Mail Marketing Tips to Help Grow Your Business

by

Jessica Brant
October 15, 2019
/
3
minutes to read

What is one of your wishes this holiday season? Is it sales during the slow season? If not, it should be. But sales during these slower months don’t happen overnight — they happen over time. The winter season affords many HVAC, electrical and plumbing business owners the time to rethink and reboot some of their marketing strategies. One way to do this is through direct mail, which (Gasp!) people still read. Take a look at some of the ways you can start boosting sales before winter with our tips below. 

Delight Customers with Holiday Greeting Cards

Not every homeowner, church-goer and community organizer is subservient to the pinging of a smart device. There are still people who can’t resist a good old-fashioned holiday greeting card. 

Although cheesy to some and considered a thing of the past, holiday greeting cards are gold to contractors and owners of HVAC, electrical and plumbing businesses this time of year — they are an inexpensive and easy way to promote the business. 

By leveraging the sentiment of the season, you’re more likely to connect with your community, who will display your cards on their community notice boards, office desks and family mantels. To really stick out, you can include coupons for popular maintenance services or tune-ups you perform as the weather cools. Just don’t offer to step in and fix any family squabbles at holiday dinner. Your phone will be ringing off the hook!  

When to send: The sooner you send these, the better. Some business owners experiment by sending Thanksgiving cards right after Halloween has ended. Try targeting existing customers by offering a $25 coupon on a service like heater maintenance or repair. 

Use Mail-outs as Educational Tools

What’s one of the best ways to build repeat business, you ask? Reliable messaging. Informing potential clients, and also existing ones, of what steps to take during an emergency, for example, sets you apart as a trusted authority in the industry. Most people aren’t aware that pipes freeze in different spots during snow storms, or that a carbon monoxide leak can result from a busted heater. Including a few tips on how homeowners can prepare for emergencies during cooler months on flyers or postcards (or even on print-out stickers that they can tag on their systems) will make your messaging purposeful — and powerful. 

When to send: Do you live in an area where snow storms or hurricanes are the norm this time of year? Time your campaign so that you are sending these well before the devastation hits. Conduct follow-ups with existing customers, homeowners living in older houses and senior communities to make sure they are doing OK. 

Pop-out Gift Cards Make Memorable Tokens   

The trouble isn’t always in finding the right offer to make to your customers, it’s in finding the right way to make it. There will be several competing HVAC, electrical and plumbing businesses in your area mailing out the same kind of coupons and rebates this time of year, so why not opt for some flash? Laminated, pop-out gift cards are actionable, and they require your potential or existing customers to be mindful. These small tokens can be kept in their wallets or on their fridges as a reminder that winter is approaching, and a maintenance check might be in order.  

When to send: Everyone isn’t going to experience an emergency this winter. That’s why thinking ahead to spring is a smart move. As snow gracefully falls on your front door step, start sending thoughts of warmer weather to others. You can offer AC maintenance plans and customer loyalty programs for the season change in a mail-out that evokes imagery of relaxed sunbathing and energy saving! 

You’re going to need a way to store the new customer information you acquire through these time-tested tips we’ve offered. Thankfully, there’s an app for that. Learn how we smoothly import customer information into our Pointman software by scheduling a demo with us today!

Look at Pricing

The start of the year is a great time to look at pricing. Usually, you have an idea of how your company fared the year prior, and you want to ensure you will continue to grow in the months to come. Many of us make New Year’s resolutions with respect to spending or saving in our personal lives, and it’s no different for business owners. Making sure your pricing is in line with where it should be is one of the strongest ways to start the year the right way.

Part of looking at your price book is finding where the issues are, and that can take time. An HVAC company in January is going to be very busy, so it’s a difficult time for a close look. However, a plumbing company might not be as busy. Whenever you tackle this job, your best bet is to look at what your labor rates are. Start there, and let it trickle down across the board. Ask yourself, “Are my labor rates helping my business stay profitable?”

Remember, there are many different services out there and many different groups or communities that you can engage. Never hesitate to say, “Hey, I’m a business owner in Florida. What should my labor rates be?” You can build your price from there. There are also some great billable hour calculators available.

Set Goals

There is no better time of year for looking inward than January. Set your personal goals and company goals for the following 12 months. If you can break those down into departmental goals, even better! Perhaps that means a CSR booking closing rates a little better, or a truck doing 250,000 a year rather than 200,000.

Many companies have found that using an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) goal-setting system pays off. Looking for a guidebook when it comes to OKRs? Check out Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr. 

One key question is the best way to handle setting goals: Is it smarter for business owners to handle this solo, together with staff, or to delegate completely? 

The best approach is to set goals at the department level. As an owner, you need to take the time to understand what the goals are in each department, and make sure they are in line with your goals for the company. No one likes to set unattainable goals for themselves, so make sure you push your departments to set goals that are lofty, rather than simple ones to feel good about hitting. Entrust your staff to aim higher, and watch how they respond.

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