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  1. #1
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    Neighborhood mailer fail - HELP

    hey all.. i need your marketing and cost minimization skills..

    I have had several neighborhoods recently with HOA nasty grams.. One was a 140 plot 3,000 sq/ft model home style neighborhood and every single home had a paver driveway approximately 7-10 years old and not a single one had been sealed..

    Got a call for a pressure clean and seal.. turned into moderate paver repair too... then the neighbors came over.. then called and scheduled several more jobs.. let the referral and yard signs bring in whatever it could then hit a drought.. so i went on Zillow and got all the addresses of the homes in the neighborhood. Made up a letter and sent to every home.. (see below)..

    The issue……. i got ONE call from 140 letters.. (keep in mind 95% of these driveways were a wreck.. they needed cleaning and repairs at a minimum/and had received letters from HOA)

    what i thought would be a gold mine.. turned into a dud.


    -Hand written/addressed envelopes with no return address and crooked stamps
    (crooked stamp was orlando NCE gem they shared)
    -FAIL? because they had no return address or because the were addressed to "resident".. maybe they all just
    got thrown away, thinking it was spam?


    ___>>>> 35trgfd.pdf <<<<<______


    SO.. now that i have identified 2 neighborhoods with 3,000-5,000 sq/ft homes with tile roofs that are ALL in dyer need of cleaning and have also received letters from the HOA…. what is your best recommendation for reaching these people?..

    Clearly my tactic last time did not succeed with many probable factors… it also cost me about $150 or so in stamps, printing, envelopes, etc.. all for only 140 homes..

    would the best way to do this just be:
    -flyer or door hangers?
    -flyer with a pre-determined prosal/figure for each individual roof?.. (makes it extremely easy to shop another
    company)
    -professional mailers (cost??)

    my goals in the mailer vs flyer last time was that i thought it would be much more professional to mail a letter introducing our company vs dropping off a flyer on a mailbox..

    any ideas, opinions, or advice is greatly appreciated..

  • #2
    Member Professor with Tenure Rapid HotClean's Avatar
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    As best I know a typical hit rate with direct mail is 1%-2%. So you achieved that.

  • #3
    Graphic Designer Professor with Tenure "Red"'s Avatar
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    David, 1 hit out of 140 is .7% (2 hits would have put you between the 1% & 2% rate Ted mentioned). Actually, that's not too bad for your first run.

    My first question is - did that one job cover your job costs and the costs of your time / materials / postage for the mailer and still leave something in your pocket?
    My second question is - did you enjoy stuffing, addressing and stamping all those envelopes?

    If you're on a very tight budget, you may already be working with the most economical option, but... if you have a little more in your budget, you can look into the EDDM option.
    I can work with you to design a large postcard that will get noticed and doesn't require opening an envelope to find out what's inside. EDDM postcards are RTR (ready to read) so the homeowner sees your message without any extra effort. Pictures do a wonderful job of telling your story or explaining your services in just seconds. If they have any interest, they will continue reading.

    The initial design, printing, shipping and postage (for 500 postcards or 3 separate mailings) will probably be less than $400. The second (and future) batch (with the same order specifics) might be half of that. [These numbers are guesstimates]

    EDDM means
    • No stuffing
    • No addressing
    • No stamping
    • Postage per piece is $.175 (not $.49)


    If you're interested in pursuing the EDDM option, shoot me an email @ ALLRED.Graphic.Design@gMail.com and I'll get you some 'real' numbers to work with.
    Derrel


    ALLRED Graphic Design
    "This is my World "

  • #4
    Member Senior Undergraduate Luis Orts's Avatar
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    1% is good if you're doing a mass mailer... but this is not a mass mailer... this is targeted.

    So...

    Here are a few pointers to get you going.

    1) Having a name on there will increase your call through rate DRAMATICALLY

    2) By placing something bulky inside, people will open your letter (more than likely)

    3) Your headline will determine whether or not someone will continue reading or not (or if it legitimately looked like a personalized letter, and not a crap sales copy)

    4) The use of a red pen and a yellow highlighter will catch their attention. Place it on keywords

    5) Creating a sense of urgency is CRITICAL. If not, they will look at the letter, and guess what? They'll throw it away.

    6) Don't use a return address. Just leave a SOLID call to action in the letter and tell them EXACTLY what they need to do to move forward.

    I can almost guarantee you that if you make relevant, solid letters to these customers, you will see a 10x difference in your CTR.

  • #5
    Member Senior Undergraduate Luis Orts's Avatar
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    Oh, and if you're sending someone a letter, CUT ALL THE LOGOS. CUT ALLLLLL the extra stuff.

    If you're going to do it, put it at the very bottom. The more confused your potential buyer is, the better off you are getting them to read the entirety of your letter.



    The moment they see all the logos and whatnot, subconciously they think it's a sleezy saleman trying to make a sale (even if that's what the intended purpose of the letter is)

    P.S. Not calling you sleezy bro lol

  • #6
    Member Professor with Tenure Rapid HotClean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luis Orts View Post
    1% is good if you're doing a mass mailer... but this is not a mass mailer... this is targeted.

    I can almost guarantee you that if you make relevant, solid letters to these customers, you will see a 10x difference in your CTR.
    Bullshit! There, I said it.

  • #7
    Member Professor with Tenure junker1's Avatar
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    Don't use a return address. Just leave a SOLID call to action in the letter and tell them EXACTLY what they need to do to move forward.


