The United State Postal Service had made lead generation a whole lot easier for the Home Service Industry with Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). Now it is possible for you to target areas and neighborhoods you are currently servicing customers, without buying a mailing list.
Here’s how it works—you are working a job in a neighborhood and would like to target other potential customers in that neighborhood. You can send a super jumbo postcard to all the neighbors with a special “We’re In Your Neighborhood” offer and give them a reason to call you for an estimate.
Then you follow up with canvassing the area. This is a very effective 1-2 punch that will drive your sales to new levels. Having more jobs in the same area helps cut costs and allows you to maximize your work force.
Here are some examples of a Neighborhood EDDM mailer:
The benefits of an EDDM mailing to generate leads are:
No need to buy mailing list.
You can mail up to a super jumbo 12 x 18 postcard
Postage rates average between 16 – 19 cents, even to mail a super jumbo postcard.
You can target entire neighborhoods for pennies.
The larger the ticket item you sell, the more you benefit by using EDDM to target neighborhoods where you are currently working jobs. You already have your crew in that neighborhood, so with a little marketing effort you can get more jobs in that area.
We have a turnkey EDDM mailer program you can use for your business. It is easy affordable and will drive new customers to you.
Trade shows and home shows offer you the best opportunity to get face time with prospects and generate leads for your business. It also can cause stress in pulling it together. Trade shows can be a lot of work, but they also offer you an opportunity to reach new prospects and sell your product.
The following is a short list of things you might need for your trade show:
Do you have new products? Do you have a special offer for the show? A banner will help you to draw attention to your booth.
Promotional flyers. You have to have something to put in the hands of interested prospects.
Giveaway registration. The bigger the ticket item you are selling, the more important it is for you to have a giveaway because you need a way to capture names of potential prospects to follow up on.
Extra Extension cords. Some venues supply basic services. Electrical cords are considered basic by some and not with others. It never hurts to have a back up just in case.
Novelty pens with your logo and phone number are ideal.
Note pads. Note pads also make great giveaway items. You can get them made with your logo on them.
Lead sheets. You invested a lot of time and money to participate in the trade show, so you need to a way to keep track of the leads you get from the show.
Balloons: Helium tanks are usually affordable to rent. Balloons are a way to attract attention to your booth.
You worked hard to get a customer’s business. Sometimes you invested a lot of money to attract this new customer. Yet many businesses do not have a plan to actively get their new customers to buy again. Repeat business is the result of the relationship with the customer. The basic formula for repeat sales is, A + F = R x O = S. Simply means Appreciation + Feedback = Relationship x Opportunities = Sales.
The most basic thing you can do to show appreciation to your customers is to say thank you for their business with your company. You can go beyond that by sending out a thank you note. Some businesses invest in new customer welcome packages. Whatever you do, you should demonstrate your appreciation for the customer’s patronage. This customer could have bought from 100 places, but they chose you.
The first step in customer loyalty is saying thank you. Send your new customer a thank you note. They are inexpensive and effective and by enclosing a coupon for your services will give the customer an opportunity to buy something else for you.
Feedback is the second easiest thing to let slip out, yet it is vital in developing a long-term relationship with the customer for two reasons: one, if there is a problem you need to know about it sooner rather than later; two, it gives you an opportunity to identify other needs the customer may have. The feedback stage also allows you to ask for referrals and references. Call the customer a few days after they purchased and ask them if the product and service was satisfactory.
The end goal is building a relationship with the customer. Selling your product is the easy part. It is what you do after you make the sale that keeps the prospect coming back time after time. This will lead you to the next stage, which is opportunity.
Opportunity is simply giving the customer reasons to come back and do more business with you. In the feedback stage you should have gotten other needs the customer may have. Now you send them specials and offers for other services and products you offer. Direct mail is an excellent way to do this, as is email marketing. One of the best examples I can give you of this is Kohl’s Department store, which for every $50 you spend, they will give you $10 in “Kohl’s Cash”. By the time you leave the store with a hand full of your Kohl’s cash you are planning your next trip. A few days later you receive a flyer or postcard from Kohl’s promoting 15% – 20% specials. All of this leads to more sales from the same customer.
The final element to bringing it all together is maintaining a customer database. You have to keep track of who bought, what they bought, and what they need and want. Some business people think a database is a Quick Books customer report. It is true that Quick Books is a type of a database, but what you need is a marketing database.
It is an investment in your customers of time and money, but the rewards are high.
Most businesses use envelopes to send out invoices, statements and other communications to customers and prospects. Yet, the envelope is the most over looked and neglected marketing tool you have.
