It’s crazy really, how few service professionals use this reliable, “boring” communication tool as a marketing channel.

email marketing for service professionals

In fact, you might be surprised at how many people would rather worry about Facebook’s latest algorithm change or spend hours attending a networking event (without their ideal client) rather than leverage something they CAN control.

Or maybe you’re not surprised.

Yes, it may be considered a “dinosaur” in some circles and it’s certainly not “shiny” enough for others, but if you want a reliable, effective and measurable marketing channel you can’t beat the most reliable online tool for leveraging your time.

As far as cost-effective? Sources say that for every dollar spent, you receive an average of $38-$44 in return.

Don’t you think that sounds like a good investment?

Hopefully, if you’re a realtor, attorney, financial service pro, business coach or healthcare practitioner, this will spark an “aha” moment and show you that it’s quite possible to leverage your time and knowledge far easier than you thought.

Let’s take a look at the top four “reasons why” service professionals forget about this under-utilized lead generation tool known as “email marketing.”

Yes, it’s “old-school.” However, that also means it’s stable and unlike some old-school marketing practices (Yellow Pages, anyone?) it’s still effective.

The Top 5 Reasons Most Service Professionals and Other SMB Don’t Use Email Marketing as a Cornerstone of Their Businesses

#1 – Confusing Technology

Constant Contact surveyed small business owners and found that 49% do not use email marketing data to assist with their email marketing campaigns because they do not know where to begin. (Source: Constant Contact, 2016)

Yes, there are a lot of email services available. Frankly, the best one is the one you’re going to use….especially at the beginning.

Choose something that meets your needs and you can grow into over the next couple of years.

Mailchimp, Aweber, Convertkit or anyone of the dozens of others will work. If you want to have the ability to enable soft and sift your prospects and clients based on their click, then you’ll need a tool that allows that action. However, that’s more sophisticated than most offices need at the beginning.

#2 Don’t Recognize the Value

Yes, email has been around for 20+ years.

Which means it works. Chances are, you use email to communicate every day and unlike shifting algorithms, you own your email database and if you lost access to social media tools, you could still communicate with your prospects and clients.

Of course, like anything else, you want to have a marketing strategy behind it.

A good email marketing strategy well-executed will showcase your credibility and help you stay top of mind.

Campaign Monitor says that email marketing averages a $44 return on investment. (Source: Campaign Monitor, 2016)

#3 Don’t Think They Have Anything Relevant to Say

People always ask me, “What would I put in a newsletter?” Since one of my skills is helping professionals come up with useful material to share, I can always rattle off a list of ideas on the spot.

As an expert in your field, you share insights and tips all day long with your clients. However, like most of us, you’ve probably forgotten that everyone else doesn’t have your years of experience and insights.

Here’s a quick exercise to stimulate your creativity that I use in my workshops. It never fails to spark new ways of thinking.

I call it the 5 x 5 method — write down the 5 questions that your clients ask you the most and answer them. Next, write down the 5 questions they DON’T ask but you wish they would.

If you can’t think of anything, go to Amazon and type in your topic. You’ll get a list of best-selling books in your industry, all of them planned and researched. What do they have in their Table of Contents?

What do we REALLY need to know but don’t know enough to ask?

Chances are, there’s a lot!

#4 Don’t Want to “Bother” People with Emails

This is a misperception.

It’s based on a mix of mindset and lack of understanding of how email marketing “done well” actually works.

You don’t want to add just anyone with an email address. Some businesses approach it this way and which definitely gives email marketing a bad rap.

Instead, you can approach it like the savvy business person you are and use the time-honored tradition of permission-based marketing.

Here’s an example, let’s say you’re speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event. Let’s say you’re a tax professional and you’re sharing tax-saving tips for small business owners. A crowd of 20 is listening and making notes.

Now, at the end of your presentation, you could offer the standard “free tax review” of previous taxes that most accountants offer, or you could offer a list of common “traps” that cost small business owners big.

If they want to receive this checklist, they can give you their business card and you’ll make sure they receive it. (Or, you can offer them a URL for the opt-in page but you’re better off taking the business cards.)

A few days later, you can follow up with an invitation to connect on LinkedIn. Maybe you offer them another piece of educational content. (Hint: It doesn’t even have to be created by your office.)

A week or so, offer them another piece of useful information.

As you probably know, only a few people are actively looking for an accountant at the time they meet you, but if you stay relevant and top of mind, they may reach out to you in the future.

Do you see how this works?

Hopefully, you see the possibilities for any service professional.

As you know, email is still something that nearly everyone checks nearly every day — if not several times a day. If you provide useful tips in your emails, then you’ll gain trust and credibility…as well as business.

Why not leverage your time and expertise with an email newsletter?