Utilizing email communications effectively is a vital part of your agency’s sales process, and is key to moving prospects from inquiries to clients. And the operative word to focus on is “effective.” While many home care agencies stay in touch with their leads, referral sources, and clients through email, if not executed properly, those emails often end up simply deleted by their recipients without a second glance. After all, everyone is busy, and without a specific strategy behind the communications, it’s easy for them to get lost in the shuffle. Worse yet, emails that are written in a less than professional manner can actually harm your agency’s reputation and hinder your ability to get business.
In our recent webinar the following tips were shared to ensure your agency’s digital communications stand out:
- 1. Know the basics. If you haven’t already signed up for a business email account that allows you to include your agency’s name in your email address, there’s no better time to do so than now! This helps build credibility that your agency is a professional and legitimate business. Without this, your agency looks unprofessional, unestablished, and possibly suspect. Then set standard protocol for each employee to follow, such as including a professional signature that contains your agency’s tagline, any accreditations, trust marks, or awards received, links to review pages, and possibly a small, professional headshot.
- 2. Prepare for e-blasts. Explore email blast services such as Constant Contact, Mailchimp, SendGrid, etc. which allow you to brand your messages in a professional format, build distribution lists, and categorize those lists for targeted mailings. At the very least, if you decide to forego using an e-blast service, always utilize the BCC field when sending messages to multiple recipients.
- 3. Nurture leads. Personalized emails are a great way to follow up with and nurture leads, ensuring you stay top of mind as they’re working through their decision-making process. Make sure to address both the person who inquired about services and his or her loved one who is in need of your services by name. Include any specific details that the caller brought up to show you were listening and are connected. Attach any follow-up materials that were discussed on the call, along with a link to a blog post on your website that is relevant to the caller’s needs, and then clearly provide a next step for the inquirer to take to arrange for care.
After the initial follow-up email has been sent, your agency should follow a documented sales process to continue to move the lead through the sales funnel. This should include follow-up (both calls and emails) at various points in the process, based on the prospect’s actions. Be sure that the cadence and timing of follow-up is standard and consistent for every call, and that all follow-up calls and emails are tracked and documented. Invest in and consistently use a customer relationship management program (CRM) that allows you to add prospective clients to targeted distribution lists based on their particular interests and needs. Then determine the frequency of e-blasts for these specific audiences, and always include a call to action in each communication.
It’s also extremely important to ensure that any and all staff members who may potentially answer the phone are fully trained in how to handle inquiry calls, understanding that training is an ongoing process – not a one-time event. Partnering with a professional home care operations and sales coach with expertise in the aging care industry is the perfect way to ensure your email communication is both helpful to your recipients and effective in showcasing your agency as the go-to expert for the solution they’re seeking.
Available in the webinar archive as:
corecubed also offers email templates to help agencies with professional communications.