I want to make brochures/flyers/guides that actually convert..

31 replies
(if you are too busy SKIP this post and just comment on the ad in the second post please!)

I have always been curious of what the best way is to approach brochures/guides/flyers.

After going to my first homeshow this weekend, I noticed most of the bigger business's seem to use information packed brochures/guides/flyers. But then I read on ilovemarketing.com how these guys seem to value short, personal types of direct response marketing. Where they literally write like one sentence and try to actually engage people in dialouge, get them to call, rather than to try and make a sale all in one shot.

Then I read "tested advertising methods" and it seems that having enough information about your business is vital. Building that trust, social proof, having a great headline, and taking more of a traditional kind of advertising approach.

My question is this. I don't like wasting money. I'm trying to learn how to write the best ads I can. I just have no idea what angle I should be approaching this from.

Shoud I:

try to think of something extremely creative, short and concise, that comes off personal and attempts to engage people in conversation?

or should I write a long guide, with tons of testimonials, social proof, trust, benefits driven, things that lower risk for the customer?

It seems theres 2 ways to approach lead gen with mail. Short and personal, or long and nonpersonal. I think in either direction whatever I write should not come off like an ad. But something that increases buyer motivation/trust/desire.

When you guys do brochures (I'll be handing these out in hospitals, lobbies, waiting rooms, gyms, cafeterias, really anywhere local) how do you approach them?

I have a section of my brochure right now that says "need more proof?".. basically more proof of why our system works. And what I do is build the value of the proof I'm about to talk about. Talking about how its so awesome and how no other companies know about it basically. I talk about how times magazine couldn't even offer this form of proof when they were trying to convince people to buy high efficieny energy systems for their home. I don't focus heavily on our business or the fact WE are selling a system. I talk about times magazine, star ledger, and attempts that companies like these have made to convince people that energy efficient systems are worth it.

And I finish off essentially saying that there is no room in the brochure for the proof because it has a lot of numbers in it. I talk about how the chart has more value than a times magazine publication made not too long ago.

I essentially build it up into this type of valuable secret, but what it really is is a break down of interest rates and inflation down the road. Its a chart with a lot of math, but once buyers read the chart it enables them to see "wow, theres no way I can lose money buying one of these systems". I don't want to show them the chart in the brochure and tell them "you won't lose money". Id rather its implied, and that they call for the brochure out of their own motivation.

Is this strategy of building secrets effective? It seems like it could be. I'm trying to make it look like our business has a form of information that noone has, and if customers want that information, they need to call. I do a ton of preselling prior to that that doesn't come of salesy. I motivate people with first person story appeal, and use other business's (like times) to help build value. Because if times magazine once said people need to get energy efficient systems I feel its better to quote their words, than write my own basically.

I know this post is a jumbled mess of **** too. Could have definitely organized it better and waited till I had the brochure right by me. But I just want to know if I'm going in the right direction. And if anyone else has any ideas or feels creative today please let me know what you are thinking!

thanks
#convert #make
  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Here I'll keep this post concise and to the point. We just did an ad in the clipper last month that hit 200,000 homes and got 0 phone calls in return.

    When I saw the headline of the ad I realized OMG the ad was written horribly. My boss worked out a deal with the clipper, and now they are giving us a new ad.

    THIS is the new ad they did for us. I think it could be stronger with a picture of the owner on it. I think it can also do a better job at lowering buyer risk than just "best price guaranteed or its free". I mean really, don't you see that type of stuff in like every clipper ad ever published?

    Are we just wasting money again with the clipper? I realize I need to learn how to write my own ads and thats why I'm here. So any advice you guys have would greatly be appreciated.

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

      Here I'll keep this post concise and to the point. We just did an ad in the clipper last month that hit 200,000 homes and got 0 phone calls in return.

      When I saw the headline of the ad I realized OMG the ad was written horribly. My boss worked out a deal with the clipper, and now they are giving us a new ad.

      THIS is the new ad they did for us. I think it could be stronger with a picture of the owner on it. I think it can also do a better job at lowering buyer risk than just "best price guaranteed or its free". I mean really, don't you see that type of stuff in like every clipper ad ever published?

