Every week we receive up to 5 different flyers from local plumbing companies offering their services. Every week different companies advertise and send out the same looking flyers expecting someone to give them a call back. Advertising to us is a bad idea for two reasons;
- We don’t own our office and the building is full of other renters. So even if we wanted to engage their services we couldn’t
- We are a marketing agency, we don’t really have any need to talk about or talk to a plumbing firm.
Direct mail can give returns of up to 5%, making it one of the most effective methods of advertising. However not every business can do it well. So how can some of these plumbing companies and tradesman improve their direct marketing?
- TARGET TARGET TARGET. We are renting. We work in an area mostly full of renters. The direct marketing would be far better executed if they targetted those areas that had higher levels of homeowners. You could also go one better than that still. Why not actually send a letter directly addressed to the homeowners. There are lists available that list homeowners, renovaters and small dwelling developers. One way to stand out from the rest of the crowd is to address the direct mail piece to the homeowner directly.
- Engage a designer. Do not rely on the graphic designers the printing firm have. Actually engage a design house to create your direct marketing. Not only will they use clever design to make your marketing stand out, but they will also know how to use the right stock and colours to make your direct mail look different. The danger with just using a printing firm’s designers is they will make your flyer look and feel the same as all the other flyers out there.
- Use non-standard stock. Don’t print onto a 180GSM DL sized flyer. It will look and feel the same as all the other flyers that end up in the rubbish. Ask the printer for other stock options. Look at other pieces of print material you recieve and see which sizes and shapes you like. The plumbing marketing that sticks, are the ones with magnets on one side and calendars on the other. Or why not try a make a noteblock that people can keep by the phone/in the kitchen.
- Use client testimonials. Asking your current clients for testimonials has two effects. One it will allow you to use, in natural language, phrases that increase trust. Two it gives you a good idea of why your current customers use you in the first place.
- Test Test Test. Send out small batches of flyers, and measure the response on each batch. If you cant afford to print and post batches of 500, then try to send different batches to different areas. You should be aiming for groups of 1000 or less, because this is manageable from a targeting point of view and it is
- Use a guarantee. Some plumbers do offer guarantees such as “on time or get $50” but we think those promises are empty. Being on time should be a given. You could offer “We will beat all quotes” but then you might find your margins shrinking to unmanageable levels. Stronger guarantees might be “All work is covered by a 30 day guarantee” or “we will fix the problem on site, or your money back“. Either way look at what other plumbers are offering, and offer something different.
- Include standard pricing. Dripping tap? $50, Knocking pipes, $50 etc. Make it so the prospect knows what they are getting themselves in for before they call you.
- Claim to improve safety, time or money. The first key motivator for people to engage a service is safety. Are they going to be safe using the service and will it improve their safety. Next target time, either promise to save time, not to waste time or to give people more time than they already have. Lastly target money, either show you can save them money, you will give them cash as an incentive or show them how you are the best value for money. Looking at each of these, alter your heading and offer so that you are targetting one of these key motivators.
- Include many ways for them to contact you. Make the contact easy. Give email, phone, web and a physical address. Make sure your company name is clear, because they will probably search for you online as well.
- Make sure your website matches your direct mail. If people are interested in talking to you, they will probably search for you online. If you don’t have a website or your website does not match what is on the flyer, that will turn off your prospects.