President Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: (845) 255-5722 x100
Cornerstone Services, Inc. is the only firm that I know that will tell you a primary goal of direct mailing for a sole proprietor, self-employed contractor or one-employee d/b/a (doing business as) entity should be NOT to mail anymore. By executing a well thought-through strategy, we’ve helped lots of solo “man-with-a-van” handymen, carpenters, plumbers and HVAC guys and gals reach a point where our services are rarely, if at all, necessary. Here’s how we help deliver results and get ourselves fired:
Do Several Targeted Mailings to Real Property Owners Where They Actually Live: Come ‘on, you knew that nothing is free, but here’s the good news – you start by letting us help you reach ONLY those homeowners at their mailing address, and not just their (said) home address. In places such as Sullivan County NY, upper Columbia County NY, the Catskill Mountains or the Adirondacks, this is a huge percentage of property owners. Some of these towns have over 25% non-resident homeownership (i.e. secondary homeowners).
In the Town of Long Lake NY, for example, homeowners receive mail at primary locations such as Brooklyn Heights, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Westchester County; so, we reach them there and not “at the cabin”. In such instances, EDDM does not work as effectively on a per-mail piece basis and we only endorse it as a buttressing effort in the mix with other efforts.
Mailpiece Design Matters: Albert Einstein said “Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler”. Einstein would definitely get hired by our Project Management team. We have only a few seconds to grab a potential customer’s attention, so we must get to the point very quickly. To do that, there are some tried and true tactics to realize this end:
The mailpiece must look authentic. Sometimes, we don’t want the mailpiece to appear too polished, or people might think that they can’t afford you (unless you’re going for that). Notice that we’re not trying to run specials initially; that is, we are not encouraging you to bottom-feed on pricing. We ARE however encouraging you to demonstrate trust and reliability.
Replay & the Stuff We Can’t Do: If you don’t get the result the first time, we don’t suggest you go get new data (as long as you did a mailing of at least 2,500 pieces to get a statistically acceptable result). You can revise your services available (seasonally appropriate), offer a mild discount (second approach only) and perhaps change the card size. There should be, however, consistency with your name/logo but other images on the card can change. Do not send exactly the same card for at least 12 months.
The stuff we can’t do is provide context for your mailings. You see, if you follow these steps thus far, our high experience is that people will call. Yet, we have to assume that you have a stable website, you email back on a timely basis, you check your messages, etc. It’s your responsibility to pick up the phone, get back to people, build your fan club and provide excellent value and service. It was only our job to get your information in front of the right people.
Once they contact you, just be sure to capture their complete contact information. If Cornerstone Services does the mailings for you, we can affordably provide www.dataconsulate.com software which will have their names pre-loaded and allow you to populate additional contact details. ANYONE who contacts you is absolutely critical to your long-term success.
Longer Term Strategy Realized: If you are doing good work, and the communication is coming in, and you are tracking your customers carefully, then at some point, the work (and the referrals) should be taking on a life of its own. This means that you might not have to keep advertising, beyond small periodic mailings to your customer base. If you can reach this level of ever-green referrals and new work from existing customers, then you’ve arrived as a sole proprietor and our work is done.