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Steve B
12-24-2008, 03:29 AM
Below is a link to an ad I put together for a new business I just started. It was designed to be printed in a Rack Card size and put in the newspaper boxes in the higher dollar neighborhoods.


ESP Home Services Ad (http://www.derbysfence.com/ads/ESP%20-%20Home%20Services%20Rack%20Card.pdf)

I've already got some changes in mind for it, but I'd like to hear other thoughts about it. I won't tell you anymore about the business so you can see it with a fresh mind like the local homeowners will.

vangogh
12-24-2008, 10:56 AM
Overall I like the ad. I think the message is clear and the benefits for having the maintenance are well done. The schedules for the Cardinals and Wildcats is a nice touch and should lead to a few people hanging on to the ad for the schedules, which I assume is the intention.

Couple of things:

I'm wondering if it would be good to have the company name and number (maybe even the coupon) right at the top. It could just be because I'm looking at the ad on a computer monitor and don't see that info instantly so it might not be an issue.

Along the same lines I think the three questions with their images would work better if they came before the explanation at top about preventative maintenance saving money. Reversing the order would have more impact.

I'd have the layout be

company name and logo
3 questions
preventative home maintenance saves you money...

And again the company name and logo part could just be because I don't see them right away on the monitor.


We not only know what to do, we know how to do it and have the proper tools.

Something about the above sentence feels awkward to me. I'm not quite sure what it is, but I stumble over it each time I read it.

I don't think the *** are necessary in front of the points toward the bottom. They don't really add anything.

Overall though I think it's a great ad.

Ad-Vice_Man
12-24-2008, 11:01 AM
I'd kill the coupon. or make a different offer. A) I get "free" calendars everywhere... my bank my insurance agent, the list goes on. B) for the first 100 responses? As the person reading this, assuming the calendar is any motivator at all I'm not going to care how many people call you. If you really have a limit to how many calendars you can give away... make a small print disclaimer.

Steve B
01-04-2009, 09:01 AM
I was hoping to get more feedback. I'm almost ready to order more (get ready Remipub).

Ad-vice-man - I guess a calendar is probably not very unique. The "first 100 responses" is right out of a Dan Kennedy book trying to create a sense of urgency and that they are getting something special. With that said - it hasn't worked so I'm open to trying something different.

Steve - Re: name at top. I was looking at it the way some experts tell you to write yellow page ads. The name of your company is the least important thing to the customer. Although I think the name jumps out more if you had the printed version.

The asterisks are detail associated with each photo.

I agree with you on that awkward sentence.

I'll have to change the back side next time since basketball season will be over. I was thinking about a Home Health Quiz. It would be a little more self serving. I find those little quizzes in magazines hard to resist.

Any other thoughts. Not only on the ad, but on the business concept itself?

Ad-Vice_Man
01-04-2009, 01:19 PM
I don't disagree with the idea of creating a sense of urgency, but "while supplies last" types (unless their items with high percieved values" aren't likely an inducement to urgency. An end date is a good one ie "call before January 31st and get ....." you may even want to make it an unusual date, like "february 19th". You don't have to hold firm to that date obviously... say someone called you Feb 20th certainly yo'd not deny them, especially if they were responding to your ad.

vangogh
01-04-2009, 03:22 PM
Makes sense about the company name.

I guess I don't feel the connection with the asterisks next to the images and listed at the bottom. One never made me look toward the other and I think the three points work well even if you don't tie each one to a specific image.

thx4yrtym
01-04-2009, 03:57 PM
Steve,

I agree with most of what's been said before.

In addition, an alternative to the schedule on the back I'd like to know what Items your service deals with in addition to the ones on the front. And I think it might be helpful for people to understand current replacement costs of the items. For example the water heater might cost $500-$1,000 to replace. In other words what might I loose by not doing these things.

Are there different levels of service that you provide? In other words, will you inspect my air conditioner and advise whether it should be cleaned or not? Advise other energy saving things that should be done.

IN general, we don't give enough thought to the things that you are offering to service. That's why you are doing this, but don't assume that everyone can put a dollar amount on what they are losing by not doing this.

