Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Produce Your Own 
Direct Mail Marketing Campaign

By
Glenn Fellman, President 
Fellman Business Consulting LLC. 
(301) 962-7600, E-mail: iaqglenn@aol.com, http://www.fellman.net

Last update: December 3, 1999

Recently a client asked for some help in coordinating a low cost, direct mail marketing campaign to potential restaurant clients. We developed a program that has a low investment and a high probability for excellent returns. We are glad to share the concept with you. If you are looking for a way to generate “hot” sales leads each month, this idea is right up your alley.

This particular company wanted to target the restaurant industry because his company cleans commercial kitchen exhaust systems. But the same market is an excellent source of work for companies that clean carpets, HVAC systems, and a number of other items. So, for the purposes of this article we will stick with the restaurant example.

Creating Your Own Flyer or Brochure

The first step in producing your direct mail program is to decide on the target market (restaurants, homeowners, insurance companies, etc.). Then you need to write and design a flyer with a message aimed right at the target group. The flyer you create does not have to be very complex. It just needs to promote the services of your company in a professional, clever way. With a little creativity and a user-friendly desktop publishing program, you can develop a great flyer that can be printed very inexpensively.

There are a number of low-cost desktop publishing programs, as well as “brochure-maker” programs that are very useful. For small businesses doing one or two color printing, Microsoft Publisher is a very handy program. It is very easy to learn. In fact, if you are fairly proficient in Microsoft Word, then you should have no problem working in MS Publisher. One of the nicest features of MS Publisher is that it contains dozens of brochure templates. You just drop your text into the right places – all of the design work has been done for you!

You want to design your flyer as a self-mailer. In other words, one panel of the flyer has to be reserved for your address, the mailing label, and the postage. Because we are trying to keep program expenses at a minimum, we want to make sure the mailer does not have to be inserted within an envelope – envelope printing can double production costs!

A double-sided photocopy on color paper is the cheapest way to print your flyer. The sad reality is that most people who receive your mailer won’t give it any attention. So two-color printing is a waste of money for this program. Save the expensive printing job for the brochure you will use in proposals, at trade shows, or for those who have already contacted you for information!

Developing a Mailing List

Once you have the flyer written, designed and printed, you will need a mailing list. You can purchase computer software that generates the lists for you at your local software store or office supply place. Pro-CD and PhoneDisc are both popular programs. They sell for about $150. And they are very user friendly.

We did a search of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex using PhoneDisc. Our search showed the following number of restaurants by exact sub-divisions we specified. Some software allows you do further narrow down lists by zip code or other specifications.

Arlington – 434 
Dallas – 2,120 
Fort Worth – 820 
Grand Prairie – 97 
Irving – 268

Our client in this region could mail 500 flyers a month for 8 months and never hit the same potential customer twice (however, mailings to certain restaurants should be repeated – especially to chains and larger facilities). Let’s take a look at the cost of this marketing campaign.

§ Computer software and staff time for flyer development - $500 
§ Mailing list software and employee time for list generation - $175 
§ Postage to mail 500 flyers - $165 
§ Printing 500 flyers ($.10 each) -- $50

The same flyer can be used over and over again, so the software and flyer development cost of $500 is a one-time, up-front expense. Likewise, you are purchasing the mailing list software and your staff person who prints up the mailing lists will get faster over time, bringing the cost of this element down considerably after the first month.

Let’s take a look at the potential return on this investment in the first three months for our client in the kitchen exhaust-cleaning field. The total cost over the 90 day period would be less than $1,400 – that includes postage and printing and it covers the up front expense. If the contractor get a 1-%-closing ratio off the 1,500 restaurants, that’s 15 new customers. If he cleans each restaurant two times a year at a cost of $300, that’s $9,000 gross income – not bad for a marketing program that cost him under $1,400. These figures are very conservative – plus the contractor generates repeat customers for years and years of service!

In the second three months, the program cost is reduced further since the up-front expenses were paid in the first three months. Assuming the same closing ratio, the program generates $9,000 in business off a $650 investment in printing and postage!

For a small company, sending a one-page flyer promoting your company’s services to 500 potential clients is enough for one month. If you have a large sales staff, you could double or even triple the number of mailers sent each month. But don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by calls. If you can’t handle doing estimates on a daily basis, don’t mail to 10,000 potential customers all at once. Stagger the mailings out over the course of 6 or 12 months.

The program we described is a simple concept, easily executed if you have some time to invest and the willingness to dedicate some staff resources to the effort. Otherwise, you could always hire a firm to do the work for you. In either case, you will be accomplishing what is essential for continued company growth – getting your name out there and making an impression with potential customers on a regular basis.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the years I have used direct mailing and they worked great for me.

