Home improvement is hot right now, especially in areas where real estate values continue to grow.
The category of “home improvement” includes a wide variety of industries, including architects, interior designers, landscapers, remodeling specialists, and interior decorators. Most of these smaller categories reported revenue increases in 2015, with architects, 34% of interior designers, 40% of landscapers, and 33% of decorators reporting revenues greater than expected.
Many of these industries claim that advertising and marketing account for increases in the cost of doing business. While it’s true that marketing and advertising can incur significant costs, it’s also worth noting there are ways to contain those costs. Let’s consider a few possibilities.
Lead Generation by Direct Mail
It’s true that digital marketing has opened up a whole new world of communication with customers. The reality, however, is that no other marketing avenue provides a lower cost per lead than direct mail.
An introduction to potential clients in your area through direct mail is the most likely way to reach them. You can increase your chances by using variable data printing to address the decision-maker in each home.
Customer Response to Direct Mail
Believe it or not, direct mail marketing also has a higher response rate than any digital marketing techniques. It makes sense when you think about it, though. In order to become a lead, a customer must first react to the direct mail. The more who respond, the less each lead costs.
While emails languish in bulk mailboxes or get sent directly to the trash, direct mail hangs out on the coffee table or gets displayed on the refrigerator. The more customers see that mail, the more likely they will be to act.
Implementing Digital Marketing
As powerful as direct mail proves to be, digital marketing can make it even more so. Yes, leads cost less from direct mail. Yes, direct mail gets a better initial response. How can you track those responses, though? How can you continue to build a relationship with someone who hasn’t yet availed of your services?
The personalized URL (PURL) and QR codes have made tracking responses and building relationships easier than ever. Within that first piece of mail, provide the PURL—a URL created specifically for that individual household. Instead of mailing back a card or calling a special phone number, these customers can visit your website. The moment they do, you’ll know they’ve been there. That special URL tells you exactly who read your mail and responded. It’s never been easier to keep track of your success.
The same happens with a QR code. If that code is created to direct the recipient to their own customized web page, then you start gathering data the moment they visit. From the pages they visit after landing on your site, you can determine the things most important to that customer. Do they research particular services, or are they mostly concerned about your rates? Do they want to see before and after images of your work, or do they skip straight to the testimonials from previous customers.
By starting your marketing path with direct mail, you increase your chance of a response while lowering the cost for each lead you obtain. Mix in a little digital marketing to help you build relationships with your potential customers, and you’ll experience marketing gold—and maybe at lower prices than you’ve been paying.
If you’d like to learn more about creating direct mail campaigns for your home improvement business, give us a call.