Sorry to babble,

Regards,


Gregg
Custom Program Solutions

Steve B
01-04-2009, 04:20 PM
Good points.

Gregg, maybe I can work in some of that information into a Quiz format.

I.e. - What is the average cost to replace a water heater in Jefferson County?

How much money can be wasted if there is a clogged dryer vent?

etc.

thx4yrtym
01-04-2009, 08:18 PM
Steve,

I expect that there have been independent studies done on the major appliances showing the operating costs and how they are effected by various things. I subscribe to the notion that you kind of have to slap folks up the side of the head with this stuff to get their attention. In the case of the dryer, it's not just the energy savings but because the dryer has to operate longer there is extra wear and tear on the unit so it will have to be replaced or at least serviced sooner. All of this is preventable. So the bottom line show me the proof, measure it in $$$ and I will most likely be motivated. You need to speak to the sexes differently in this matter. for the guys- they don't want to spend their saturday messing with the dryer vent. Too many things to mess up. So we just don't do it. for the women - they know they are not likely to get the guys to do it so this is a great alternative.

HTH

Gregg

seolman
01-04-2009, 11:00 PM
I thought I would add my 1.5 cents to some of the good ideas already in this thread.

I've always felt any ad should have a compelling message - a call to action.

Forgive me for being so forward but I took a slightly different approach - a new pitch:

Preventive Maintenance Does a Lot More Than Save Money!

During these tough economic times we are all looking for ways to save a few dollars. It's even more beneficial when we can save money while protecting the lives of those we love!

Proper Home Maintenance lowers energy bills AND ensures we won't be exposing our families to unnecessary safety hazards.


<insert examples here - perhaps the "quiz" idea mentioned in another post - lead the reader to next action step>

Example of call to action: "Don't spend another penny on clogged air filters" or "don't waste any more money on high energy costs - act now!" Call: 888-GET-READY.

I just didn't see anything there to push the reader's buttons.

Just my 1.5 cents. Hope it helps.

vangogh
01-05-2009, 10:26 AM
I like Dave's idea above. Tie in the idea that not doing preventative maintenance is a safety hazard and could harm your family. It ups the stakes and makes it more likely someone will take action.

The quiz idea is also a good one. It should help make the ad more interactive.

Steve B
01-05-2009, 06:47 PM
I wanted to keep the connection to safety hazards subtle - but, I could try being a little less subtle next time.

I worked on the quiz this morning - I'll give that a try next time I print it. I circulated another 1,000 of the rack cards - repeating the same neighborhood as last time. I did that Sunday morning before they got their newspapers - still no calls. I may try radio for this business since it needs a bit of an explanation.

vangogh
01-05-2009, 09:08 PM
It's also possible the holidays weren't the best time for the ad. People might not be paying attention yet.

Feel free to run the quiz by us. It's a good idea to keep people interacting with the ad.

Steve B
01-06-2009, 02:21 AM
O.K. - here is the quiz I made up yesterday. I may not have room for all these questions - so let me know if you think any can be cut.

Home Health Quiz
Courtesy of E.S.P. Home Services

Take the following quiz to test your knowledge of home energy, safety, and preventive maintenance facts?

1. How often should a water heater be drained for optimal energy efficiency and to extend its life?
A. It’s not necessary to drain a water heater. B. At least twice a year.
C. Every Month D. When it makes crackling sounds

2. How much money will you save over a 5-year period by replacing just five 75w incandescent bulbs with 20w CFL’s (assuming a daily use of 4 hours per day)?
A. $50 B. $90 C $190 D. $425

3. What appliance in your home uses the most energy? (excluding heating/cooling and water heating)
A. Clothes Dryer B. Refrigerator
C. Dishwasher D. Television

4. How much of a typical home’s energy use is from the water heater?
A. 5&#37; B. 7% C. 10% D. 13%

5. What is an expected replacement cost of a water heater?
A. $200 B. $350 C. $750 D. $2,200

6. How often should smoke alarms be tested?
A. Weekly B. Monthly C. Twice a Year D. Once a Year

7. How often should batteries be replaced in smoke alarms?
A. Monthly B. Twice a Year C. Annually D. Only when they chirp