    What's the reason for not using a return address? I read that somewhere but the did not explain why.
    Steven Mendez
    Fryeburg Maine
    Telephone 207-935-4503
    residential exterior cleaning and deck restoration services
    http://www.westernmainepressurewashing.com
    Audentes Fortuna Juvat

  • #8
    Member Honorary Professor Ralph Q's Avatar
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    Get with Red and do EDDM. Quickly. You are right, HOA letters went out. The faster you get it in their mailbox, the better chance you have. HOA usually gives you a time frame. People always wait until the last minute.. I sent 1200 postcards out last week and got 4 calls for gutter cleaning and driveway cleaning already. I upsold a bunch of other stuff also. I also got a walkup yesterday while I was cleaning a driveway, so I count that as part of my return on postcards.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  • #9
    Member Honorary Professor DunRite's Avatar
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    Ralph- how often do you target the same area?

  • #10
    Member Honorary Professor Ralph Q's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DunRite View Post
    Ralph- how often do you target the same area?
    Hey Mike. I am on my third round in some areas. I'm going to target them every time I know the letters go out. I got a call from this one area last week, and the lady said she just got a letter, so I bundled a round and sent them out. They were delivered the next day.

  • #11
    Member Senior Undergraduate Luis Orts's Avatar
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    Ted, people are entitled to their opinions.

    Try it. I've had 13% call back ratios in a 180 letter mail out.

  • #12
    Member Senior Undergraduate Luis Orts's Avatar
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    Steven, the longer you can keep your reader interested in what you're sending them (and making them think what the heck it even is) the more likely they are to read your letter.

    But if I try to convince people who cannot be convinced, then I won't waste my time even bothering with those people.

    The art of QUALIFYING.

  • #13
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate Walker Services's Avatar
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    David,

    There are so many factors when planning a mailer or EDDM piece. First, when testing an area, which sounds like you've already found a good one, you need to send more than one letter/mailer. Maybe their kids open your letter first and threw it out...... Maybe they wanted to call you, but got busy and lost you letter....... Maybe your letter reminded them to do the cleaning themselves instead, but half way through realized it was too hard for them with their $149 Home Debot pressure washer and said "now where is that guys letter who offered this service?" However, now they can't find what they did with your one letter you sent last week.

    When we test an area with one of our EDDM pieces, we send one every two weeks for three months, analyze those numbers and go from there.
    Andrew Walker
    Walker Services
    Orlando, FL
    407-924-2996
    Orlando Window Cleaning
    Orlando Pressure Washing

  • #14
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    1 every 2 weeks for 3 months!!! How much is that costing?!

    I realize that the exposure is way higher but man...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • #15
    Member Professor with Tenure Rapid HotClean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walker Services View Post
    David,

    There are so many factors when planning a mailer or EDDM piece. First, when testing an area, which sounds like you've already found a good one, you need to send more than one letter/mailer. Maybe their kids open your letter first and threw it out...... Maybe they wanted to call you, but got busy and lost you letter....... Maybe your letter reminded them to do the cleaning themselves instead, but half way through realized it was too hard for them with their $149 Home Debot pressure washer and said "now where is that guys letter who offered this service?" However, now they can't find what they did with your one letter you sent last week.

    When we test an area with one of our EDDM pieces, we send one every two weeks for three months, analyze those numbers and go from there.
    Mr. Walker, nice to see you here at PWI. Some very good advice BTW.

  • #16
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate Walker Services's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTM-PTB View Post
    1 every 2 weeks for 3 months!!! How much is that costing?!

    I realize that the exposure is way higher but man...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah, direct mail can add up real quick if you just blindly throw money at it, and trust me, I have. Anyone want sleepless nights? Send off a $2,800 mailer campaign and get 1 job from it in the first two months. That sucks.

    Sadly, it took us a few attempts to figure out that with EDDM you can start small and find out what works and what doesn't. You can filter your searches in route numbers to a lot of different specifics and test an area of your choosing. You can choose how much money you wanna spend

    I know it can be tough to send out more fliers/mailers/$$$ to an area that didn't get you the results you wanted in your first attempt. But what's that stat marketing "experts" always say? Something about potential customers usually need to see 5-7 marketing pieces/adds before they purchase from you......

    Another suggestion David. If anyone does call/hire you from any of your fliers, find out why? What drew their attention? What did they like about it? What didn't they like? Finding out from your customers WHY they hired you will help in your future marketing.
    Andrew Walker
    Walker Services
    Orlando, FL
    407-924-2996
    Orlando Window Cleaning
    Orlando Pressure Washing

  • #17
    Member Sophomore Undergraduate Walker Services's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapid HotClean View Post
    Mr. Walker, nice to see you here at PWI. Some very good advice BTW.
    Ted, good to see you here too.
    Andrew Walker
    Walker Services
    Orlando, FL
    407-924-2996
    Orlando Window Cleaning
    Orlando Pressure Washing

  • #18
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    Thanks walker. My favorite is hearing the old "I saw you on google".. And when I ask why they called me over all the others, the answer has almost always been BC of how professional I looked on my website..

    I'll take it!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • #19
    Member Junior Undergraduate Dave B's Avatar
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    How are you guys getting the info that HOA letters went out? Connections with the HOA? A current customer mentioning that they got a letter?
    Dave B.
    Branty Power Washing
    Dallas, TX
    Follow Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brantypowerwashing

  • #20
    Member Honorary Professor Ralph Q's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
    How are you guys getting the info that HOA letters went out? Connections with the HOA? A current customer mentioning that they got a letter?
    Whenever I get a few calls from a certain area I ask the customer if they got a letter.

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