EDDM 5,000 Mails - Will I lose another $1200 with this Postcard?

36 replies
Hello everyone. I've Been on here a little while here and there learning a couple things as I go. I'm self employed in the irrigation industry and found this site a little bit ago while looking for postcard designers on google.

Ive used a print shop locally for door hangers over the years which always seemed to work OK but the hassle of grumpy people and HOA's got me to try EDDM in communities I have a lot of business over the years instead.

Here is where I'm at - This postcard designed by a print shop online seems to have alot of something missing.

It worked ONCE on the first mailing out of 5 mailings.

Each mailing is to 5000 homes in communities Im familiar with and have business. Three times to the same 5000 homes and twice to a separate set.

What do you think? Spend $1200 on another 5000 ? or does this postcard just not work?


First mailing my profit was roughly $3,000 after that Its just under breaking even and it gets worse each mailing.

Partner says keep the card and keep mailing - I say something we're doing is wrong. What do you say?

Link to the postcard online is here http://freepdfhosting.com/1300bb4eaf.pdf
#$1200 #eddm #lose #mails #postcard
  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Do you follow up the card with anything?

    I don't need a sprinkler system, so, maybe, the only thing your postcard makes me think is: nice house.

    Originally Posted by jwrbusiness View Post

    Hello everyone. I've Been on here a little while here and there learning a couple things as I go. I'm self employed in the irrigation industry and found this site a little bit ago while looking for postcard designers on google.

    Ive used a print shop locally for door hangers over the years which always seemed to work OK but the hassle of grumpy people and HOA's got me to try EDDM in communities I have a lot of business over the years instead.

    Here is where I'm at - This postcard designed by a print shop online seems to have alot of something missing.

    It worked ONCE on the first mailing out of 5 mailings.

    Each mailing is to 5000 homes in communities Im familiar with and have business. Three times to the same 5000 homes and twice to a separate set.

    What do you think? Spend $1200 on another 5000 ? or does this postcard just not work?


    First mailing my profit was roughly $3,000 after that Its just under breaking even and it gets worse each mailing.

    Partner says keep the card and keep mailing - I say something we're doing is wrong. What do you say?

    Link to the postcard online is here http://freepdfhosting.com/1300bb4eaf.pdf
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    There have been a few postcard makeover threads.
    I believe they were done by Ewen and Bob Ross.
    Locate those and learn about what they did and why they did it.

    Also, it may just be me, but is your site done?
    I see a lot of ads... like its a parked domain? (I'm viewing it from my phone)

    I would elimante the No Hassle guarantee.
    I am not too familiar with your industry, but I think the "no hassle" part is a given and not a guarantee.
    Same thing goes with your "free estimates". Everyone does free estimates.

    I would include a report on the 5 things to look for when choosing a sprinkler company.
    Or make it 5 things to avoid...or something. Some kind of report.

    I would also include a few short testimonials as social proof.
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  • Profile picture of the author jwrbusiness
    Thank you guys. Website is not up, I have a company doing it at the moment and thats a whole new story.

    Yes the house seems to catch attention to everyone that has had me at their home for a estimate, they ask if its mine.

    I agree about the free estimate part and agree about the no hassle warranty part but Im no expert and I left it up to the postcard company. That input from you all helped.

    This time of year I am hoping to catch interested home owners who are in the process of Fall lawn care, seeding etc who get ready for the next year. Fall is a very busy part of year for new sprinkler installations and I just HOPE my mailers don't flop!
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      If you were a paying client I'd be asking a number of questions
      to find the breakthrough needed...

      Like...

      How dry it gets there
      Do they re-seed
      What neighborhoods use sprinklers
      How many use sprinklers
      Are you able to target those areas better that already use sprinklers
      What other sprinkler options are available
      What are their limitations
      What are the costs of not getting a sprinkler system installed
      Do you have side by side photos of lawns with and without sprinklers?
      Is the cost of water a consideration?

      Plus others that come from the answers.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author bwh1
    I find the flyer a bit crowded.

    Then, how you pick those leads to send the 5k flyers? Do you know if they don't already have a sprinkler system?

    I would guess that this is a very special niche so if you would be my client I first would like to know exactly whom is your client.

    What is the percentage of house owners which do buy sprinklers? Lifetime cycle?
    When and why they buy sprinklers? Is it more the woman or the man which makes the purchase decision (guess the man as he has to water the yard manually what stinks)
    Where and how (competitors, season, online or offline)?

    Then you definitely need to have your site setup first with a catchy offer to get the visitors to signup to your list.

    I guess that you have 2 markets here, new installations and maintenance. Use that to get 2 different lists of potential buyers.

    Then, after your lead capture is setup, I would try also to run something like a https://www.livingsocial.com/ or Groupon campaing in your area during a weak season.

    You know that those don't bring in any profit so you maybe do it for some maintenance offer with the potential to turn that lead into a paying customer for a new sprinkler system if needed or for a long term maintenance fee.

    You also can run a local radio spot for a while, not very expensive and if you do it right you can get leads which are highly targeted.

    Last, I would team up with garden shops to help you get customers. They can be your best affiliates IMO. You also can exchange leads for them as your clients most probably also ask you to recommend a gardener. You maybe can pay for advertising in gardening shops?