8. Percent of U.S. Households with smoke alarms?
A. 50% B. 66% C. 96% D. 100%

9. In fatal residential fires with smoke detectors present, how often did smoke detectors fail to operate?
A. 10% B. 21% C. 33% D. 61%

10. How many residential fires are attributed each year to the clothes dryer?
A. 5,000 B. 8,600 C. 15,600 D. 48,500

11. What is the leading factor contributing to clothes dryer fires?
A. Mechanical Failure B. Failure to clean
C. Arson D. Electrical

12. Radon is a concern for which areas of the United States?
A. East Coast B. Northeast states and Western PA
C. The coal regions of the U.S. D. All states in the U.S.

13. Radon is the _____ cause of lung cancer in the U.S.
A. 1st B. 2nd C. 3rd D. Radon is not connected to lung cancer

14. Carbon Monoxide Detectors should be present in?
A. Homes with one or more sources of combustion.
B. Homes with a fireplaces. C. All Homes
D. CO detectors are not useful


See answers on reverse side of card.
Answers: 1-b 2-c 3-b 4-d 5-c 6-b 7-c 8-c 9-d 10-c 11-b 12-d 13-b 14-a

vangogh
01-06-2009, 10:20 AM
The quiz is great. It's definitely the kind of thing that if you start reading you're likely to finish since you want to know the answers. I would reword one question.


3. What appliance in your home uses the most energy? (excluding heating/cooling and water heating)

I think the excluding... part starts to make the question confusing. Why not

Which home appliance below uses the most energy?

That way you don't need the last part and the question is easier to understand.

Overall, though, it's a great job. If you got these from a single source I might also list that as it adds an extra level of authority to everything.

KristineS
01-06-2009, 11:20 AM
I like the quiz. It definitely gets you thinking about home maintenance.

Steve B
01-06-2009, 11:51 AM
Great suggetion on re-wording that question. I knew it was awkward, but couldn't see another way.

The sources are many - but, I might be able to find a way to cite a few of the references. It was difficult to find data that was not from a "for profit" entity, but I think I was successful in getting it all from credible sources.

vangogh
01-06-2009, 12:17 PM
Yeah, I had a feeling you might have pulled the questions from a variety of sources. I'm not sure how important it is to link back to the source, but it might be nice to add that authority. Someone might look at the questions from you as being loaded since you want to sell a service, but if it comes from an authority it would get trusted more.

Steve B
01-06-2009, 12:38 PM
I was sensitive to that possibilty. It was sure easy to spot when I was doing my research who was puffing the statistics for their self-interest. I made it so the answers to the questions weren't always the most dramatic of the possibilities.

seolman
01-06-2009, 06:33 PM
Steve the quiz looks fantastic. You are really involving the audience now. It made me think of things I need to do around the house...

vangogh
01-06-2009, 07:42 PM
Steve will your business make house calls to Costa Rica?

seolman
01-06-2009, 07:46 PM
I'm only 5 minutes from the airport....

vangogh
01-06-2009, 07:58 PM
See it's not even that much of a trek.

Steve B
01-07-2009, 04:30 AM
Funny you should mention that. I definitely would love a legitimate business expense to Costa Rica. My wife and I took a great trip down there about 15 years ago. What an awesome place. I'd definitely go back.

seolman
01-07-2009, 07:14 PM
You need to come and check my hot water heater. I want one of those instant "on-demand" hot water heaters. Mine is over 10 years old and rusty. How much does an on-demand HW heater cost for a 3BR 2.5 bath home? You can bring me one down in your suitcase...

Ad-Vice_Man
01-09-2009, 09:08 AM
The ailines would charge him for an extra bag :)

Remipub
01-10-2009, 03:16 PM
Take the following quiz to test your knowledge of home energy, safety, and preventive maintenance facts?

