I have an idea. What do you think?

I thinking about sending out personal letters (maybe 50 or less) to neighborhoods I would like to work in. I’m thinking about putting in a $30 gift certificate for window cleaning. Basically its like a coupon but everyone likes gift certificates especially around the holidays. What do you guys think?

Sounds like a good idea to me, except for the quantity. Less than 50? I’d send out at least 500. If cost is an issue I would just deliver them yourself so that you can get more out. I recall from other posts that you are trying to hire and keep an employee busy, if so you’ll need more up marketing sleeves than 50 letters.
Perhaps you are already doing fliers and you just wanna test out the letter idea… If that’s the case I’d still recommend at least 100 to get a better idea of what your response will be.

Good Luck!

or something like a scratch off, the same thing the car dealerships use to lure people in.

You scratch off the a part of the flier and it matches in number on the other flier and it says to you have $10,000 off your next car purchase…kinda confusing to explain

If you are thinking about doing something this controlled and economical, why not really do a mailer that stands out? I would get nice stationary and use a warmer font like a [FONT=“Comic Sans MS”]Comic Sans[/FONT] that looks a little more hand written, but easy to read.

The more the job is worth, the more effort I would put into it.

try to get a little nicer envelope and use stamps unlike typical US Mail (like Disney, Breast cancer, Frank Sinatra… whatever) Hand address the envelope and leave no return address or name.

That will get it opened.

I would ad personality to it and FOR SURE mention any neighbors you may have as customers, by name and address.

How are you getting the names, or are you just mailing to “resident”?

I think 50 is a good number for this. Test 50 and see what happens, then optimize the piece and do 50 more (if it tanks). It is not the effort that is not working, it is the message or offer.

Be creative and have fun with it.

Yeah that’s what I’m going to do. Nice paper, nice envelope, and hand written name and address. They will think its a holiday card from someone and they will open it. Will get the addresses from County Assessors website.

Got the idea from a marketing book I got from the library. They did two test. One that was 5 thousand postcards mailed to 5,000 executives. Cost $12,500. $2.50 each with Minimal success. The other was the Gold Ceramic Envelope campaign. Custom designed envelopes to 50 executives with there names and business name printed on the front of the envelope. Filled with gold Godiva coins. The message said discover how you can mine gold from your website.

They got in touch with 80% of the executives. Most of them thanked them for the gift.

Will be testing this out soon will keep you guys updated. If someone else wants to do it. Give some feedback.

Cool idea, I like it.

Why not try this one? With the gold choco coins?

Super cheap + fun = wicked awesome.

And then make up a story and special offer to connect it all together.

I think I may just have to try this.

With respect to the other initial idea you posted, why not make the bottom of the flier a “tear-away” coupon instead? Simpler to print.

Although there is some advantage to having a differently colored inserted coupon, too…

Ill try to do both. Got my color laser printer last night ($10 off craigslist) Now i need to get toner $$$$$$$.

When direct mail companies send out letters with stuff in it besides the letter, it is called a “grabber”. It grabs their attention

ANYTHING can be a grabber. You can attach a little packet of aspirin to the letter and start the letter-

[B]Do you ever find yourself with so much to do around the house you get a headache? I have enclosed 2 Advil to help and a quick and easy solution to another major headache- cleaning windows.[/B]

I think when the grabber has something to do with the offer itself is when it is most effective. In the case of the coin, I would focus on a price or cost advantage. (this also works with bubble gum coins which are cheaper than Godiva.)

The value of the grabber has nothing to do with anything. I have heard of succesful campaigns done with rubberbands and band aids. How about a little packet of peanuts-

[B]Are your dirty windows driving you nuts?[/B]

We are only limited by our imagination here. Do these types of things and your letter has a far better chance of getting read… and you may stimulate conversation. “so I get this letter from a window cleaner today…”

Whenever you write a letter, write it from you. Don’t start bringing we or us. It is you and them in this letter, not them and the company. Keep it personal.

again, have fun with it

Yup, what he said.

Except maybe peanuts are a bad idea, with the whole severe allergy danger and stuff, and maybe the Advil will create some “drugs-in-the-mail” problems, too, if a kid opened it accidentally, but the principle is totally true, and can be incredible effective.

Have you ever tried a grabber yourself, Paul?

I’ve always wanted to, but still haven’t found time to…

I like the possibilities of those little candy/gum/choco poker chips

“Housewife places all her bets on well-known local window cleaner and is taken to the cleaners!”

Or similar

:slight_smile:

Sweet score

Here’s the letter I’m thinking about mailing out. I’m on a strict budget right now so no gifts. I will put my business card in the envelope and maybe a Rain Flow flier. Let me know what you think.

