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Landscape Management Magazine October 2014 – Direct Mail Marketing Success

Am I Repeating Myself Myself?

At my marketing agency, Lawn Care Marketing Expert, one of the most commonly uttered phrases applicants to our marketing program make is: “I tried that before and it doesn’t work…” and 80% of the time the ‘it’ they are referring to good old fashioned direct mail marketing.


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Now this statement isn’t wrong per say, but the more accurate way to say it would be “I tried direct mail once before and it didn’t work.”

The keyword here is once.

You see, do it yourself business owners have a tendency to look at marketing as a one shot exercise. Send out 5000 direct mail pieces one time and get 500 new clients, right?

Well, I sure wish it was that easy but it simply doesn’t work that way.

If you don’t mail your list multiple times you can miss out on 99% of the potential sales.

In fact, it is all about the numbers. The more you mail the more sell. Repetition is the secret sauce in a successful direct mail campaign.

So just how many times to do you have to mail to one prospect in order to get a sale? The answer is… a lot.

In fact, on average:

Less than 1-2% of sales are made on the very first mailing, 3% on the 2nd, 5% on the 3rd, approximately 10% on the 4th and by far the majority of the sales, a whopping 80% come from the 5th to 12th mailing.

12 mailings that’s crazy!?!? Suddenly that ‘expensive’ SEO program is looking like a far cheaper option… right?

The point is… direct mail done right… works. Done wrong it is just expensive land fill.

It takes more than one touch to gain a client.

Successful marketing campaigns rely on repetition to be successful. That is why national marketing and advertising brands spend millions playing the same TV commercials over and over, and running online campaigns that are very similar in appearance and message.

There are many examples of this – how many millions of times has the GEICO Gecko reminded you that “switching to GEICO really could save you 15% or more on car insurance”. In fact most national brand’s TV commercials are the same message with a little variation between each one. GEICO’s commercials contain enough repetition of the brand message that it continues to stay ‘top of mind’ month after month. So when that day finally does come and you do need lower car insurance rates – they are the first company you think of.

Repetition works.

BUT… it’s not a magic pill either… repetition alone will not salvage a bad advertisement, direct mail piece or Facebook offer. If your offer interests no one, if your marketing message doesn’t grab, if your direct mail piece looks like all the other junk mail, you are going to be ignored.

Execution is critical and exactly how you implement your marketing is the difference between a 1% response and an 80% response.

If your ad is a gloried business card – name, address, phone number and looks like every other piece of junk mail… expect a low response. If your offer or message is uninteresting… expect a low response. If you have an excellent direct mail piece but it sends them to a website that makes you look like a high school kid with a push mower… expect a low response.

Test, Tweak and Repeat is our geeky internal company motto, it’s absolutely critical to lowering your cost per sale and goes hand in hand with repetition of your marketing message.

You also want to employ multiple marketing methods because you simply cannot reach everyone by just doing one thing,
Some people will never click on a Google ad. Some people will never visit your website. And some people always put direct mail directly into the trash.

Nielsen Research and Google did a study recently that showed that the more marketing methods that you use, the more times that your prospects are exposed to you via different media, the more effective your marketing is. Fifty percent more people will recall your brand if they see your marketing through different marketing channels.

When you mail every 3-4 weeks, combine that with properly wrapped trucks, PPC, SEO and other online marketing methods that put you everywhere your prospects are… you will cause a dramatic growth in your business.

Regular, continuous marketing programs create big, predictable results.

Not only will prospects begin to recall your company, the repetition of them seeing your brand will build credibility and trust in their mind before they even talk to you.

That means the company showing up in the mailbox, next door with the branded trucks and everywhere they search online has the advantage over the guy that sends out 5000 EDDM pieces in spring and calls it quits.

So now, even if they didn’t keep one of your direct mail pieces and can’t remember your name – they go online to find a different lawn care provider. They search google, see a list of 20 companies and click on you first because your name and your marketing message is now familiar.

Think of it like this, if you go to a cocktail party alone and there are a hundred strangers you have never seen in your entire life. But you see someone in the back you’ve met a few times… an acquaintance. Are you going to go up to random strangers and have a chat or push through the crowd to speak to the acquaintance in the back?

Repetition builds familiarity, familiarity builds trust. Trust makes sales.

For a copy of the official direct mail cheat sheet visit: https://www.LawnCareMarketingExpert.com/direct-mail-cheat-sheet/

Andrew Pototschnik is the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, the largest online marketing agency in North America specializing in marketing strategies for the lawn care and landscaping industries.

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