Proximity Marketing

I came across this article while doing some research to help a friend with his construction company.

While it applies more directly to the construction industry, it got me thinking why can’t I use this same principle. Market to those around my current customers.
I have not heard a lot on this subject, maybe I missed it, and it has been discussed. I have a few questions floating around so any input / discussion would be good. What caused your current customer to buy your service, and can it be used to others on that same street? If you direct mailed to get that customer, would it be advantageous to then flyer the same houses about 1-2 weeks after the DM. This seems to be very effective for the construction industry, could we make it just as effective for WC’ing.

Great article - interesting to see that they do 3 mailings to the same address.

This is a great subject and I’m glad you posted it… maybe I’m biased because I do it.

When I give an estimate and schedule a job, I get the names and addresses of that customers neighbors (6 to the left, 6 to the right, and 12 across the street) from the internet and send them a personal mailing to the effect of 'we’ll be at so-and-so’s house on this date. Would you like us to stop by to give an estimate?" After I do the job, I will send another letter to the same neighbors saying that we just did work at so-and-so’s place, would you be interested in a free estimate?

I have had very good results from this approach.

Hey Marc,

Are you getting these names for free or paying for them? What site are you using? Thanks

I get it for free with the county assessor websites. I serve several counties here and each site is different. However, the info is always the same. Details about the property, owner’s name, property value, etc. It’s public information. I like it because it’s nice to know how much a property is when you go to deal with the potential client… also, handwriting their name on the envelope makes it more likely that they will read it.

If you go to and put in the address of your customer, you can do a search to find neighbors and it gives you all the neighbors names, adresses and phone numbers. Its really easy, I use it all time.

When you say in your mailing that ‘we’ll be at so-and-so’s house on this date’ do you just put a house number, or do you put a customers name?

I have been saying “your neighbor at address” because I didn’t want anyone to be bothered with my using their name in what is basically an advertisement. I suppose it couldn’t hurt to ask a customer that you have cleaned for if it’s OK to use their name.

If you don’t mind my asking what kind of results do you get from this as opposed to other marketing.

I often get 2-4 out of the 20 or so that I mail out. A few times I have struck out.

Proximity marketing may take longer to reach a number of new jobs than say, direct mail. That’s because you can send 20,000 postcards in one shot. If you do well and get 2%, that can bring in 400 customers (that would be very ideal, but not likely). However, with proximity marketing you can only mail out around 20 letters at a time, and only when you have a client that you are doing work for. The % works out better. I average 15%.

I prefer this marketing because it yields better success per mailing, you end up getting more clusters of customers, and it is a bit warmer market… like a step above direct mail and a step below personal referrals… right in the middle.