Please critique my marketing piece for my cleaning biz. Thanks!

13 replies
Hey guys I'm about to distribute 5000 letters to high income homes for my residential cleaning biz. I've never used letters before. I've only used 9" x 6.5" postcards (front and back & full color) and got a .1% response rate. I sent out around 1000 postcards through USPS and my cost with postage and printing was around $250. Out of those 1000 flyers I was able to secure a $6600/year client, so the investment was worth it even though I only got 1 client. My postcard piece was really flashy and looked too commercial with color front and back, and stock images, etc. which is why I think I might have gotten a low response rate.

So, this time I want to try a more personal letter instead. So, this is what I've come up with. It's a letter based on some of Joe Polish's samples. I took a bunch of pieces from 2 or 3 samples and stitched them all together. Don't know if this is a good letter or not, so I need your critique since I'm no copywriter. I plan on hiring a flyer distribution company that will charge me $400 to distribute 5000 letters to local high income homes, and I'm kind of hoping for more than 1 client this time since letters are supposed to convert higher than postcards.

Please let me know what you think. I really want this campaign to go well since $400 is kind of a lot for me if it doesn't produce anything. Thanks! Also, I know the letter looks plain but I might add some boxes/outlines and maybe a logo after the text part is ready.

Let me know. Thanks!
here is my original bad marketing piece. Please continue to give advice.
edit: after some feedback I've decided to revise my entire letter. Will post back later.
#biz #cleaning #cleaning business #critique #direct response letter #marketing #piece
  • Profile picture of the author Robert_Rand
    The copy is boring and generic.

    No ones cares about 99% of what you wrote.

    Scrap virtually all of it and instead focus on crafting
    a compelling offer tied to an expiration date.
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  • Profile picture of the author GeoMasters
    I've noticed that one of the major cleaning companies does $25 off their first cleaning as their compelling offer. How does that sound? Another one does $110 off spread out over 10 cleanings. I could places some sort of coupon at the end of the letter with an expiration date of 6 months or so. What do you guys think?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by GeoMasters View Post

      I've noticed that one of the major cleaning companies does $25 off their first cleaning as their compelling offer. How does that sound?
      How does that sound to you?

      To me it's a HO-HUM offer. YAWNnnnnn. ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Here's what missing:

    Having a clean home allows you to focus your energy on working or doing the things you enjoy.

    You HELP maintain or elevate the value of customer's homes.

    Your service makes being home... more enjoyable. (A dirty house doesn't feel good.)

    The copy you have right now has ZERO benefits.

    You need to start over and connect with the reasons people want a clean house.

    Until you accomplish that, they couldn't care less who you are or what other people think about your services.


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  • Profile picture of the author netvicar
    Good to see you are attempting to be proactive in marketing your business. That said, this is a bad piece. Don't use it.

    If this letter arrived in my mail I probably would have tossed it right after reading the headline--unless the company were local and large enough to be of interest to me. If so I'd add them to my list of weekly contacts to send my introductory letter offering copywriting services to.

    If you are thinking of creating an editorial-styled Yellow Pages ad from your linked example, you could [maybe] open with something like 'Get The Most Thorough Home Cleaning In Town -- Guaranteed!" ...and then lead with a powerful guarantee and offer. Obviously anyone reading the YP ad is someone who's already interested in home cleaning services. For any other use your headline needs work.

    Here are a few points that jumped off the page at me:

    1) Your headline fails the 'so what' test and fails to speak to a specific target market

    2) You begin the letter by talking about yourself, instead of talking about the problems and desires of a target market

    3) Your headline is disconnected from the opening of the letter.

    4) Too much 'we' and 'I', too little focus on the needs of the market

    5) Unbelievable unproven hype subhead i.e. '100% Trustworthy and Reliable'. Yeah? Says who? Maybe you trust some hired forged-name temp worker in your home, but who says I've gotta do the same? Your 100% reliable claim is no peace of mind. It's hollow.

    6) Always 'try' our best to quote an accurate price? As Yoda says, "Do or Do not. There is no try."