      Are we just wasting money again with the clipper? I realize I need to learn how to write my own ads and thats why I'm here. So any advice you guys have would greatly be appreciated.
      I want to preface what I'm about to say by saying I'm clueless as to what water proofing is because I've spent the majority of my life in CA (and no one there has a basement) and for the last decade, even though I've lived on the East coast, my huge basement has never flooded.

      In regards to your new ad "best price guaranteed ..." is NOT a headline. The ad needs a headline. You can always spot a losing ad because the company's name is always the largest font in the ad. (I'm surprised the Clipper designers didn't put it on the top.)

      Headline idea (a brain fart off the top of my head):

      "Even though the neighborhood is flooded, the basement of this house is as dry as the Sahara Desert because it's been water proofed by All County Water Proofing."

      In regards to the coupon ... when the primitive part of my brain sees "$1000 OFF" it screams to me: "This sh*t is going to cost me a f#@king fortune!" Then next to it I see a coupon for a "FREE emergency sump pump." "Why the f#@k do I need sump pump if my basement is water proofed?" "Is water proofing some expensive SCAM?"

      The ad needs to be set up as a lead generation ad using some FREEBIE (Applebees gift card) to get curious people to call in for more information along with an estimate and not try to sell them right then and there.
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    Just a comment but people dont get waterproofing to be prepared they get it because their basement FLOODED!

    To me a headline such as "Tired of the Basement Flooding?" or "Been Putting Off...and now your basement is flooded again!"

    In other words focus on customers that have such a huge problem, they will whip out the money today!

    I am pretty sure you do not need to offer savings either.

    Just my thoughts tho.
    Signature
    I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Well....looks like you got "sucked in" by a biz (similar to the Yellow Pages people) who KNOW HOW to make "Pretty" ads (for the BIG Cash they bring in to UNknowing Biz Owners...because the Ads "LOOK PRETTY")!

      "PRETTY DOESN'T SELL"!

      Here's some Free Advice on "Marketing";

      1) You have to "Funnelize" your market! Bring potential Customers/clients in SLOWLY. As a kid, I used to watch the Tug Boats bring in the HUGE Ships into their Dock at Navy Pier in Chgo. The little tug would go out to meet the HUGE Ship and they'd toss a "Nylon Line" up to the crew on the bow of the HUGE Ship. The crew on the bow would attach the NYLON Line to a power puller and crank the line in.

      The tug crew would tie a ROPE to the Nylon line....then....they'd tie a CHAIN
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      Well....looks like you got "sucked in" by a biz (similar to the Yellow Pages people) who KNOW HOW to make "Pretty" ads (for the BIG Cash they bring in to UNknowing Biz Owners...because the Ads "LOOK PRETTY")!

      "PRETTY DOESN'T SELL"!

      Here's some Free Advice on "Marketing";

      1) You have to "Funnelize" your market! Bring potential Customers/clients in SLOWLY. As a kid, I used to watch the Tug Boats bring in the HUGE Ships into their Dock at Navy Pier in Chgo. The little tug would go out to meet the HUGE Ship and they'd toss a "Nylon Line" up to the crew on the bow of the HUGE Ship. The crew on the bow would attach the NYLON Line to a power puller and crank the line in.

      The tug crew would tie a ROPE to the Nylon line....then....they'd tie a CHAIN to the Rope and .....use the Chain to pull the HUGE Ship into it's spot on the dock! (I call this "TugBoat Marketing)

      2) Now....assume for a moment that there's a whole bunch of boats, out in the Harbor. YOU are looking for the ONE you want. Same as with Marketing any product. There are a whole bunch of "SUSPECTS" out there. Your job is to ....SEPARATE THE "SUSPECTS from the PROSPECTS"!

      How do you do that? With "TugBoats"....they KNOW WHAT is their
      Target! You don't! So....HOW do you find "Prospects" for what you're selling among ALL the "Suspects"?

      What I do is....."OFFER SOMETHING FREE...that cuts the Suspects from the Prospects!"

