Category Archives for "Marketing Tips"

Just 127 Letters and a Response Rate of 7.09% a return of 35:1…

How would you like response rates of 7.09%, a return of 35:1 and know your results with this accuracy?

Did you read my last blog post about an article the NCCA had posted?  In it the NCCA talked about the power of Reminder Letters, and gave a couple of examples, this is one such example from a GetBookedUp user.

Of course you don’t need software to do a Job Reminder Letter, but software should make it so much easier for you, and should be able to give you analysis and reporting to check what is working.

The picture below is one I’ve snagged, with their permission of course, from a users system I was working on earlier today.  I was helping them prepare the second follow up mailing to their Job Reminder Letter using the Target Marketing facility in GetBookedUp.  Now you don’t need to use the Target Marketing tool to get this type of return, you could just use the Easy Mailing facility which is in the Professional+ Edition.  However, as this user prefers to follow up their reminder letters, as we suggest and do in our own carpet cleaning business, they always use the Target Marketing tool for their mailings.

We’re often asked “What’s different about the £1900 Business Builder Edition compared to the £289 Professional+ Edition?”  Well, there’s lots of extra features, but just one of the extra tools is Target Marketing.  Target Marketing is a tool that allows you to set up multiwave direct mail campaigns for things such as your Job Reminders and “I miss you” letters.  It automatically excludes people who have responded to a mailing from the follow up mailing, and allows you to measure exactly your response and return on the campaign, no guess work!  In our carpet cleaning business we typically find that a followed up mailing will generate almost as much from the second mailing as it does the first, especially if that second mailing is done as a “Just to remind you, the offer ends on…” theme.  We use this two stage approach (sometimes even three stage) in our carpet cleaning business for all our 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 and 60 month reminders and many of our users have adopted it too.  In our carpet cleaning business we get many calls where people say things like “I was going to call you then put the letter away and forgot, thank you for reminding me again.”  All I can tell you is, IT WORKS!

Anyway, back to the picture below, click it to enlarge it…

You’ll notice that the reminder Wave 1 was sent on the 8th April 2013 with an offer which expires at the end of May.  It was sent to 127 people who’s last job was in May 2012.  The response, automatically tracked by the system, was 9, which then equates to a 7.09% response, WOW!  But lets look even closer – Total sales  £2,133.33.  Cost of mailing 127 x 47p = £59.69   (47p = letter printed & posted @ 39p +vat) SO…   £2,133.33 / £59.69 = 35.74  so gives a 35:1 return!

What we have done today is use the Target Marketing facility to send Wave 2 on the 10th May 2013 to just 116 people, why 116?  Because 9 have responded so we don’t want to mail them, and 2 people have had their record marked as moved on since the first mailing went out.  ALL of that is done automatically in the target marketing tool.  If we receive mail returned as ‘gone away’ we mark that in the client record.  When the next wave of any campaign is sent the system AUTOMATICALLY then excludes not only those that have already responded but also those who have now been marked as ‘moved on’.  Clever eh!?  Just one of the little attention to detail things that make such a difference and our users tell us they love about GetBookedUp.  This user will now be looking to get a 5% ish return on this second mailing.  Put your shotgun away and get your rifle out.  Could you use some Target Marketing?

Target Marketing Example

The mailing was sent out by another of the NCCA Corporate Members, a very helpful guy called Neil Jenkins, with Mail Boxes etc… Maidenhead www.mbe.co.uk/maidenhead.  They are a print fullfillment service where you can get your letters printed, folded, stuffed and posted for LESS than the cost of a second class stamp!  Neil’s service is AMAZING, they allow you to have teaser copy on the outside of the envelope, there is no extra charge for a return address to clean up your database as you go.  Also, because they don’t use window envelopes you have more space for your letter as there is no address block in the letter.  And for me the best bit is, unlike Docmail and many others, they don’t need to put a barcode and other ‘stuff’ on the side of the letter, so it still looks like a personal letter from their friendly carpet cleaner, rather than a barcoded mass mailing.  We’ve recommended many users give Neil a go, and those that have have not been disappointed.

