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Several weeks ago I sent out 5,000, 6.5" x 9", postcards in the Potomac zip code. I got one phone call!

Out of 300 zip codes, in the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, this one is rated highest for potential remodeling activity. This is due to the fact 95% of the population is in one of the four demographic groups that are most likely to purchase remodeling. This is according to the HanleyWood Residential Remodeling Index.

With there being 17,000 households in this zip code I would have thought I would've gotten something. Prior to mailing the postcards, a UPS EDDM specialists stated their average response is 2/10 of 1%. That would have been 10 phone calls in my case. Makes me wonder if a large portion of my cards didn't end up in the trash like the Obamacare flyers recently did.

Late last week I sent 2,000 more postcards to some of the same neighborhoods, that I really want to work in, to see if there is any truth to the statement that you need to send at least three cards before it registers with a home owner. So far no responses.

Anyhow, total cost was about $1,100 for 5,000 postcards. Includes printing, shipping and EDDM retail mailing. Bundled my own postcards for delivery to post office.
 

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It sounds like your targeting was good, but there's not enough in your post to provide anything more than speculation beyond that. The likely suspects for failure are poor design, weak message/offer, and timing.

Another common error is if the phone call was the only mechanism for capturing leads. Nothing is said about your web site. What is the most common challenge your target market faces? Can you create a resource to address that challenge? If your postcard says, "Get a free checklist on our site before starting any remodeling project," that's going to generate better results than one that asks them to call so some salesman can try to sell them remodeling.

I seriously doubt the EDDM was the problem, more likely the way it was used.
 

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Matt dont throw in the towel just yet, You have cast the seed!, Some seeds have fallen on fallow ground, but many have fallen on fertile ground.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your comments so far guys.

As for timing, I dropped these off on a Wednesday for delivery on Thursday and Friday in hopes that home owners might have an extra second over the weekend to investigate further.

The idea of a remodeling report to obtain e-mail addresses is interesting. I'll have to think about that further. I still have an additional 3,000 cards, for a would be total of 10,000, that I still need to mail. I wonder if I should junk those and start over?

Over the last two weeks I drove the Potomac, Bethesda and McLean zip codes trying to figure out the hot neighborhoods for remodeling. Truthfully I saw very little remodeling going on. All of these are top rated zip codes. Quite a few tear downs in progress though.

I'm also wondering how much the debt limit and government default hype has dampened people's spending. Being in the DC area I'm sure its effect is magnified.
 

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Thanks for your comments so far guys.

As for timing, I dropped these off on a Wednesday for delivery on Thursday and Friday in hopes that home owners might have an extra second over the weekend to investigate further.

The idea of a remodeling report to obtain e-mail addresses is interesting. I'll have to think about that further. I still have an additional 3,000 cards, for a would be total of 10,000, that I still need to mail. I wonder if I should junk those and start over?

Over the last two weeks I drove the Potomac, Bethesda and McLean zip codes trying to figure out the hot neighborhoods for remodeling. Truthfully I saw very little remodeling going on. All of these are top rated zip codes. Quite a few tear downs in progress though.

I'm also wondering how much the debt limit and government default hype has dampened people's spending. Being in the DC area I'm sure its effect is magnified.
I wouldn't be sold, especially if I lived in Potomac. Too much attention to how courteous you supposedly are. Focus on the quality of your work instead. The van photo is kind of odd, too. Pics of finished jobs instead.
 

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I am a strong advocate of making your website your #1 led gen vehicle before you spend any money elsewhere, perhaps PPC for immediate leads.

Some people whom I respect opinions of say those mailers work, I throw them away unless it is a Victoria's Secret mailer.
 

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BTW I got a call from an EDDM postcard campaign from well over a year ago, ended up not being a project we wanted (they wanted it ASAP and our schedule wouldn't allow it.) So just because you haven't gotten the call yet doesn't mean it's not coming. Don't count on a ton of 'late' calls, they are certainly not the norm.
 

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There does seem to be something in the air the last week or so. It may jsut be "that time of year" when HO realize the holidays are too close for starting larger projects or the economic/political influences. The telemarketer seems to be having similar issues. Last week had 4 good leads, whole kitchens and Baths put off till after the first of the year. Older demographic tho, you know the ones who still have land lines and answer them LOL

Just stating my observations. Hopefully it's just a blip in the greater scheme of things. Without layers of good aged marketing these blips seem like a bigger deal than they really are. For us right now WOM is in it's infancy .... NEED leads :clap:
 

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Wrong message

Several weeks ago I sent out 5,000, 6.5" x 9", postcards in the Potomac zip code. I got one phone call!

Out of 300 zip codes, in the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area, this one is rated highest for potential remodeling activity. This is due to the fact 95% of the population is in one of the four demographic groups that are most likely to purchase remodeling. This is according to the HanleyWood Residential Remodeling Index.

With there being 17,000 households in this zip code I would have thought I would've gotten something. Prior to mailing the postcards, a UPS EDDM specialists stated their average response is 2/10 of 1%. That would have been 10 phone calls in my case. Makes me wonder if a large portion of my cards didn't end up in the trash like the Obamacare flyers recently did.

Late last week I sent 2,000 more postcards to some of the same neighborhoods, that I really want to work in, to see if there is any truth to the statement that you need to send at least three cards before it registers with a home owner. So far no responses.

Anyhow, total cost was about $1,100 for 5,000 postcards. Includes printing, shipping and EDDM retail mailing. Bundled my own postcards for delivery to post office.
The message on both your website and post cards is wrong.

