Joy Gendusa
Joy Gendusa

What You’ll Need:

• Direct mail campaign

• Automatic Google follow-up

• Iced tea

• Comfy lawn chair

• Tiny umbrella

The Recipe:

1.      Mix direct mail campaign with automatic Google follow-up until leads flow seamlessly from one to the other.

2.      Pour tall glass of iced tea.

3.      Insert tiny umbrella and enjoy your new sales (and drink) from the comfort of your lawn chair.

I am fairly confident you can handle Steps 2 and 3 all by yourself, so I won’t belabor those points. However, Step 1 will give you fits if you try to go it alone. “Direct mail and Google working together?” I hear you ask. “It’s not natural!”

Maybe not. But it is possible, and it’s the best way to maximize your return on investment. So let’s look at why you need both of these strategies in your marketing, and how to use them to the greatest effect.

Why You Need Direct Mail

Direct mail is more effective than online marketing for lead generation. In a 2012 report, the Direct Marketing Association found that the response rate (from prospects) for digital media was roughly 0.03 percent, while direct mail produced a 1.2 percent response. Now obviously that 1.2 percent is not industry-specific, but the point here is that direct mail is better at generating leads than digital strategies.

In addition to this general data, there are specific reasons postcard marketing works for HVAC professionals:

• Postcard marketing uses highly specialized lists to target people who are already likely to desire your services. So you don’t waste money on people who would never be interested in a million years.

• There is no envelope to open. This may seem inconsequential, but it is hugely important. It basically guarantees the prospect sees your message, and the more they see it, the more likely they are to call.

• You don’t need many responses to make a great return on investment (ROI). Take the amount an average client spends with you in a year. Multiply that by the number of years an average client stays with you. Now you have the “lifetime value” of getting just one new client. Chances are, you only need one or two to recoup the cost of the campaign, and everything else is gravy.

And as long as the gravy is rolling in, why stop? Am I right?

Why You Need Google Follow-Up

So direct mail generates a bunch of leads. Some call you. Others go online and fill out a form. But what about the ones that go to your website and don’t fill out a form? Are they gone forever? No. Google can track them and show them your ads as they browse other sites. And now you can get this automatic follow-up service as part of your direct mail campaign…

DirectMail2.0 is a new product offered by some of the more progressive direct mail companies, and it includes seamless Google integration. So everyone that visits your website starts to see your ads everywhere (and you don’t pay unless they click).Plus, DirectMail2.0 gives you an online dashboard where you can track how many people visited your site, how many people are being shown follow-up ads, how many people called you (yes, it records calls), and where your postcards are in the mailing process (so you know exactly when they hit).

I always highly recommend a DirectMail2.0 campaign to all clients, regardless of industry. It’s only a couple cents more per piece, and it is well worth it because clients using DirectMail 2.0 consistently see a higher return on their marketing spend.

So in order to complete Step 1 in the recipe above, all you have to do is make your direct mail campaign a DirectMail2.0 campaign and you’re good to go.

Spring Direct Mail Tips for HVAC Pros

My company has worked with 1,897 HVAC businesses, and I have some proven tips to share with you to ensure you get primo results from your campaign. So here we go:

• HVAC businesses can get away with a small 4.25 x 6 postcard (unless your competitors’ market heavily in the area, then you’ll need to go larger).

• You must mail to your customer list. This is a hugely effective action.

• Supplement the mailing list with homeowners in your area/income range.

• Mail at least two to four times during the season.

• Offers that work:   

— Spring a/c tune-up (free, $5 off, $10 off, $59, $74.95, $79, $89).

— Discount on repairs (15 percent off, $25 off, $35 off).

— Discounts on special products: humidifier, filters, air cleaner, pump replacement.

So there you go. Get a DirectMail2.0 campaign to take advantage of automatic Google follow-up, and use the tips above to make sure you get optimal results from your campaign. Then pour that tea, take a seat, and enjoy the new revenue spring brings. (After work, of course.)