretty self explanatory how it works from the video below.
It’s something we’ve been using for a while now, but it was always a little bit of faffing around to do and often got missed if the phones were busy. As it is such a successful marketing technique we’ve decided to automate it as a specific new tool in GetBookedUp. It’s in the Business Builder, Turbo-Charged AND the one time only fee Professional+ Edition too. Plus, if you’re an existing user, it’s also available as a free update.
Basically, we send an email or text to everyone on the database who lives on the same street as the person we have just booked a quote or job appointment for. Why? Because this does a couple of things. Firstly it lets people know you’re in the area, so if they need anything you can call at the same time, which saves you fuel, time and marketing costs. Secondly it lets people know you’re in the area! Always in the area! which has a drip, drip effect and builds your reputation as THE Carpet Cleaner in the area.
This isn’t rocket science, it’s just a way to drip, drip market your existing clients, cementing the fact that you are the local cleaner and at the same time reducing your fuel, travel time and marketing costs. As I said, we’ve done this for some time now, and we thought it was time to automate the process in GetBookedUp now we’ve proven it works. It may only be that you have one or two other clients in the street, but this is a virtually free method of keeping in touch with them which, and I’ll say it again, cements you as THE cleaner in the neighbourhood.
If you tie this in with always doing at least a ‘5 around’ leaflet drop, or better still a small notepad drop (more about this idea another day), and you’re perceived as always in the area so you must be popular in the area. This works amazing in the higher end areas too, where it’s virtually impossible to break into without a word of mouth recommendation. People start talking when they keep seeing you in the area and the recommendations flow.
Take a look at the video to see how easy it is to use, we even include the templates for you…
I’ve known Richard for many years through our own carpet cleaning business and have used many of Chemspec Europe’s products, including their Fire and Flood range. The commercial carpet cleaning side of our business was ‘revolutionised’ after attending a TACCA day and then following that up with the Commercial Carpet Maintenance course that Chemspec run. If you’ve never done that course I highly recommend it, you’ll look at commercial carpeting and it’s maintenance in a much more profitable way. In my experience you’ll win more commercial work, and give your clients a maintenance schedule that shows you know your stuff. They’ll look on you as their expert, even when others try to get in using low price, they’ll remain loyal to you and your planned maintenance schedule. Over to Richard, who shares some great advice…
Carpets are now installed across a much wider range of buildings than ever before and are even being laid on top of the recent trend towards wood or laminate flooring. Years ago carpets were laid like rugs with floorboards visible around the edges, often painted black, until, with the advent of Broadloom, wall-to-wall carpeting became the norm. I’m guessing that most of us who spend large parts of our working day in an office will have noticed that it’s carpeted; mine is. Where carpets are laid in commercial premises like theatres, hospitals, hotels and offices, the challenge to keep them clean is greater than it is in domestic situations. So what are the challenges we face in keeping these carpets looking great?
Larger areas and higher footfall are obvious factors but logistics can play a part in adding to the difficulties of cleaning. In airports, for example, clearing security can take longer than actually doing the job and some premises have strict rules about access through doors that are normally securely locked. Sometimes there can be problems with access to clean water and often the waste water has to be carried large distances for disposal. Some premises, like Casinos, Hotels, Hospitals and Nursing Homes are occupied 24 hours a day and noise can be an issue; just ask an Airline pilot who has tried to sleep in the daytime in a noisy Hotel.
The practical aspects of commercial carpet cleaning are largely the same as domestic, just on a larger scale. Clearly soil is THE major factor; not just the amount, but also where it is and its type. If we consider the amount first, the majority of soil found in carpet is dry particulate soil. In fact, Chemspec teach that 79% of the total soil mass in the average carpet is dry. That’s why it’s critical to vacuum carpet regularly and thoroughly, even immediately before periodic cleaning. Failure to remove sufficient dry soil prior to wet cleaning will make the cleaning task harder as the soil combines with the water to form a type of mud, which is then more difficult to extract. This can cause Wicking problems as the residues ‘wick’ to the surface of the fibres in the drying process, leaving the grey shading that appears in the heavy traffic areas soon after drying. Avoiding it is simple; always vacuum thoroughly, use a low moisture carpet cleaning method such as rotary bonnet cleaning, use encapsulating solutions or ‘dry’ compound cleaning and force dry the carpet after cleaning with a high moisture method. The 79% figure quoted applies to carpets fitted in the vast majority of areas; not just in high traffic locations.
