Most business owners, dry cleaners included, only send out one mailing. Don’t stop at one. Send out a minimum of three.
When you’re trying to woo prospects to become a delivery customer, and you’re doing it through direct mail, why stop at one mailing? If the first mailing pulled some in, why not do a second and third mailing?
We have a “new mover” mailing that I tested over six months and finally got it to work. The first mailing pulled in 2% and it cost me about $50 each for those new route customers. The second mailing pulled in another 2%. And the third mailing pulled in an amazing 6% at a cost of $16 bucks each. A fourth mailing pulled in nothing. So, if you average all three mailings, it cost an average of $30 each for those new route customers.
Would you spend $30 for a new route customer that added $57 per month (my member’s average) or $684 dollars in revenue over the next year? What if you lost 50% of those new route customers over the next year and it cost you $60 per route customer – would you still think that’s a good deal? If you follow up correctly (with my 7-step follow up program), you’ll keep over 80% of them. But let’s assume you lost 50% of them. Would you pay $60 to acquire a new route customer that generates $684 over the next year and some years after that?
Of course, you would! Who wouldn’t? You’d have to be out of your mind not to like that deal. Bring me 10,000 new route customers and I’ll give you $600,000! That’s $6,840,000 in revenue for ONLY six hundred grand!
If I were you, I’d pay up to $200 plus for each new NET route customer, that’s after the fall out of “looky lou’s” and others it didn’t work out for.
Let’s get back into the 3-Step mailings.
Direct mail works if you know what you’re doing. It won’t work, if you put together some fancy brochure with some babe basking in the sun on the front of it. I mention this because that’s what one of my member’s brochures looked like. It did not work. It never worked. Brochures don’t work. So stop spending time with some big time advertising company that strokes your ego by putting together a beautiful could-win-an-award brochure that won’t work.
There are six steps to a successful mailing:
Step One: Get a good list. If you cheap out on the list, it won’t work. Don’t get the Post Office’s neighborhood list that they’re pushing right now. It flat out doesn’t work. You can’t personalize it. They do the mailing when their carrier’s loads are low, so it could sit for two weeks and you’ll need a deadline as one of the steps as you’ll see and you can’t do that.
Step Two: A compelling headline. I’ve got this “Master Headline’s” list that I work off of. Go here and get it: http://nodoorknocking.com/100headlines/.
Step Three: A story. You’ve got to tell them about your dry cleaning business and your route and why you’re looking for new customers. This doesn’t have to be long, just give them a sense of who you are and let your personality show through.
Step Four: Make sure your picture is in this sales letter. It’s best to be on the front right next to your compelling headline.
Step Five: Make them an offer. I give them $10 in FREE dry cleaning and a one-time use of my Rug Doctor machine FREE. If you don’t have a Rug Doctor, you could offer then a FREE something else. This really ups your customer acquisition. But it brings up another point. I got a lot more calls from people that wanted to become route customers that I took. That’s right – I turned some down! Those people wanted all the FREE stuff, but didn’t do much dry cleaning. You’ve got to ask them how much they spend and if it’s not at least $30 per month, you’ve got to politely tell them that this service is NOT for them. Some will get upset, oh well! You’re in business to make money, not give away your valuable dry cleaning and services to FREE loaders.
And Step Six: You MUST have a deadline! If you DON’T have a deadline, your mailings won’t work. Did you hear me? They won’t work! So if you do everything else to perfection, and you don’t have a deadline, your mailings will BOMB! So, don’t go blaming me if you don’t take care of this step and your mailing tank. Give it 30 days before the offer expires.
Oh, and one more…a call to action! Tell your prospect to pick up the phone now and “ Call 234-1234 now!” You’ve got to tell them what to do as if you’re sitting right across the kitchen table from them.
This is lots of stuff to cover in one little article, but I did the best I can. Remember to test your mailings without spending thousands of dollars. I test them for my members. That’s my job. I use my dry cleaning route as a marketing laboratory. I’m testing two or three things all the time. Come join my group and leave the testing up to me. Talk to you next month.
To find out more quirky ideas on how to raise your revenue, go to my blog: DryCleaningMarketing.com