      "FREE REPORT REVEALS.....!" (For many years I'd run ads in the "Biz-Op" magazines, "FREE RECORDED MESSAGE REVEALS.....) Those who respond are NOW called...."PROSPECTS" because THEY showed an Interest...in what you are selling!

      THEN....you send them your "Pretty Flyers" or Reports (Or Videos, Or CD's) ....paying attention to... continuing to ..."REEL THEM IN" with...."Attention - Interest - Desire.... then CLOSE the Deal!

      I mean....running "expensive" Ads to "Suspects" is a WASTE! I also call this ...."Separating the Wheat from the Chaff!"

      Don Alm....STILL separating Wheat from the Chaff and using the "Tugboat" to "Reel In" clients
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      • Profile picture of the author Fonte
        Banned
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        • Profile picture of the author ChristianBerg
          @ewenmack

          great find thank you.

          But there is also another Point in this "Book" it is "SHAREABLE", "KEEPABLE" and "SELLABLE".

          People won't concider this book advertisement... regualar folks with 3 Books in their shelves will happily ad this one to their "colletion" in order to look smart.

          If they somehow will get to know someone with this kind of water problem they will give them the book.

          Or one day they realize there is a value in this book and they will try to sell it on ebay from some green = more free exposure for the company and the author.


          That is powerful stuff.


          All the Best

          Christian
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    • Profile picture of the author Fernando Veloso
      Originally Posted by RentItNow View Post

      Just a comment but people dont get waterproofing to be prepared they get it because their basement FLOODED!

      To me a headline such as "Tired of the Basement Flooding?" or "Been Putting Off...and now your basement is flooded again!"

      In other words focus on customers that have such a huge problem, they will whip out the money today!

      I am pretty sure you do not need to offer savings either.

      Just my thoughts tho.
      Nicely done Sir.

      Couldn't agree more: focus on solving THEIR problem - nothing more, nothing less.
      Signature
      People make good money selling to the rich. But the rich got rich selling to the masses.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Yeh I was wondering about that with waterproofing. I imagine that I'm the customer, and everytime it rains my house gets flooded and I vaccuum the water up. I ALREADY know I need waterproofing, I probably just don't want to spend the money on it.

    So I was thinking in that respect savings might be a motivator no?
    Like "hmm I didn't want the system last week but now it looks like this company is offering a great deal so maybe I'll call them now".

    Or maybe I should offer something free like a DIY waterproofing guide, get them to call for the guide, than screen them on the phone and tell them their problem is too serious to do by themselves. It seems most people think they can fix a leak themselves and this is the real reason they don't want to spend the money. "Oh I'll just put some drylock on the walls or plug the wall with caulk". And they don't realize this only winds up eroding the concrete away faster causing more pressure.

    What I've definitely noticed in this industry is there is TONS of misinformation about DIY waterproofing solutions. Almost 90% of the DIY solutions on the net will not work. Or will work temporarily and make the issue worse. A drainage system is a lot of work but the only thing that actually gets the job done. Its just so hard to convince people that they need it through a simple ad. Because no their homes won't collapse next week or next month, but if they keep doing what they are doing (neglecting the problem) its only bound to keep getting worse.

    Maybe I need some more fear inducing type stuff in there. I hate scaring people but it really seems like the only way to motivate people in this kind of industry. They never want to fix their basement till they realize how serious the problem can actually become. So I'm thinking that stats about mold toxicity, how water erodes your foundation away, how sealants make it worse, might be a good starting ground for motivating the buyer mindset.
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    • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
      I think you need to narrow down the market a bit more. For example, maybe people about to sell their houses ABSOLUTELY do not want to have a potential buyer see the leak and know if they dont fix it they dont sell. In other words your market becomes people that need to sell their houses and are experiencing flooding. Maybe their wives are hounding them so then it becomes Married/commonlaw MALES that own houses that they are about to sell. See what I mean by narrowing?

      Now how I would draw them in is with a dramatic video of what you are saying below about 90% of DIY solutions not working. Maybe even a few stories about nightmares that would resonate with your prospect. "Right in the middle of an open house, it began to rain...."