Customer Name hand written

If you are like most homeowners, you don’t like to clean windows. That’s because window cleaning is time consuming and often difficult and dangerous to do. It typically involves climbing ladders, hanging out of windows and after many hours of work, they still have streaks and smears. Carolina Clean knows that your time is important, that is why we specialize in offering homeowners, like yourself, the professional services of a full-time window cleaning company. Our professional window cleaners are well prepared to tackle your job, however tough it may be. From interior to exterior windows Carolina Clean can handle all of your window cleaning needs.
We also offer Gutter Cleaning and Rain Flow Gutter Protection Installation. These services keep your home from getting damaged from overflowing gutters.

As a New Years gift I’m giving you two gift cards to put toward your next service. One is a $25 gift card to put toward your window cleaning service and the other is a $20 gift card to put toward you Gutter Service or Rain Flow installation. These gift cards expire January 31, 2009 Give me a call at 843-521-7077 to setup your service.

Sincerely,

My Name hand written
Owner of Carolina Clean

P.S. Refer a friend or neighbor and receive an additional $15 off your total invoice.

I like it. Mind if I use it? (of course with my twist on it)

That letter is not ready yet Topnotch, keep working on it. The letter still sounds like a bad flier. I used to write exactly the same thing, I mean almost exactly.

You spend the first paragraph telling them why they hate to clean windows, they likely know. You want to cut the sh-t and get to what you can do to for them and why they should listen to you. You must focus on the end results and the affect it will have on them. How will they feel after having their windows professionally cleaned. What are the advantages of using you over someone else.

I would make it sound a little more like a letter to someone you know, it sounds mechanical. Do not be afraid to add some personality to it.

I like your gift cards (which is a “grabber”). Make sure they are loose in the envelope to get more attention.

Why you are at it, how about a 3rd gift card for a friend of theirs? $20 off for them too.

At the the [B]beginning[/B] and [B]end[/B] of the letter bring up the $65 worth of valuable gift cards.

Most people spend 3 seconds on an ad before deciding it gets read or thrown away. Change the entire intro paragraph. That is the most important part of the whole thing.

Also make sure your paragraphs do not run more than 4 sentences. It looks like a big daunting block for them to read through.

Like any ad, bore them and they will leave.

You are doing great and I applaud you for doing something out of the norm.

HAVE FUN!

Sounds good. Ill try working on a more personal letter. Do you have an example of one by any chance?

Thanks,

Justin

I read a lot from David Frey: www.marketingbestpractices.com and he sent out an e-mail one time talking about a very successful chirpractor. He says he uses amazing “grabbers” and is the best at writting.

This Dr. Nielsen send a lot of his marketing stuff in a “see-through” bag so people have no option but to look at it. He sends stuff like: www.wallet-mailer.com

One of his pieces had a fake wallet in it with $50 sticking out one side and whoever brought it in would get $50.00 off their next visit.

His website is: www.docnielsenstuff.com

I want to buy his stuff one day. He seems like a really smart guy.

True but I don’t recommended the aspirin trick. An insurance agent was doing that in our area with Alka Seltzer and the postal service machinery crushed the envelope scattering white powder all over the sorting facility. Wanna guess what happened?

It was a great concept but is getting a little overused in my opinion. If I got a rubber band, chicken bone, or some other similarly stupid hat trick, it would go straight to the trash.

I have a guy from San Diego call me every month and try to start his sales call with “wanna hear my bad joke of the day?” I always say “I don’t have time for that.” It must work for him, but I hate it when people waste my time with hokey sales gimmicks.

Here is the new one:

Customer name

I know your time is worth it's weight in gold. That's why I wanted to write you this letter to let you know how you can save time to do the things you love or need to do. I offer four services, professional window cleaning, gutter cleaning, and Rain Flow installation. All these services will save you time and hassle. 
Here are four gift cards, the first is a $25 gift card to put toward your window cleaning service. The other is a $20 gift card to put toward you gutter cleaning or Rain Flow installation. Third one is $25 of you Soft Wash or Pressure washing service.  Also I threw in a extra $25 gift card for a friend or neighbor. 
I'm only giving these cards to a select few.  So call to setup your service today.  These cards expire February 28, 2009

Sincerely,

I only count three services listed here.

Sorry updated.

Customer name

I know your time is worth it's weight in gold. That's why I wanted to write you this letter to let you know how you can save time to do the things you love or need to do. I offer four services, professional window cleaning, gutter cleaning, Rain Flow installation, and Soft Wash/Pressure Washing. All these services will save you time and hassle and make your home look new again.
Here are four gift cards, the first is a $25 gift card to put toward your window cleaning service. The other is a $20 gift card to put toward you gutter cleaning or Rain Flow installation. Third one is $25 of you Soft Wash or Pressure washing service.  Also I threw in a extra $25 gift card for a friend or neighbor for any service. 
I'm only giving these cards to a select few.  So call to setup your service today.  These cards expire February 28, 2009

Sincerely,

I’ve never seen time included in the periodic table. Is it between H and He? :stuck_out_tongue: