With the rise of digital marketing and online advertising, direct mail marketing may seem outdated. The turn of the century also initiated the fall of direct mail marketing companies as businesses transitioned to digital tactics. However, research shows that a direct mail marketing strategy remains highly effective in today’s business landscape.
Let’s explore this together.
The online market is already highly saturated with countless HVAC businesses. Clawing your way out of obscurity will take time, energy, and money. Direct mail marketing goes against the grain and penetrates customers from an angle they least expect.
In other words, you make a mark. Plus, there are countless direct mail marketing examples to choose from. From HVAC postcards to HVAC direct coupon mailing, the effectiveness of direct mail still needs to be considered.
Direct mail marketing is an excellent strategy to target specific demographics and build a direct relationship with your audience. It is also valuable for reaching potential customers in the HVAC industry. Whether you are looking to generate new leads, build brand awareness, or increase sales, direct mail can help you accomplish your goals.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything there is to know about HVAC direct mail marketing.
Why Is Direct Mail Marketing Still Effective in Today’s HVAC Marketing?
Modern-day solutions like automated emails thrive in today’s business world. Regardless of industry, every company that aims to rise to the top engages with email marketing. Your HVAC business probably is too, and that’s a good strategy. At Wizard of Sales®, we believe companies achieve proper business growth by converging digital and offline marketing strategies.
That’s why it’s essential to consider a broad spectrum of marketing strategies.
As you engage in email marketing, a direct mail marketing strategy could be a robust complementary tactic. Here, we compiled several research studies to explore the relevance of direct mail for HVAC companies.
Growth in the global direct mail market
The global direct mail advertising market is rising. Recent reports predict it to grow from $71.57 billion in 2021 to $72.67 billion in 2022. This data shows a compound annual growth rate of 1.5 percent. According to the report, lifting restrictions following the pandemic will facilitate this projected growth.
Experts considered the sales of direct mail marketing companies from entities (businesses and organizations) that advertise and promote via mail. Postcards, catalogs, brochures, letters and envelopes are the most common materials sent.
Below is a list of industries that primarily use direct mail marketing:
- Banks and financial institutions
- Commercial buildings
- Media and entertainment industries
- Government institutions
This is where it gets tricky. Residential home service businesses like HVAC are not one of the primary direct mail marketing users. A direct mail marketing strategy is yet to be prominent in the industry, and you can spearhead that revolution. With a good direct mail marketing strategy, you can generate leads, boost brand awareness and increase sales.
That’s where Wizard of Sales® comes in. For many years, we have helped businesses craft the best marketing strategy that puts them at the industry’s pinnacle. If you’re looking for an expert business strategist to help you navigate your way to the top, book a call.
Many Americans prefer being contacted via direct mail
Opening your mailbox in the morning is significantly and unquestionably more exhilarating than clicking emails. Many Americans share that same sentiment. According to SmallBizGenius, 41 percent of Americans of all ages look forward to reading their mail daily.
“Majority of them are old folks, right?“
While it’s understandable why you might think that, it’s not necessarily true. They also noted that 36 percent of Americans under 30 look forward to reading mail.
It’s no secret that exchanging mail in the 21st century is no longer widespread. They also add that the majority of mail that Americans receive is from marketing campaigns. Almost three out of five letters are marketing-related letters. Don’t fret and throw this strategy out the window just yet.
Here’s what brings tranquility and peace to the two data presented above.
If consumers receive marketing letters but still looking forward to them, direct mail marketing is the right direction for businesses. The personal element and the unique factor behind a direct mail marketing strategy outweigh the marketing behind it. A business owner who uses direct mail marketing has an unspoken edge over other competing businesses.
Direct mail’s average response rate is higher than email’s
As we have briefly mentioned, the convergence of online and offline tactics marks the true success of a business. In this context, using emails and direct mail marketing strategies complementarily to one another.
Sadly, many people still view emails and direct mail as two sides of a coin — it’s either one or the other. That’s a mistaken view, especially of two excellent and effective marketing strategies.