1. How often should a water heater be drained for optimal energy efficiency and to extend its life?
A. Itís not necessary to drain a water heater. B. At least twice a year.
C. Every Month D. When it makes crackling sounds

2. How much money will you save over a 5-year period by replacing just five 75w incandescent bulbs with 20w CFLís (assuming a daily use of 4 hours per day)?
A. $50 B. $90 C $190 D. $425

etc., etc.

How about one more question in BOLD and slightly larger print. Something like:

How much money will you save this year by calling E.S.P. Home Maintenance?
A. Call today to find out!

Steve B
01-16-2009, 07:17 PM
Below is a link so you can view the next generation of the rack card for E.S.P. Home Services. I took quite a bit of your feedback into account.

www.derbysfence.com/ads/ESP%20-%20Home%20Services%20Rack%20Card-v2.pdf (www.derbysfence.com/ads/ESP&#37;20-%20Home%20Services%20Rack%20Card-v2.pdf)

I think this has several improvements. My graphic artist did a great job finding the photo of the lady on the phone. Hopefully, this will be a little more of a "call" to action for them.

Thanks for all the advice. I hope this is more successful than the last version.

vangogh
01-16-2009, 09:30 PM
I know already let you know I like the new ad better and I'll pass on some thoughts. Forgive me if I repeat stuff I've already mentioned to you.

The top is definitely better. Right away it's giving reasons for why someone should call and it's appealing to strong emotions. I wonder is placing your phone number right after the With One Call line would get more people to call. Just a thoght.

I think the coupon stand out well. It pulls you right in. You might make the date something closer to now. The idea behind the expiration date is to add a sense of urgency. There's nothing urgent about 11 months from now so people might put it away thinking they'll call later. I'd make the expiration something much sooner. A week or two.

Steve B
01-17-2009, 01:12 AM
Good point on the expiration date, except then I'd have to order them 500 at a time instead of 5,000 at a time. As the year goes on, I'll get closer and closer to it :)

vangogh
01-17-2009, 02:31 PM
True on the smaller orders and if you're sending them out to the same people maybe the approaching deadline will get them to take action when the expiration date gets closer.

You could try something like expires in 30 days of the postmark or something like that to get the urgency across.

KristineS
01-17-2009, 02:44 PM
I like the new ad much better. I think it is pulled together well. The photo works better too. It kind of subliminally puts the idea to call into your head.

Please keep us updated on what sort of response this gets.

Steve B
01-17-2009, 03:40 PM
Sure. So far I distributed the first version to the same 1200 homes two different times within the same month. Nothing, zero, nada, nil. I hand picked the neighborhood and delivered them to the newspaper box. (upper middle class, older homes).

I agree on the photo. My artist did a great job of finding what I asked her for. An attractive, elderly female, making a phone call. She even found one with a shirt that matched the color scheme!

I'm planning on hitting the same area a third time soon. Since this service is a little unique, I think it will require some repitition and some education. I'm hoping to get a couple newspapers to cover it as a new business.

vangogh
01-17-2009, 07:59 PM
Most advertising takes a little while before it resonates so you probably do need to mail the postcard out a few more times before you really know how effective it is or isn't.

thx4yrtym
01-17-2009, 09:52 PM
Steve,

I'm still not motivated by the flyer. I'll throw out a couple of observations but please keep in mind I'm 60 years old rather opinionated and set in my ways.

You really turned me off with the comment that you put your flyer in the newspaper box. I get stuff in the newspaper box and my first thought is that the piece is from a business that's not really in business - they can't afford postage to send out there advertisement. Plus I hate that the things work their way out of the box on a windy day and I get to pick up your advertisement from my front lawn. I would prefer door hangers, at least someone took the time to make their way to my door.

I don't think you can motivate folks to inquire about this based on what's on the flyer.
Maybe if you tried a version that drives them to a web site where you can tell a much more complete story about what you do and why.

I guess everyone is too busy to deal with and pay for fixing something that ain't broke. The fear of loss can be a powerful motivator but your piece hasn't sold me yet.

