As the leading direct mail automation platform, we spend a lot of time exploring how home services can use direct mail to generate leads, attract customers and grow their business.
Home services, such as residential snow removal, lawn mowing/landscaping, pool maintenance, gutter cleaning and installation, painting, HVAC, fencing, decking and patios, plumbing, roofing, and electrical work, are ideally suited for direct mail marketing.
Small businesses providing these services often cover a local area, and the geographic nature of postal addresses makes marketing by mail a natural fit. “Marketing for these types of [home] services is unique because the business relationships are more personal and entail physical transactions,” explains Jack Noonan, VP of business development at the PRINTING United Alliance trade association.
“This is not e-commerce,” Noonan notes. “These proprietors are actually knocking on doors, which requires a different approach to mail design and messaging.” Owners of home-services firms can take advantage of batch and triggered direct mail to find new clients and to remain engaged with existing customers.
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Geographically Oriented Marketing
Batch mailings cover targeted geographic areas where most addresses fit the profile of the company’s customers. “The focus with batch mailings should be on obtaining the right lists,” Noonan shares. Software automation and data analytics can identify cyclical opportunities, he continues: “For example, leading into the summer, some companies will want to target homeowners for air-conditioning services or swimming pool maintenance.” Delving even deeper, landscapers/lawn-maintenance and mosquito abatement firms should anticipate large outdoor parties in advance of summer holiday weekends.
Many home services companies use the U.S. Postal Service’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) program, which Noonan describes as “a simple, easy but generalized approach.” EDDM is a Post Office route delivery system based on a given mail carrier’s walk sequence. “It’s ZIP-code management at its entry-level best,” he says. However, EDDM has no capacity for personalization or segmentation, whereas sending addressed batch mail through Postalytics enables these features, along with tracking and giving marketers opportunities for list refinement and follow-up communications.
For a complete discussion of EDDM and personalized direct mail, read:
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) vs. Direct Mail Marketing
Triggered to Act
Triggered mailings, meanwhile, are used to generate referrals or repeat business based on the last date of service, the lifespan of a service, warranty periods, etc. “List refinement is the key to success with triggered mailings,” Noonan suggests, adding that blending data sources is one strategic approach. “Purchase a new home buyers’ list and maybe add a financing list from a creditor or lender,” he says. Why? Because many home buyers will soon engage in remodeling projects.
Triggered mailings are extremely powerful ways to connect with customers and prospects. Here’s a great article that explains how to use triggers to create targeted, personalized direct mail that arrives at just the right time: Profiting from Triggered Direct Mail Automation.
Another approach zeroes in on lifecycle. “Home-owners nearing retirement age likely are more interested in services like lawn care and house cleaning,” Noonan points out. A list of large properties with bigger backyards might yield more lawn/landscape prospects. These people may have or want pools, too.
“I think many marketers should think more strategically and use mailing as a business-development channel,” asserts Noonan. “Sending mail is not just a one-time thing. It can be a brand builder,” he concludes. “Direct-mail marketing is a key way of developing relationships with postal/print touchpoints.”