It used to be that printing envelopes for businesses was expensive. Most companies printed their envelopes using black ink only to save money because printing in one, two or full color was expensive to do. The logic was, “Hey it is just an envelope, it will just get thrown away.” True. But the envelope is also the first thing your customers will see. Printed with color and the right message envelopes can be used to drive repeat sales.
Digital printing has created many opportunities for small business marketing. Now a business can print high quality, short run printing of brochures and other full color pieces for pennies. And now full color digital printing has come to envelopes. We can now print full color envelopes for almost the same price as black and white.
The marketing real estate on the envelope should not be underestimated, especially in service industries where you are selling yourself. For example, a real estate agent, lawyer, dentist or chiropractor can print their picture on the envelope for thank you notes.
Send a sales letter and make it more personal and attention grabbing by putting your picture on the envelope.
Envelopes play an important roll in marketing. Call us for idea starters and samples.
#1 Targeting: The most basic element of any marketing program for any small business is figuring out and deciding who you want to reach. The basis of a successful direct mail program is the mailing list. You can get mailing lists from many places and the quality of the list will vary greatly. The best tip is to use a reputable marketing company and not try to cut cost by buying a mailing list online.
But before you can buy a mailing list for a direct mail campaign you have to know who you want to reach. Direct mail offers you the most direct way to reach an audience for your business. Sure it is not as glamorous as “internet marketing” but it is old school and it works. There are fewer things that can go wrong with a direct mail campaign than an Internet marketing campaign.
There are basically two types of lists you can get. The first one is your own database of customer who has bought from you. The second one is a new prospect list.
#2 Test your message. It does not cost a lot to send out a test of your mailer to see if the message is hitting the sweet spot. You can also take the postcard or direct mail piece and do a flash test of your customers to get their opinion of it. What caught their eye first? Did they want more information about what was being promoted? What impressed them the most on the ad?
The flash test can be more effective and give you a wealth of information. The only errors people make is not showing the card to enough people and not asking the same questions of everyone. If you survey 15 to 20 customers or prospects that should be enough for you to get a good idea what needs to be changed on the postcard or ad.
Also your employees and family do not count on the flash test. The only opinion that matters is your customers and prospects. Employees and family will have a different viewpoint of the ad than one of your customers.
#3 Choose the medium based on the recipient. There are several different types of direct mail you can use. The most basic is a postcard, but a postcard may not be effective in reaching a business owner. For that, you may need a sales letter or a notecard mailer.
Sales letters can be very effective. The message in the letter combined with the envelopes and reply form all work together to make the package work.
Notecard mailers can be very effective especially during the holiday season. A well-done note card mailer will look interesting to a prospect. An effective note card mailer is also a package mailer.
Why do letter and note card mailers pull so well? Mainly because these mailers look like a personal message from someone and invite participation on the part of the recipient. People still like receiving mail and letters and note card mailers do not look like your typical advertisement.
#4:Good copywriting. Do not over complicate copywriting. The most effective copy always revolves around the proper use of features and benefits.
#5:Always include an offer. A good offer is defined as one that will cause the prospect to take note and create a desire to buy now. Having said that any offer is better than not offer. Many business owners tend to skimp on the offer forgetting that they are basically buying a customer. The offer is how you buy the customer. Do you feel an offer is too good? That you cannot afford to do that? I am not telling you that you have to give away the store to get a customer. What I am saying is whatever your offer is, it has to be dramatic enough to get attention and invite action. This is where point two above on testing comes into play. Flash tests of the message with the offer to customers and prospects. Do they yawn? Or, do they start asking questions about the offer?
The entire direct mailer, whether it is a postcard or a package mailer, should sell the offer. Even the mentions of the product’s features and benefits are used to make the offer seem more valuable.
#6:Avoid clichés like the plague. The easiest trap to fall into is the use of clichés like “conveniently located” or “serving you for 25 years”. Advertising clichés instantly turn readers off because it identifies the entire message as advertising or junk mail.
#7:Hiding the best part of your message: Lead with the main benefit of the product or service. Put it in your headline. You have around 3 seconds to get the attention of the reader, now is not the time to soft-sell your message. The ad should hit them instantly with the main benefit and the second thing they should notice is your offer.
#8:Call to action: Any sales trainer will tell you that you have to ask for the order. You have a great postcard, but does the main benefit get the readers attention? The offer hits them between the eyes. Your call to action brings it home. You are telling them why they should call now. Expiration dates for the offer are very effective, but also added value they receive if they call now. And don’t forget the phone number and your web address.