What's the average / typical charge for your service? PM on a freezer? You going to move a full freezer to vac out the lint in back?

How exactly does your service save me money? I understand , but I have a HVAC background. Most people don't and they don't have a clue and will be skeptical if you tell them. There is almost certainly not enough profit in this type of business to spend an hour in someone's home educating them to the point of being motivated to take action. That's why I suggest the web site a a means of telling your story.

The savings comes from lower operating costs, and extending the life of some expensive major appliances.


Best of luck with your venture . I think the concept is a great idea.


Regards,

Gregg

vangogh
01-18-2009, 01:46 AM
You make some good and interesting points Gregg.

Steve I hadn't noticed the part about dropping these into mailboxes. I have to agree that mailing them would come across as more professional. Personally I probably wouldn't notice. If it's in my mailbox I would likely just assume it's been mailed, but if people do realize it's going to be more professional to have the postage. No postage says you can't afford it, which raises questions about the business.

I know there isn't a website at the moment and I also know you plan on having one somewhere down the line. You might be better off, as Gregg suggests, to use the postcard to drive people to a site. Others will probably have questions about how your service really saves them money and a site with more info could drive the message home better. Maybe the postcard simply raises the idea that you can save people money. It could lead with a simple cost saving fact and then direct people to a site for more detailed info on how your service saves them money. Since it doesn't cost anything and there's little hassle to visit a website people might be more inclined to visit. Your site would then be attracting people who have shown an interest and would be highly targeted. You could even offer a PDF filled with information that requires an email address to download, collecting emails of highly targeted potential customers in exchange for the PDF.

Steve B
01-18-2009, 10:22 AM
I agree that being in the regular mailbox versus the newspaper box would be a bit better. My bet is that it wouldn't be enough better to justify the cost. The postage, labels, and ink would add around $1,300 to the cost of what I've done. Based on my experience with direct mail (and use of mailbox flyers) - the increased results would definitely not outweigh those costs.

I agree with the idea of driving someone to a website. That's in the plan. In the meantime, I thought the quiz was a decent way to educate people on the kinds of things and savings they could possibly gain by hiring us.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to demonstrably show the benefits of this service by answering a question of how much we will save them. The circumstances vary so greatly from one situation to another. The fear element of preventing fires and other catastrophes would likely be an easier selling angle - but, I don't feel comfortable using fear directly. The quiz gives a little approach to fear by referencing some fire statistics (carbon monoxide and radon references also).

This card is only ONE piece of the marketing - it could never exist in a vacuum for this kind of service. It happens to be my first piece - so all of what you are saying is true about this one piece being very unlikely to motivate very many people to call. This is definitely a service that requires more of an educational approach versus just telling people you exist (like being the new house painter in town). I wish I could afford a more comprehensive approach to the marketing, but I need to start this business on a shoe string for now. If I had more money - I would probably do radio and tv to give more of an opportunity to educate. This is a third business for me, so I need the marketing to be self-funding. As soon as I make $500 in profit on it, I'll add a website and adjust the future flyers to directing people to the website for more of an education.

And, yes we would move all refrigerators and freezers to vacuum the coils, clean the drip tubes, and evaporator pans. We have a list of 22 different specific services that are all included in the package. A customer must get the whole package - since it wouldn't be profitable to just do one or two of the items.

thx4yrtym
01-18-2009, 11:03 AM
Steve,

It sounds like a pretty thorough cleaning. Maybe a detailed list of all of the things you do. I've been trying to think of who might help you get this started.

Maybe a mailing of some kind to your customers from your other two businesses. Maybe coupons that they can use AND give to others, with the ones that they give away paying something back to they in a small referral fee. Or leave the referral fee out of it.
Or perhaps there's some kind of an angle to get other businesses to promote this business for you.
Others certainly should be interested in what you are doing from the stand point that you will be seeing a lot of "stuff" going into a lot of homes.

