To fail to have a Janitorial Marketing Plan is to plan to fail at marketing your janitorial business. But a plan is only as good as the method(s) it employs. And the best methods are the ones that not only generate the most customer interest/sales, but also do it in a cost effective manner. So where should you focus your limited marketing dollars? Television, Radio, Billboards, Telemarketing, Yellow Pages, Hired Sales Reps, Newspaper Print Ads, Cold Calls, Direct Mail?
Twenty-five years of janitorial business experience has taught me that the best marketing method is (hands down, no close second, leader of the pack) Direct Mail Marketing! It’s cheap and effective and almost always generates a worthwhile response.
Now that you know the best method, you still need to choose the best materials. “Marketing Materials” are your brochures, sales letters, flyers, etc., that include a a printed promotional message about your company, services and experience. They’re designed to generate a positive response from your potential customer. A response where they contact you and say “Hey, I received your company information and would like to speak with you about a proposal.”
But what kind of message gets such a positive response? Ah, Good question. It’s got to be a message that transfers a feeling… A feeling of confidence that conveys to your potential customer that you’ve been there, done that successfully for others and can do the same for them! It needs to be simple, to the point, informative, and close with a call to action. Of course, the “right message” can vary for different services in our industry, but if you’d like see (free samples of) actual materials that I’ve mailed out to my own potential janitorial customers, I’ll have more on that at the end of this post…
Janitorial Direct Mail Marketing in Seven Simple Steps
OK, now you’ve got this great Marketing Plan and Materials to send out! Just one question, “Who do you send it to?” Do you purchase expensive mailing lists, zip code lists, hire a marketing firm, or just mail to every business in the country?
Allow me to share a simple but effective Janitorial Direct Mail Marketing Plan that I developed for my business…
- Determine the types of buildings that you have experience with or want to go after. Then determine how far you’re willing to travel from your home or office to clean a building. 20 miles? 40 miles? Factor in things like whether or not you’re just starting out and plan to clean everything yourself, or if you’re a bit more established and have the staffing experience to hire and clean in other cities. Only you can determine that mileage distance number.
- Now compile a list of 50-100 companies for each type of building that you picked in step 1. e.g. 50-100 Auto Dealerships, 50-100 Day Cares, 50-100 Medical Facilities, etc. You can easily create a list by doing an internet search for Auto Dealerships, Day Cares, etc., within a 25 mile radius of your zip code.
- Create a Target Customer list with the buildings you searched. An excel spreadsheet works great. Include in your headings, Building Type, Address, Any Contact info, Date Mailed, Mail-out Type, Result, & Comments.
- Establish a budget you’re comfortable with. Determine your cost per mail-out piece. My costs were usually in the range of 50 to 85 cents per mailer piece. With that in mind, and with a $200 month marketing budget, I could send out 235-400 mailer pieces a month. I averaged 2-5 responses/requests for bids per hundred mailed out. You can start out with $20 a month or whatever your comfortable with, but remember, this small monthly investment can pay off big!
- Mail them out! For your first mail-out to a building, put your marketing materials in an envelope with a hand written recipient address addressed to “Attention: Facility Manager (use an actual name and title if you have it). Also, hand write your return address, but don’t include your company name. Lastly use an actual stamp, not metered. Now mail it out. This way all but guarantees that your letter will be opened and looked at. After the first mail-out to this potential customer, you can use custom company envelopes, with your company name and metered stamping. Mail out to the same group, one time per month for 4-5 months in a row. Track your mail-outs and responses each month.
- Be PERSISTENT! Studies show that in Direct Mail advertising 80% of response/sales come after the 3rd-5th time being mailed out.
- Be PATIENT! You will get responses!
And when the responses start coming in, head on over to my professional pride and joy – the CleanGuidePro Janitorial Bidding software (that has a 30 day free trial) – and create a winning proposal! Not only will you generate a professional, detailed and accurate proposal in just a few minutes, you can also take advantage of the system’s bonus Marketing Materials section. Here’s where you can review the proven marketing materials that I’ve used to get countless responses over the years in my janitorial company. Better still, you can customize these brochures and letters for your own business!