    Then there are landscaper and garden architects (don't know if that's the correct term) which do projects with sprinkler systems already included. Get your share with them.

    Overall, you NEED to have your site up and running first.

    Before sending out another flyer into nowhere, make sure you used all the other tools out there.

    IMO, sending flyers is so "old style" and very un-effective. Also think about being ECOLOGICALLY RESPONSIBLE where printing and sending flyers don't fit anymore into the picture.

    G.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

      I find the flyer a bit crowded.

      .
      This is even more "crowded",
      yet effective...



      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author bwh1
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        This is even more "crowded",
        yet effective...



        Best,
        Ewen
        OK but you scare the heck out of 100% of your universe. Everybody has carpets, curtains and a mattress at home (or at least one of those) - if they are house owners or not.

        His segment is real specific and I would go for synergies in his segment, no way I would send out flyers like that.

        That flyer would be way more effective if it's placed at a garden shop for example.

        He has to advertise where his potential client is buying something related to gardening.

        G.
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

          OK but you scare the heck out of 100% of your universe. Everybody has carpets, curtains and a mattress at home (or at least one of those) - if they are house owners or not.

          His segment is real specific and I would go for synergies in his segment, no way I would send out flyers like that.

          That flyer would be way more effective if it's placed at a garden shop for example.

          He has to advertise where his potential client is buying something related to gardening.

          G.
          Just pointed out the postcard crowding thing,
          that's all.

          Best,
          Ewen
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          • Profile picture of the author bwh1
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            Just pointed out the postcard crowding thing,
            that's all.

            Best,
            Ewen
            Got it

            G.
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        This is even more "crowded",
        yet effective...



        Best,
        Ewen
        Yeah but it feels less busy. I think because it has a point. His doesn't flow where yours does. Creeps me out every time you show it too BTW.

        I think a lot of the "crowded" and "busy" is how his is set up. There is no theme. Where yours has lots of text but only a few pieces. You explain the bug. You introduce him. You give proof. And you call to action.

        Yours simply flows where his has no theme. To me yours seems simply and to the point. It is less busy even though it has walls of text.
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          Yeah but it feels less busy. I think because it has a point. His doesn't flow where yours does. Creeps me out every time you show it too BTW.

          I think a lot of the "crowded" and "busy" is how his is set up. There is no theme. Where yours has lots of text but only a few pieces. You explain the bug. You introduce him. You give proof. And you call to action.

          Yours simply flows where his has no theme. To me yours seems simply and to the point. It is less busy even though it has walls of text.
          Have you got your carpets cleaned yet?

          If not, I'll have to keep haunting ya! Lol.

          Yes mine has a central theme, whereas his is more of the spray and hope kind.

          Best,
          Ewen

          P.S. Your observation from a consumer, not as a marketer,
          is very valuable and should not be under estimated by the poster.

          Best,
          Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by jwrbusiness View Post

    It worked ONCE on the first mailing out of 5 mailings.

    Each mailing is to 5000 homes in communities Im familiar with and have business. Three times to the same 5000 homes and twice to a separate set.

    What do you think? Spend $1200 on another 5000 ? or does this postcard just not work?


    First mailing my profit was roughly $3,000 after that Its just under breaking even and it gets worse each mailing.
    No time to look at the postcard right now. But mailing another 5,000 cards is moronic.

    Responses always go down with repeated mailings. They never go up.

    Your second mailing (to the same people) told you that your market was now cold to that postcard. Every mailing after that was a complete waste of money.

    There are copywriters here that can help you. They deserve to get paid. It ain't easy creating a winning offer.

    You know what would have been smart? Hiring a copywriter before...before...you spent that money.


    I'm not a copywriter. Mr. Subtle is. Bob Ross is. Ewenmack is. (If I missed one, sorry)

    PS.

    Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

    If you were a paying client I'd be asking a number of questions
    to find the breakthrough needed...

    Like...

    How dry it gets there
    Do they re-seed
    What neighborhoods use sprinklers
    How many use sprinklers
    Are you able to target those areas better that already use sprinklers
    What other sprinkler options are available
    What are their limitations
    What are the costs of not getting a sprinkler system installed
    Do you have side by side photos of lawns with and without sprinklers?
    Is the cost of water a consideration?

    Plus others that come from the answers.

    Best,
    Ewen
    See that? That's what a copywriter would ask you.

    By the way, you spent all that money an your website isn't up?

    Added later; Yup, I just looked it up. You spent all that money on a postcard you had no evidence would work, and you didn't pay the $10 domain name fee? Okey Dokey.

    By the way (while I'm spreading so much sunshine here), Postcard printers are (are you ready?) Printers. They are in the business of selling you printing. They are not advertising experts. They are not copywriters.

    At best, they have studied graphic design.

    Feel like throwing up yet? It could have been worse. You could have listened to your partner and thrown away another mailing before you fixed the problem. Hire Ewen. Hire MrSubtle. Hire Bob Ross.

