Connect with us
Consumer Services Direct Mail Best Practices & Examples


Consumer Services Direct Mail Best Practices & Examples

In this article, we collected 15 best practices for consumer services direct mail, all accompanied by examples from our database.

There’s a lot to do to keep your home in the best shape, but fortunately, consumer services direct mail can help make the task a little easier. As the pandemic receded in 2021 and 2022, the boom in home improvement prompted by low-interest rates, stimulus payments, and other factors slowed. That said, billions of dollars are still spent to make houses look like home. With a solid economy in place and spring on the way, it’s a good time to look at how consumer services direct mail.

What is Consumer Services Direct Mail?

Consumer services are the types of services that are sold to individuals and households. The majority of the mailings for this vertical that are found in our Who’s Mailing What! database are for home repair and improvement services.

The most common consumer services include:

  • HVAC
  • Windows & door installation
  • Roofing
  • Gardening/yard/tree maintenance
  • Home maintenance/repair/remodeling

Who is the audience for Consumer Services Direct Mail?

Homeowners – both current ones and new movers – are the primary audience for consumer services direct mail. Whether they’re expanding, upgrading, maintaining, or repairing their homes, consumers will always need to invest in these services.

What formats work best for Consumer Services Direct Mail?

Consumer services are marketed using all three of the major direct mail formats: postcards, folded self-mailers, and letters or flats. There is no easy answer about which one works best for any specific industry vertical, as all three are well-represented in the mail of many specific industries. A review found that some larger national brands mailed a mix of formats, while local companies generally stuck with a one type of mailer.

Companies that are looking to try direct mail for the first time or come back to direct mail after an absence may find that it’s best to start small using share mail and co-op mailings, such as magalogs and envelopes.

Consumer Services Direct Mail Best Practices & Examples

Your direct mail can stand out by reaching the right prospect at the right time with the right message and persuading them to act. With powerful words and compelling images, your mail can help you turn a prospect into a customer and then keep spending money with you.

These examples are all from our Who’s Mailing What! collection. One other thing: Notice how many of the mailers shown here included more than one of the best practices and tactics.

1. Educate Consumers

Nature Stone direct mail

Content in direct mail has many purposes. In this case, floor-covering company Nature Stone’s 8-page newsletter from December 2023 includes articles and helpful tips to inspire its customers and even feed them with a recipe. It also includes holiday savings offers, as well as rewards for referring friends and family.

2. Attract New Movers

Neighborly direct mail

40 million+ Americans move every year, thereby making them prospects for new products and services. Neighborly, a network of home service brands, reached out to new movers with this postcard in April 2023 by offering a discount with any one of its member companies.

3. Reactivate Customers

CertaPro Painters direct mail

Retaining customers is much cheaper than acquiring them, especially when you tap into data you already have. This April 2022 folded self-mailer by national brand CertaPro Painters notes that “We loved painting your home’s exterior in December of 2021” and offers a $200 break on the price of another paint job.

4. Emphasize Savings

TruGreen direct mail

Discounts are a powerful motivator to act. Call it greed if you like, many people have a strong desire for more – more money, more wealth, more stuff. TruGreen, a nationwide lawn service company, TruGreen, emphasizes its 50% offer several times in this January 2024 letter.

5. Free is the Magic Word

Simple Home Comfort direct mail

There’s probably no word that works better than “Free”, such as on this postcard. This May 2021 offer by HVAC contractor Simple Home Comfort for a free AC system tuneup is but one example to get the attention of prospects. Other examples include “free estimate”, “free consultation”, among others.

6. Mark the Seasons

LeafFilter direct mail

Seasons and holidays are good occasions to jump into the mail with special offers. As the weather changes, a lot of consumer services become a necessity. Here’s an example of one from September 2023. LeafFilter, a nationwide gutter protection provider, reminds prospects that Fall means leaves. And as the illustration on this postcard shows, keeping them out of your home’s rain gutters means bliss. Other related possibilities to leverage include holidays as well as end-of-year and back-to-school.