Speaking of ‘level of effectiveness,’ research from Postalytics suggests that direct mail marketing edges emails out. Regarding response rate, direct mail garnered 4.4 percent, which is more than email at 0.12 percent. If you want to grab your customer’s attention, you can trust mail to whisper a sweet melody in their ears. On the other hand, emails do not possess the same perk as direct mail.
However, direct mail no longer holds this same advantage in terms of ROI. Postalytics argues that ROI for email averaged $28.50, while direct mail came at a measly $7. The reason is simple: direct mail is a relatively more expensive investment than emails. That’s precisely why businesses like HVAC should use them hand-in-hand.
How often have you received promotional materials and stuck them on your fridge? Perhaps one too many times. HVAC direct coupons and exclusive deals promotions have this same power over customers looking for good deals. You can trust that when their unit malfunctions, you will be at the forefront of their minds (or fridge).
More importantly, the more you connect with customers via direct mail, the more you forge strong relationships. Thank you cards, personalized messages, and seasonal warm greetings can go a long way. That’s how you drum up loyal customers that will spread the gospel of your HVAC business.
How Can You Make Your HVAC Direct Mail as Effective as Possible?
There’s no question that HVAC direct mail marketing is an incredibly effective tool for reaching potential customers. Knowing the perks, benefits and potential behind this ageless strategy is one thing. But understanding what it takes to build and ensure you have an effective plan is another.
Whether you’re running postcards or catalog campaigns, there are many ways to make your direct mail marketing efforts successful. Below, we’ll provide you with six tips to strengthen and ensure the success of your direct mail campaigns:
Understand and Familiarize Your Target Market
Knowing your target market is at the heart of any direct mail marketing strategy. It’s your responsibility to understand your audience and what they care about, including preferences and behaviors. This is more specific than online ads that are relatively loose in targeting. You have full autonomy in selecting who will be at the receiving end of your campaigns.
By understanding your target market, you can create marketing campaigns that appeal directly to their needs and interests. This helps to increase the effectiveness and success of your direct mail efforts.
Some key factors to consider when defining your target market include demographics such as:
- Income level
Psychographics, such as values, interests, and lifestyles, also matter in creating a mailing list. Additionally, it is important to understand how these different factors interact with each other clearly. For example, how does someone’s age impact their buying habits or online behavior?
Send Mail at the Right Time
When it comes to direct mail marketing, timing is everything. No matter your campaign’s theme, sending them at the right moment can make all the difference in its success.
For example, imagine you plan to run a promotion to offer a special deal. It’s important to time your mail appropriately to reach customers when they are most likely interested and ready to act. The logistics of your direct mail company might need to be fixed and send your letters late. You have to consider all of these minor details.
Another pitfall of HVAC direct mail marketing campaigns is sending promotions during the busiest season. People receive many letters during those times, and homeowners may overlook your mail.
When targeting customers, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy — no need to send mail to everyone on your mailing list. For repeat customers, sending postcards every six months is enough to remind them about their seasonal maintenance. This is enough to condition them to have their homes prepared for the summer or winter.
As for prospects, you could choose to send more frequent postcards to soften them up to your business.
Add Clear and Specific CTAs
You have less room to make your point during direct mail campaigns than digital marketing. That’s why being straight to the point is necessary. Keep your audiences from getting an overload of information by keeping your promotions simple.
Moreover, for direct mail marketing to be truly effective, including clear and specific CTAs is essential. These CTAs should communicate your solution’s value and provide potential customers with a direct way to take action. Your direct mail marketing efforts may need clear and targeted calls to action. This could result in fewer conversions and lower ROI.
To maximize the impact of your direct mail marketing campaigns, combine tasteful copy and compelling CTAs. Direct mail marketing can effectively reach new customers and grow your business with the right strategy and messaging.
Like all forms of marketing, tracking results is essential to understand how your campaign performed. Plus, tracking helps you optimize your campaigns and reach your business goals.