    Stop the bleeding.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      I learned EARLY ON (Thank goodness) that.....if I was going to be successful with my "Home Security" biz....in the Northern Suburbs of Chgo I had better come up with a "Marketing Program" that would get me "Leads" for my biz.

      Although I was a GOOD "Cold-Caller"....I knew I had to develop a way to Market my biz.

      Well.....one of my first customers was (W. Clement Stone) (check out one of my other posts where I describe how I got my first Home Alarm job with him)

      W. Clement Stone started "Combined Insurance Co"........... by personally visiting Banks and selling tellers and other bank employees....IN THE BANK LOBBIES! Talk about a Balls Out Sales Guy!

      So....after I sold Mr Stone a Security System for his home (again, Ya Gotta read the post I made on how I Sold HIM).....he invited me to come to a few of his "Sales Rah-Rah sessions)......(Mr Stone ALSO started up Success Magazine)

      So...I had the humungous opportunity to have lunch....with this incredible human being.

      MANY of our lunches (obviously) turned into discussion about "Marketing and Promotiion".....and....one of his suggestions was to;

      "CREATE A FUNNEL" of potential clients/customers"

      Well..... a few mos later I "run into" a guy named Gary Halbert who told me to also...."Create a Funnel" of Prospects.

      Mr Stone told me to "work on getting REFERRALS" from everyone of my customers....and....Gary gave me an "INSTRUMENT" ON HOW TO USE IT!

      This was in the Early Days of "Answering Machines" so.....here's how all my above comments tie-in;

      CREATE A POTENTIAL CLIENT/CUSTOMER/PATIENT.....FUNNEL!

      HOW?

      By sending out PostCards....Sales Letters....Flyers....NewPaper Ads (The MOUTH, of our Sales Funnel) and...getting prospects to ACT to get more into our "Sales Funnel"

      "ACT" (the 2nd leg of our Sales Funnel) was inspired by the following words;
      "FREE RECORDED MESSAGE REVEALS....(benefit) DIAL XXX-1234 X 123

      Those 4 words on our...PostCards, Sales Lettrers, Ads...etc...MOTIVATED Prospects to PHONE!

      Hey! It was a Free call to Recording! NO Sales people to talk to....since they were NOT YET READY to speak to a Sales Person because they did not yet have all the info they wanted.

      So....sending out Jillions of Mail.....or dropping off Flyers or running ads is ONLY THE FIRST PHASE of a Sales Funnel!

      These are all "SUSPECTS"!

      The people you want are....PROSPECTS!

      You find "Prospects" by getting "Suspects" into your Funnel!

      WOW! This remnds me of the 1st time I spoke to a "Mailing List" guy. He said, "Ya gotta MAIL to 5,000 at a time! ...to see where to go from there!"

      HORSE-HOCKEY!

      ALL my "Suspecting" via Mail was by Malingout the Mini the Post Office would take in Bulk Mail....200!....NOT 5,000!

      So....anyways.....thanks for reminding me of my Early Days of marketing. Hope ya got somethin' outa it!

      Don Alm....small town marketing guy from "da stix"
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Claude and Aaron are professional sales people.

        Yet they say they aren't copywriters.

        My definition of a copywriter/ad writer
        is a person who is a salesman multiplied through media.

        Some how when it comes to writing out
        a persuasive argument for what you have
        gets lost.

        Whole separate subject really.

        Want the conversation to stay on track.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I'm not a professional copy writer but I will give you some feedback.

    1. Get your website working your card is basically sending people there due to your email address. No way would I hire a company that had a web address but nothing there. Screams amateur not professional.

    2. Do not mail this card again. It is clear it is not converting.

    3. Lose the "Free Estimates". No one cares and it is expected. Just helps make the flyer too "busy"

    4. "Fastest, Easiest, Cheapest" does not flow to "Easier, Faster, and Cheaper". First the order was changed. Second the mind expects er to come before est. Third why waste time saying basically the same thing?

    5. Are people who want sprinkler systems interested in the cheapest? The word cheap and the house you choose don't match. Could be part of the issue. The guy driving the M5 doesn't care to buy the cheapest he wants the best.

    6. Should they know Rainbird? If so make the logo bigger. If not get rid of it.

    7. Is Rainbird the #1 Trusted brand? If so give some proof. Otherwise it just seems like fluffed up BS.

    8. "Save Water, Time, & Money!" Once again is your ideal customer looking to save money? Do they care about the water usage? The time I can see but I can't image that people who water their lawns care about water usage. Those are opposites in my mind. If your ideal customer lives in that house the message doesn't match.

    9. Coupons & Zones: I have no idea what it means. So I don't see the value. I have no refereance for it. Does your ideal customer? If not these are just confusing.

    10. 5 Year Warranty: Show the value better and get rid of no hassle. If the warranty is a selling point it needs to be bigger.

    Service Side

    11. Will your heads work on other companies systems? If not this coupon makes no sense. If so spell it out. I and many people will assume it won't. This seems like an offer to send to your past customers not to new clients.

    12. Also $35 value? Dude look at the house. My house is no where near as large and I regularly spend more than $35 on dinner. What I am saying is it doesn't likely have value for the prospect.