    7) There's no offer

    8) The piece lacks personality, credibility, proof, and authority

    9) The specifics of the promised guarantee is missing

    10) Badly formatted, esp. the sidebar & its text layout

    11) The laundry list sidebar of services is boring, lacks interest. Not a single benefit listed

    12) Your piece makes too many assumptions about the reader. The most glaring is assuming the reader has an interest in pursuing home cleaning services. Unless you are mailing to a list of folks who've used similar services in the past, this letter as-is is going to go into the trash. Take a different approach than using this existing letter.

    13) Lacks specificity. Example: "we've been around a long time..."

    14) Sounds like fluff marketing. Example: 'customers only have good things to say about us.' You don't know what people are saying behind your back. Saying, 'after 9 years in the industry we've managed to maintain an unheard of 96% customer retention rate' or some other such specific is more powerful and believable -- because of the specific. This also indirectly communicates the same thing as I think you were shooting for, ie your customers are happy with you.

    Oh. The majority of homeowners do not use such services, many never have done so, and still more have never ever considered it. So why start off talking negatively about other service providers as you do? It's a bad idea.

    Remember the saying, "He who slings mud generally loses ground."
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  • Profile picture of the author GeoMasters
    Wow, I based this stuff from Joe Polish's marketing pieces. I guess his stuff is pretty bad then. Anyway, thanks for the critique. I'll revise the whole thing and list more of the benefits and reasons why they should hire us, and I'll put in a really good offer. I like that webpage example. I think I'll make it a testimonial piece.

    Maybe an intro paragraph like "how would you like to free up hours upon hours of hard house cleaning work?" "Would you like more time to relax or to spend with the family?"
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  • Profile picture of the author staceythewriter
    The piece really needs to be more conversational. You also want to put yourself in your prospect's shoes, and ask "Would I read or want to hear all of this?"

    Get them excited with a headline that makes them itch and feel like they'd be missing something if they did not read that next sentence. Grab their attention . . . beyond just bold print. Then, that first sentence should really make them want to read the next sentence and so on.

    This following post is very helpful, GeoMaster:

    Stacey Mathis
    Stacey Mathis Copywriting
    The Copywriter's Highway to Success
    Twitter: @staceythewriter

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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
    Originally Posted by GeoMasters View Post

    So, this time I want to try a more personal letter instead. So, this is what I've come up with.
    You've "only" inserted your company name 7 TIMES in your "personal" letter. More cowbell sir! BWAAAAaaahahahaha (NOTE: it's a direct mail letter and not keyword stuffing some dayem webpage.)

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  • Profile picture of the author andrewkar
    I didn't read all but my first glance told me it's... it's all about YOU!

    I'm sure pro copywriters will tell you more about it
    Do what you want to do!
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    • Profile picture of the author BizManRobert

      I'll have to be quick as I'm busy with some product creation...

      Go to these sites: & and study Mr Joe Polish, he was in the carpet cleaning biz, and nearly went bankrupt, if it had not been for the late Gary Halbert - Joe learnt his early marketing from Gary...long story short, Joe's carpet cleaning biz CLEAN UP in the end...

      If you sign up at the above sites you should get some freebie sales letters / marketing materials geared for the cleaning biz - from these YOU should be able to craft a KILLER SALES Letter...

      Good luck...
      ''Discover How To Make $19,289 In Just 30 Days From Biz Owners Begging You To Take Their Money!''

      "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition." ~ Steve Jobs (RIP)
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  • Well, the copy has been demolished and thankfully it'll be rebuilt.

    One thing you could put in the new improved version, I did this on a flyer for a UK company and it bumped the response - "Did your last cleaners take their shoes off before they came into your house?"

    You then say your people do, and put on protective "slippers" so they never drag any mud or grime from the street onto the carpets, all because they really do care about keeping everything clean and fresh.

    And so many customers booked the service because they and the family wore their shoes in the house and were now worried about all the debris.

    Also people liked the "did your last cleaner" wording, it presumed they'd had a cleaner in the past, even if the didn't, they liked the assumption that they did.

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