Oh, content.

It’s the helpful “stuff” that causes readers to open an email newsletter each month, that thing that helps establish long-term relationships with customers and ensures that email marketing campaigns provide value for everyone.

We’ll admit that some businesses have it easier than others when it comes to thinking of that helpful stuff. Take us, for example – there’s a new study about email or social media that gets released, read, and promoted online just about every day, if not every hour.

We have it easy.

That’s not the case if you’re a business that provides a service that customers don’t use or think about regularly. That was the potential problem faced by pest control and garden services business Green Solutions, because, well, fire ants aren’t necessarily blowing up the blogosphere

So, if you find yourself scratching your head about how to create great content for an infrequent service, here are some ideas:

Selling through expertise…

When more than one in two people open your email newsletter, it’s impressive – no matter your industry.

But a 55% open rate is an even bigger accomplishment when your industry average is 16.5%.

That’s why it pays to take a look at what Tampa Bay area lawn and pest control service Green Solutions is doing with each email: showcasing expertise that has immediate value for customers.

Why is this so good? Because, although not every customer has a house invaded by a cockroach army every day, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in learning how to prevent said invasion.

If customers know more about those problems, then they’re more likely to see earlier signs of trouble – that means additional business for Green Solutions and an overall healthier household.

“My number one goal with email marketing was to reduce cancellations and cross-sell services,” Matt explains.

Let’s take a look at one of Matt’s latest emails and see how he does that:

Click to zoom.

Education.

A. Here, Matt’s using this picture to educate customers about a very local topic and the impact that it is having on lawns.

The photo doesn’t just show the warning signs of a yard badly in need of service, it also shows some proof that Matt knows what he’s talking about and that Green Solutions knows how to fix it.

Evergreen News.

B.  Sure, you may not be in an industry that’s getting Tweeted about 24/7, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.

The term “evergreen” refers to articles that are timeless.

Green Solutions writes helpful articles for customers that can be used time and again – both by people looking to maintain their homes and by Matt when he’s looking to highlight certain issues in his emails.

Sponsorship Opportunities.

C. As a local business, Green Solutions knows other businesses in the area, too. That’s why Matt features one different service in each email.

Using a well-read email newsletter to showcase a partner’s services doesn’t just help your customers, it helps strengthen partnerships with other businesses.

The Promise.

D. One of the unique features of Green Solutions is that the business does consultations for free. That means that you don’t have to be alone in a war against drought or bugs, you can just call Matt and his team and they will visit your home, free of charge.

By highlighting this aspect of the service in emails, Matt shows that Green Solutions cares about each customer.

Readers may not immediately reach for their phones, but if they do have a problem in the future, they’ll remember Green Solutions.

The social photo effect

Matt is a strong believer in helping customers learn through visuals, as you can see in this email. To that effect, Green Solutions has started using Pinterest and Facebook, too.

Most of the photos on both of these social networks are educational in nature, because they can help prospects realize what a particular problem looks like.

Recent pictures of zoysia grass got interaction on both Green Solution’s Facebook Page (left) and Pinterest (right).

The Results

Any now-and-again service may have trouble immediately getting a sale through email marketing, but regular newsletters can build the interest and loyalty you need if you want customers to think of your business when it is time to use the services you offer.

By making social media and emails both photogenic and educational, Green Solutions ensures that customers are given extra value for their patronage.

Any now-and-again service – from carpentry to pest control to car repair – can do something similar.

“Our email marketing started off as an experiment,” Matt says. “But our open rates are usually higher than 50% and we get service calls every time we send a newsletter out, so I think it’s working.”

How do you market an every now-and-again service through email? Let us know below!