    13. What if I don't need a new head? Do i just get the part?

    14. Is the labor free on the head too? If not and the labor costs more this doesn't seem like a deal to me.

    Overall comments

    15. If the ideal customer is in a higher end home I like the home on the back better than front. But either way don't like the house on the front personally.

    16. Why is one side so busy and the other so calm? It doesn't flow well. Since there are coupons on both I expect them to be similar in feel. If you want a calm side you need to have it be more of a branding IMO with the others all on the other side. But the busy side needs to be less busy so don't just push more onto it.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What do you want me to do?
    Why would I do it?

    There is no clear call to action. A skimmer like me can't skim the ad. In fact if I was a customer skimming it I am not sure I would know what you are selling. I would assume chemical lawn care service honestly. Reminds me of the flyers True Green sends out only theirs are better and not as busy.

    Remember I am looking at this not as a copywriter but as a customer. I don't know how to fix it (guys like Bob and Ewen will) but I do know it is wrong and I can explain what bothers me and my thought processes behind it. I hope that has value for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      I'm not a professional copy writer but I will give you some feedback.

      1. Get your website working your card is basically sending people there due to your email address. No way would I hire a company that had a web address but nothing there. Screams amateur not professional.

      2. Do not mail this card again. It is clear it is not converting.

      3. Lose the "Free Estimates". No one cares and it is expected. Just helps make the flyer too "busy"

      4. "Fastest, Easiest, Cheapest" does not flow to "Easier, Faster, and Cheaper". First the order was changed. Second the mind expects er to come before est. Third why waste time saying basically the same thing?

      5. Are people who want sprinkler systems interested in the cheapest? The word cheap and the house you choose don't match. Could be part of the issue. The guy driving the M5 doesn't care to buy the cheapest he wants the best.

      6. Should they know Rainbird? If so make the logo bigger. If not get rid of it.

      7. Is Rainbird the #1 Trusted brand? If so give some proof. Otherwise it just seems like fluffed up BS.

      8. "Save Water, Time, & Money!" Once again is your ideal customer looking to save money? Do they care about the water usage? The time I can see but I can't image that people who water their lawns care about water usage. Those are opposites in my mind. If your ideal customer lives in that house the message doesn't match.

      9. Coupons & Zones: I have no idea what it means. So I don't see the value. I have no refereance for it. Does your ideal customer? If not these are just confusing.

      10. 5 Year Warranty: Show the value better and get rid of no hassle. If the warranty is a selling point it needs to be bigger.

      Service Side

      11. Will your heads work on other companies systems? If not this coupon makes no sense. If so spell it out. I and many people will assume it won't. This seems like an offer to send to your past customers not to new clients.

      12. Also $35 value? Dude look at the house. My house is no where near as large and I regularly spend more than $35 on dinner. What I am saying is it doesn't likely have value for the prospect.

      13. What if I don't need a new head? Do i just get the part?

      14. Is the labor free on the head too? If not and the labor costs more this doesn't seem like a deal to me.

      Overall comments

      15. If the ideal customer is in a higher end home I like the home on the back better than front. But either way don't like the house on the front personally.

      16. Why is one side so busy and the other so calm? It doesn't flow well. Since there are coupons on both I expect them to be similar in feel. If you want a calm side you need to have it be more of a branding IMO with the others all on the other side. But the busy side needs to be less busy so don't just push more onto it.
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      What do you want me to do?
      Why would I do it?

      There is no clear call to action. A skimmer like me can't skim the ad. In fact if I was a customer skimming it I am not sure I would know what you are selling. I would assume chemical lawn care service honestly. Reminds me of the flyers True Green sends out only theirs are better and not as busy.

      Remember I am looking at this not as a copywriter but as a customer. I don't know how to fix it (guys like Bob and Ewen will) but I do know it is wrong and I can explain what bothers me and my thought processes behind it. I hope that has value for you.
      Damn, young man....you sure sound like a copywriter to me!

      Twice as many points as I had, and some better ones.
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    • Profile picture of the author bwh1
      I'm a terrible writer so forgive me the errors etc. but something in this direction would get people which have a sprinkler system interested IMO.
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      8. "Save Water, Time, & Money!" Once again is your ideal customer looking to save money? Do they care about the water usage? The time I can see but I can't image that people who water their lawns care about water usage. Those are opposites in my mind. If your ideal customer lives in that house the message doesn't match.
      I think THAT'S the hook to get people call you up...

      "80% of Homeowners in the US Waste xx of Gallons a Year of Drinking Water
      due to Defect Sprinkler Systems
      - AND THEY EVEN DON'T KNOW IT"

      We test your sprinkler in less than 72 hours for free.
      Call Us and make an appointment today.

      As explained you have to segment your marketing so for new clients I would use some like...

      "While You Get Bored Watering Your Lawn Your Friends are at a Happy Hour.
      You Deserve better - get a Sprinkler System Today"

      All Major Brands, Best Offer, Fast Installation, Top Notch Service
      Call Us Now


      Just some silly ideas
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Forgot...

        I'd ask you a number of questions about what your
        customers have said to you too.

        Often the breakthrough comes from their mouths,
        since they have their own reasons why they bought.

        See how a sales detective works at finding out
        what gets people to make contact and buy?

        There would be plenty more too, as we spark new possibilities
        and then dig deeper to find the "aha".

        Best,
        Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
        Originally Posted by bwh1 View Post

        I'm a terrible writer so forgive me the errors etc. but something in this direction would get people which have a sprinkler system interested IMO.


        I think THAT'S the hook to get people call you up...

        "80% of Homeowners in the US Waste xx of Gallons a Year of Drinking Water
        due to Defect Sprinkler Systems
        - AND THEY EVEN DON'T KNOW IT"

        We test your sprinkler in less than 72 hours for free.
        Call Us and make an appointment today.

        As explained you have to segment your marketing so for new clients I would use some like...

        "While You Get Bored Watering Your Lawn Your Friends are at a Happy Hour.
        You Deserve better - get a Sprinkler System Today"

        All Major Brands, Best Offer, Fast Installation, Top Notch Service
        Call Us Now


        Just some silly ideas
        I like where you are going with this. Your first one about saving water leaking from a current system works. But selling a new system to a first time buyer I don't think saving water will be on their mind. Saving water is a call to action for someone who cares about the money savings or more likely the environment. And neither one of those groups are in my experience people who would own a sprinkler system.

        In fact a true "tree hugger" would likely be morally opposed to wasting water by watering their lawn. That is what rain is for, right? Oh you say there isn't enough rain? Well in that case you should be planting grass that can handle dry climates. If you follow the thinking you will see the "saving water" guy is simply not likely to be the target market.

        Sprinkler buyers and owners who I know are not worried about the cost in water or money of keeping their lawn green. They want to impress the neighbors or in some cases appease the home owners association. Simply put they have more money than time. And that is where I feel your second appeal is better aimed at these target customers. If they can trust him and the system saves them time that is what they are worried about.
        __________________________________________________ __________________
        On this note using something like the Dust Mite one might work. Show a beautiful home with a bad lawn. Then depending on the area show a group of people looking angry and call them "your neighbors" or "The Home Owner's Association". If the area has loads of home owners associations you can even point to cases where a home owner was fined large amounts of money by their HOA. Basically use fear of loss of respect and money to get them to invest in a system.

        If the target market is Upper Middle Class "keeping up with the Jone's" types you might show a beautiful home with an amazing lawn something that would be what they asspire to own. Than have a guy (give him a name) sitting in his BWM (or porsche/etc) and have him talking to the prospect while handing a business card.

        "You worked hard to have the good life. So why are you spending half your Sunday taking care of your lawn? Don't you have better things to do?

        Here call John. Four years ago he installed my new Rain Bird Sprinkler system. It's completely automatic and with the 5 year warranty I simply set it and forget it.

        Call John and maybe next Sunday you can join my foursome for 18 vs tangling with that mess."

        Then below you have the "business card" he handed the prospect with John's picture and info and maybe a personal statement.

        Of course it needs polished but I think you get the idea. Classic appeal to who he wants to be.
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        • Profile picture of the author bwh1
          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          "You worked hard to have the good life. So why are you spending half your Sunday taking care of your lawn? Don't you have better things to do?

          Here call John. Four years ago he installed my new Rain Bird Sprinkler system. It's completely automatic and with the 5 year warranty I simply set it and forget it.

          Call John and maybe next Sunday you can join my foursome for 18 vs tangling with that mess."


          Then below you have the "business card" he handed the prospect with John's picture and info and maybe a personal statement.

          Of course it needs polished but I think you get the idea. Classic appeal to who he wants to be.
          I have no clue about sprinkler systems and the US market, your example is way better to how he should target them.

          I love this chat, can be used for any situation really, it's always the same system.

          Research - research - research and then research a bit more to come up with a copy that makes you potential buyers think about it.

          Point is that this is a lead generator so there is no need to show the full story of the business about why they are better and free and warranty etc...as someone said, those are futures and what interests a potential clients are benefits.

          His story and credentials have to be at his site which should be live.

          What he has to offer in a flyer is simply the A.I.D.A formula to get those people take action.

          G.
          Signature

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          • Profile picture of the author jwrbusiness
            just took it all in and going to read it again too.

            Im not creative nor very clever and I certainly don't know much about marketing. Just took in bits and pieces over a couple years while trying to find a better way to get business And in the process put out the postcards that I paid companies to design and print.

            When the phone rings - my wife (partner that wants to mail this card again without considering professional revision!) answers and I go do the work. Thats what Im good at.

            Maybe if I send another 5,000 we might get lucky. Maybe not? It's just been luck that has got me anything with postcards I know but luck is luck and it ran out!! with my money!!

            Because I have to plan for the budget to allow professional help... If someone wants to - you got my email address John (@) jwrsprinklers com... I'd like to hear more how the process works , whats needed from me and
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by jwrbusiness View Post


              Maybe if I send another 5,000 we might get lucky. Maybe not? It's just been luck that has got me anything with postcards I know but luck is luck and it ran out!! with my money!!

              Because I have to plan for the budget to allow professional help... If someone wants to - you got my email address John (@) jwrsprinklers com... I'd like to hear more how the process works , whats needed from me and
              John; It isn't luck. Direct mail is a science. It's far far cheaper to pay Ewen as a copywriter (or Bob Ross) and then mail 5,000 postcards...than to just mail the postcards.

              if you send out another 5,000 postcards without revision....you won't be depending on luck. You'll be depending on a miracle.

              Please, we are all really just trying to help. And most people here (on this thread) have a decade or two of successful copywriting and direct mail experience.

              "Mailing and hoping for the best" is an insane course of action.
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            • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
              Originally Posted by jwrbusiness View Post

              Because I have to plan for the budget to allow professional help... If someone wants to - you got my email address John (@) jwrsprinklers com... I'd like to hear more how the process works , whats needed from me and
              Lesson #1: Marketing is an Investment not an Expense.That includes what it costs to pay the Copywriter. Marketing is only an "expense" when it doesn't pay a return. Nine times out of Ten that happens because the business tried to save money up front in my opinion. Invest in your marketing and you will almost always see a ROI. And when you don't it will be a lesson on how to make your next ad better.

              Lesson #2: Cheap is the most Expensive word in Business.

              Everything has a cost even things that are free. Sometimes that cost is time (which people never seem to add back in). Sometimes that cost is missed opportunities. Sometimes that cost is lost potential revenue. But you will always pay a cost.

              The biggest lesson I have learned in my years of management is that a failure to pay the right price upfront leads to a greater long term cost. Doing it right from the start is simply cheaper in the long run.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            Another question would be...

            "Is there new homes just been built?"

            These people are higher probability buyers than
            the general established homes.

            Your message would be different for them as well as
            your targeting gets rifle targeting, rather than dropped off by a aeroplane
            type of mass mailing.

            One more question is...

            "Is their garden centers and hardware centres that don't sell irrigation systems where you can leave point of sale promotion material?"

            Having someone come in and ask you better questions
            uncovers the breakthrough you are after.

            Best,
            Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author OnlineStoreHelp
          Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

          I like where you are going with this. Your first one about saving water leaking from a current system works. But selling a new system to a first time buyer I don't think saving water will be on their mind. Saving water is a call to action for someone who cares about the money savings or more likely the environment. And neither one of those groups are in my experience people who would own a sprinkler system.

          In fact a true "tree hugger" would likely be morally opposed to wasting water by watering their lawn. That is what rain is for, right? Oh you say there isn't enough rain? Well in that case you should be planting grass that can handle dry climates. If you follow the thinking you will see the "saving water" guy is simply not likely to be the target market.

          Sprinkler buyers and owners who I know are not worried about the cost in water or money of keeping their lawn green. They want to impress the neighbors or in some cases appease the home owners association. Simply put they have more money than time. And that is where I feel your second appeal is better aimed at these target customers. If they can trust him and the system saves them time that is what they are worried about.
          __________________________________________________ __________________
          On this note using something like the Dust Mite one might work. Show a beautiful home with a bad lawn. Then depending on the area show a group of people looking angry and call them "your neighbors" or "The Home Owner's Association". If the area has loads of home owners associations you can even point to cases where a home owner was fined large amounts of money by their HOA. Basically use fear of loss of respect and money to get them to invest in a system.

          If the target market is Upper Middle Class "keeping up with the Jone's" types you might show a beautiful home with an amazing lawn something that would be what they asspire to own. Than have a guy (give him a name) sitting in his BWM (or porsche/etc) and have him talking to the prospect while handing a business card.

          "You worked hard to have the good life. So why are you spending half your Sunday taking care of your lawn? Don't you have better things to do?

          Here call John. Four years ago he installed my new Rain Bird Sprinkler system. It's completely automatic and with the 5 year warranty I simply set it and forget it.

          Call John and maybe next Sunday you can join my foursome for 18 vs tangling with that mess."

          Then below you have the "business card" he handed the prospect with John's picture and info and maybe a personal statement.

          Of course it needs polished but I think you get the idea. Classic appeal to who he wants to be.
          Could we take this further and create a fear element? "Will your sprinkler system cause your next insurance claim? A leaking sprinkler system can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your foundation and interior if not caught in time. Don't let your next insurance claim be a preventable one. Call us for a free sprinkler inspection."

          I would then use it to possibly build a maintenance contract. Hey for $x a month we will inspect your sprinkler system monthly and provide regular maintenance. (not including parts). Plays on their fear of loss.

          I am sure you guys can let me know if I am on to something or way off base...
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Lots of good info above and here's my two cents:

    It's a really good thing that your partner wants to keep mailing. That's the right attitude to have and a critical attitude to have in direct mail once you 'figure it out'. Once you've got a winner, you'll find that your response actually will rise every time you re-mail to the same targets and may not even plateau until the 6th or 7th mailing.

    However, you need to change things before you mail again.

    I believe that with the right changes, you can turn this into a money machine but you'll need to act quick because the fall season is here as soon as September hits.

    I'm going to break up a few concepts for you to follow:

    #1... Your targets

    You are using saturation mail. I'm a big advocate for saturation (EDDM) but it's important to understand that your response will suffer compared to a truly targeted campaign. That's OK so long as you understand it and manage your expectations better.