      Actually Midas is very correct in that maybe only a one headline, benefits, call to action (go see my video online with a QR code link to attract attention) would be more beneficial.

      As well, you should be getting $75 worth of free adwords or facebook credits and testing some of those things out.

      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Yeh I was wondering about that with waterproofing. I imagine that I'm the customer, and everytime it rains my house gets flooded and I vaccuum the water up. I ALREADY know I need waterproofing, I probably just don't want to spend the money on it.

      So I was thinking in that respect savings might be a motivator no?
      Like "hmm I didn't want the system last week but now it looks like this company is offering a great deal so maybe I'll call them now".

      Or maybe I should offer something free like a DIY waterproofing guide, get them to call for the guide, than screen them on the phone and tell them their problem is too serious to do by themselves. It seems most people think they can fix a leak themselves and this is the real reason they don't want to spend the money. "Oh I'll just put some drylock on the walls or plug the wall with caulk". And they don't realize this only winds up eroding the concrete away faster causing more pressure.

      What I've definitely noticed in this industry is there is TONS of misinformation about DIY waterproofing solutions. Almost 90% of the DIY solutions on the net will not work. Or will work temporarily and make the issue worse. A drainage system is a lot of work but the only thing that actually gets the job done. Its just so hard to convince people that they need it through a simple ad. Because no their homes won't collapse next week or next month, but if they keep doing what they are doing (neglecting the problem) its only bound to keep getting worse.

      Maybe I need some more fear inducing type stuff in there. I hate scaring people but it really seems like the only way to motivate people in this kind of industry. They never want to fix their basement till they realize how serious the problem can actually become. So I'm thinking that stats about mold toxicity, how water erodes your foundation away, how sealants make it worse, might be a good starting ground for motivating the buyer mindset.
      Signature
      I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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    • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
      Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

      Or maybe I should offer something free like a DIY waterproofing guide, get them to call for the guide, than screen them on the phone and tell them their problem is too serious to do by themselves. It seems most people think they can fix a leak themselves and this is the real reason they don't want to spend the money.
      If you believe that most people think they fix the problem themselves and you also know that majority of DIY solutions could cause even more damage, then create a free report addressing this issue.

      Something like "Thinking of ...?" and "Discover what they don't want you to know..."

      Then, split test it. A generic report offer (no company reference on the flyer) against a report offer with a company owner picture.

      Another option is to create a report of how to do your own waterproofing right without ever hiring a pro.

      In this report, you actually tell them how DIY solutions suck. Then explain what (not how) they have to do to create a proper drainage system as the only long long solution. They WILL BE calling you to do it for them...


      Thomas
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    Can you apply that in a more practical way?

    Doesn't "funnelize" imply using more diverse forms of marketing which just = more marketing in general as opposed to "bringing customers in slowly"?

    It seems like that would bring customers in faster if anything. Or are you saying that the ads need to be more specific, to appeal to a smaller population, then just run those ads in more places?

    So I need little tug boats all over the place basically. I very much appreciate you taking your time to respond but that really seems like some of the broadest advice a person could have given me. I'm trying to narrow it down in a way where it can be more applicable to what I'm doing and so far Im drawing blanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author zacsmith
    I was browsing the forum today and thought I'd comment.

    Pretty ad, but I think it will also be ineffective. Coupleof points that occurred to me:

    1. Head is pretty good, but it dwarfed by the photo. Make the head bigger.
    2. Water in front of the house says nothing to the homeowner. Faces attract attention. Find a stock photo of a scene where the man is hip-deep in a flooded basement. Perhaps with the wife standing nearby. Pay money for a good stock photo; it will still be less than $100 and will be worth it.
    3. The "$1,000" off says, in effect, "our prices are so high that we can afford to discount them by a grand!" I'd play up the free inspection, then offer a decent percentage discount. Maybe off the waterproofing guide as a "bonus FREE gift" with appointment.
    4. Show a photo of the sump pump. I know, not glamorous, but it's FREE.
    5. Testimonials, testimonials, testimonials. Use some of the space freed up by the use of a smaller photo.
    6. I saw an effective Yellow Pages ad in another post here where a plumber attested that he "will clean up the mess" before he leaves. Might be a good tagline to use in this ad.