In terms of where the soil is mainly located, think of barrier matting, which is designed to remove soil from feet and keep it near the doorways. Barrier matting is fantastic at doing so, especially if it extends further than just the first one or two footfalls. Typical commercial carpet, rather than being fantastic at it, is simply very good at cleaning shoes. 85% of soil enters the typical building on footwear and, after 7 steps the soles of our shoes are cleaned. If no barrier mat is fitted, then the entry carpet holds onto the soil acting like a reservoir and keeps hold of it until the carpet is vacuumed. If the carpet is not vacuumed sufficiently well, or frequently enough, it will become saturated with soil and subsequent foot traffic will begin to transport soil from the reservoir further and further into the building creating what carpet cleaners call Traffic Lanes. Eventually, if the carpet continues to be neglected, these traffic lanes will spread throughout the building. We have all seen them and our carpet-cleaning customers love them. Obviously it is equally important to vacuum the barrier mat, as that reservoir, similarly, will become saturated if neglected.
Having discussed the amount and location of what is thought of as typical soil, now we will discuss some of the different types of soil that might make the carpet-cleaning task more challenging in a commercial environment.
Carpet soil is defined as anything that is foreign to the construction of the carpet. We are not just faced with the fine, so called typical, carpet soil that drops deep in the pile. It can be physical soil such as chewing gum or food particles or the carpet can be discoloured with stains of the liquid dyes contained in such items as coffee, tea, energy drinks, fake tan solutions and a wide variety of natural and artificial dyes within spices and other food additives. These are most likely to be found in public areas; chewing gum and drink stains in cinemas, food and drink stains in food service areas and food dye stains in restaurants and roadside service stations. Notice the carpet discoloration that is often apparent near the kitchen access of a restaurant. Fake tan is common in hotel rooms as well as domestic carpets. These types of soil are a serious concern to building owners and contractors due to the high concentration of soil and the resulting contrast in colour. If 200ml of dark coloured coffee is spilled in a 10cm x 10cm area of a light coloured carpet it’s likely to be noticeable from several Metres away and so too is a piece of gum or the orange dye from a can of Fanta, for example.
Even colourless clean oils will darken as other soils stick to them, over time. A single stain can make the difference between a carpeted area looking good or bad. These types of stains can all be removed from the majority of carpet but contractors need to select specialist products and perhaps take on additional training from specialist manufacturers such as Chemspec to achieve the best results.
Some types of cleaning tasks are tricky by their very nature; casinos are open 24 hours per day so when do you clean the carpets and can you guarantee high speed drying? Many carpet cleaning systems are noisy, even the self contained Truck mounted type, that remain outside the building whilst simply running hoses inside, produce lots of noise outside, certainly too much if guests are trying to sleep during the day in a hotel room. Even using a portable machine outside a hotel room would be too noisy. Elderly and Mentally Infirm units pose access difficulties, not just security but access to rooms where residents may be bed bound. Not only is the soil a challenge but also there is the deodorisation task, often made worse by the constant re-contamination of areas by residents. Many commercial premises add automatic perfume dispensers but these only tend to mask malodours; the professional cleaner needs to remove the source of the problem to fully eliminate the unpleasant and potentially harmful odours. Fortunately, a number of very effective deodorising cleaning solutions are available, some containing enzymes that will digest the residual bacteria that can remain in the fibres of the carpet after thorough conventional cleaning.
Stairs can be thought of as a challenge but, with the right equipment and technique, they are not really a major problem, simply taking more time and effort, and therefore more cost, to maintain them in good condition.
Of the wide variety of commercial premises with carpet cleaning needs it is probably the Nursing Home and Dementia Units that pose the greatest challenge. There are inevitable spills of brightly coloured medication, slip risk from damp carpet, odour control, constant recontamination, health and safety risk from body fluid spills with hepatitis and other virulent microbial hazards. Almost every type of soil, hot & cold foods, hot and cold drinks, medicines, body liquids and solids, sweets, lubricant from wheelchairs, in fact an endless list of contaminants can affect the appearance of carpeting in these environments.
Keeping commercial carpets looking good is a budgetary decision for management. The cleaning task is straightforward for professional carpet cleaners but is made more difficult and, in the long term, more expensive if the carpet gets too heavily soiled, when cleaning becomes the more difficult task of restoration.
Perhaps building owners and facility managers need to think about carpet maintenance in the same way that they think about the security alarm maintenance, plan it, schedule it and get it done before it is noticeable that work needs doing.
Whilst certain commercial premises, like the Nursing and Dementia Care homes mentioned above, are more difficult to keep clean than others, it follows that, ideally, they should all have a proper cleaning regime where specific tasks are performed to a well-documented schedule of routine maintenance. Where such a regime is implemented, as with a growing number of enterprises, this planned maintenance will not only create a cleaner and healthier environment for the occupants but also will prove cost effective. The life of the carpets will be extended considerably when compared with that of buildings where cleaning only takes place when the need is glaringly obvious.