#9 Follow up. If you do the above steps you will get a response. How are you going to handle inquiries? What about the failed closes? What is the plan to handle the prospects that called but for whatever reason did not buy? Look at it like this, the people who called in from your mailer and bought are the low-lying fruit of the campaign. They are the easiest to close. How you follow up with the people who called but did not buy is very important. Many people today procrastinate. As many as 40 to 60% of your responses will need some sort of follow up and if you do not have a follow-up plan, you are leaving sales behind.
The above points are the most basic things you can do to improve the response from any advertising you do. Teaming up with a professional company will save you time and money, but the response you get will be directly proportional to the data you provide the marketing company. Nobody knows your product better than you do, combine that with a company that knows marketing and you will see fantastic sales from a direct mail campaign.
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Consumers in the United States are the most BS’d to consumers on the planet. Being one of the largest economies on the planet, the US offers businesses a huge affluent market to promote to and this has lead to the average consumers being overwhelmed and fatigued with advertising. The last research I saw on this subject about 10 years ago said the average US consumer was exposed to over 1800 advertising messages a day. That is a lot!
A recent consumer study found that only 1 in 20 consumers trust the advertising they see and hear. Even worse, more than half of consumers think that companies are only interested in selling their product to them. Therefore, we should not be a surprise why consumers are turning to social media and the Internet and feeling more empowered when it comes to purchasing decisions.
The Internet is the great equalizer for the consumers. Now when they get a postcard from you or see your TV ad, they can go directly online and research your company. Roughly 70% of consumers gather information from a variety of sources before making a purchase decision.
Four things prospects look for before buying today:
Positive & negative reviews.
Information about quality of product and value.
Things you can do to help give them what they are looking for:
Provide good products and stand behind your products. Today selling a bad product or crappy service is a fast train to business bankruptcy. With social media and online reviews, a dissatisfied customer can spread the word about your bad service faster and further that ever before in our history. Even the world’s best marketing will not convert a crappy product into something fabulous that everyone wants.
Make sure you are consistent with your message. Repetition builds awareness. Consistent repetition drives interest and generates sales. It really does take customers 3-5 times of seeing a message for it to sink in. It helps if you promote the same message across different mediums.
Important, use a combination of printed with electronic mediums. Printed materials are very effective in communicating features and benefits of products. A well-designed brochure or booklet will sit on a client’s desk, while a PDF of a brochure will get lost in an email inbox or spam trap. Digital printing has brought the cost of high quality printed promotional materials way down.
Relationships are at the heart of trust and must be built interaction by interaction. How do your employees treat the customer? How do you treat your employees? Do you send a follow up thank you note to customers who have recently purchased from you? These things are pretty simple to do and go a long way as a first step in building customer relationships.
Where do your prospects go to get information about your company and your products? The following are ranked in order:
They ask family and friends. This one is obvious. Ask a group of consumers, “Who do you trust the most?” and they are likely to say family and friends. What they really mean is “people like me”. This is the driving force behind social media’s strength when it comes to marketing. This is also the basis of creating a strong word of mouth marketing program (aka asking for referrals). Yet many businesses today do not ask their customers for referrals. There are several easy things you can do to build your word of mouth advertising for your business. It will take your time and attention to do, but can dramatically boost sales and the number of new customers for your business simply by incorporating a referral program.
Social media contacts. Many people will turn to their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to learn more about a particular business or to even boast about a product or service. Consumers today want to be ensured that the purchase they are about to make is the right one and will stick true with the opinions and reviews they receive from their friends and followers. It is necessary to the viability of your business to handle and clean up customer complaints quickly before the dissatisfaction spreads.
Amazon. For many consumers, Amazon, the granddaddy of ratings and reviews, is a publisher of product reviews and one of the first places they turn when they shop, regardless of where they eventually buy.
Third party review sites. On a local basis, Yelp, Yahoo, SuperPages, Google and Foursquare are important tools for you to use as a business. They offer reviews and a way to expand your reach into the Internet market place.
Product sites. Aided by ratings and reviews, your retailers’ and manufacturers’ websites are also useful especially since consumers are now using smartphones to gather information on site in your store before they buy. Incorporate QR codes in your POP displays and on your printed product brochures and catalogs. A QR code will take someone directly to a web page about the product or service.
They do a general online search. This will often bring up your competition too. Fortunately, it is not necessarily the first thing consumer’s do. Website optimization will help make sure your website ranks high on search engine results.
Today, marketing revolves around control and dissemination. You control the quality of your product, the handling of your customers and their buying experience. You develop, promote and disseminate your message as widely as you can, as often and you can.
Today combining traditional mediums with electronic media is vitally important. Do not forget to include printed materials in your promotion. It may sound old fashion, but a full color printed brochure can be the final nail that drives your message home in the consumers buying decision.