Burn your money.

That’s what most service businesses should do with their marketing dollars, since they’re getting about the same result from their marketing as they would if they set their marketing dollars on fire.

For many service businesses, marketing is broken. Service business owners should be in the business of marketing, but they often barely give their marketing enough thought. They should be strategic about their marketing, but, instead, they spend more time putting out staffing fires or dealing with less important issues.

If you’re a service business owner, your marketing is one of the most important ways you’ll spend your time and money. And, if you can find a way to do marketing more effectively and efficiently — to get more business at a lower cost — wouldn’t you want to know how to do that?

This article explains a very powerful approach that systematizes your marketing.


Most service business owners spend too much money on marketing programs that deliver too few, and often inconsistent, results.

They create marketing programs without first establishing a powerful brand that anchors their marketing. They use the “shotgun approach,” which scatters all of their marketing dollars in hope that some of those dollars create a return. They throw marketing dollars away with marketing that is weak and is spread out too thin.

Service business owners should, instead, build a marketing system they can deploy often, in a focused way, to create predictable, growing results.


A system is a series of steps that you or your team executes. A very powerful way to market is to build a system that runs automatically over a period of time to communicate your message to your market.

In order for this marketing system approach to work, you need to have the following components in place:

A powerful brand that stands out in your marketplace and an avatar, which is a clear idea of what your target market is like, what they’re interested in, what’s important to them, and what motivates them to hire a service business. Consider using this powerful marketing system in your service business.

Step 1 – Zoom In: Choose a specific area you want to market to. Most service businesses spread their marketing out too thin. They put a billboard here and a park bench sign there, and, if they do any mailing, they spend their marketing investment to get as wide of a reach as they can.

However, instead of trying to go as wide as possible, go deep and aim to hit a smaller area more frequently. Frequency of your marketing message will create trust, increase responses, and offer other benefits. Target a neighborhood, zip code, or, perhaps, even a single street.

Step 2 – Prepare Your Marketing Materials: Create high-quality marketing messages that are anchored by a powerful brand and resonate with your avatar. Plan a series of related marketing messages between three and five postcards, letters, or a combination of both. Give people a reason to respond to your marketing, such as a coupon or a seasonal promotion. Bonus tip: Don’t use an expiration date on your coupons as customers might keep these and use them years later.

Step 3 – Mail Your Marketing Regularly: Mail the first marketing piece in your sequence. Three to five weeks later, mail the second one. Then, three to five weeks later, mail the third one. Keep going for the entire program. Over this period, you’ll mail your three to five postcards or letters, which means you may communicate with your market as few as three times in nine weeks or as many as five times in 25 weeks.

Step 4 – Make Sure Your Team Is Ready: When customers start to respond to your marketing, make sure your team shows up on time wearing clean uniforms. Make sure your vehicles are aesthetically appealing. Have customers put a sign in their front yards. After finishing the work, drop a flyer in the mailbox of several houses up and down the street.

This fourth step further enhances your marketing system by providing even greater frequency to your marketing message; the street you’re marketing on with your direct mail will also see several trucks parked up and down the street performing services, several signs in lawns, and flyers in the mailboxes.

Step 5 – Repeat: This marketing system works great if you do it once. But, it truly becomes a powerful system when you build it to run over and over again, mailing out the same thing to new neighborhoods, zip codes, or streets; and mailing out similar messages with slightly different coupons or promotions to the same neighborhoods, zip codes, or streets you targeted before.

This marketing approach is a powerful system you can build once and then hand off to your team to deploy over and over again — to the same market or to different markets — as often as you want to get more business.

Publication date: 3/7/2016 

Want more HVAC industry news and information? Join The NEWS on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn today!