You want to entice your customers to call because you do the most beautiful kitchens and remodeling (not exceptional).

You need to write with words that make a customer want to call you for a new kitchen and the last thing you want to waste space and the customers time on is telling that you work hard and you will wipe your feet. Let the professional design of your ad sell the part that you are professional. You don't need to say it by writing paragraphs.

Customers react more to pictures and symbols like the BBB A+ logo so writing many words are not necessary.

It takes me about a week to 10 days to design a single page ad because I will create an ad on the first day and then spend time on the ad every day for 9 more days as I try to remove every unnecessary word and try to change to words and phrases that are more powerful. It is possible to write entire paragraphs with only 1 to 3 words.

Read your ad several times every day and ask yourself exactly what your customers is thinking for each statement and think about whether or not each statement has a powerful selling advantage.

We figure that we get about 1 lead for every 10,000 flyers we deliver and post cards are the same unless you have some very powerful offer and/or reason to call. Over a long period of time you may get 1 to 5 calls for your 5,000 postcards, but I did thousands of postcards several times and they were never cost-effective. Letters are more expensive, but you get a better response.

For $1100 I think you would get a better response from advertising in small local newspapers.
 

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I am a strong advocate of making your website your #1 led gen vehicle before you spend any money elsewhere, perhaps PPC for immediate leads.

Some people whom I respect opinions of say those mailers work, I throw them away unless it is a Victoria's Secret mailer.
If I was running victoria's secret my mailer would be able to be opened and resealed like I never looked at it:thumbup:
 

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I'm also wondering how much the debt limit and government default hype has dampened people's spending. Being in the DC area I'm sure its effect is magnified.
I was thinking the same thing which is what I was eluding to when I mentioned timing.

pc's post reminds me of another interesting factor of human nature considering the postcard/letter approach. Some people will look at postcards because they don't need to be opened but toss letters without opening them. Others will toss postcards but open letters. Sending both to the same recipients a short time apart will yield different results each time.

Also with letters, "teaser copy" on the envelope improves open rates, and "lumpy" letters have proven to be opened more because people are naturally curious to see what is inside before tossing it. Non standard envelopes also help.

I would pay very careful attention to what pc said about taking 10 days to design one ad. That is very true which is why a pro is not cheap. You may look at the final result and wonder how it could take so long to design but coming up with something simple and powerful is rarely ever easy. I like the way many experienced designers say it so I will borrow the expression. If I were to spend ten hours on something, I would say, "This did not take me 10 hours to design, it took me 52 years." That same principle applies to contractors.

Look at it this way. Most of the junk you and I receive in the mail is created as quickly as possible and it shows. Those who take the time to really plan it out will get different results. Ironically, the .2% (or whatever number is used) is based off everyone being thrown into the same pot and averaged out. Since most mailers are poorly planned the actual results are mostly way below that average. The reason is those few who are getting 5% or higher are helping to create a higher average. This causes a lot of people to believe direct mail doesn't work.

Now we just need oconomowoc to swing through to have his say in this thread. :)
 

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My phone stopped ringing last week. Day after the debt crisis beerring beering.

I would send my remodel mailers in feb mar to capitalize on tax return spending and the weather. Cant really see a reason to do it in mid october leading into the holidays. Lead time to purchase decision is (at least in my game) two to six weeks. I think most people who are having work done on their home have decided to do the work. The question is who will do it. You could go a step further and convince people they have need of something they didnt know they needed ie siding windows etc but that would be a high pressure one call close sales model.
 

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Okay, I couldn't resize the files I had so I scanned the post card in.

I appreciate any comments.
When you do marketing you have to look at it from 3 viewpoints:
1. Market (who you are marketing to)
2. Message (what you are saying)
3. Media (how you deliver the message)

In this particular case I would say the message is not working.

You need to learn a lot about marketing or hire a copywriter to do it for you.

Re-write the copy and take the "we" language out and replace it with "you" language. The picture of the van does nothing to compel the prospect to call you.
 

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You don't need to learn much about marketing actually. You just need to learn what's important.

Look, I made a ton of money using post cards. But here's the thing, that's only a partial story. It sounds good of course but the part that people don't understand is the failure leading up to it.......but it taught me what not to do so failure was a good thing.

For me, in my business, in my market, in my time frame I discovered what the triggers were and once I found those it was a guaranteed money maker. Every time.

You need to go through the discovery process. It's a requirement. I can spit out and recite all sorts of text book marketing crap but what good does that do? Nothing. You areca contractor, you don't need to be a marketing scholar. I'll give you a brief example of what I did.......

My very first attempt at marketing was a flyer inserted in to a newspaper back when people actually read them pre-internet. Oddly enough, it worked awesome.......I just didn't know why. Lol

I repeated it again and it didn't work the 2nd time.
I repeated it again and it didn't work the 3rd time.

Fast forward a few years and a crap load of mistakes I now understand what happened. I learned about the "process" and I learned what my customers in my market respond to.

Alright, since that time I've done numerous marketing vehicles and they all behave differently. Each ones of unique quirks and all these have to be learned and that is why I always say its best for a small business to focus on one type and master it. Why? Because the learning process takes time and it's big investment. I believe in protecting my investments so that's why focus is important.

Regardless, let's talk about postcards. I knew going in to it my first card was a total bust. Why? Because one mailing is useless.

Gotta run. I'll be back.
 
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