Direct Mail Still Works

Yes, you read it – Direct mail still works. As a marketer you’re probably skeptical, and I was too, but I can tell you for select industries direct mail is still effective.

People are no longer looking for remodelers, movers, or painters in their mailboxes – but they are holding onto fliers from their favorite pizza places, Chinese restaurants and septic pumpers! People love coupons and anyone that leaves menu at your door is probably offering sweet deal. As for septic pumping – most people have no idea who to call so when they receive a flier, they hold onto it (especially if there’s a coupon)!

My husband’s family has a septic company and I’ve been amazed at how successful direct mail has been for them. In our area, most townships require people who have septic systems to have them pumped every 2-4 years. Because there’s a “schedule” so to speak, it makes it simple to figure out when you should do a direct mail blast. Within days of sending out fliers, the business will get phone calls from people calling to schedule their pumping because they got their “reminder” in the mail.

The best thing about direct mail is that it’s cheap! Yes, it can add up when you send thousands of postcards or fliers, but the ROI is huge. I use Next Day Flyers btw – the cheapest printing costs I’ve found. What I’ve learned through direct mail, is that when it comes to marketing you have to do what works! In most industries nowadays, direct mail is not effective, but for the septic business, it is.

Before you jump into any new marketing endeavor, think about how you would make a purchasing decision – would you hold onto a flier from a service provider? Would you search online? Would you go to a place like Angie’s List or ask a friend? If you wouldn’t do it, chances are others won’t either so don’t waste your money.

Email marketing is a big one these days that’s effective for some industries and not for others. Email marketing is much more effective for ecommerce sellers than service providers. Again, think about how you make purchasing decisions. If you get an email from Amazon or Macy’s, you might click through to see what sales they’re having or to use a coupon code – but if you get an email from your local plumber you’re probably wondering why you’re on their email list and the message goes straight to the “trash.”

But back to direct mail… Here’s one of the most effective direct mail postcards I created for John Kline Septic Services this year. Key features include a well-branded color scheme, bold fonts and of course, a coupon!

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Boost Your Brand with Summer Sales and Networking Events

Colourful hanging sales tags with optional transparent shadow

Sales are a great way to attract new customers and if you’ve got a local storefront or office building, what better way to let people know about your products or services than to host a sale as part of a local event! Here are some ideas to consider.

  • “Beat the Heat” Sale – Similar to a “beat the clock” sale, start your prices low and raise them back to normal as the day progresses or gets hotter. You could also do a one-day only “beat the heat” sale on a particularly hot weekend this summer and simply discount all products or services.
  • Memorial Day or 4th of July Sale – Discount items of your choosing on either of these major shopping weekends. Use patriotic coupon codes like REDWHITEBLUE or AMERICA. Local businesses, get in the spirit with special discounts on your services, throw in a free miniature American flag with every purchase over $50, have your staff wear red, white or blue etc.
  • “Christmas in July” Sale – This is a fun one! You can put all of your Christmas items or cold-weather clothing on sale to move old inventory. If you’re in the service industry, advertise a special price for your standard services, but only if scheduled or completed on July 25 (or the day of your Christmas in July sale).
  • Host an Event – If you’ve got a local storefront or office but don’t have a major advertising budget, host an event to let people know about your products and services. If you’re part of your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Coalition, offer your parking lot or storefront for the next business mixer, or contact the local blood bank to find out about hosting a blood drive. These are great ways to get potential customers in your doors and it doesn’t cost much on your end. Simply provide snacks, set up a display table etc. You may even be able to find another local business who’s willing to donate food or raffle items. At the end of the day, the money spent is well worth the networking opportunities!

Ways to Create Meaningful Social Media Content

What makes great content for your company’s Facebook page or other social media channels? One of the best ways to engage your audience is to show them your personality!  Customers want to work with a local business they can relate to and feel good about doing business with.

One of the easiest ways to create content that shows more than just the professional side of your business is to feature “behind the scenes” photos.  Regardless of your industry, people love to see what your company is like behind the façade of your organized website or beautiful store front.  They want to see what kind of employees work for you, what your company does to support the community, and what goes into creating your product or service.

When I worked for the iconic American hat company, Bollman Hats, we used Instagram to feature behind the scenes photos from the hat-making process.  Customers loved seeing how the stylish hats we manufactured went from raw wool to finished product.  Our photos showed hats going through the various phases of manufacturing and customers could see the dedicated employees who molded, felted and blocked each hat.  Making a connection like this shows customers that your company is not just a brand, a familiar face or a radio jingle, but a group of hard working individuals that they can relate to.

Another way to create meaningful social media content is to participate in local community events.  Businesses are often asked to sponsor local charity events, school organizations, golf outings, etc.  When your company agrees to sponsor one of these events you are often given the chance to advertise on the event website, create a take-away or flier to be given to event participants or better yet – sign up a team of your employees to directly participate in the event or volunteer at the event.  If you’re able to participate at the event the photo opportunities are countless.  Snap a shot of one of your carpenters helping a toddler at a children’s charity event or your business owner crossing the finish line at a charity run.  These photos are great for social media, website content and more.  They also encourage engagement from your fans and followers because people love to “like” a photo that features someone they know or an event they also attended.

ReBath & More recently sponsored and participated in The Junior League of Lancaster County’s Annual Run 4 Luck.  We were featured on the event website and were able to print fliers that went into every goodie bag – and there were over 800!  We took tons of photos during the event and were sure to wear our ReBath tee-shirts for the day.  The photos from this event made for one of our most liked Facebook posts in the month of March and the exposure we received was fantastic for business.

Not only did we feel great about sponsoring a worthy cause, but by doing so our customers are able to feel good about supporting our business and that’s the key to creating meaningful content. 

PicMonkey Collage

Run 4 Luck Flier

Flier for Goodie Bags – Front

Run 4 Luck Flier 2

Flier for Goodie Bags – Back