Hey Pool Geniuses!I've long been debating when to add more to my marketing. I've been mulling over costs, timing, implementation, outsourcing, etc. Now I am wondering how do I use door hangers? How much impact have door hangers been to your bottom line?I am considering hitting the local area with a direct mail campaign, modifying the website and phone greeting as part of implementing the campaign. So here I am, looking at door hanger templates among many other things. Anyone used them successfully, are they worth the effort? I'd want the door hangers to go on houses with a pool of course not just blanketing every house in the neighborhood. Seems a bit laborious and perhaps not the best use of time scouting the neighborhood for pools. Even more so I'd think most homeowner associations frown upon such a guerilla tactic, littering the neighborhood with promotional door hangers.Your thoughts on the matter?-JeremyFlorida Leisure Pool & Spawww.FLLeisure.com

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  • As a little 'experiment' last fall, I tried to see who in my neighborhood had pools.  Using Google maps, I quickly visually scanned the surrounding area, and could easily count the little (and not-so-little) pools behind houses.  Zooming into each, I could then right-click to get the address of the house.  After about an hour, I had a list of easily about 40 addresses with pools. It became pretty tedious, but I realized I could easily hire an internet searcher for fairly cheap to accomplish this.

    If anybody wants, I could try this experiment again to make sure the process works for most areas. Someone give me an address, and I'll (try) to find 10 addresses in pools in the surrounding area.  I'll make a note of how long it takes me and any issues during the search.  The benefit is being able to find your target market. 

    Also, do the economics make sense?  Quickly building a list of qualified pool owners instead of spending hours scouting for houses with pools, printing and overbuying business cards, advertisements, and hangers knowing that many go out to houses without pools, plus the extra time spent marketing to people without pools?

  • FYI, I just purchased 2500 full cover door hangers, both sides for around $220 with shipping. I created all my own artwork. Contact me if you'd like to see a copy of our design. One side has a routine maintenance checklist, the other side has a service pitch and coupon for new service customers.
  • I am also starting to design a door hanger for our business here in Jacksonville! To provide a small sampling of what I could expect I used the following experiment. When I first conceived the idea of utilizing door hangers announcing our services, I went out to one of our current jobsites where we were prepping a pool for resurfacing, I asked the Homeowner, Who, on your street also has a pool that may need servicing and they readily told me about each pool in the neighboring area. I walked to each of the homes indicated and placed a simple business card in their door. Within three days, i had two additional calls resulting from those cards requesting that I return and provide a Free Quote on their pool resulting in one of the homes purchasing a resurface as well. That one sale resulted in enough profits to buy 1,000 doorhangers. They are being designed as I write this.
    My idea is that as my prep guys, or service guys are in any given area, they can ascertain which homes in the immediate vicinity have pools. By leaving a well placed door hanger with those homes we shall according to my experience thus far, receive a tremendous return on our investment. Secondly, Let us not ever forget the power of the simple business card, as stated earlier. Through that small rectangle, we enhance brand recognition, provide our potential clients with immediate information as to how to rectify any problem that they may be experiencing with their pool and you will be the first one that enters their mind when it is time to call someone for their job. Always place your cards into the hands of accepting customers, Always drop a few around town in your favorite hangout spots, I have even received a lead from a card dropped off at my chiropractor's office, you never know where that next client is and this is an effective, cost productive way to advertise!!!
  • Jeremy -- I have a couple of quick comments (now that I realize it is you asking the question, and not Rex!)

    1) direct mail is one of the more reliable advertising methods available to you, but it's still pretty risky right now. You will have to have one heck of a whopping offer (such as buy one month, get two months free), to get more than the industry standard of a 3% response rate.

    2) Doorhangers almost always get a better response rate than direct mail. It is more "interrupting" than a postcard, because it is unexpected.

    3) Rex is absolutely correct when he points out that the copy on the door hanger is absolutely critical. way too hard to explain in a short online post.

    4) there are doorhanger delivery services available for a fairly reasonable price. Just google the phrase.

    5) I would strongly encourage you to look at all of your advertising and lead generation options and expenses, and project a return on investment for each. That will help you decide where to best spend your money.

