“How do you communicate with your customers? Email has some benefits over phone calls and postcards. Emails are written at your office staff’s convenience, and read at your customers’ convenience. And they’re inexpensive to send.”

Sure fire ways to stop getting junked.But emails can end up in spam folders; they are of no use if your customer never sees them.  And how many of your own emails do you actually read? I bet it’s only a fraction of them. Many systems use a grading system to check emails and decide where to put them. Here’s how you can keep your HVAC email out of a customer’s spam box, and make sure it gets read.

Watch out for Trigger Words: Words like “FREE” and “Prize” can get flagged by spam filters. very often. Be careful when using these words and make sure to add context to them.

Keep it as short as possible. Keeping an email short, clear and error-free gets you more points than being flashy. No one has time for a rambling email on any subject, and sorry to say it, but HVAC matters just won’t keep the average person’s interest for long. Phrase the main message of your email in a couple of sentences up front. Add explanation as necessary, and then be done.

Choose realistic subject line. A cheesy looking, unbelievable subject line, like “Get your furnace maintained for FREE!” is more likely to end up in a spam folder.  Instead, the subject line can describe a real benefit to the customer. “Protect your investment | Maintain your furnace” or “Keep your family safe with a furnace checkup” are more likely to prompt a recipient to open the email.

Capitalize just the first word of the subject line, and avoid excessive spacing or capitalization. Don’t use strings of characters. It’s even best to avoid exclamation marks. Look at your own spam inbox for the types of subject lines to avoid.

Don’t include attachments. Put all of the information in the body of the email, and use links if you need to send readers elsewhere.

Use excellent grammar and punctuation. Poorly written emails smack of spam. You may be the best HVAC gig in town, but glaring grammar and spelling gaffes will put your credibility in question with some customers. If grammar and proofreading are not your forte, don’t be shy to ask someone to proofread. You could probably get a good edit job inexpensively from a college English major.

Ask to be added to a verified senders list: In every email make sure you ask your customer or prospect to add your email address to a verified senders list. This means that their system will always let you through.

If you find that emails work well for you, you’ll want to streamline and automate them. Next month we’ll talk about using an email service provider.

Oh and always, always, always…did I stress always get permission to email people and have a way for people to unsubscribe. Always.