Some so-called marketing experts denounce postcards as a viable medium for lead generation. I know for a fact that they have wrongly dismissed one of the most effective direct mail channels for B2C (Business to Consumer) marketing.
For example, there is recent video proof of a landscaper in Texas achieve a Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) of more than 3,200% using postcards alone. The ANA | DMA Response Rate Report 2018 has further proof of postcards’ potency as a direct mail marketing tool. The report claims that recipient response rates of direct mail are nine (9) times that of email and paid search.
This is why we advocate postcards. And if you follow some simple rules, then creative, printing and postage is least expensive for postcards compared to any other form of direct mail.
There are other reasons why we can recommend postcards with confidence. USPS says that the volume of physical mail deliveries has fallen by 29.8% between 2006 and 2017 (Source: Statista). So a colorful, personalized postcard is going to receive more attention than it might have done so in the past.
Also a simple postcard message absolutely suits the average human attention span of 8 seconds, doesn’t it?
Convinced? OK, how should you use postcards. Postcards can be used by a tree service business for customer acquisition, customer retention and repeat business too.
Postcards for customer acquisition
Postcard theme idea #1: ‘Before and After’
On a sunny day, take some good photographs of recent tree work of which you are particularly proud. On the postcard, share the visual results of your beautiful tree trimming job both before you start and after you have finished and tidied up. Use the same approach to your tree removal or stump grinding work. Mention your company name, website and phone number along with your industry credentials, of-course.
If you’re just starting out in business, perhaps include an introductory offer of a time-limited discount as well. Then send your postcards to a carefully selected group of prospective customers with property (and trees) in your service area.
Postcards for repeat business
Postcards can also help to encourage repeat business from your customers. A 5% increase in customer retention yields profit increases of between 25% and 96% (Source: Small Business Trends). So work at reminding your existing tree service customers that you can help them in their yard, all year round. As tangible items with interesting photos and graphics, your postcards have a good chance of being kept by the addressee for later reference.
Here are some suggested themes for cards that can be sent out every month or every quarter to your existing clients:
Postcard theme idea #2: Common physical tree problems
The front of your card would show printed images of the tree problems you can help solve e.g. hollow trees, common tree pests, leaning, misshapen or badly trimmed trees. The text on the reverse would simply say that you can help solve the problem graphically shown on the front along with your company brand, contact and accreditation details.
Postcard theme #3: Common but solvable tree diseases
For the arborists among you, the front of the card could share pictures of tree species with their diseased leaves with the headline “Have a tree that looks like this?” The reverse could show details of your qualified solutions and an offer for a free or discounted inspection of trees in your yard.
Postcard theme #4: Beautiful local trees
Front of card to share pictures of beautiful, well maintained examples of local tree species and a headline which asks “Want your live oak to look like this”? Text on the reverse could hammer home the financial advantage of well-kept trees and an outline of your long term and repeat tree care solutions.
Postcard theme #5: Less well known tree services
The pictorial side of the postcard would show services you could provide that your customer may not know about e.g. tree pest control, deep root irrigation, tree mulching, tree transplanting, stump grinding etc.
Hey, how about you test all 5 ideas in a small area and see which ones attract the most calls over two or three month period.
The best marketing communication models tap into the power of integrating messages across relevant media to optimize the desired number of touch points for a given audience. This involves creating a coordinated series of complementary messages in a few carefully selected media to ensure your audience sees your offer not just once but on several occasions; reinforcing the message in prospect’s minds on each occasion.
So our next blog post will address the top 5 DIGITAL marketing techniques/channels best suited for tree service outfits and their residential target market. It will build upon this NON-digital list. And we’ll explain how you could combine your direct mail messaging, email marketing and your website to build upon each other to increase the benefits of synergy and message integration.
But if it all sounds a little too much in terms of time and budget, try our pay-as-you-go service instead. It will feed a steady and reliable stream of customer inquiries to your tree business every week. Click on the link below to find out more and to arrange a conversation.
I look forward to working with you.