So, that was a long post, I hope you got through it okay.  I always remember Howard Partridge saying “It’s FTI that kills most carpet cleaning businesses”, FTI is Failure To Implement!  Are you going to FTI this reminder letter?  Or are you now resolved to start planning your June 2013 reminder campaigns now?  GetBookedUp users please just call if you need any help doing these, none GetBookedUp users, please just call if you want to chat about how we organise these.

Happy Reminding everyone 🙂

Allan.

This 10 Word Sentence That Will Close More Clients For You

I don’t usually do this and ‘steal’ blog content, but this email I received struck a cord with me about some of our recent dealings in our carpet cleaning business.  Particularly relevant to commercial cleaning at the moment this was an email from a marketing forum I subscribe to Timothy Castleman

Here’s Tim’s email.  If you get anything from it why not visit his site and subscribe too, it’s free advice.

Tim says…

I hate buying a new house.

It’s not the new house that’s so bad – it’s all the new stuff that we have to buy for the new house.

I’m still new to all of this, but from what I been told (by my wife) nothing in the old house is going to work in the new one.

That means some new furniture, new appliances, and much much more.

So that means that yesterday, while it was 82 degrees outside, I got to go store to store looking at furniture.

Yay me.

Here’s what stunned me.

The lack of hustle in salespeople.

The first place we went was actually a return visit to bedroom furniture store we had bought from previously.

We had been there a few weeks ago and met a salesman named Eric.

He quickly gave me his business card along with his cell phone number to get a hold of him if he wasn’t at the store.

He also pointed out that he worked on commission so if we needed anything, please buy it from him so he could get paid.

Guess what he did next …

Disappeared.

We’re talking David Copperfield vanishing act.

Next thing I know we’re settled on a bedroom set and new dinning room table.

We have to hunt this guy down to tell him and get pricing, delivery dates, etc.

He acts if he could care less.

When he tells us the total I start asking buying questions:

– Is there a lower price if I pay cash?

– How much of a discount can I get if I buy today?

– Will he throw in free delivery if we buy it all at once?

No, No, and No.

Here we are, recovering from one of the greatest rescission of all time and I am a customer who wants to spend money with them.

A repeat customer no less.

With cash in hand.

Ready to buy.

And this guy won’t budge an inch to get my business.

He won’t hustle to make a deal and earn a commission.

And before you think “he can’t”, he can.

Furniture has a HUGE markup and there is plenty of room for both profit and commission.

I’ve never once met a manager who couldn’t adjust the numbers a little for a customer or at least attempt to help.

The last time I bought from this same store they reduced the price and threw in free delivery for me.

This guy wanted none of it.

So guess how much money he got from me?

None.

In fact we went over to another store a bought a bedroom set from them instead – because of the sales person.

The only thing we have to get from the original store is a dinning room table and chairs.

And when I do buy it I’ll be sure to use another salesperson so this guy doesn’t get a dime from me.

So what does this have to do with you?

Well ask yourself this – are you willing to hustle to make a sale?

Are you willing to help out a customer and turn that prospect into a client?

No, I am not talking about selling your soul and dropping your price to rock bottom.

But could you add an additional service, maybe throw in something else, or give a slight reduction in price in exchange for X?

Of course you could.

The next time you’re having trouble closing a client ask them this simple question:

“What do I have to do to earn your business?”

Trust me, they’ll tell you exactly what they want/need in order to buy from you.

If it’s within reason and you’re ok with the terms why not adjust a little bit to accommodate them and get a sale in the process?

What happens if their demands are to great or totally out of line?

Tell them. I can’t do that but here’s what I can do and lay out what you’re willing to do.

If they say no thanks at least you know you did everything in your power to try and close them.

It’s like buying a car.

You want it to pay $1,000, they want $60,000 for it.

Chances are you’ll meet somewhere in the middle at a price or situation you both can be satisfied with.

You can do the same.

Remember, all you have to do is hustle.

Well, what do you think?

I’d love to hear your comments – just hit reply and let me know if I’m off my rocker or not.

Talk soon.

Tim

PS: By the way, I love sharing a providing content with you – what I hate is when I hear crickets in return. Let me know if you get anything from this so I know to keep sending stuff like this.

Allan here again.  So what did you think?  It made me realise I used to use a similar phrase a lot, but over time have stopped for some reason.  Did it make you think about any tenders you’ve submitted recently? It did for me.  So much so that I made a phone call to a recent potential client and asked “I know we’re in the mix with others, but What do I need to do to earn your business?”, the answer was “Can you include the few chairs in the Staff Room?”,  HA HA! My calm reply was “Er, yes, if you make sure all the chairs are together before we arrive.”  their reply “Oh of course, we’ll bring them all into the main hall and then return them when they’re dry.”  The lesson here for me was that we had priced these to clean the chairs in each individual room, moving the kit from one to the next, now by asking “What do I need to do to earn your business?” we were going to clean a few extra chairs, but they would now all be in thmain hall and we’d be quicker over all now.  RESULT!.

So, if you want to subscribe to the emails from Tim you can here Timothy Castleman

Tried Doughnut Friday? Try this one too…

Hi, you all know I rave about Doughnut Friday, well here’s something else to try in a similar theme.

I call it Hairdresser Day.  Here’s how it works…

We all know Carpet Cleaning and Oven Cleaning is very much a people business.  People buy people and if they like you and the service you provide they will recommend you.  So how do we encourage those people, and those who Seth Godin would call “Sneezers” talking about us?  A “Sneezer” is someone who will rave about anything they come across, be that good or bad, and Hairdressers are massive Sneezers.

We all know that ladies don’t use “Flair for Hair” for their hair styling, they use “Paul at Flair for Hair”, why is that?  Paul listens to their stories while they’re ‘in the chair’.  He hears their highs and lows and has an emotional bond with his clients.  It’s because they have built such a trust in Paul he would have to do something seriously wrong for them to change allegiance and go elsewhere.  So how do we tap into this?  Well, it’s very much like Doughnut Friday.  You take some quality doughnuts this time, one’s that Paul would be happy to share with his clients, ones like Krispy Kreme dozen box, and put a nice  thank you note just saying “Thanks for recommending us, it’s appreciated, all at Doncaster Chem-Dry.”  DO NOT put any contact telephone number or website on the tag, it’s a thank you not an advert.  You then use EXACTLY the same approach as Doughnut Friday, that is…

Pick some of the more exclusive Hairdressing salons in your area.  Go in on a Saturday morning, when it’s BUZZING!

Stroll in confidently with your box of Doughnuts in hand.  Say to the Receptionist “Hi, I’m Allan, the owner at Doncaster Chem-Dry and I just wanted to drop these in to say thank you.  Someone here recommended us recently and we just wanted to say a little thank you, it’s very much appreciated.”

Pause.  There will be an initial look of WTF!?!?  then what usually happens is someone says “Who are you?” or “Where are you from?” or some other question which gives you the opportunity to explain a little further.  The ideal is someone in the salon says “Oh Yes, I use you guys and you’re brilliant!”  in which case, job done, the conversation is started and the ‘Sneezing’ begins.  If they just ask you a question just answer with…

“Yeah, we’re carpet and upholstery cleaners and we ask everyone how they know about us and a lady recently said someone at her hairdressers had recommended us.  I don’t know who it was, it may even have been another client she was chatting to whilst here, but she said this is where she has her hair done.  We just like to say a little thank you so wanted to drop these off.”

Food is a massive motivator.  There is always interest in the Doughnuts.  By this time the owner of the salon has usually noticed you’re there and come over, and that is perfect.  Just say you hope they enjoy the doughnuts and ask them to thank whoever it was that recommended you.  HA HA!  the thing is this starts the EVERYONE talking about who it might have been, and talking about you and your company.  The stylists will ask their clients if they recommended us, again starting a conversation about your company.  MASSIVE amounts of PR for a £10 box of doughnuts.

You will always be asked if you have cards you can leave, and of course you can find some after a slight struggle in a pocket somewhere.  Leave the cards and leave the salon, happy that the whole salon will now be Sneezing about you.

Here’s the next killer step…

A few weeks later revisit the salon on a quiet day during the week and ask to speak to the owner.  Ask them if you could place a small leaflet or business cards on their counter in return for some free carpet cleaning, even if it’s free cleaning at their home.  The sneezing begins again, Ta Da!

Cheap, easy to do PR, GO DO!

 

It’s Monday 4th March, One Email sent to 347 people and you’ve booked an extra £371 + VAT for Wednesday 6th March, here’s how…

Here’s what happened on Monday the 4th of March in our own carpet cleaning business, and what we did to ‘fix it’…

Early Monday morning the phone rings, Mary answers and it’s the Contract Manager of a Shopfitting company we clean carpets for after they have done a refit.  He says they won’t be ready for us to clean the carpets on Wednesday (just two days away) so they need to cancel Wednesday and rebook.  Now, these are a good customer so we don’t charge them a penalty for cancelling (perhaps we should and that’s for another article?) but that now leaves us with a full day free for one guy on Wednesday.  But DON’T PANIC!  Here’s how you fill that gap, and you don’t need our software to use this idea, but it does help to make it EASY :-).  It takes just a few minutes, and it’s  free.  We use this idea regularly in this situation, and I’ve posted about this before, so this is a real world example of what’s possible and how you can increase your sales with very little effort, because once Wednesday’s gone, it’s gone, so you might as well try to fill it now rather than let it slip by as an unproductive day.

Here’s what we did, and you can do too…

  1. Using the Easy Emailing facility in GetBookedUp I created a simple filter of all clients in the local DN postcode areas who are on our Short Notice Offer list, there were 347 in total.
  2. Chose the template email from the built in Email Editor.
  3. Edited the content to suit the offer for Wednesday 6th March only (20% off EVERYTHING, including Retail Products), explaining we’d had a cancellation and this was first come first served for Wednesday the 6th only.
  4. Hit “Send and record in the clients Contact Log”
  5. Started working on something else.
  6. Phone rings (within 45 MINUTES! of email going out), “Hello, I’ve just got your email about the offer for Wednesday, can you come and do my Suite again please, and this time I’ll have the protection treatment too if the offer is on that aswell.”
  7. Celebrate with a little dance around the office (not pretty!) that we’ve just started filling Wednesday for about 5 minutes work, RESULT!
  8. Phone rings later that Monday afternoon, “Hi, I’ve had you email, do you still have any availability on Wednesday please?”
  9. Celebrate with another little dance as Wednesday is now FULL, and it took only took 10 minutes maximum to achieve.

Okay, you don’t need our software to do this, you can filter whatever database you have and send it by whatever means you have.  BUT what’s different about GetBookedUp is that we have an Easy Email system which allows you to filter clients based on various criteria.  The built in email editor allows you to compose your own emails and customise them.  This email is also recorded in the clients contact log so it’s traceable and you can mark that the client has responded to the email for your analysis.  PLUS, because there is no merging or exporting data to an external mailmerged system it’s a breeze!

This is what the Easy Email tool looks like…

So, what are you waiting for?  Do you have a quiet day on Monday that you want to fill now?  Get this ready to go out now and fill the day.

Regards

Allan.

PS.  I know some of you will say “but I don’t have many email addresses.”  If I can be frank, just start collecting them NOW and you’ll be able to use this idea in future.  Here’s how you can get the email address and it’s so easy ANYONE can do it.  When you’ve booked the quotatetion visit or booked a job, when the date has been set just say “Oooh, can I just take an email address to send a quick confirmation out to you?”  then shut up, really, shut up and WAIT for a response.  in 90%+ of cases they will immediately just give you their email address without pausing, in the other cases they will usually say they don’t have one or they’d rather not.  TA DA! you’re instantly collecting email addresses in a none threatening way.  Obviously it would be nice if then you can automatically send the confirmation email from the client record (gratuitous plug for GetBookedUp inserted here 🙂 ) and then in that email also include a link back to your website and with details about the benefits of protection treatments, anti allergen treatments etc.  Then you’re also now pre selling those additional services before you go to the property, and the client will start to ask you about these, or already be aware of them when you talk about them, so they are presold on the idea of them.  You’ll start to book bigger jobs and make more money with these extra services for very little extra effort or cost while you are already there.

