A Proven Strategy Home Inspectors Can Use to Boost Their Direct Mail Response
With so much riding on getting new contracts in the home inspection industry, you need to do everything in your power to make your business stand out from the crowd. With volatile housing markets, changing economies, and an explosion of technology, you must consider what the best way to acquire new customers is for you.
Home inspectors do not have a lot of time and money to worry about marketing because your job requires you to be working hard out in the field. And there are many misconceptions about the best way to get future customers. Many people look down on the idea of direct mail because they think it is too old-fashioned or because they have tried it once and claimed it didn’t work. But if you use direct mail as part of your multitouch marketing strategy and concentrate on repetition as a key, you will achieve the success you are looking for.
HOW TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD
Standing out from the crowd in advertising means doing something different from other folks. Let’s face it. Your eyes pass by hundreds of online advertisements every single day, and yet your brain registers very few of them. On the other hand, you only take one trip to the mailbox each day. At the mailbox, other senses like touch come into play, and your muscle memory will start making connections with the advertisements that you find there.
By using direct mail, we are not just talking about one and done. Repetition is the key to marketing success. Repetition will cement your home inspection company in the consumer’s mind. You have no idea of the ramifications, both short-term and long-term, on seeing your company’s name again and again.
With the loud world we live in, talking heads screaming at us to buy certain products, advertisements scrolling on the side of our social media, the radio personalities telling us what we should buy, there is no way that consumers will see your message every time you send it, either via digital channel or direct mail. In fact, evidence suggests that customers will miss it two out of three times. In order to use direct mail effectively, repetition is the only way to make sure that the customer sees your company name and the attributes of what you can do for them.
MARKETING 101: THE CONSUMER’S MIND AND HOME INSPECTIONS
There is a phenomenon in people’s minds, a little trick that says that once we see something again and again, we start to automatically believe it is true. This is known as the illusory truth effect. But this does not happen after only one time of seeing something.
Repetition and comfort go hand in hand. The more we hear something, the more comfortable we become with it, and the more we start to believe it. Think about the giant companies that you know. Why do you think Nike and Coca-Cola and Starbucks plaster their name on every billboard, stadium, truck, and piece of merchandise that they can find? Because when people see something over and over, they start to trust it.
Persistence pays off—that is why companies repeatedly market their wares to you via direct mail, email marketing campaigns, billboard and online advertising. They never know when the magic will happen.
And you have probably experienced this magic yourself. You learn a new word, and suddenly you see it everywhere. You hear a new song, and it plays on all your channels. You meet someone, and their name comes up somewhere else. This trick of the subconscious can actually help you sell your home inspection business.
Another reason why repetition is so important is because we tend to see what we need to see. A customer will ignore something until it applies to them or until they need it personally. For instance, a consumer doesn’t think much about a pest control company until they find bees in their own attic.
It is the same with a home inspection. Homeowners will often ignore the fact that their builder's home warranty is expiring until you remind them and educate them that their builder can fix it all for free if they act now. Otherwise, it will be out of their pocket later.
After all, they don’t need you until they need you! But if you have laid the groundwork and your company name is on the tip of their tongue when it comes to hiring someone, all your hard work will have paid off.
WHAT IS THE MAGIC NUMBER?
Like anything else, there really is no magic number of direct mailings that will get you the leads you want. But it is clear that people will forget your message, and people’s circumstances will change, so a few reminders will help keep your home inspection business at the forefront of their minds.
Some experts say that three times is the charm for direct mailings, and some still go by the rule of seven. The trick is that you want to infiltrate your name into a customer’s subconscious, so that when it is time for them to need a home inspection, it is your number that they call.
REPETITION IN THE HOME INSPECTION DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN
Because home inspectors have so much on their plate, and do not have a lot of time and money to spend on marketing, they often consider a one and done approach. But you can’t just send out one mailing of 200 postcards, receive no leads, and then conclude that direct mail does not work for you. It is the repetition of the direct mail that gains you the leads.
There are a few tips to help repetition work for you. For example, send a postcard a few months ahead of their expiration date and then send another postcard 30 days later to remind them of the due date. Although, following up at the two year warranty might be a good idea to get more referrals and new customers.
You can also balance the home mailings with a digital advertising to repeat your message and get it in front of homeowners a few more times. The more they see your name, the more they will trust you, and this in turn will lead to more bookings.
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN
In conclusion, this childhood rhyme says it all. If you are going to invest in the stamps and the postcards, you need to take it all the way. One direct mailing is not going to gain you new customers. You need repeated mailings and repetition to gain new customers.
Evidence shows that consumers ignore two out of three advertisements, but if you persist in your mailings, your hard work will pay off eventually. The world of home inspections is not like buying groceries or clothes. People don’t need a home inspection every day. But when they do, you want their first call to be to your company because you have already laid the groundwork with direct mail.
If you want to really hit your marketing out of the park, combine your direct mail campaign with a digital advertising, and your company will start to get noticed. Although this tactic takes some time and money, the results will be worth it in the long run.