Home Services Direct Mail Expectations

As it turns out, Guns N’ Roses was right.

Whether you provide HVAC, Plumbing or any other home service, before you consider sending out direct mail to get more customers for your business, it’s important you have clear understanding on how direct mail marketing results work.  

 Let’s assume you have an HVAC business. If you were to stop the next 100 homeowners you met and asked them if they currently had any issues with their HVAC system that they needed an immediate fix on, how many do you think would say, yes, they do?  

 Of course, there is no way to determine the number based on this factious example, but I would be willing to bet the number with an immediate HVAC service or installation need is low. However, give it a few weeks, months, and the number with a need will undoubtedly increase.  This is the same case when it comes to sending direct mail marketing for your HVAC business to new prospective homeowners. There is no way of knowing how many will have an immediate need today and likely many will not. 

Although some prospects will have an immediate need and your direct mail marketing will generate a response from many of those prospects, what you are really doing with your HVAC businesses direct mail marketing, is planting seeds that will blossom in the future. These seeds help brand your business so that when a new prospective homeowner, does have a need for your service, you are top of mind.  

Be patient, if you’ve done your due diligence, selected the right direct mail marketing partner and have executed every aspect of your direct mail campaign flawlessly, including strategically selecting the best areas and prospects to target, strategically designing your direct mail piece to look professional and have strategically thought out your ad copy as well as included a strong call to action and enticing special offer, in time you should see results and benefit from your efforts. You would be surprised at how many times; I have heard from clients that they have received new customers from mailers that went out over a year ago. Of course, you want business today, but this just illustrates the need to be patient and let your marketing do its job.  

Fortunately, with home services businesses tracking direct is quite transparent. After you have sent out all your direct mail marketing, I suggest setting a 3 month and 6-month checkpoint to have your direct mail marketing partner, run a match back report for you.  


 A match back report compares the new customers that you acquired from the time your direct mail marketing was sent out to the list of addresses who received direct mail. This will provide you with a detailed list of new customers that were touched by and influenced by your direct mail marketing to become a new customer. The only small blind spot that a match back report cannot illustrate is your actual response rate. For example, if a prospective customer received your direct mail marketing and contacted you, however, you couldn’t service them in a time frame they needed, or they felt your pricing was too high or any other reason that dissuaded them from using you, you will not know. In essence you may be getting a better response rate than you think because your sales or customer service teams weren’t able to close the deal.  


You may be thinking, well then, I will just add call tracking to determine this. Although a unique call tracking number placed only on your direct mail marketing may provide you with a little more visibility to those who have called from your mailer, it will not show you respondents that didn’t call from the actual phone number on the mailer but had gone online and called either from the phone number on your website or on your google business page after reading reviews. 

In summation, be patient homeowners don’t always have a need for your service when you want them to. Setup defined checkpoints to analyze your direct mail ROI, leverage that data, tweak, and repeat.