Superior skills; a different approach to serving the client; all about delivering excellence in a professional, communicative manner.
- Doug Morrison, Arlington Heights
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Direct Mail: Still Powerful After all those Years!

As painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, we have used direct marketing as one of our strategies for staying in touch with clients and prospective customers alike. Every quarter, for over ten years, we have sent a 5 ½ x 8 ½ postcard to all our customers and a mailing list of thousands. In the past year, we reduced our mailings to three per year to non-customers and continued at the same pace for existing clients.

You might wonder why Painting in Partnership has not given up on direct mail as a way to promote our brand of painting craftsmanship. It is true that the effectiveness of direct mail has decreased in the last few years, in large part due to the emergence of web options. Having recognized that trend as well, we did make major investments to build up our web presence in the last two years.

Painting in Partnership's Postcard Showcasing Its Team of Craftsmen

However, we did not give up on direct mail, because we still see an opportunity there. This opportunity grows out of the fact that great many other painting contractors have slashed or eliminated their direct marketing campaigns, thereby leaving a vacuum. This point was made clear to me this week.

A few days ago, a prospective client called saying he had received our mailing and wanted to meet to discuss his house painting project. He had all the windows replaced on his house and most the rooms needed touch ups or a complete repaint. One of the rooms affected was a hall bath. When I walked into the room, I immediately noticed the textured finish on the walls: it looked just like my handy work! I asked: “Did I do work in your house before? The client said no, so I continued on. A few days later, he awarded Painting in Partnership his 200-man-hour project!

Upon processing the sale, our Office Manager, noticed that the client already was in our database and discovered that, eight years earlier, we had indeed done another 200 man-hour project for him, including the textured finish in his hall bath. Both the client and myself had forgotten! Let’s say that we both had senior moments! However, having been a client, he had remained on our mailing list all this time. When he needed something else again, for the second time, he responded to our post card and chose our service anew, even though we were his more expensive alternative.