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A Marketing Piece That Turns New Customers into Repeat Customers

Case Study: The Project Guy

The Project Guy Customer: Brian Tenny
Company: The Project Guy
Industry: Self-employed Handyman

The Challenge: Since they make their living through many small jobs, rather than one big job, handymen depend heavily on return business.  Brian was looking for a good way to turn prospects not just into clients, but into regular clients.

The Design: "The primary product I've used in my present business as a handyman is a half-sheet flyer. On the front I list the 'A-Z' of the types of work I offer. On the back is a blank lined page with numbers 1-15, titled 'My Honey-Do List' with my picture and phone number at the bottom. When I visit a new prospective customer for the first time I show the A-Z list, then flip the sheet over and say, 'and THIS is for your refrigerator.' People actually use it that way and call me when they get a few things on the list. Also, people will often look at the A-Z list and see something other than what they've called me about, so that broadens their understanding of my versatility."

And, since with you can upload your own design files in almost any common format, Brian got a welcome opportunity to flex his creative muscles: "I did 30 years in printing and graphic design before my present business, so that part of it was pure fun."

The List: With a steady stream of referrals from past happy customers, Brian is lucky in that he doesn't need to do much prospecting via direct mail. "I haven't mailed my piece - it's always given out one-by-one, usually in person with a smile, but the mail tube stuffing is new so we'll see how that works out."  Hey Brian, let us know if you need a custom Targeted Mailing List to put together a mail campaign...

The Campaign: Brian's "Honey-Do List" is one of those brilliant marketing pieces that acts as a self-contained, ongoing campaign.  By landing his piece on clients' refrigerator doors, he gets an impression every time the home owner gets hungry!  And, his A-Z list pays dividends year-round - in effect, 26 mini-messages ready to speak to whatever the home owner may need that month.

The Results: "I know it's working when I show up and people have their list all scribbled out on my flyer. And when they have me do a variety of things - faucets, deadbolts and fenceposts.  As for ROI, your products are such quality and such great price that it doesn't take many $100 jobs to justify another run - AND I can afford to order just a few hundred pieces and update it often with new ideas or a fresh look."

Why It always amazes us how many home services business depend on a Xerox machine for their marketing, when it's so easy and inexpensive to move up to full-color, professionally printed pieces!  Brian concurs: "The most important component of a marketing piece is that it has to stand out of the pile. Yesterday I was stuffing my flyer in the newspaper tubes in a fairly upscale neighborhood and noticed that many of the tubes already had several plain boring photocopied flyers in them. They'll usually go in the trash with the coupon shoppers, but mine will be read because it's full-color, on stiffer paper, and keeps up visually with the best of the magazines in there."

Take a Cue from Brian...

Brian's A-Z list could easily be adapted for other industries:

Lawn care: A year-round list of lawn care best practices and projects, organized by season.  Maybe include a few small projects that home owners can tackle themselves, just to keep them invested.  Then, intersperse the list with the more involved, big-ticket projects - aeration, mulching, etc. - and, when the time comes, they'll be sure to call you.  And, take a cue from Brian and go full-color to stand out from the flimsy, one-color masses.

Cleaning services: Everybody knows they need to dust, vaccuum, and clean the toilet. Why not send out a "Spring Cleaning Checklist," with all those other jobs that you do so well, but that may be pushed to the back of a home owner's mind?  Cleaning the blinds, dusting impossible-to-reach ceiling fan blades, carpet cleaning and stain removal, and so on...

Mortgage: While your industry depends on the "once in a blue moon" refinance or move, rather than a steady stream of small jobs like Brian's, there's no reason you can't earn one of those coveted spots on the refrigerator door.  Calendars and local sports schedules are perennial favorites because they provide a valuable reference and have season-long staying power.  All that time, you're building brand awareness so that, when the home owner is ready to refinance or sell, you'll be the first person they call!

Real estate: Real estate is another "once in a blue moon" industry, and as a result, most successful agents have highly developed keep-in-touch campaigns.  In addition to calendars and sports schedules, seasonal home maintenance tips, favorite recipes, and holiday greetings are all great ways to cultivate an ongoing relationship with past clients.  Of course, the #1 question most clients have is "what is my home worth?" so be sure to send quarterly market reports for their neighborhood.

Financial services: When tax season rolls around, your customers are going to be flooded with TV commercials, billboards, and direct mail for tax preparation services.  Why not put yourself ahead of the curve and send out quarterly mailings with a few financial tips -  quick advice on disciplined savings and investment, your favorite Websites or publications for financial news and analysis, ideas for potential tax deductions, or best practices for managing the family budget.  A little friendly advice throughout the year will show clients your value and pay big dividends when it's time for tax prep or long-term financial planning.

Automotive: At-a-glance maintenance schedules & service reminders will discourage procrastination on oil changes and other scheduled mainenance.

Beauty salons: A quarterly "What's in Style This Season" mailer shows that you know your stuff, and can be assembled with nothing but a careful read of the Spring and Fall Vogue as soon as they come out.

Retail: A sesonal calendar of neighborhood events can help get customers out to your shopping center.  They may not be coming to shop, but after a couple beers at the weekend street fair, well, that tends to change!

Computer services:
A computer troubleshooting checklist will save you from asking "have you re-started your computer?" or, even worse, "is it plugged in?"  Then, when they get to the bottom of the list, they'll know they need to call you!