    As a graphic designer (my original trade) I love doing pretty ads. But the ones that pull are crowded as all get out with benefit-oriented copy.

    Just my $.02.

    gary
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    Gary Smith, Partner, Wells-Smith Partners
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  • Profile picture of the author Mobile Tactics
    I think you should sell it like the rent to own tv people sell their services, and have in house financing and low weekly payments. Your terms under the coupon are not that good either, "show the coupon before the inspection", which means you can just raise the price to offset the coupon.

    You could scrap the ad altogether, set up a different website and phone number, and sell flood alerts/ sensors at a low cost or free just pay shipping. So anyone that has a basement that floods is going to raise their hands and tell you about it, and give you all their details. You then put them on a mailing list where you send them all your sales letters and material. One of your follow up letters might have some photos of nice man caves, others using their basement for storage, etc, but hit their pain points by reminding them how they can't do that because their basement always floods.


    Another idea is to pull up the neighborhood flood maps, and then add all the higher income areas to your mailing list.
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    • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
      Originally Posted by Mobile Tactics View Post

      I think you should sell it like the rent to own tv people sell their services, and have in house financing and low weekly payments. Your terms under the coupon are not that good either, "show the coupon before the inspection", which means you can just raise the price to offset the coupon.
      Man that's a huge can of worms but can be a profitable one. The guy that did our basement gave us a solid quote and said it was due the day they did it. An agent later told me he is known that if he didnt get his payment, he would send another crew to rip out your walls or floors they just fixed! Now that's incentive to pay! The guy actually has about 10 crews doing this around the city and holds patents on basement flood fixing and has been doing it for 50 years. Good business as far as dealing with people's pains!
      Signature
      I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author chicka
    Brochures and flyers work even though its old school, but you also have to make some ads online to keep up with other market
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I really can not thank you all enough the ideas mentioned in this thread are golden.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      In your mailer, sell the important consumer information,
      not what you do.

      Here's what I mean.

      A marketing guru's wife called in a guy to sort out their basement flooding.
      He was so impressed by the shock n awe package, he did a video showing the package,
      one you can get too.

      He said it built their credibility 10x with them.

      Even if they don't read it, they'll call you because you are the obvious choice.

      They aren't looking for a price deal, they are looking for the security in knowing the job is done right because they really don't know about it themselves.

      Here's the video...
      Best,
      Ewen

      P.S. In the Shock And Awe package, put in a separate paper
      on how to choose the right water-proofer. This sets the buying criteria in your favor and makes all other's look inferior. This puts a barrier around you and prospect so you sell in a vacuum devoid of price shopping.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lee M
        Great video! I've been a fan of Perry Marshall for years.

        Having been involved with direct mail for over 20 years, the idea of branding yourself as the "expert" with a white paper (or in this case, a book) ... makes you the logical choice to the consumer because you are immediately perceived as the EXPERT.

        Lee
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        Working from Home since 1991
        (Well before anyone knew it could be done!)

        “Observe your competitors, for they first find your faults.”
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  • Profile picture of the author RentItNow
    Gotta love Perry! I remember seeing that on his list.
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    I have no agenda but to help those in the same situation. This I feel will pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author Retziki
    Perry Marshal is a marketing genius.
    I learned my most valuable marketing lessons from him.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by Retziki View Post

      Perry Marshal is a marketing genius.
      I learned my most valuable marketing lessons from him.
      And he gets many from Dan Kennedy!

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author printchesco
    Brochures have to be informative, yes. But they don't have to be crowded with information. The key to brochures that convert is simplicity, accuracy and design. Design shouldn't be left out since it's the thing that catches the attention of customers, and it's the element that would guide them through the entire marketing material. You can get some more tips from . You may as well download templates from Brochure Templates - Any Template Free Download - PrintPlace.com
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  • Profile picture of the author hayfj2
    Give an example of a flooded house and the cost it needed to fix it.

    Afterall people move quicker to get away from pain instead of an aspiratory benefit sell...