Back when I started cedar shakes cleaning, which many said I couldn't do my way, LOL, I would drive a location write down all the cedar roof addresses. Would go to the assessors page and get their name.

Developed a tri-fold and hand addressed them, stamped and mailed. Got a lot of work that way.

Cedar Tri-Fold 1-1.jpg

Cedar tri-Fold 2-2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the years I have used direct mailing and they worked great for me.

Back when I started cedar shakes cleaning, which many said I couldn't do my way, LOL, I would drive a location write down all the cedar roof addresses. Would go to the assessors page and get their name.

Developed a tri-fold and hand addressed them, stamped and mailed. Got a lot of work that way.

Cedar Tri-Fold 1-1.jpg

Cedar tri-Fold 2-2.jpg

I did the exact same shit, back when I started!  I talked my way into gated communities, or hid by the gate in my car, until a resident drove in and opened the gate. Then I simply wrote down the dirty roofs address for my direct mail piece. It was a postcard.  Hey Bruce, there is some guy up in North Carolina w`ith YOUR Cedar Roofs Certification and RCIA Logo, advertising roof cleaning training :( Are you aware of this ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it is Josh Brown he is in my network. Josh Richardson is also and he is in N.C. also.

Yes the gated communities can be a pain. Florida is the only place we really ran into that. LOL

He is selling roof cleaning training, and hopefully, not what you taught him http://www.cleanproexteriors.com/a-complete-roof-cleaning-training/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Produce Your Own 
Direct Mail Marketing Campaign

By
Glenn Fellman, President 
Fellman Business Consulting LLC. 
(301) 962-7600, E-mail: iaqglenn@aol.com, http://www.fellman.net

Last update: December 3, 1999

Recently a client asked for some help in coordinating a low cost, direct mail marketing campaign to potential restaurant clients. We developed a program that has a low investment and a high probability for excellent returns. We are glad to share the concept with you. If you are looking for a way to generate “hot” sales leads each month, this idea is right up your alley.

This particular company wanted to target the restaurant industry because his company cleans commercial kitchen exhaust systems. But the same market is an excellent source of work for companies that clean carpets, HVAC systems, and a number of other items. So, for the purposes of this article we will stick with the restaurant example.

Creating Your Own Flyer or Brochure

The first step in producing your direct mail program is to decide on the target market (restaurants, homeowners, insurance companies, etc.). Then you need to write and design a flyer with a message aimed right at the target group. The flyer you create does not have to be very complex. It just needs to promote the services of your company in a professional, clever way. With a little creativity and a user-friendly desktop publishing program, you can develop a great flyer that can be printed very inexpensively.

There are a number of low-cost desktop publishing programs, as well as “brochure-maker” programs that are very useful. For small businesses doing one or two color printing, Microsoft Publisher is a very handy program. It is very easy to learn. In fact, if you are fairly proficient in Microsoft Word, then you should have no problem working in MS Publisher. One of the nicest features of MS Publisher is that it contains dozens of brochure templates. You just drop your text into the right places – all of the design work has been done for you!

You want to design your flyer as a self-mailer. In other words, one panel of the flyer has to be reserved for your address, the mailing label, and the postage. Because we are trying to keep program expenses at a minimum, we want to make sure the mailer does not have to be inserted within an envelope – envelope printing can double production costs!

A double-sided photocopy on color paper is the cheapest way to print your flyer. The sad reality is that most people who receive your mailer won’t give it any attention. So two-color printing is a waste of money for this program. Save the expensive printing job for the brochure you will use in proposals, at trade shows, or for those who have already contacted you for information!

Developing a Mailing List

Once you have the flyer written, designed and printed, you will need a mailing list. You can purchase computer software that generates the lists for you at your local software store or office supply place. Pro-CD and PhoneDisc are both popular programs. They sell for about $150. And they are very user friendly.

We did a search of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex using PhoneDisc. Our search showed the following number of restaurants by exact sub-divisions we specified. Some software allows you do further narrow down lists by zip code or other specifications.

Arlington – 434 
Dallas – 2,120 
Fort Worth – 820 
Grand Prairie – 97 
Irving – 268

Our client in this region could mail 500 flyers a month for 8 months and never hit the same potential customer twice (however, mailings to certain restaurants should be repeated – especially to chains and larger facilities). Let’s take a look at the cost of this marketing campaign.