PPS.  If you managed to get this far well done, the PS tip above will on it’s own earn you more money and perhaps should be a post article on it’s own.

I’m a big fan of things like this…

I’m just preparing to send our mailings out for the Spring/ Easter push we have in our carpet cleaning businesses.  We always have a big push in March with a Spring’s here, Easter is coming offer.  I talk about all sorts of things in the letter in a very conversational manner, and often refer to doing jobs around the home over the Easter break while the kids are off school as an example.

Well, as some of you know, I’m a huge fan of Copy Doodles, i think I’ve mentioned them before.  I’ve used them for years and measuring the results in side by side trials, same letter, half with and half without, the response is higher from those WITH Copy Doodles.  Something else I use is  “Post It Notes” graphic images  ‘attached’ to letters, I make my own using Photoshop.  Last year while chatting with someone on the phone for software support and we got chatting about marketing and I mentioned this.  They asked if i wouldn’t mind sharing it with them and I shared it last year, so thought I ought to offer it again this year too.  So here it is for anyone else who thinks it might be of use.  It’s a png file, so it is very flexible in how and where you can use it.  I just add it to the top RHS of the letter, just under the Offer Headline alongside the address.  If anyone uses it your feedback would be appreciated, share your experience please.  If anyone wants the .psd file so you can edit the text yourself just drop me an email, allanjnr@getbookedup.com .  Thanks,  Allan Jnr.

Right Click here and choose “Save file As”

 

 

Here’s the Back to School themed one’s we did later in the year…

Want one for your business?  No problem, just post below or email your required name or changes and I’ll get it done ASAP.
P.S. You don’t have to be a user of our software either 🙂 

Just a couple of examples of those who asked last year…

And Billy Russell’s which has a longer name…

 

UPDATE:

Several people have asked me where I got these ideas from.  Well it’s a guy called Mike Capuzzi and his site can be found here…

One Email to 178 people and an extra £209 + VAT for tomorrow, here’s how…

Here’s the scenario…

You’re looking at your diary for tomorrow and you have a gap between your first morning appointment and your last afternoon appointment.  You need to fill that gap, heres how you do it, and you don’t need our software to use this idea, but it helps make it EASY :-).  It takes just a few minutes, and it’s virtually free.  This happened to us today in our carpet cleaning business, so this is a real example of what’s possible.  We had one of our vans booked in the Sheffield S6 area first thing, then an annoying gap because of a postponed appointment until 2:30pm in S6.  Now S6 is approx 45 miles from our main base, so the last thing I wanted was the guy to trail back to the workshop then back to the last job.

  1. Using the Easy Emailing facility in GetBookedUp I created a simple filter of all clients in the S6 area, only 178 we have an email for on our Short Notice Offer list.
  2. Chose the template email from the built in Email Editor.
  3. Edited the content to suit the offer for tomorrow (20% off EVERYTHING, including Retail Products), explaining we’d had a cancellation and this was first come first served for tomorrow.
  4. Hit “Send and record in the clients Contact Log”
  5. Started working on something else.
  6. Phone rings (within 10 MINUTES! of email going out), “Hi It’s Mr Reed, I’ve just got your email can I book for tomorrow please and get the 20% off please.”  Me “Certainly Mr Reed, we’ll be there at 10:30am, Job value, £209 + VAT
  7. Celebrate with a little dance around the office (not pretty!) that we’ve just added £209 to that vans daily total for about 5 minutes work, RESULT!

Okay, you don’t need our software to do this, you can filter whatever database you have and send it by whatever means you have.  BUT what’s different about GetBookedUp is that we have an Easy Email system which allows you to filter clietns based on various criteria.  The built in editor allows you to compose your own emails and customise them.  This is recorded in the clients contact log so it’s traceable AND because there is no merging or exporting data to a mailmerge system it’s a breeze!

This is what the Easy Email looks like…

So, what are you waiting for?  Do you have a quiet day on Thursday?  Get this ready to go out tomorrow and fill the day.

Regards

Allan.

