Email Marketing For Heating Oil & Propane – A Definitive Guide

February 26, 2019 | By: Energy Engine
Categories: Blog Posts

Heating oil and propane businesses are in need of a game-changing solution.

As technology keeps evolving, customers are demanding more. An engaging, personalized online user experience is now mandatory for sustainable success.

To offer the superior customer experience that outclasses the competition, heating oil and propane businesses need resources to easily acquire, convert, nurture and retain their customers.

As user-experience now reigns supreme, email marketing is one resource that is more important than ever for this industry.

 

Why Should I Use Email Marketing?

Once looked down upon due to prevalent spamming, email marketing has made a resurgence and is as strong as ever thanks to improved spam filters and bolstered legal regulations.

Email marketing has returned as a cornerstone of marketing success for online businesses, and it is considered one of the safest investments that any business in any industry can make.

Email marketing can enable your business to maximize the following:

  • Customer engagement
  • Customer retention
  • Lead generation
  • Ongoing sales

Modern customers expect a higher standard of experience. Email marketing provides a simple, consistent way for businesses to stay in contact with their customers. Using email marketing gives your business a way to automate routine customer relations, and truly nurture that relationship so you have the highest possible chance of retaining their business.

Whether you are using emails to promote new deals, conduct surveys, or simply send a personalized thank you message, email marketing gives you an avenue to engage with the customer beyond the sale.

 

How To Take Advantage Of Email Marketing

Success in email marketing comes down to two main aspects: building an email list, and appropriately nurturing that email list.

There are various ways to build email lists through your website that can be found and implemented through the internet.

You can add popups to your webpages, have people sign up for your newsletter, include more calls to action across your site, or create different landing pages so there are different ways for users to sign up to be on your mailing list.

The method(s) you choose will depend on your audience. For many heating oil and propane businesses that have not invested much into their website’s lead generation tools, building the list is the first hurdle to overcome.

If you are starting from scratch with a limited email list, the best method is to start small. Use the contacts you have to start building out smaller lists and begin implementing some of the above changes to your website so you can further develop these lists in the future.

Whether you are starting from scratch or with a list in hand, email marketing can be an effective game changer. The next step will be using, or nurturing, your list based on some contact criteria.

Your contact list will likely contain a lot of people from varying backgrounds, so it is important to segment your lists appropriately. Your contact segments can be based around any unifying variable that the contacts have in common. Any similarity will be valuable — it can be as broad as a zip code or as specific as gallons ordered.

Whatever the segment, the important thing is to use those lists to direct content specifically for them. When you know your segments, it allows you to build a deeper connection with your customer. Through specialized content, you can deliver more personalized material built for them, and ultimately, convert them into loyal customers.

 

Email Marketing Benefits for Heating Oil & Propane Dealers

Let’s review the ways email marketing helps online businesses across industries.

Email marketing generates:

  • A stronger, more personalized customer experience
  • Stronger opportunities for customer retention
  • A higher likelihood of increasing gallons sold
  • More opportunities for additional product upsells
  • Valuable data and metrics to analyze customer behavior

All of these benefits are earned through strategic and savvy use of email marketing. However, you don’t need to be an email expert to know how to use email marketing the right way. By paying attention to your customers’ behavior, automating the right processes, and using the software to its fullest, your email marketing can be the best marketing tool you have.

How To Use Behavioral Targeting

One of the best ways to use email marketing is to tailor your email campaigns based on how the customer acts. This is called “behavioral targeting,” and it is perhaps the greatest asset that email marketing can provide.

Take a look at your customer contact list and pick a random name. When was the last time they ordered? Did they receive a price quote, but not place an order? Did they happen to refer someone else, but that referee didn’t register or request a quote?

These behaviors are the kinds of things which can be tracked through proper email marketing software. With this information handy, businesses can send specific emails targeted to users based on this behavior. The customer relations manual labor time is drastically reduced when you can track and react appropriately to your customer’s behavior from the start of the relationship.

When To Use Automated Marketing

While email marketing does offer heating oil and propane businesses a great chance to personalize customer outreach, it’s important to avoid “over-automation.”

Many business owners, across industries, use email marketing as a “set it and forget it” solution. Automating follow ups, promotions, and engagement is all valuable, but if you aren’t using it the right way, you will harm your customer’s experience. No one wants to feel like they’re talking to a robot.

Here are some examples of when to use, and when not to use, automation in your email marketing strategy:

Do Use

  • Confirmation emails, sales follow-ups
  • Upselling additional promotions
  • To set up product/delivery-specific alerts for customers
  • Conducting surveys and questionnaires
  • When you want to track user engagement  

Don’t Use

  • To conduct personal/customer-sensitive conversations regarding sales
  • If you’re looking to capture leads but do not have lead gen infrastructure
  • If you are not prepared to review data and use it to enhance future automation

Email marketing is an effective, valuable, and tangible tool for improving total sales and your customer experience. But even the automated aspects of it will need some general maintenance in order to get the full value.

Your time will be saved in the long run, as automated marketing removes frustrating operational tasks from your workload — but the best businesses are the ones who follow through after the automation to reap the biggest rewards.

Email Marketing — The Energy Engine Advantage

When it comes to email marketing, there is no substitute for the full scope of opportunities provided by the Energy Engine.

The Energy Engine packages email marketing with a wide scope of other solutions for fuel oil and propane dealers. Integrations for payment processing, web services, digital marketing services, and fuel oil delivery software are all available through the power of the Energy Engine.

The Energy Engine combines all these tools into one platform that integrates under your business’ brand.

See more of what the Engine can offer your business — contact us today to see how we can drive more customers, more gallons, and a more efficient business.