At Energy Circle PRO, our core purpose is to help independent energy efficiency companies expand their customer base and grow their businesses. We're known for web marketing, because that's where we believe the future of marketing lies, but ultimately we're for whatever works. So, in some marketing plans we help create, we'll sometimes press hard for some traditional offline marketing techniques for home performance businesses as well.
Direct mail is among those old school tactics--one that in its day was a popular tool for many contracting businesses--that has become increasingly difficult to make work for some obvious reasons. Postal rates and paper costs keep rising, mail boxes are stuffed with junk, people are turning increasingly to the internet, and all of us are increasingly desensitized to "interruption marketing." The conventional wisdom is that for limited budget marketing programs typical of most independent Home Performance and energy auditing businesses, direct mail is dead.
But maybe not. Sometimes the contrarian move is the right one and the fact remains that direct mail can most definitely work -- especially if it's done right, at a reasonable budget, and with measured results.
A relatively new service from the USPS makes it easier for this to happen. Every Door Direct Mail lets you send mail to every household within a given geographic area, without knowing any specific addresses, and at a fraction of the cost of regular postage.
What makes EDDM worth considering?
- Postage is .142 per piece (a significant savings over standard postage).
- It's delivered in radius geographies so you have no data costs.
- A flexible format allows you to design a unique piece of mail that will stand out from the pile:
But underneath these pluses are some real challenges that you need to consider to make EDDM produce solid returns:
- Because it is addressed to "postal customer" and is thus inherently generic, your creative needs to be STRIKING. A lot of people will be inclined to throw your mail out as junk mail, so you need to work extra hard on the design element to grab the customer's attention quickly.
- One way to make creative striking is to make it LOCAL. Tie your creative imaging to some iconic image of the area, or housing types from the neighborhood.
- You need to select GEOGRAPHIES THAT ARE UNIFORM. For example, if your core target is a particular housing type, be sure that the geographic selection is dominantly that kind of housing stock. If have the pieces land in the mailboxes of apartment renters, you might as well have mailed them the money.
- Figuring out LOW COST PRINT PRODUCTION is critcal. Digital printing has enabled low volume without correspondingly high costs. Old school offset printing in which low price requires high volume generally won't work.
- Above all, don't forget INTEGRATION WITH YOUR WEBSITE. Given the choice of calling on the phone or going to the web, people increasingly choose the latter. Send traffic to a dedicated landing page on your website customized to the mail campaign -- this will help you track results, and reliably capture leads.
Any experience working with Every Door Direct Mail for your Home Performance or energy auditing business? Feel free to let us know what you think in the comments section.