How Mainland Helped Property Damage Appraisers, Inc. Improve Its Email Marketing Performance

With better targeting and a less-is-more approach, the national damage appraisal chain was able to increase email open rates and engagement almost immediately, bridging its marketing method with PR, social media and advertising initiatives.

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    Founded in 1963, Ft. Worth, Texas-based Property Damage Appraisers, Inc. (PDA) has grown to become an industry leader in property damage appraisals of all kinds. PDAs core competencies include property, auto, heavy equipment, RVs, boats and hard-to-replace specialty equipment.

    With 650 local appraisers distributed among more than 250 offices around the country, it completes more than 400,000 appraisals annually — a key point of differentiation for the brand. PDA’s scale and methods allow it to complete accurate damage appraisals faster than its competitors, which allows companies to get back to work and families to move on with their lives.


    Despite its national scale and positive reputation, PDA’s email campaigns were not resonating with its core audience. The reason: too many emails, and too little targeting. Local franchises and corporate teams sent emails whenever they wanted and to whomever they wanted. With no coordinated e-mail editorial calendar or even a strategy behind send times, customers were overloaded with emails. And as a result, they tuned out. The more emails sent, the worse they performed, consistently yielding open rates of around 10% and click-through rates that were practically non-existent.


    Mainland proposed a quality-over-quantity email strategy to increase open and click-through rates. To do that, rather than a series of ad-hoc emails, PDA would consolidate content into a single monthly email that contained more comprehensive information regarding vital news, offers, and company milestones. Additionally, Mainland proposed an email content calendar to align the email channel with other marketing efforts, including blogs, articles, social media and PR pitches. Mainland also refined PDA’s lists of email subscribers in order to make sure the right messages were finding the right audience.


    The new email cadence began in earnest August, 2020. The results were immediate. The August “News to Know” newsletter, the first combined effort of 2020, garnered a 22% open rate, the highest of the year and nearly double previous averages. November’s email saw the second-highest open rate of the year. Where click-rates for previous emails barely registered at 1%, December’s newsletter achieved a click rate of 16%, the highest of the year.


    By understanding the mind of the consumer PDA wanted to reach, and implementing best email marketing strategies, Mainland rescued email marketing as an important and powerful channel for PDA to engage its customers.

    “When done correctly, email is a powerful marketing tool,” said Nick Powills, Mainland CEO. “But without a plan in place, too frequently it can become background noise in the inbox of your customer. By packaging email content and prioritizing quality over quantity, there was an immediate shift in customer engagement. We’re proud to have helped PDA achieve these results. We look forward to being able to build on them, and extend them to other channels.”

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