We’ve all heard the stories that “print media is dead” and that “everything is digital now.” For home services providers, it is critical to have a digital strategy and an effective online presence, but don’t count out the power of “old-fashioned” direct mail. Stand out from your competition by creating direct mail campaigns that can generate consumer leads and secure new customers for your plumbing, electrician, HVAC, appliance, and other home care service business.
A recent study from Lob and Compremedia showed that:
- 85% of consumers read direct mail immediately, that same day or at a later time.
- 62% of consumers say direct mail has inspired them to act.
- 43% of consumers visit the company’s website after receiving a direct mail piece.
According to Statista , consumers around the globe are sending and receiving more than 300 billion emails per day. In contrast, U.S. households receive on average only 361 pieces of direct mail per year.
In short, direct mail offers home service providers a way to stand out from your competition and drive consumers to act!
Here are some ideas and best practices for adding direct mail to your marketing mix:
1) Target Geographically
One of the big advantages of direct mail is the ability to target specific areas that you want to do business in. Work with a list broker or marketing agency to identify lists that can target specific consumers by zip code or region where you already provide service or want to expand your business.
One program that home services providers have had tremendous success with is called EDDM®, Every Door Direct Mail®. For as little as 19 cents per piece, local businesses can target neighborhoods based on several factors, including age and income data, to reach the optimum targets for your business.
For more information about this program, go here:
2) Welcome New Homeowners to the Neighborhood Packages
More than 27 million consumers (8.4% of the population) moved in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and they spend money on home services when they move into a new home.
According to a study from The Harris Poll commissioned by Porch:
- 90% of new movers are open to trying new brands, including home improvement contractors.
- New movers spend more than $8,000 within the first year of moving, including in the home remodeling and repair service categories.
- 83% of new movers say they have done or are planning to do home improvement projects.
You can reach new homeowners through opt-in direct mail packages or lists of new homeowners – your list broker or marketing agency can help you to identify what’s available. Make sure to create a compelling to encourage prospects to act and call you or complete an online form.
Reaching these prospective consumers early will give you an advantage to close new business quickly, as they are more likely to have new projects right away, and you can build a relationship with these customers to get additional future jobs. Keep the offer for new homeowners simple with convenient calls to action (phone number, website to a specific landing page, QR code) so you can track the results.
3) Make it Personal
More than half of consumers (52%) in the Lob study expect direct mail to be personalized. And the power of that personalization is significant according to a recent McKinsey study:
- 76% of consumers are more likely to consider purchasing from brands that personalize.
- 78% of them make repeat purchases from those companies.
- 78% are more likely to refer friends and families.
And personalization doesn’t have to be complicated – using the customer’s name on the piece or using demographic data to tailor the message (congratulations on your new home, etc.) can be a powerful way to drive new prospects to your business’ website, landing page, or social media account.
4) Try Different Formats
One of the strengths of direct mail is that you can test different offers and formats to learn what works best for your target audience. The Lob study found that ages 35-54, a key demographic for purchasing home services, prefer postcards compared to other age groups. You can also test over-sized formats and different shapes that stand out in the mailbox and grab consumers’ attention. Test different messages, promotions, and formats to see what generates a greater response.
5) Tie in your Direct Mail with Digital Channels
It is just as critical to tie in your digital channels with your direct mail campaigns and make it easy for consumers to engage with and do business with your company. Here are some strategies to maximize results:
- Create specific landing pages with time-sensitive offers and a form to capture contact information on new leads for efficient sales follow up.
- Invite prospects to follow you on Instagram, Facebook, and other social media channels.
- Link to blog posts with information that the prospect will be interested to read.
- Make sure your messaging is consistent across all channels.
Direct mail requires a little more investment in time and money than digital channels, however, it can break through the clutter of emails and social media to help your business stand out, generate a greater return on investment, and produce new business that can turn into lifelong customers!
Consider adding direct mail in your 2024 marketing plan! Download the FREE Marketing Plan Template to help create a comprehensive marketing plan to help grow your business in 2024 and beyond!