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Can Direct Mail Marketing Boost Your Leads?

Published by liorwn at November 8, 2016

A mailbox full of mail against a blue and puffy white cloud sky

As a home inspector, your clientele base is comprised of local customers, and if you’re located in a large metropolitan area, you are marketing to the same people that dozens of other home inspectors and other businesses are marketing to. So it stands to reason that you need to find a way to get your message into as many hands as possible.

Direct mail marketing is one of the proven methods that many companies still use. This is an effective way to literally get your message into the hands of potential customers.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Direct Mail Marketing

 

Advantages:

 

Target Leads

You shouldn’t rely on generalized materials and campaigns. Flyers, letters, and other materials can target specific groups. This might be based on neighborhoods, home values, age, education, or ethnicity. Perhaps you’ve chosen to focus on B2B clients such as landlords or real estate companies. Prioritize who your best customers are and develop advertising that engages them specifically.

By being able to target leads, you are able to make the customer feel special, and like your offering is ideal for them.

 

Monitor Results

Your advertisements can be monitored by including coded information that will tell you exactly what mail campaign produced the response, such as a color bar, numeric code, or barcode. You might include a response card customers can mail back to you, or an alphanumeric code they can enter on a website. Use these on all advertising, including coupons or post cards. By recording and tracking these identifiers you can tell what materials are working with which customers.

For example, if you send certain letters to real estate agents to give to their clients, you can add a colored bar to each letter depending on the real estate agent, and require the customers to bring that letter for $25 off. That way you can see which real estate agents are the best to cater to in the future.

 

More Information

Direct mail advertising gives you more room to provide details or incentives to your audience than block ads do. Information on special discounts, your experience, or other selling points can be provided in detail. Take the opportunity to explain for prospects how they will benefit from dealing with you instead of your competition.

By creating a very concise, simple, and informative letter you can briefly captivate an audience, and create an initial impact on a future client.

 

Disadvantages of Direct Mail:

 

Cost

Even with bulk-rate permits direct mail can be costly. You’ve got to reach hundreds of prospects since only a small percentage are likely to respond. That means you’ll also have to pay a printer. It’s also probable that people will have to see more than one mailing before they really take notice.

Initial costs will be higher due to “casting a large net”, but as you narrow down your options over time, the cost can become more manageable.

 

Mailing Lists

It’s very likely that you’re going to have to buy mailing lists from a company that supplies home inspection leads in your area. Depending on the company, these lists may be out of date or contain inaccurate information.

This is one of the hardest problems because there’s no clear way to solve it. The best option is to ask questions, and find the best possible demographic for you.

By trying to target newlyweds, people in their mid 20s, and potential influencers (real estate agents, contractors, etc) you can mitigate the chances of getting a list full of “duds”.

 

Graphics

You don’t want your advertising to appear amateurish. Unless you are capable of creating professional-looking documents, both in the textual and visual elements, you’ll have to hire a graphic artist, copywriter, or other design professional.

With the internet, this burden is certainly lessened with sites such as fiverr.com where you can hire copywriters, graphic artists, and almost amything else you need starting at $5.

 

Remember that most people regard unsolicited mailings as “junk mail” and will simply toss them in the trash without any thought. Your mailings have to target the best leads and be visually compelling to have the greatest chance of being read at all.

 

Before you jump into direct mail advertising, you should do some careful cost calculations, including how they will be designed and produced. If you decide the risk is acceptable, be sure to monitor results so you are able to establish how well it’s working for you.

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