I have worked with HVAC companies and have learned that although the competition in Atlanta for this service is brutal there is enough demand to keep the hard workers in business for a long time. So how do you differentiate your HVAC company from the others?
You don’t need a unique selling proportion...
You don’t even need to be the cheapest/fastest/most convenient...
Sometimes the only thing you need to do is to advertise and then be able to deliver your services.
Sounds simplistic and crude…I will not be getting any marketing awards for the above statement but it doesn’t make it any less true.
Of course you still have to be able to deliver your service, do a good job, treat customer right and all the basics of a good business offering. But if you can do that many times what will get you the call from a homeowner whose AC broke in the middle of an Atlanta 95 degree day is an advertisement.
Because most consumers call an HVAC company when things go wrong it is important for you to be constantly on the lookout for that moment. This is where direct mail advertising comes into play.
Some of the largest and most successful HVAC companies in Atlanta have direct mail marketing as a central part of their marketing plans for a few reasons:
- Direct mail can reach the single family homes that you want while leaving out apartments and businesses
- You can make them an offer for repairs, a new system or maintenance that they can’t resist
- You can go to them instead of waiting for them to come to you
- Direct mail is physical so it’s easy for them to keep your ad in a drawer or the fridge door for when it’s time to call you
- You can make it fit your budget. You can cover the whole city or just a zip code or two…you choose
To make direct mail advertising effective for your HVAC business regardless of your budget or business size make sure you do the following:
1. Pick your target market
- Choose single family homes
- Choose the income level you want to target
- Choose homes that are at least 5 years old
- Choose an area that you can service within 24 hours or less
2. Have a professional design your Ad
- You have a short window of time to get someone to read your Ad. A well designed ad makes this possible. Unless you are a skilled graphic designer don't do it yourself.
- If you use a shared direct mail piece, 50,000 homes is a minimum
- If you use a solo direct mail piece 5,000 is a starting point
- I am going to make you a favor; if you are going to do it once, don’t bother. All advertising requires frequency and repetition so make sure you plan on doing 3 or more mailings to the same homes over a period of time
4. Make them a great offer
- If you don’t remember anything else, remember this: make them an offer they can’t resist, that will at least get them to pick up the phone where you can have a conversation with them. If they get to talk to you and you sound helpful and interested in their business that makes them more likely to hire you.
- Also, even though a good offer might not be profitable for you on the first call, if you land them as a long term client or find out they need a new unit or they refer you to their friends and neighbors then that will more than make up for the discount you had to offer to get them to give you a try.
5. Track your results
- One of the things that I offer my clients is to add a call tracking phone number, a tracking website, keeping track of coupons redeemed or some other form of holding your direct mail marketing accountable. This is the only way you will know if you are getting your money's worth in advertising.
Again, remember there are a ton of HVAC companies in your city. They all say they are honest, give good service and will do the job right. Although this might actually be true for your company unless you show up in front of them at the right time, the way that direct mail allows you to, you will never get the chance to prove it.