Thanks again to Richard. So, take a look at Chemspec’s Website here>>
Remember that we’re carpet cleaners too. So last, but not least, find out more about a Chemspec Europe product which JUST THE MENTION OF has won us more commercial carpet cleaning work in the Health Care Sector than anything else we have ever included in a tender document for such work! See the article here>>
I’ve mentioned this to a few of the users I’ve been working with this last week so I think it’s time to share with everyone the latest ‘little touch’ feature we’re currently adding to GetBookedUp.
Its something that just automates a little bit more of the marketing activity that ‘drip feeds’ jobs into your business. There’s no one thing that will make your business super profitable or super efficient, it’s a culmination of lots of little things done well and done consistently, so if those activities can be automated as much as possible then it’s got to be a winner. We’re adding this new feature to the Professional+ Edition, Business Builder and Turbo Charged Editions, so don’t worry, it’s there for ALL paid versions, not just the ‘top two’. If you are an existing user the next time you get the prompt to update the system this, along with all the other little tweaks we do at users request, will be there waiting for you, just give us a couple of weeks for final beta testing. Oh, and it’s an extra feature for FREE, even for Professional+ Users, you see we’re committed to improving that Edition for all existing users too.
So what’s the ‘big thing’? It’s not big at all, in fact it’s a little thing but it does make a BIG difference. For some time now in our own carpet cleaning business we’ve been having great success with email and text marketing. The ‘problem’ I have is I’m always trying to come up with, and testing, new ways to specifically target our marketing, especially to existing clients. TARGET is the key word. You see I believe, from experience, that targeting niche groups allows you to speak directly to them on a personal level and therefore the message is more relevant to them and therefore the conversion rate is much higher. We already suggest targeting marketing to everyone in the same Town, even the same Village or District but we’ve also been targeting people in the SAME STREET!
Let me give you a bit of background. In our carpet cleaning business we still use leaflet distribution with great success. There is a whole story around how we do that, but that’s not for now. What we do, however, is when the leaflet is going into a targeted area we also write to all our existing clients in that area saying, effectively, “The leaflet offer is in the area, watch out for it, it’s X, Y, Z take your pick. As an existing client you can also A,B,C so call and book now.” We also write to all our existing clients in the small villages surrounding where the leaflets are going saying, effectively, “We know you won’t get the leaflet but we don’t want you to miss out on the offer, blah blah blah…”. This reinforcing, or ‘double hit’ of the leaflet AND a letter MASSIVELY increases the response to the mailing. As John E Kennedy would say in his book, that I highly recommended you read, “Reason-Why Advertising”, the MASSIVE increase in response is because you have a REASON to write to the client and a REASON to make an offer AND it’s recognising that as an existing client they are valuable enough to you for you to take time to advise them of the offer. It’s that simple! People appreciate being appreciated! So, if you can show your appreciation with a REASON you are telling them about the offer they really do buy in. This one activity is responsible for a large proportion of our repeat work. Not only that, because all the marketing is going into one locality, all the jobs and quotes are in the same locality. This means you can fit more in whilst also saving fuel and travel costs, PERFECT! Market Better, Quote Quicker, Book More, the whole GetBookedUp philosophy 🙂
I was thinking how can I take this principle a stage further, and follow up the Leaflet and the Letter with another REASON to be in touch? It’s well known by marketers that it often takes more than one ‘touch’ to elicit a response. Sometimes it’s just they were meaning to call, then got distracted, put the letter or leaflet down, then just forgot to call. So if you can ‘touch’ them again that might just do the job this time. I had the Eureka moment when an existing client called in and I overheard the conversation. The previous client said she had seen our van in the street that morning and saw Kevin (she knew Kevin as he’d visited a few times before) going into a neighbour’s house. She said if she’d know he was coming to her friend’s house she would have asked us to pop in while he was there and look at another area she wanted cleaning. PING! Neighbour Mailings were born!
