Yes, getting cleaning clients online is terrific, but you never want to
put all your advertising dollars in one basket.
With all the hoopla surrounding the Internet, one of the
best advertising media for cleaners gets forgotten. Yes, getting cleaning
clients online is terrific, but you never want to put all your advertising
dollars in one basket. And besides, direct mail is often the best way to laser
in on your ideal target client.
Want to clean in a specific neighborhood or zip code? Direct
mail is your best way to target those prospects. Want to make sure you’re only
targeting homes over a certain value or a certain household income? Direct mail
is the winner.
By the way, I’m not referring to bulk mailers like Val-pak
and Money Mailer here. Those packets are sent via mail and have their place.
What I’m talking about are stand-alone mailers sent first class or business
Let’s start with my definition of direct mail.
Direct mail: “Contacting targeted prospects with an
irresistible offer contained in a postcard, letter or package on a one-on-one
basis via snail mail.”
Let’s break that definition down plain and simple. Direct
mail is about building targeted lists of people who most likely want to use
your service. No other ad medium lets you target your ideal client as well as
Also notice that direct mail includes an irresistible offer.
When you take the time and money to contact your prospect, hit them with an
offer they can’t refuse. Free trial cleaning offers and gift certificates work
As well, your mail should appear to be sent on a one-on-one
basis. Whatever you do, make it appear as personal as possible. Do not allow
your mail to look like junk mail. This means you need to avoid using bulk mail
in initial mailings. And when you do use bulk mail, use live bulk mail stamps.
When you do those three things, your response rates will
So let’s say you want to target a specific neighborhood in
your city. You want to become the neighborhood cleaner. Here’s the plan.
Compile a Mailing List
You can purchase a list from a mailing list broker. Or you
can physically drive through the neighborhood and write down all the addresses
(that’s what I did when I first started my cleaning biz). The benefit to
purchasing your list from a list broker is that you’ll have the homeowner’s
name along with his address.
Mail a Compelling, Show-Stopping Letter with an Irresistible Offer
Don’t send a boring business letter; send them something
they’ll laugh about, notice and remember. One thing we’ve been using in our
company is a sales letter sent in a prescription bottle. The bottle is the
actual mailer and inside the bottle includes a “prescription” for a healthy,
clean home. Of course, the letter includes an incredible limited time offer.
Seven Days Later, Mail Another
The key is repetition. You’d be surprised how many prospects
intend to call you, but get too busy and forget. One week later they may
(barely) remember who you are if you’re lucky. These follow-up mailers often
jog the prospect’s memory with a headline like, “Remember the prescription I
sent you last week for a clean home…?”
Seven Days Later, Do It Again
This is called a sequential mailing. It’s about hitting them
over and over with an irresistible offer for three to four mailings. And once
again, remind them of the past mailers and offer. Consider mailing a forth
letter or postcard stating it’s their last chance to respond to your incredible
Take the names of everyone you didn’t hear from…and start
the entire sequence all over in four to six months. Perhaps they were very
interested, but didn’t need cleaning during your last mailing. Perhaps now
This process takes time. But it’s a great way to invest in
your business and your community. No other advertising can allow you to
handpick which homes you want to do business with. I’ve seen many cleaning
companies turn their business around by using an advertising plan similar to
this. But you have to be consistent and you must give your target prospects a
By the way, when I talk about a compelling offer, I don’t
mean you have to clean for a ridiculously low price. In fact, I recommend you
don’t even mention your cleaning price in your mailings. Instead, offer things
like “free trials for 100 square feet of cleaning,” “$50 off their first
cleaning,” “free pet odor treatment,” “free car mat cleaning,” etc.
If your offer is simply $9.99 a room or 5 rooms for $99,
your company will be positioned in the homeowner’s mind to be just like all the
others pitching her. Don’t advertise based on price. You don’t want cheap price
to be your irresistible offer. Set yourself apart and do something different!
What are some other intriguing mail ideas to catch your
prospect’s attention? Cleaners have had
great success targeting neighborhoods with invitation letters mailed in
invitation style envelopes, or sending out a special offer on a golden ticket
in metallic golden envelopes to catch their attention. Oversized postcards sent
out as a reminder of a previous offer always work great. Letters that are hand
addressed get noticed because they initially look like letters from a local
Whatever you do, don’t make it look like business mail. Make
your mailing look as personal or extraordinary as possible.
When a prospect receives an intriguing mail piece from a
local business, he will be much more likely to remember you and save your
company information. Target the neighborhoods you want. Stake them out and
claim them as yours. Then advertise to them non-stop until you become the
neighborhood cleaner of choice.