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Industry Exploration

Home Improvement Marketing

Home Improvement Industry Discussion
The primary categories most home improvement businesses deal with include:

Building Supplies
Heating & Cooling
Home Decor
Lawn & Garden
Lighting & Fans
Outdoor Power Equipment
Outdoor Living
Storage & Organization
Windows & Doors

However, within this list there is room for almost infinite variety and differentiation. The enormous DIY warehouse stores in major cities can carry thousands of SKUs in each of these departments. Their building supply departments can expand outwards over acres of well stocked lumber yard; their appliance section can feature virtually entire lines from all of the prime manufacturers; their lawn and garden section can be seasonally stocked with thousands of ready-to-plant flowers, fruits, and vegetables; and their hardware and tool sections can include more than enough supplies to engage in the total construction of any house or commercial building. On the other extreme of the home improvement business is the tiny hardware store that serves a small rural population. This type of store may not have appliances or plants at all, instead offering a threadbare selection of tools and hardware with a bit of lumber stacked up in the alley.

These two totally different home improvement stores may seem to have nothing in common with the exception that both are equally suitable to implement email marketing campaigns. Despite the great variation in these stores, from the selection and type of merchandise all the way to the demographics of its customer base, email marketing offers an even playing field for both of these extremes in the Home Improvement industry to compete and win over the loyalty of a thriving and burgeoning customer base.

Within the core of every group of consumers there are inherent characteristics that not only dictate the types of products and services that they are habitually in the market for, but also the specific types of motivations and incentives that can be utilized in a coherent online marketing strategy to obtain their patronage.

Geography plays a highly significant role in the demographic and disposable income parameters that each home improvement business must take into consideration while designing their email marketing strategy. The recession has left wide swaths of economic devastation behind in states such as Arizona, California, Nevada, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida. In some regions within these states, more than half of the homes lie empty and the area's families find that their disposable income has been squeezed to zero and the best that they can do is to use their meager income to purchase food, staples, and the barest necessities. At the same time, there are many zones also within those states including several areas in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and the San Francisco Bay Area in California and Southeastern coastal Florida where it would seem that the recession has never occurred and individuals are still tripping over themselves to buy multi-million dollar condos, Rolexes, and Bentleys. In the former areas, home improvement means barely patching a leaky roof or jury rigging a furnace to hopefully keep it going through just one more winter while in the latter it can mean dropping $100,000 on a total kitchen renovation complete with granite countertops and Viking professional stoves.

A question that is often asked by home improvement business owners and managers is how to collect these email addresses to a greater extent than they are already doing in order to improve their sampling and segmentation. The answer lies in a focused, coherent effort to gather as many email addresses as possible at every possible juncture. Some of the situations wherein home improvement businesses have historically achieved notable success in gleaning email addresses include:

At community events
At DIY fairs, trade shows & expos
At fundraising events
At sports events
At subdivision or building launches
At the customer service desk through a business card drop
By sponsoring little league and other local teams
By training staff to ask for the email address in person & on the phone
From collaborative local businesses in the contracting and DIY field
Via a guestbook
Via a website signup page
Of course you must ensure that clear and valid permission is obtained and permanently recorded for each subscriber that is placed on your newsletter subscription list. By collecting email addresses in a completely ethical and legal manner you will find that your list will soon be burgeoning and the additional list entries will provide you with additional valuable opportunities to segment your list even more in order to motivate and incentivize sales in your home improvement business. Whether you operate in an area that has been left unshaken by the recession or one that has been profoundly affected, your home improvement business can benefit from engaging your customers and prospects through the elevated efficiencies found only in email marketing.