So what’s a Neighbour Mailing? This was pre most people having an email address. To be honest it used to be a time consuming, quite costly process. When we booked a quote in a particular street we would POST a letter to existing clients on that same street with the REASON being that we were visiting to do a quote in the street. However, we could only do that if there was enough time for us to print and fold the letters to get them in today’s mail collection service at 3:00pm, so that they would arrive BEFORE we had actually visited the street to do the quote. It worked AMAZINGLY WELL, but only on those very few occasions we managed to send it, because most quotes are booked for the next day or the day after, so we couldn’t send many out to arrive before our visit. When we started collecting more emails we started sending emails to neighbours, but again it was time consuming running a filter on the database individually after booking each quote. We KNOW this works so we decided recently to automate this task in GetBookedUp so that as soon as you’ve made an appointment on the system with either a new or existing client, in just a few clicks from the client record you can immediately and automatically target all your existing clients in the same street and send them a fully mail-merged personalised email (and you can customise the email to suit you, but we’ll supply one for you). This means they have now potentially had a third ‘touch’, ie the leaflet, your letter and now the email. But it gets better as the momentum builds. If one of those book in you can automatically send another email, again saying you’re visiting the street. I think you can see just how powerful this becomes, yet at the same time it isn’t ‘pestering’ the client with useless information. This repeated ‘touching’ builds momentum and makes people realise you work in the area a lot, which again reinforces your reputation and then people start to ask their neighbours if they use you too as they have had another email. I can say this because that is exactly what our clients in our carpet cleaning business tell us. I’m not saying this to impress you but to impress upon you that this works, Neighbour Marketing has helped us grow our carpet cleaning business into a stable business where in some of the better neighbourhoods in our area we clean in 20-25% of the houses in the street. This automated email feature will just make it even easier for you to do the same too.
I can hear you saying you don’t have that many email addresses! Worry not, because most people these days give you a mobile number as a contact so you probably have that don’t you? So, there is also the option to send a mail-merged TEXT message to all your existing clients in the same street. But not only that, the feature has been designed to allow you to do both, and you choose which has preference. To be honest I prefer emails as they can contain links to specific custom landing pages on your website and allow for more content, so allow you more chance to explain your REASON for contacting them. So the way we’ve set ours up is to default to send the email first, but if there is no email address send a text. THE BEST OF BOTH and maximum coverage in just a few clicks!
Phew, if you’ve made it this far “Thank You”, that was a long post to explain something as simple as emailing or texting existing clients in the same street you have just book a quote in. I hope you’ll love the new feature as much as we, and a couple of beta testers do. It’s made Neighbour Mailings a WHOLE lot easier so we’re calling it “Easy Street Marketing”
If you’d like a sneaky peek at this feature just give me a call and I’ll show you how we’re using it. Watch out for the update notice, there’s no charge for this new feature and it IS in the Professional+ Edition too.
P.S. Of course, you don’t need to have sent the leaflets out or the letter, you could just have booked a quote in the street and want to let all your existing clients know anyway. Even doing just that will reinforce the fact that you work in the neighbourhood regularly and generate more calls in the area while you are already there. Quick, simple and effective marketing.
P.P.S. I almost forgot to say it works for JOBS too, in EXACTLY the same way. Now you tell them when you’re quoting and when you’re cleaning 🙂
A copy of the Email Template we’re using with great sucess. We’ll supply this with the feature and you’ll just need to edit your details and obviously change the Hyperlink addresses for the weblinks…
I thought I’d ask some of the people we work with and recommend to contribute Blog articles on their ‘specialised subject’ – a sort of Mastermind of our contacts. The first contribution, and the first of two articles, is from Ashley White who runs Pagecrest. Ashley is a fully trained “Google Adwords Qualified Individual”, which means he’s been trained by Google and knows his stuff. Not only that Ashley also knows our industry as he also runs his own successful carpet cleaning business. This gives him a unique insight into what is needed in Google Ad campaigns and keywords. He’s not a huge call centre with dozens of just out of college IT bods, he really understands our industry and what we need. So if you need a campaign setting up from scratch or just need him to give you an opinion on your existing setup I’m sure he can help. I’ll hand over to Ashley now and let him talk about how the world has changed and the impact it has on our business marketing…
The world has changed over the last 6 years. The days of frivolous spending have faded to a distant memory – replaced by price shopping, belt-tightening, and general frugality!
It means that we can no longer rely on customers calling to book our services or buy our products on the spur of the moment. While they certainly serve a purpose, we can no longer expect a substantial return from leaflet drops, newspaper ads, or items in the parish magazine. In fact, for many businesses, this type of advertising has become more of a way of increasing brand awareness, as opposed to generating business in the short term.
If being pro-active has become so inefficient, what can we do? Develop some focus on being reactive – instead of using our marketing budgets as a way of throwing enough mud to hope some of it will stick, wouldn’t it make more sense to concentrate on a market where customers are looking for your services? Now, more than ever, it’s important to make sure that when a customer is looking for what we’re offering, our company is one of the first that they find. Isn’t it easier to convince a customer that you’re the one to deal with, as opposed to first having to sell the service, then your company?