§ Computer software and staff time for flyer development - $500 
§ Mailing list software and employee time for list generation - $175 
§ Postage to mail 500 flyers - $165 
§ Printing 500 flyers ($.10 each) -- $50

The same flyer can be used over and over again, so the software and flyer development cost of $500 is a one-time, up-front expense. Likewise, you are purchasing the mailing list software and your staff person who prints up the mailing lists will get faster over time, bringing the cost of this element down considerably after the first month.

Let’s take a look at the potential return on this investment in the first three months for our client in the kitchen exhaust-cleaning field. The total cost over the 90 day period would be less than $1,400 – that includes postage and printing and it covers the up front expense. If the contractor get a 1-%-closing ratio off the 1,500 restaurants, that’s 15 new customers. If he cleans each restaurant two times a year at a cost of $300, that’s $9,000 gross income – not bad for a marketing program that cost him under $1,400. These figures are very conservative – plus the contractor generates repeat customers for years and years of service!

In the second three months, the program cost is reduced further since the up-front expenses were paid in the first three months. Assuming the same closing ratio, the program generates $9,000 in business off a $650 investment in printing and postage!

For a small company, sending a one-page flyer promoting your company’s services to 500 potential clients is enough for one month. If you have a large sales staff, you could double or even triple the number of mailers sent each month. But don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by calls. If you can’t handle doing estimates on a daily basis, don’t mail to 10,000 potential customers all at once. Stagger the mailings out over the course of 6 or 12 months.

The program we described is a simple concept, easily executed if you have some time to invest and the willingness to dedicate some staff resources to the effort. Otherwise, you could always hire a firm to do the work for you. In either case, you will be accomplishing what is essential for continued company growth – getting your name out there and making an impression with potential customers on a regular basis.

Chris what's the real life numbers on this for roof cleaning specifically? In other words, have you sent out 500 roof cleaning fliers a month or in a month? And what was your ratio on closed jobs? Any real life testimonies like this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I send out flyers/post cards at least twice a season. I order them off of Vista Print, then I put them in envelopes myself. This way it gets the customers attention when they have to open it. This definitely gets me jobs and is well worth the time and money. I also spent $600 on postcard mailings from Vista Print. Out of 1,000 postcards, I got one job... $400. Never again will I send just postcards. But if you put them in an envelope, the customer actually looks at it. That's the key, I get a ton of jobs this way. Also I don't drive anywhere to get addresses. I sit on my ass in my living room and use an online tool along with google earth that will give you almost any address you want. I posted this about a year ago in secrets of Roof cleaning. The link to the tool is also in that thread.

Edited by Ultimate Roof Cleaning & Pressure Washing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I send out flyers/post cards at least twice a season. I order them off of Vista Print, then I put them in envelopes myself. This way it gets the customers attention when they have to open it. This definitely gets me jobs and is well worth the time and money. I also spent $600 on postcard mailings from Vista Print. Out of 1,000 postcards, I got one job... $400. Never again will I send just postcards. But if you put them in an envelope, the customer actually looks at it. That's the key, I get a ton of jobs this way. Also I don't drive anywhere to get addresses. I sit on my ass in my living room and use an online tool along with google earth that will give you almost any address you want. I posted this about a year ago in secrets of Roof cleaning. The link to the tool is also in that thread.

do you write the name of each person and address by hand? How do you go about this process?

Edited by Josh Brown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I do not write anything by hand. That takes way to long and looks unprofessional. When looking up addresses on the free online tool, I collect a list and type it on a PDF(word). Then I go to the Dollar Tree or Dollar Store and purchase blank mailing labels. The same exact ones sell at party city for $6! So get them at the dollar store, it's definitely a bargain. So once you get them, it provides a website on the package of mailing labels that you go to which lays out a printable format that lines up with the mailing labels. Copy and paste all the addresses in the boxes of the format. Put the mailing labels in the printer and print. Pull each mailing label off and stick to the envelopes. Done. O and as far as the names go I don't have access to that. The addresses works fine. 

Edited by Ultimate Roof Cleaning & Pressure Washing

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No I do not write anything by hand. That takes way to long and looks unprofessional. When looking up addresses on the free online tool, I collect a list and type it on a PDF(word). Then I go to the Dollar Tree or Dollar Store and purchase blank mailing labels. The same exact ones sell at party city for $6! So get them at the dollar store, it's definitely a bargain. So once you get them, it provides a website on the package of mailing labels that you go to which lays out a printable format that lines up with the mailing labels. Copy and paste all the addresses in the boxes of the format. Put the mailing labels in the printer and print. Pull each mailing label off and stick to the envelopes. Done. O and as far as the names go I don't have access to that. The addresses works fine. 

yes I do a similar processes and it does work really good. I'll check that tool out! My question to is do you find the persons name for each address or so you just label it as current resident  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×