Email Marketing: Don’t Flush This Opportunity Away

The problem with online shopping and online contests is you inevitably end up on yet another email list. Many people solve this problem by setting up an email account specifically for these instances, which they pay very little attention to. That’s a problem for marketers.

So how can businesses make sure their emails are actually seen and read?

Make them useful.

Horizon Services—a plumbing, heating and air conditioning company—sets a terrific example. I don’t even own a home, yet I still subscribe to their emails.

Let me repeat that—I currently have no use for their services, but I still read their emails.

See How Horizon Does It Right

If you’re in the Philadelphia area, you probably know about Horizon. They sponsor Phillies games and advertise on Septa buses. Their orange-wrapped buses are hard to miss!

Bus wrapped in orange Horizon advertising

I got on their email list because I entered a contest to win Phillies tickets earlier this year. I had planned on unsubscribing, but now I see no need to.

Why? They demonstrate the triad of traits important for good email marketing:

  1. Purpose
  2. Timing
  3. Rewards

Purpose: Help is on the Horizon

This is ultimately why I keep reading their emails—they are useful. Their emails don’t just sell their services. They’re informative, filled with fantastic tips for maintaining your home.

Note the subject line. It’s not, “Save $67.50 on any plumbing service.” It’s “Discover tips to keep your drains and pipes flowing.” Which are you more likely to open?

Top half of Horizon email

Bottom half of Horizon email

When you click on the link, you’re sent to their “Comfort Zone” blog that has a ton of tips you can use.

No, I don’t own a home yet, but I do like to take care of what I can in my rented home on my own—especially the minor things that go wrong. And I appreciate that this company is taking time to educate me on that.

Building trust like that is how customers remember you and recommend you. I’m not even a customer of theirs, but I am likely to send them business.

Timing: Not Pushy, Not Even Frequent

This is why I haven’t unsubscribed from Horizon’s emails. Now that holiday season is upon us, I get emails everyday from the same merchants—sometimes twice a day. That’s crazy and unnecessary. And it’s a good way to get your customers to unsubscribe.

Horizon shows up in my box a one or two times a month. Very unobtrusive, yet often enough that I remember they’re there.

Rewards: Discounts for Certain Services

I personally don’t need these discounts (as a non-homeowner), but my friends and family might need them, so I keep an eye on what Horizon is advertising. And, if something did go wrong in my home, I could offer my landlord the coupon too.

What’s even better is I know they do good work. My parents had a hot water heater start to go and Horizon came out in a flash. A new hot water heater was installed without the normal mess to clean up when a hot water heater unexpectedly goes and empties out all over the place.

The service man they sent was friendly, helpful and treated my parents like people in need of help, not just people to sell to. So, really, their emails fit very much with their brand.

Yes, they’re in business to sell you services. But they’re also a company you can rely on to help. If only other companies would follow their lead.