KEEP CALM and GETBOOKEDUP!

We’ve spoken to several users this week whilst providing support or training and virtually every one of them has commented that work is a little quiet.  One of our newer users of the Professional+ Edition, but an established carpet cleaner,  said  “It’s the quietest I’ve every known it, I only have one job booked in now, and that’s for next Monday.”  The business has asked to remain anonymous but said he didn’t mind me sharing his comment as he was sure others were also quiet.  He also didn’t mind me sharing what we’d done to help…

So what did we do?

As a new user we helped them import their existing client records from the spreadsheet they currently had them in.  They have rarely mailed their database as “It’s a pain to do!” so once uploaded we coached them through creating the letter using the built in Text Editor, which they though was great as they don’t have Word on the new computer they have installed GetBookedUp on.  We then went through how to choose clients and get the letter sent using the Easy Mailing feature.  Within an hour we’d got the data in and trained them how to get the first mailing out.

If you’re a little quiet perhaps try an extra mailing, or email campaign from your database.  Here’s just a couple you could do:-

A Short notice offer, tell people you’re working in the area all next week and if they book in any work for next week you’ll do a 3 for 2 deal.

Mail everyone who’s had a quote but not booked in yet, make an AMAZING offer to try you out, but only because it’s the quiet time before the MAD spring clean season starts at Easter.  We always find a BOGOF on the Clean & Protect service works well with this mailing.  Tell people why you’re doing it.  “This is a quiet time of year for us, the calm before the storm of Spring cleaning that always starts at Easter.  As you’ve had a quote from us but not booked in we want to show you just what we can do, and hopefully win your long term repeat business and referrasl to your friends and neighbours.  If you book now for the work to be done before Easter we’ll Clean and Protect One carpet Free of Charge when you have any carpets Cleaned and Protected.”

The mailshot to those who haven’t booked in is something that you can do regularly to follow up.  Obviously you wouldn’t offer the BOGOF all the time, but if you’re a bit quiet now why not give it a go now, using the example ‘reason’ above.

If you want ANY help doing these mailings from [getbookedup] just call us, any time, on 01405 813665.  If you’re not already a [getbookedup] user then give us a call to see a no obligation demonstration of how you’d put one of these mailings together in [getbookedup]

Thanks to Jackie Clark.

Jackie Clark of A&G Chem-Dry, who use our top Turbo Charged Edition, sent me the KEEP CALM picture and I though it appropriate for this post.  Thanks Jackie.

So, KEEP CALM and GETBOOKEDUP! using [getbookedup]

Hope that helps, you know where we are if you want any assistance.

Regards

Allan Jnr.

 

Save time and money by using online printing services…

One of the most time consuming parts of any mailing campaign can be the actual printing, folding and stuffing of envelopes for mailing.

Well, in our carpet cleaning business we’ve found a company that take all of that hassle away. We have been using Docmail for some time now and can highly recommend their service. I was skeptical what the effect would be on the response rate. When I saw the hard evidence that in our side by side trials there was no difference in response to mail sent through Docmail, and that which we had printed, folded and stuffed in house, I decided the saving was well worth making and am now a regular user.

Effectively we get the item printed, folded, stuffed and posted for LESS than we were paying for postage alone doing it in house (and that was with a discount for bulk and clean addresses). Not only that but now we don’t have to do the labour element of printing, folding and stuffing, saving even more! With Docmail there is no minimum order and it’s dead easy to use. You can export the required data, in the required format, from [getbookedup] and they do the rest, even custom mailmerge fields are available.

Check out their service, their details can be found HERE.

Still time to get some FREE web training from BIS Web Fuelled Business events…

Just received an email saying there are still some places left on the FREE web training been provided by Web Fuelled Business.  It’s a one day bootcamp to open your eyes to the possibilities and how things are changing.  If you don’t want to be left out and you can make any of these remaining dates then I urge you to get along.   Doug Richard will inspire you to move your online advertising forward, and also enlighten you so you’re never ripped off by claims of some SEO ‘experts’.

Here’s the link.

Regards

Allan

PS, we had a great day, such that I sent someone else to a different venue to be enlightened.