If I sold water heaters , I would be interested in knowing about the water heater you see that IS NOT worth servicing and already leaking. That sort of thing. Obviously this sort of thing must be handled carefully but if you develop relationships with contractors you trust, it could be mutually beneficial.

best of luck,

Gregg

Steve B
01-18-2009, 11:33 AM
You've touched on several upsides to this business that I've considered. The cross-marketing opportunities are huge (other contractors, insurance companies, realtors etc.). I also have lots of upsell potential by finding other simple home tasks that can be done after the standard package (regrouting tubs, cleaning chimney's, selling fire extinguishers etc. etc.).

Of course, I've contacted my current customer list and have gotten some positive responses. Unfortunately, the timing couldn't be worse to convince getting people to pay me for something that has been a low priority for them all this time.

I'm not sure if you already checked your PM's, but I sent you the follow up information that I would send a client who expresses some interest.

vangogh
01-18-2009, 11:45 AM
Steve I can understand about the difference in postage. Like I said I'm not sure it would make a difference to me receiving your mail, though I can see where it could affect some. And I do know you eventually plan on having a site.

As far as demonstrating the savings in cost what if you approached it as a case study thing. Obviously you'll need a case to study, but you could show your services saved so and so $x and so and so's cousin $y. It's no guarantee how much the next person saves, but case studies can be even more expected since they come from something real.

thx4yrtym
01-18-2009, 12:16 PM
Steve,

will send some suggestions in PM on the list.

Regarding the potential of what you are doing , I would include in your report the model numbers and serial numbers of all major appliances that you service AND the ones that you can't ( HVAC, etc.) For the homeowner it may be their only record of that important info in one place.
For you to record that data , you now have info that may be of interest to others years from now.
Example:
A recall for a fire hazard for a particular appliance. If I own a service company that could service that appliance I would pay for those names and addresses. We can all debate how ethical that is I suppose. I'm just throwing it out there. There could be all kinds of scenarios where someone would pay for data like this. After all, it's likely that the manufacturer sells similar info .

I understand the value of the info because I have created software systems that are used to gather building permit info ( publicly available records) and then deliver that data to subscribers (subcontractors) in a timely manner so they know who is building what where and for how much. Companies come back years later to purchase data for different purposes. It's all about getting there first. You end up being the only source for a very specific data set.

Regards,


Gregg

Steve B
01-18-2009, 12:56 PM
I've been thinking about recording the model and serial #'s in the summary report. I'm hoping you know this - if I get that information is there a way to look up the serial #'s and determine how old the units are? If this is the case, I can give specific energy savings advice if I determine their units have certain energy consumption figures. I'm hoping this is possible, but I haven't checked into it yet.

Steve B
01-18-2009, 12:58 PM
Steve - great idea on the case study. That would be one way to communicate the potential savings without implying that it can be the case for everyone. Kind of like the weight loss advertisements.

Keep that in mind when you help me put the website together.

vangogh
01-18-2009, 01:35 PM
I will keep it in mind. I've seen other examples of case studies. Not specifically for what you're doing, but across several industries. They always read well and do a lot of the things to help sell. They show someone else has used your services and they show that your services actually delivered.

Steve keep recording anything you can and we'll figure out how to turn the info into one or more case studies.

thx4yrtym
01-18-2009, 01:37 PM
Appliance411: Service: How old is my appliance? Age, date of manufacture code decryption help for your appliances (http://www.appliance411.com/service/date-code.php) evidently this will do wha t you want.

Regards,

Gregg

vangogh
01-18-2009, 05:39 PM
Steve I already bookmarked the page for you. Thanks for the link Gregg.

Steve B
01-18-2009, 07:47 PM
Awesome. Thanks for the link.

Paul Elliott
01-23-2009, 09:04 PM
Steve I hadn't noticed the part about dropping these into mailboxes. I have to agree that mailing them would come across as more professional. Personally I probably wouldn't notice. If it's in my mailbox I would likely just assume it's been mailed, but if people do realize it's going to be more professional to have the postage. No postage says you can't afford it, which raises questions about the business.

Steve, the USPS won't allow you to put anything in someone's mailbox. He was referring to putting them in the newspaper receptacles, I think.