In the last few years, there has been a marked increase in consumers using the internet to find what they are looking for. In 2012, 85% of consumers used the internet to search for local businesses. 34% use the internet at least once a month to find local companies which offer the services or products they need. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this equates to a lot of enquiries, even for sparsely populated areas. And what method do they use to search the internet? At this moment in time, Google accounts for 2/3rds of all internet searches in Europe. That’s a LOT of people actively looking to spend a LOT of money!
If we could make sure that our business website listing was one of the very first seen by the customer when they searched for our services, it’s easy to see how this could have a definate impact on our incoming enquiries. In fact, if your listing was in first position (very top of Google search result page), you could expect almost 8% of users to visit your website (where you can then proceed to show them why your company is the one to do business with!). In fact, for search queries that have ‘high commercial intent’ (what you and I might call ‘hot leads’), the top 3 listings take 40% of all the clicks on the page! So I’m sure you can see the benefit of making sure that your business listing is as close to the top as possible!
In the next post, I’ll be explaining how you can get your company to this much-coveted position, and how to make the most of it. If you can’t wait, and just want someone to do it for you, just click through to my page and give me a call, I’ll help you get going in the right direction.
You see, we’ve been looking at adding this for some time, but we didn’t want to rush into adding texting to GetBookedUp and only do half a job. We wanted to be sure of several things. Firstly, that we complied with all the legislation and weren’t just flying by the seat of our pants. Secondly, we wanted to make it more than a simple “you can send a text, type what you want here then send it” system. So what we’ve developed covers both of those. We’ve partnered with the Industry leaders, TextLocal, to provide a fully integrated solution. Not only that, we now have our own webportal for using the other TextLocal tools too, so those of you with a real flair for the clever stuff can export data files and let your minds go wild. We’ve also decided to pass on some saving we make buying text messages in bulk. Because we buy in bulk you can buy text message credits from us at just 4.5p each if you buy 1000. Direct from TextLocal they would cost you 4.9p each, not a massive difference I know, but every little helps. Having our own webportal also means we have much more flexibility, so you get easier to use tools in GetBookedUp. The biggest benefit is by composing text messages in GetBookedUp we can allow you to merge many more fields that if you were using the other text messaging websites direct. Most have a limit of five, and by the time you’ve added Mr Simmons you’ve used two already. You can add as many as you like and the merge is done before it’s uploaded to the portal, so there’s no problem, a clever tool suggested by our developer.
These allow you to have ‘ready to go’ text messages at various points within the system, ie the Client Record screen, The Diary when booking a Quote or Job, and the new East Texting bulk text marketing facility. The system downloads with several for you to use straight away. You can use as is or edit them to suit, you can even add as many others as you like, let your mind go wild with ideas for how you can use this. The great thing about these templates is that we’ve made it dead easy to add mergedata into them, suach as the clients name, job or quote date, appointment time AND MUCH MORE. This means you don’t have to type that data into the text, the system DOES IT FOR YOU when you use the template, good eh? You can even edit the merged text before you send it if you like, WOW!
You can send a single text directly from a clients record. You can do this from a button next to the mobile number field, then choose a template or just type your own message. This is recorded on the Clients contact log too making tracking responses easy.
Confirm Quote and Job appointments from directly in the Diary system. Just choose the appointment and click ‘Text’, compose your text or choose a template, edit if you wish, click send and a fully mailmerged date and appointment time confirmation goes out.
Want to send job reminders by Text, or better yet send a text to everyone in a particular area with an offer to fill a gap in your diary tomorrow? EASY with Easy Texting. Select who you want to text to using the filter tool, even the easy filter tools or the target marketing filter tools, you choose. Choose which Template text you want to send, or create a new one, or even just modify a previous one, EASY! Click ‘Send’ and it’s sent and recorded on the clients contact log, again allowing accurate measuring of response rates.
There are so many ways you can use Text Messaging. I look forward to sharing some of the success stories of our users with you in future posts.
That’s all for now, regards,
The NCCA’s marketing blog seems to be on fire right now with tips and techniques, here’s another one I’m not going to repeat verbatim here, but feel it’s well worth popping over and taking a look…
Read more at… NCCA Marketing Blog: The MAGICAL Email
Of course there are tools in GetBookedUp that will make this process simple and systemised.
In the Professional+ Edition you could have this set up as an email template to send directly from the client record.
In addition, in the Business Builder and Turbo Charged Editions you can use the Target Marketing filter tools to automatically find “The MAGICAL emails” that are due for the chosen time period, and use that to send a bulk target marketing campaign.
If you need ANY help setting up any of these options in GetBookedUp please just call us on 01405 813665.
Until next time,