    "You don't want this to happen to you, do you? (show a pic & cost to fix it.)

    Explain some national stats on how often it happens and what the average cost is to fix it or how many uninsured losses are incurred....

    ...ouch.

    then focus on why they should pick you to prevent it from happening to them.

    Might not work, but worth a test.

    Do an image search on google for "flood appeal ad" and see how emotional buttons get pressed.

    hope that helps
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    I know myself when I see a discount like "$1000.00 off" I think to myself geez how much does this cost to begin with that they can offer that big of a discount. It's a turn off I think. I do know basement waterproofing is not cheap. Just thinking maybe a percent discount instead or maybe something else all together? I think the Free Sump Pump coupon is a lot more of an attractive offer over the $1000 off since it doesn't throw out any big numbers that may scare people.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    MS is dead-on here about the $1000 thing. I hate seeing ads like that because it instantly looks like it will be outrageously expensive.

    Right now we're doing $20 toys-r-us gift cards when you get a full demonstration for windows or siding. There's so many calls coming in it's insane. We're filtering out about 80% of them that are just looking for a free card, but there's tons of response and lots of well qualified appointments set from people who just needed an incentive to get up and finally get the window replacement process started.
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  • Profile picture of the author flnz400
    You guys realize Red hasn't commented on this thread in 8 months right... geez
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by flnz400 View Post

      You guys realize Red hasn't commented on this thread in 8 months right... geez


      @printchesco - WTF? Seriously dude what's wrong with you resurrecting a dead thread? If a thread isn't on the first two pages let it RIP... geez. (My guess you're just in here to PIKE where you work (Pr*ntplace).)
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    I didn't notice it either.

    Printplace used to have a warriorforum name "ilovemedia" or something and all they did was resurrect old threads about printing and spam the hell out of it.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    He has commented now! lol.

    But seriously, there is some great new advice in this thread. The problem is, I learned an awful lot about copy since making this thread. And looking back, I can't get over how little I knew about creating a compelling offer.

    With that said, what MS said about sump pumps and scams is something I've never considered before (at least untill this recent hurricane). Its really a brilliant point to make. The thing is when we sell the systems, we don't sell them as "waterproofing" systems, we sell them as "water management" systems because most people can't afford a true waterproofing system.

    Although we also sell true waterproofing systems, 95% of our prospects can't afford them. Its the difference between a $10-$15,000 system compared to a $30-$40,000 system.

    What has changed recently however is that our state has now got hit by 2 hurricanes 2 years in a row. This last hurricane Sandy, has delivered a surge of new business that we've never seen before in our life.

    But its also delivered problems we've never delt with before. Like the fact that no waterproofing system can prevent a sea surge from coming into your home. So we've spent the last 2 weeks, 7 days a week, 16 hours a day pumping out basements and doing mostly remediation work. Like insulation rip outs and spraying/treating for mold.

    The good news is, our business is doing really well.
    The bad news is, peoples attitudes have already changed towards waterproofing systems. Fortunately, we haven't gotten any complaints, because I think residents realize the magnitude of this recent hurricane. These systems can deal with torrential rains, but have no hope against storm/sea surge, which is what most homes are dealing with after Sandy.

    I've seen hundreds of homes over the last couple of weeks, where the basements filled up with 8 feet of water, than there was an additional 2-3 feet of water in the first floor. So as we're pumping out one home, neighbors come over, and ask us to do their homes, and on and on non stop this has been happening for 2 weeks now.

    We're expecting for things to be like this for the next 3-5 months. Although the work will eventually change from pump outs more to mold remediation.

    For the future, we will absolutely need either new systems, or new ways of selling our current systems. I can't imagine all the people who'll be asking in the future "do your systems protect from storm surge?" And even with a true waterproofing system, once water levels are high enough, nothing is stopping the water from coming in. Windows break, concrete shifts, and thats the end of the home.

    -Red
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  • Profile picture of the author DesertSand
    When I saw the 1 grand off, I was like, DAMN. They must overcharge a ton.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob28x
    Thanks for the update Red.
    I like the idea of calling them "Water Management Systems".
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