Guest Blog


An Argument for Direct Mail in the HVAC Industry

September 13, 2012
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For HVAC professionals, there will always be a debate as to which is the “best” marketing strategy to promote your business. There are a ton to choose from. However, the reality is that there isn’t a silver bullet marketing method. The key to the ultimate success of your marketing plan lies in the integration of many different marketing media. Each strategy has it’s own pros and cons, and (if we’re going to get really honest) almost any of them will work if you are just consistent about it. Of course, some will work better than others.

For the purposes of this article, however, I will assume that you can only choose one marketing platform. Here are my three reasons why direct mail is your best option for lead generation:

1. Direct mail offers the best options to target qualified prospects.

You may be tempted to think (especially in most extreme climates), “Well, everybody needs my services. So my market is everybody. I don’t need to target.” But this viewpoint misses the true benefit of targeting. You don’t target to get a response. You target to get the best possible response. And by that I mean not just more responses numerically, but better responses in terms of total sales and readiness to book an appointment.

Take a look at your best clients and identify what they have in common. Do they live in the same area? Are they families or singles? What is the income level of these people? Based on this information, you can target people in your area with a similar profile. Are your best clients homeowners with more than $100k in household income? You can get a mailing list of these people in your area. Targeted mailings are also great because you can tailor the message of your postcard to these people. Instead of saying “Best HVAC Service in Town,” you can say “A high class home deserves a trustworthy HVAC team.” By targeting your mailings like this, you are more effective with your marketing dollars.

2. Direct mail is cost-effective.

It’s vital that you note here that “cost-effective” doesn’t mean “cheapest.” Direct mail is not the cheapest marketing platform in the world. I mean, you can blast out a million emails for practically nothing. However, that approach probably won’t produce any results in terms of lead generation. Cost-effective means that your marketing strategy produces more in terms of revenue per dollar spent. Direct mail is your best friend in this regard.

With direct mail, each dollar you spend is actively producing more dollars for you in terms of new leads and new clients. In addition, the more you use direct mail, the better your results get. When prospects see a postcard over and over, they begin to recognize your brand and see you as a credible business. Then, next time they need an HVAC specialist, they will call you.

3. Direct mail is a trusted medium.

Seventy-three percent of consumers prefer to receive new product announcements or offers from companies they do business with via “snail” mail, according to an International Communications Research survey. The truth of the marketing atmosphere today is that people expect to receive ads in the mail and they actually prefer it to being bombarded with ads when they really don’t feel like paying attention. Think about it. What annoys you more: a postcard in the mail or having to sit though commercials when you watch TV? (Hence the huge rise in popularity of DVRs or digital video recorders that allow people to fast forward through commercials.)

Another point is that postcards are easy to hang on to until you need to call. Other media can make that difficult. When was the last time you actually wrote down a phone number from a TV commercial? Yeah, me neither.

Of course, these aren’t the only reasons to choose postcards to market your business, but I think they give you a pretty good overview of the primary reasons direct mail is important. Of course, you shouldn’t rely solely on direct mail for all of your marketing outreach. You should also be reaching out to prospects with pay per click advertisements, email newsletters, referral programs, and more. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, integrating multiple marketing strategies enhances them all and maximizes your return on marketing investment.

But you do have to start somewhere, and there is no better place to start than direct mail postcards.

To produce more effective direct mail campaigns, download a free report here.

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