How to grow your foreclosure cleanup business quickly using postcards
Postcards are cheap and effective marketing magic for property preservation startups
I don’t care what your business is, you can market it through postcards. At the time of writing, it only costs 28 cents to send any standard-size (4×6) postcard anywhere in the US.
We have all received postcards in the mail from local gyms, the dentist, the eye doctor, etc.
Because they are uncovered (no hassle with glue or envelope closures), postcards are hugely popular, especially for the budget-conscious foreclosure cleanup businessman.
Top Benefits of Marketing Your Foreclosure Cleanup Business with Postcards
1. Cost: Simply put, postcards are cheap. So cheap? Most postcard printing companies (the vast majority of which can be found online) charge around $100.00 for 250 multi-color cards with lots of graphics.
These are professionally printed postcards that you can send right away. Including 28 cent postage, your first shipment can cost less than $175. A job from this consignment should pay 4, 5 or 6 times more. (We landed a $900+ foreclosure restaurant cleaning job within a week after sending out just thirty postcards.)
Not a writer, graphic designer? Don’t worry. You don’t have to be. Most websites have templates, examples, and an arsenal of graphics that will allow you to simply drag and drop text and images.
2. Easy: Online printers make it easy. The computer age has made creating and designing postcards for your foreclosure cleanup business a breeze. It usually takes me 30 minutes to an hour to go online and create, design, test, and order my postcards.
Most sites will store any personal photos you want to use (usually for a small fee), or you can use your images. Just select a template, add your text, and your card is complete.
3. Immediate: Because postcards are so cheap to mail and so easy to create, you can start marketing them right away. You don’t have to wait until you can afford to place an ad in the yellow pages or in a newspaper.
4. Personalization: You can send very personalized messages with postcards. Plus, you won’t have to worry about your message getting lost among other ads. Postcards are direct contact with potential foreclosure cleanup clients, of the best kind.
Now that you see the benefits of marketing your property preservation business with postcards, let’s take a look at the elements that make up a good postcard.
Overview: The Elements of an Effective Postcard
1. Response Items: Make sure your postcard contains all the elements that will get a potential customer to respond, for example: the headline (make it colorful, big and fun); the benefit to the reader (make sure it’s a benefit, not a feature); the offer (urgent offers work best); the closure; and the call to action.
2. Effective: Effective postcards communicate something relevant and important to your foreclosure cleanup customer base. In fact, if the information is important and/or relevant enough, some clients will even keep it for future reference.
3. Positive message: At the very least, your postcard should help customers remember something positive about your foreclosure cleanup business. Because they have limited space, having a memorable business name and a logo that conveys what your business is about are two quick ways to make a good impression for your foreclosure cleanup business.
4. Beneficial message: Your postcard should clearly and succinctly state the benefits of your service. Tell potential customers why it is important to them to use your foreclosure cleanup service. Some benefit statements could be:
Spend time selling foreclosures; don’t clean them!
Sell That Foreclosure Faster: Let’s Make Home Look Like New!
Stop losing money to vandals; Let us insure and winterize your foreclosures!
This text clearly states the benefit the customer will receive from using your foreclosure cleanup service.
Note: What is the difference between a “feature” and a “benefit”? Even seasoned entrepreneurs sometimes confuse them, so review your material to make sure you’re doing it right.
Definition of a “Feature”: A feature is something that describes the product/service. For example, we are open 24 hours; we were ranked first in customer service; our prices are the lowest in the market; etc
While all of this is great, it doesn’t tell the customer what your business can do for them and why they should hire you. This is what a benefit is.
Definition of a “Benefit”: A benefit tells the prospect what a product or service will do for him. For example, it helps them sell the house faster, prevents vandals from breaking in, makes the house more attractive to prospective buyers, etc.
Prospects don’t buy features, they buy benefits, so keep the difference between the two in mind when you sit down to design your postcard.
Characteristics of effective postcards
1. The principle of the “kiss”: Keep It Simple Sam A postcard should capture the attention of your reader. Simple and direct headlines are the best way to do this.
15% discount on simple garbage
On-site estimates provided right away!
We show up on time, always!
These are all direct and effective headlines (particularly the one about being on time). The industry is so plagued with people not showing up on time, or not showing up at all, that you’ll get a lot of foreclosure cleanup business just by doing this alone. Point it out whenever you can.
2. Time sensitive messages: Time-sensitive messages are very effective in motivating customers to respond, for example:
Respond by 6/5 and receive a 10% discount!
48 hour special!
Lawn maintenance special offer expires in 10 days.
These are all urgent messages.
3. Double-sided printing: Once you’ve given your customer an urgent message, tell them how to take advantage of it. A great postcard would have your urgent message on one side and details of how to take advantage of it on the reverse.
4. Tell a visually compelling story: Do you know the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, it really is in this business. Use postcards to tell a story to prospects. As?
Get in the habit of taking before and after photos. Put them on your postcard with an urgent message and a strong statement of benefits. If you do this, you have a winning sales message that will generate jobs over and over again.
Advice: Digital cameras are an effective way to take great custom photos to use for postcard campaigns. You can photograph a job before and after and upload the images to your computer in minutes. They can then be used on your website, in your postcard campaigns, and even in your email campaigns.
If you don’t already have one, invest in a good digital camera. They are very cheap now compared to what they used to be. You can buy snapshots for around $15.
The best ways to make postcards work for you
Think “campaigns” instead of one-offs: What I mean by this? To explain, sit down with a calendar and circle one holiday each month. You are doing this so that you can create monthly mailings.
Being proactive in this way helps you stay in regular contact with customers and potential customers. When it comes to marketing, this is what it’s all about: constant contact.
Become a Regular Marketer: Since postcards are so cheap and effective, you can always keep them on hand. For example, if you contact a potential new customer but don’t have a business card handy, you can mail them a postcard and follow up in other ways when you can.
At least he gets his name in front of the prospect sooner rather than later.
Good luck with your foreclosure cleanup postcard campaigns!