Paul

vangogh
01-23-2009, 09:12 PM
I eventually realized that. Most of the places I've lived didn't have a separate box for the newspaper. The paper generally gets left on the front porch or inside the front door. I realized later when rereading the thread that Steve meant the newspaper box and not the mailbox. Though I still hold to my thoughts about actually mailing instead of dropping in the box. Too bad the cost makes it unrealistic to mail.

Paul Elliott
01-24-2009, 05:35 PM
... actually mailing instead of dropping in the box. Too bad the cost makes it unrealistic to mail.

The cost of DM doesn't make it unrealistic, but you have to have a well-designed piece with a compelling offer that is very easy for your customers to understand, their need for which is easily quantifiable.

Paul

vangogh
01-24-2009, 06:26 PM
I think in this case the price was a little unrealistic for Steve. Not suggesting that they always are, but in this case I can understand why he opted for the newspaper box instead.

Steve B
01-24-2009, 11:46 PM
I've tried three different well designed (in my opinion) pieces with three different compelling offers (again in my opinion) and the results didn't justify the cost. One of the pieces was done in my typical style - one of them was done after I studied a Dan Kenedy book (completely opposite of my normal style). I just don't think it's a good fit for my business - although I will try it again when the economy changes just to be sure.

Re: making compelling offers. At least for my business, this has proven to be completely irrelevant. I've done a lot of print advertsing over the last 4 years. About half the time with a generous offer and half the time with no offer at all. The results are exactly the same. As a matter of fact the majority of the time people responded to the ads with the offers - they never even asked for the discount (or gift). It just came down to timing. If they saw my ad the day they got tired of chasing Fido down the street, then I would get a call.

Back to direct mail. I partnered with a dog trainer on a piece and that one at least covered the cost (since the cost was only 50&#37; since we split everything). But, unfortnately, he never got a single phone call from it so I can't convince him to try again.

So, that's why it's not realistic for me to pay 42 cents for a stamp and 10 cents for an envelope, plus a few more cents for ink and a label - when the results are the same as when I skip all of those costs.

Lately, I've actually been doing a hybrid of direct mail and just putting my rack card in the newspaper box. I started a Pet Services Networking group. I stuff an envelope with 3 or 4 pet related businesses in an envelope (the envelope has a short message on the outside about our network), then we drop the envelopes in the newspaper box. This saves the postage, but hopefully makes it look a bit more credible by being included in a network of other businesses. It's too early to tell you if this is going to be successful or not. At least it spreads the labor.

graphic designer
07-10-2009, 04:17 PM
From a graphic designer point of view. Not to bad overall... I could modify it and make it look better for you.

maintenanceguy
12-30-2010, 07:26 PM
Steve, I am in the same business that you have started. Maybe checking out my website will help you. I know I will be looking at yours more closely and would love to talk to you about your successes and not-so-successes. I am here The Maintenance Guys - Home (http://www.themaintenanceguys.net)

Steve B
12-30-2010, 10:58 PM
You have a nice website. Yes, we have a very similar business. I don't mind telling you that I wasn't able to properly market that business so I haven't done much with it yet. I love the business model, but I ran out of money and I have put it on the back burner for a little while.

Reflo Ltd
02-07-2011, 08:44 PM
Overall I think the card is great. Two things I would change.

The line that reads "We not only know what to do, we know how to do it and have the proper tools." should read "We know what to do, we know how to do it and we have the proper tools."

Also, I would ditch the basketball schedule on the reverse. First of all I do not think it fits in with the concept of the card and I don't think it adds value. Second of all I would think that a good portion of your decision makers might be women and a men's basketball schedule probably does nothing for you there.

I get your idea for creating the sense of urgency with the free calendar promo but I think it lacks the motivator to make it a "matter of urgency". I just cant imagine folks running to the phone to make sure they get in line for the free calendar. instead, offer a free radon check or carbon monoxide test or something else that is in line with your serices. Offer that to the first 100 or 50 or whatever. It gets you in the door and gives you a chance to sell additional services.