    For more specificadvice, check out a newsletter I wrote back in early January, called "If you're going to advertise, do it wisely." it's in my newsletter archives at www.PoolBuilderMarketing.com.
  • Cajun,

    Simplify your efforts call the local home title company for a list of homes with swimming pools. Some have the ability to generate a list of all homes in your area that have a pool. The list are usually very inexpensive

    James

    Cajun Pool Boy said:
    Well Jeremy, we use door hangers on a regular basis to prevent our weekly customers from saying they have not seen our guys in the yard regardless if the pool looks great. So we leave them to protect ourselves from the loss of payment.
    Now with the marketing i have ben riding around on the weekends and writing down the address's in witch pools are located at. Then we mail them a flyer letting them know we are here and we dont charge outrageous trip charges in our on home town(being i just opened a new retail in a town in whitch no one has ever opend one). They are use to haveing to wait several days and pay out of town trip cgarges. I am hoping this brings new business and lets them know who and where we are located. Hope this helps!!!!
  • Well Jeremy, we use door hangers on a regular basis to prevent our weekly customers from saying they have not seen our guys in the yard regardless if the pool looks great. So we leave them to protect ourselves from the loss of payment.
    Now with the marketing i have ben riding around on the weekends and writing down the address's in witch pools are located at. Then we mail them a flyer letting them know we are here and we dont charge outrageous trip charges in our on home town(being i just opened a new retail in a town in whitch no one has ever opend one). They are use to haveing to wait several days and pay out of town trip cgarges. I am hoping this brings new business and lets them know who and where we are located. Hope this helps!!!!
  • Jeremy,

    We do door hangers and I will even offer you free art to get your order placed. Door hangers work well, if you land on a house with a pool or spa. You can ask your current clients when you are at their location who else in the neighborhood has a spa or pool. Then make sure you are presentable and ring the door bell. Now tell them you work with so and so down the street and you just wanted to make sure they knew about your service.Give them the doorhanger and present your best offer for a future or current visit. The goal is to get the customer and keep them happy for 10 years or more. The best door hanger we sell is 3 1/2 x 11 and it has a perf so you can put a special or just your card on it. This prints 4 color process on both sides and is printed on 14 pt coated two sided stock.

    Like Monique says you can work with a local mfr and try to get some underwriting if you promote their products to help offset the price. We are working on linking mfrs who will pay co-op with service companies like yourself that would like to advertise. The price we have for 250= $303. 500 = $350. 1000 = $399. 2000 = $503. + shipping from CA.

    You should ask Brett at MYM what his thoughts are on the subject. He is chocked full of good ideas too..
  • Another thought to help you lower costs is to talk to one / some of your manufacturers to see if they will do co-op marketing with you. This is almost always a great way to lower your costs with the same amount of conversion / traffic to your store.

    You may also want to talk to Scott Rundle, who runs http://www.poolmarketing.com. This is very similar to the Pool Corp site, but he is from the printing industry and has great experience. The other bonus is that you aren't required to work through your distributor, if you already have a list of your own or want more ideas for Direct Marketing opportunities. This may help cut costs. He can also help with the co-op marketing. He is a member with a group on the PGN...so good luck!

    Monique

    Jeremy Hine said:
    It was SCP's mypoolmarketing.com site that got me into looking at the door hanger idea. Yes, I'll hit up my BDR here at the local branches and see what he can assist with.

    -Jeremy
    Florida Leisure Pool & Spa
    www.FLLeisure.com

    Luke Norris said:
    SCP is doing a new marketing thing with door hangers. Ask at your local SCP branch.
  • Jeremy,
    In the past few months I have been doing a whole bunch of research into alternative means (and cheap...I mean cost effective) of advertising and marketing. I have read work from lots and lots of experts and spent many hours reading anything I can get may hands on. They all had one thing in common: Direct Mail is the best for of advertising / marketing when you do it correctly. they all also agreed that a well written Sales Letter is the best way to get leads and convert those leads into sales. The key, it seems, is to be good at copywriting. If you are interested in learning from perhaps the best copywriter to enter the sales field, I strongly recommend visiting http://www.thegaryhalbertletter.com
    At the very least, you are for some great reading!

    Best of luck to you!
    Monique
    The Gary Halbert Letter
    The Gary Halbert Letter. The most valuable website on the Internet.
  • Jeremy,

    have you given any thought to contact the HOA to see if you would be able to put a ad slick in with their community update letter? That way you are not littering the neighborhood and its labor liberating. Yes its true that everyone would receive the ad slick but who cares its exposure. FYI grass roots advertising is all the rage!!!!
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