7. Communicate Benefits

Metal Future Roof Systems direct mail

Customers aren’t likely very interested in features, in this case the nitty gritty details of a new roof; they want to know WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). The address side of the postcard mailed by Metal Future Roof Systems in September 2023 specifically lists how the homeowner benefits from having a metal roof installed on their home, and how it compares to a traditional asphalt one.

8. Be an Authority

The Cleaning Authority direct mail

On the other hand – to contradict the previous best practice – there can be value in telling prospects exactly what services you offer. The Cleaning Authority, a nationwide cleaning service, has made this tactic a centerpiece of its direct mail for over a decade. The inside of a January 2024 folded self-mailer breaks down the company’s services first by color-coded house areas, then by check-marked and bullet-pointed rotation details.

9. Tell a Story of Transformation

Dwellify direct mail

Before and after photos demonstrate even better than words how something can be changed. The address side of this postcard mailed by Dwellify in July 2023 provides a visual testimonial of this home remodeler’s work to update a kitchen.

10. Make Them Laugh

Homeaglow direct mail

Or at least crack a smile. A lot of people don’t like cleaning, or for that matter, a lot of the other home tasks found in these services. The front of this November 2023 postcard mailed by Homeaglow, a nationwide house cleaning service, uses a funny image humor to handle a customer’s pain points.

11. Persuade with Handwriting

Dreamstyle Remodeling direct mail

Handwriting fonts stand out against mail using standard type but they also provide verisimilitude to a mailpiece. This June 2023 mailer by Dreamstyle Remodeling is styled like a contractor estimate, another personal touch.

12. Show Credentials & Social Proof

Red Royal Electric direct mail

Credentials, endorsements, and social proof help your audience develop trust in your brand. The inside panel of a Red Royal Electric self-mailer from December 2023 includes a chart showcasing the electrician’s online average consumer ratings. To the side is a customer endorsement, and at bottom, awards from business reviews.

13. Send an Oversize Mailer

Renewal by Andersen direct mail

There are lots of ways to stand out in the mailbox. One of the most obvious is with size. This flat, mailed by Renewal by Andersen in March 2022, measures 13”x9”. Each side runs down multiple offers, as well as several ways to contact the window and door company to take advantage of them.

14. Stay Visible with Magnets

My Plumber direct mail

My Plumber, an HVAC contractor in Manassas, VA, mailed a calendar magnet on this January 2024 postcard. That’s an immediate value.

But look at the top: they know that people will put the magnet on their fridge so that they can easily find their phone number to call in an emergency. There’s a same-day service guarantee as well as a $35 off offer. And when you peel the magnet off, additional coupons are underneath, with another on the address side. This really maximizes the selling space on the mailer.

15. Use Multiple CTAs

TE Certified direct mail

You want to make it as easy as possible for people to respond to your offer. HVAC contractor TE Certified puts its 3 CTAs (“Call”, “Scan”, “Book online”) for a free quote in one place on the address side of this July 2023 postcard.

Get an Edge by Learning from Consumer Services Direct Mail in WMW!

Searching for consumer services direct mail in Who’s Mailing What! is easy. As of January 2024, the database includes 6,806 direct mail campaigns for consumer services.

When a mail piece is scanned for inclusion, our algorithm assigns an appropriate tag.

Here’s how to filter your search and find mail:

  • After logging in to the website, click on the Search option from the Dashboard.
  • On the left side of the page, you’ll see Direct Mail Filters as one of the options under Filters. Scroll down to select the Consumer Services category box; all of the subcategories (home improvement, legal services, accounting/tax services) are checked by default.

Final Thoughts

Consumer services can be lucrative because they are handled and marketed by a good combination of local small businesses and large national brands. Regardless of all but the most severe economic conditions, there’s always a need for the services marketed through the mail highlighted in this article. And because they are delivered to consumers directly in their home, it’s always important to provide the best possible customer experience.

Direct Mail Evangelist

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


To Top