If you want to build a thriving, growing landscaping business, you will need to put in a lot of time and effort.
However, here are a few ways to get immediate results from direct mail, which, over time, will help you grow.
When you master “The Big Three” – size, design and list, you create a solid marketing foundation for your business. As you grow and learn more about your particular results, you can fine-tune your campaigns later if you choose.
Choosing the right-sized postcard for your situation is crucial. Some industries and areas are more competitive than others. For businesses in those situations, a bigger card may be necessary to get noticed in the mailbox. In less competitive environments, a smaller postcard may be fine.
When purchasing your postcards, you will have a variety of sizes to choose from (or you should). Usually they look like this: small (4×6), medium (5×8), and large (6×11). The specific language used to describe the size may vary, though.
Answer these questions to find out what size would be best for your business:
How much do other companies in your industry and area market compete?
- Not at all/I’m the only one (You can lean towards a smaller card)
- Light to moderate amount (Lean toward a larger card)
- Moderate to heavy amount (You need a large card)
Do your competitors also mail postcards?
- No (You can lean towards a smaller card)
- Yes (You need a large card)
How much explaining does your offer require?
- Not that much/Easy to grasp (Smaller card is fine)
- A little background info (Medium should do the trick)
- A lot/Details are important (Go big or go home)
In my experience, it is better to err on the side of a larger card. That way you are not sabotaging your campaign by choosing a card that is not substantial enough to make an impact in the prospect’s mailbox.
Getting attention is great, but converting that attention into interest and action is the real goal. That is the job of the postcard’s design and copywriting, and there are 10 elements every marketing postcard needs to be successful:
- Clear headline
- Supporting graphic
- Color that pops
- Intriguing sub-headings on the back that lead into benefits
- Enticing offer
- Your name and logo
- Call to action and/or expiration date for the offer
- Contact information – website, map, phone number
- Return address
Elements one through three keep your prospect’s attention and turn it into interest. It is vital to be absolutely clear with your headline and images. The reader will decide within 2 seconds whether to continue reading, so you need to immediately convey what is in it for them. In elements four through six, the prospect goes from being passively interested to actively interested (i.e. ready to call or visit a website for more information). You need compelling sub-headings that lead into body copy touting the benefits of your services. Then, hit them with an offer that is just too good to pass up.
Some examples of offers:
- 10-50 percent off a project/package/service
- Free estimate/analysis (paired with additional offers)
- First mow free
- Free lawn aeration
- Lawn maintenance packages starting at $X – ($90-$100/month)
- Free/discounted complimentary product (fertilizer application, plants, aeration, lime, etc.)
Elements 7-10 seal the deal. Give potential clients every piece of contact information you have, so they have several ways to get in touch. Then comes one of the most important elements: the call to action. Unless you tell people exactly what they need to do, they will most likely not do anything.
Even if you have the right sized postcard designed to perfection, your campaign will still fail if it is sent to the wrong audience.
Creating an effective mailing list hinges on finding your “ideal prospect.” Do you cater to only high-end homes in your area? Or do you only service commercial properties? After you identify exactly whom you want to target, you can get a list that matches that specific audience. The more specifically you target your prospects, the more relevant your offer will be, which will lead to a more successful postcard campaign.
Direct mail is a repetitive medium, so you can’t just mail once and expect to break the bank with your return. However, if you’re consistent, the Big Three will reward you this spring.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Joy Gendusa is the founder and CEO of PostcardMania.