    The best thing you can do is pick areas that you know are filled with demographics that you have had success with in the past (which you are doing, so kudos).

    Understand though that only a percentage of these people will be actual prospects for you. I wouldn't be surprised if 50% or more of the people you're sending to won't even be real prospects regardless of your copy.

    Your copy will further narrow that number down.

    You can throw that 5,000 piece number out the window. Don't even think about using that number to gauge your real response.

    Your actual targets could be 2500 or even as low as 500 or less. A good direct marketer can figure this out for you but just understand that it's going to be a very small number.

    The important thing to consider first is who exactly you are targeting, and make your message directed exactly to them.

    Before your copy is written, you need to figure out who you are trying to reach and what exactly you're trying to get them to do.

    That way, your design and copy (including offers and calls-to-action) can be matched with your target to persuade those specific people to take action.

    Right now, you're trying to just grab people that are in the buying stage, and that's only going to work by mailing a ton of mailers over a long period of time. This is why you're getting such dismal results.

    As you'll see in a moment, you've actually managed to cut your own throat just with a headline alone.

    Overview: EDDM is fine for your service, but because of the fact that you are blanketing areas you're going to need some very strong and specific copy that will appeal to people who are not in the buying process yet for your service.

    Otherwise, you will need to keep sending these postcards over and over and over until you manage to pick them up as they enter the buying process, which can take a long time and will cost a TON.

    #2... Your copy

    This is where you need the most work. Spend a few hundred bucks and get a good copywriter and designer to work with you if you can.

    Your print shop is not an option for response-driven copywriting!

    The addressed side of the card is what people see first.
    The headline and image will tell them what you're trying to sell, whether it's something they're interested in, and most importantly, whether they should turn the card over for more info!

    When someone glances at your headline for a split second, what's going to happen?





    Think about that. You just threw nearly all of your 5,000 chances out the window. How many people out of those 5,000 random households have an old sprinkler system that needs service?

    If that's who you're trying to target, then fine but I'm guessing you want to get calls from people other than the ones who simply have old sprinkler systems that need service and haven't found someone to service it.

    That very very tiny micro-fraction number is literally the only people who you have a chance at selling. So again, your 5,000 piece number has been instantly reduced to almost nothing.

    Your headline needs major work, along with a few other things like:



    Now, onto the back of the card.




    So to answer your question... yes you will probably lose another $1200.

    My advice to you is:
    • Work with a great copywriter
    • Spend some time really thinking about your target audience
    • Create offers that will appeal to that target audience
    • Run another 5k mailing with the improved copy & design to the SAME area since they have been exposed multiple times to you already
    • If it brings an ROI, keep mailing and each time use a different postcard size. And change up the copy & offers slightly to keep it fresh.

    If you're looking for good response, you want the target to think to themselves:

    "Holy sh** I've always wanted my grass to look like this! And by the good Lord's graces if I don't call these guys to get an estimate and see about taking advantage of this super-duper deal before the month ends, I'll end up losing out."
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    Try selling "greener lawns" vs "replacement heads". Show a comparison of a lawn with a luscious lawn, and one with a not so attractive lawn. Also, show that you know the location - you can refer to the zipcode and specific areas in the postcard that let the reader know you're not completely generic.

    And, everything Aaron, Claude and Ewen said above.

    All the best,

    Sasha.
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  • Profile picture of the author SiteSmarty
    ewenmack has the right idea. You have to educate before you can build a solid repeatable business. The only purpose of your direct mail piece should be to point prospects to your opt-in form, front and center on your website. Then you start to educate your prospects with autoresponders bringing them deeper into your funnel until they're ready to convert. If you don't know how it all works message me and I can walk you through it.

    The type of post card mailing you're using will never work regardless of the wording, layout or anything else. You're wasting your money.

    Before you spend another dime learn how to educate and upsell. By this time next year you'll have a waiting list.
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  • Profile picture of the author jwrbusiness
    whitacre you're right. Now Ewen is that true?


    Yes I have Million dollar homes close by I install irrigation in often. $500,000 homes new construction and first time buyers. Older homes etc Im in the Washington DC ArEA Fairfax VA area a wealthy area.

    The message I have sent out to thousands of homes attract my complete opposite buyer. Ones I close on best generally pay $1,500 + on top of my competitions prices. Engineers, technical smart shoppers. Experienced buyers who have been around the block in hiring contractors.

    Average sale is $3,500 - 5k Profit after all that I can think of including cost to gain the lead is around $1,200 - $1600 on a 3,500 - 5k job.

    Actually that same postcard gained me a $4,000 job today from a homeowner that responded to that card 2 months ago and hired me. Then today hired me for more work.

    That is what I mean by luck. It was in the right place at the right time because he was in the process of getting quotes the day the postcard arrived. Closed him on a $4,500 irrigation back then and today closed him on a $4,000 drainage system.

    My area has plenty of money, plenty of interested parties and plenty of buyers. But the problem is...

    I have had went on estimates and only to find they received the postcard but CALLED FROM GOOGLE PLACES and forgot / never mentioned the postcard until I used the coupon on it to close and they say 'oh I remember we did get that a couple weeks ago'

    So... Why did you put it down forget it and not call..?

