Sometimes businesses make the (understandable) mistake of thinking every mailing has to sell something. While it’s true that you always want your mailings to generate a response, sometimes that response isn’t a sale. Sometimes you simply want to get in front of potential clients to reinforce your brand and offer helpful information. Here’s an example.
Thousands of homes in Colorado have roofs that are damaged by hail every year. Unfortunately, that leads to a lot of unscrupulous “contractors” who go door to door trying to take advantage of the misfortune of these homeowners. They bid on repairing roofs that don’t need fixing or they collect a down payment up front and then never show up to do the work.
This creates a real problem for legitimate roofers, and the Colorado Roofing Association decided to do something about it. They did saturation mailings to neighborhoods in Colorado that often get hit by hail storms (and shady contractors).
But they didn’t sell anything.
Instead, they offered homeowners an eight-tip checklist to help homeowners protect themselves from would-be scammers. The tips are simple, straightforward and helpful. There is still a specific call-to-action (“for more consumer tips and a list of local roofing contractor members, visit coloradoroofing.org”), but there is no sales pitch.
Local contractors can opt to “sponsor” a mailing in their area and then get their name/logo featured. Why is a postcard mailing like this effective?
- It addresses an ongoing problem. The card can be mailed right after a storm, but even if the recipient doesn’t need it right away, there’s a good chance that he or she will in the near future.
- It’s helpful. The information it contains can save recipients thousands of dollars and a lot of aggravation.
- It establishes credibility. The combination of helpful information, a lack of a sales push and the fact that it’s from an organization (not a “seller”) helps establish trustworthiness.
- It reinforces a brand. Local contractors who “sponsor” the mailing are able to get their name in front of potential customers who might need their services later.
- It has “sticking power.” Recipients are urged to post the card on their front door as a deterrent to “fly-by-night” contractors. But it also serves as a reminder to the homeowner of whom to call if they do need repairs.
Your mailings should always call your audience to action, but that action doesn’t always need to be a purchase. Sometimes offering valuable help is more effective in the long run.