Unlike emails, direct mail marketing strategies do not have access to online monitoring metrics. There needs to be a way to know the open rates, click-through rates, conversion rates, and more. Analyzing these key performance indicators grants you valuable insights into what works and what improvements you can make.
That’s not the case for direct mail marketing, but here’s a workaround.
You could add a tracking number or digitally stored promotional code specific to each postcard. When customers call in and activate the code, you will know which postcards are the most effective. This information will teach you what improvements and messaging to use. Most importantly, you will track every person on your mailing list.
Keep Updated Contacts
We tend to focus too much on the content when discussing direct mail marketing. However, the most overlooked aspect of its success is our mailing list.
It is important to keep an updated list of contacts for targeting to make the most of this strategy. This means keeping track of relevant information, including:
- Email addresses
- Phone numbers
- Other relevant contact details for each individual
You can more easily personalize your direct mail marketing messages with an up-to-date contacts list. That means creating targeted campaigns that are likely to resonate more effectively with your audience. Regularly updating your mailing lists ensures you’re always reaching the right people with the right message.
Thank You Cards
Thank you cards, like direct mailers, are a staple in the residential home service industry. However, why would you wait a few days after giving the service before thanking customers? Giving thank you cards after rendering service is the perfect time to solicit 5-star reviews from customers.
I call this an in-home postcard marketing strategy.
The principle is simple. Simply hand out your thank you card after the service. Pair your gesture with the question: “Hello Customer, do you feel like I have rendered a 5-star service today?” Here are some things to consider depending on their response:
- If they say “no,” figure out how to turn it into a yes
- If they answer a depressed “yes,” find out how to convert it into a “YES!”
- If they say “YES!” you did a good job, expect a high rating— not necessarily five-star.
Ensuring a five-star rating comes with a bit of mind-conditioning. Here is one line your tech could say:
“Are you willing to give me a 5-star review on Google while mentioning my name? Because my boss treats me to lunch when I get a 5-star review on Google with my name mentioned. Silly, but true.”
The word “because” increases the likelihood of getting a positive response from customers. Moreover, you used humor which is always an alpha move when selling externally triggered grudge purchases. That means when selling solutions that customers don’t necessarily WANT but NEED in their lives.
Challenges of Using Direct Mail for HVAC Marketing
Direct mail marketing is not without its ups and downs. Engaging in this marketing tactic, you will encounter countless challenges along the way. Below, we listed five of the commonplace hurdles that HVAC businesses experience:
Direct mail marketing costs more than email marketing
One of the significant challenges of direct mail marketing is its cost. Unlike email marketing, which is a much more affordable and accessible option, direct mail can be significantly more expensive.
This is because direct mail involves printing costs, mailing fees, and other expenses related to producing physical marketing materials. Nonetheless, it can be more effective than emails, especially in a highly saturated online competition.
Tracking results is challenging
Tracking direct mail marketing results is challenging but not impossible. While it lacks the same metrics as other online advertising tactics, there is an alternative. You can insert tracking numbers or unique codes, even QR codes, that customers can access. Every response reflects on your database and mailing list.
Observing results take time
The results of direct mail marketing campaigns often take time to emerge. This is because you must first deliver the direct mail materials. After this, customers must read and analyze them before taking action. Unlike online methods where taking action is easily at the end of their fingertips.
However, you can successfully leverage direct mail marketing with patience and an understanding of your target audience.
Proper timing for distribution is necessary
Timing and precision are two elements that can greatly impact the success of direct mail marketing campaigns. You will need to consider seasonal and regional factors and other demographic data. This will help you determine when and where to send direct mail materials.
Requires a mailing list
A mailing list is the foundation of direct mail marketing, and you must take the time to build one. This involves gathering contact information from your potential customers through a variety of sources, like sales calls and direct interactions. Once you have this information, you can then segment your audience using various criteria and begin mailing.
Unaddressed mailers to hot zip codes is also an option, but you do lose the personal touch. This puts your piece at a greater risk of being treated like junk mail.