    Thats the problem. And that is way out of my skills.



    whitacre you're right. Now Ewen is that true?

    Im interested in finding out more and whats next. Can you reach me on the email address on the postcard please.

    Whats it take Ewen. Covering the initial cost will take some planning because that $1200 postcard was going to kick me good if I sent it and Kick me real good if it didnt work.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      "what's it take Ewen?"

      Email me at manlymedianet (at) (hotmail.) (com)

      Put it in brackets to stop the automated
      email harvesters.

      Good choice.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author goblue1918
    As Aaron and Bob stated, I would focus on the demographics of the area. Fredricksburg, VA, you are going to have government workers, along with biotech and technology workers who make good money. They have money to invest in their lawns.

    When you think of it, why do people water their lawns, plant new flowers every spring, throw thousand's into landscaping? One of the biggest reasons is so that their neighbors will be envious, co-workers will talk about how beautiful their house is at the office. Their kids will not be ashamed to have friends over.

    Is there a reason to water the lawn? Grass is pretty durable, it can take a couple of weeks of drought - it goes dormant - like in the winter.

    I would vote that vanity is the number one reason for installing a sprinkler system.

    Just my two cents.

    One other thing, I think you mentioned they are building houses in your area. Have you thought about getting with the builders of these homes? The people who buy the high end homes, especially if they work for large companies, want everything included in the sales prices - landscaping, sprinklers, finished basements, etc.

    The reason, when they get relocated, their employer (most) will provide a loss on sale if they are transferred and cannot sell the house for at least the original purchase price. Including all those extras ensures that they will not lose money if the market tanks or remains stagnant.

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author andrewmckim
    Originally Posted by jwrbusiness View Post

    Hello everyone. I've Been on here a little while here and there learning a couple things as I go. I'm self employed in the irrigation industry and found this site a little bit ago while looking for postcard designers on google.

    Ive used a print shop locally for door hangers over the years which always seemed to work OK but the hassle of grumpy people and HOA's got me to try EDDM in communities I have a lot of business over the years instead.

    Here is where I'm at - This postcard designed by a print shop online seems to have alot of something missing.

    It worked ONCE on the first mailing out of 5 mailings.

    Each mailing is to 5000 homes in communities Im familiar with and have business. Three times to the same 5000 homes and twice to a separate set.

    What do you think? Spend $1200 on another 5000 ? or does this postcard just not work?


    First mailing my profit was roughly $3,000 after that Its just under breaking even and it gets worse each mailing.

    Partner says keep the card and keep mailing - I say something we're doing is wrong. What do you say?

    Link to the postcard online is here http://freepdfhosting.com/1300bb4eaf.pdf
    Card looks pretty good. But here's my take on what might help conversions:
    If you can offer some kind of value (a teaser) that they have to visit your site to see what it is. Make it a limited time offer with limited number of crazy deals available.

    Make the website a simple one page landing (squeeze page) with a short video which starts playing automatically with your spokesperson saying you can't believe you're doing this crazy special -- make it short, and again somewhat mysterious with the goal this time of getting them to opt-in to your offer, collect their name, email, ph# Have this autoresponder confirmation page be where you give them more details, either a video or some clever copy. You could then give them 3 different buttons to choose from:
    1. Yes, someone please call me.
    2. option b
    3. option c

    each of these qualifying questions can trigger auto-responder follow ups, a phone call, whatever.

    The trick is to use your direct response postcard to pique their curiosity and create a "fear of loss" scenario, get them to your site, get their email, ph#, and most importantly, FOLLOW UP.
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  • Profile picture of the author malia
    Everyone is giving you great advice and I haven't read it all. But sprinkler installation is a one shot deal. You get sprinklers and that's it. You don't need them again until something breaks or they are really, really old. So... if i were doing EDDM, I would go with something that people need to do repeatedly, maintenance as opposed to installation. Should people inspect their systems for leaks? Maybe convert manual to automatic? I don't know, but I would go with a lower end thing that more people need then use that to upsell into better services.

    Kinda how people solicit for gutter cleaning then sell you new gutters.
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  • Profile picture of the author Slate Marketing
    I took a quick look at your postcard and in my opinion, it's WAY too busy. It looks good, but too busy which will negatively affect conversions.

    I would remove lots of the text and also change the headline into one that basically punches the prospect right in the face with their problem, and how YOU can solve it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by Slate Marketing View Post

      it's WAY too busy. It looks good, but too busy which will negatively affect conversions.

      I would remove lots of the text
      This example has "WAY more text",
      and is effective.

      Best,
      Ewen

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      • Profile picture of the author jwrbusiness
        Thank you all for your time on the advice and answering my question on what the future of this postcard should be. It's history.

        I have contacted a warrior forum member that was recommended in the replies and I am very interested in his offer to assist me.

        This postcard will never be mailed again and you all have probably saved me from spending $1200 more than I even have.

        At this time I will take calls that come into business from referrals / google to get bills paid and set aside the what is needed to get on the right track with getting a new postcard and better marketing advice from this member.

        Crappy way to run a business into the ground to the point you're digging out a hole to get even. Really believe my next choice is the right one.

        Thanks

        John
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