Mediagistic Blog

The Dos and Don’ts of Creating an Effective Direct Mail Campaign for HVAC

James Gilbert - QC specialist and account development managers
James Gilbert

During the past 20 years, direct mail has become an under-utilized advertising channel in the HVAC industry. However, when done well and at scale, it remains among the most cost-effective and targeted marketing solutions in the game. But for an HVAC direct mail campaign to be effective, it needs to follow a defined set of rules and best practices.

3 Best Practices for Creating a Targeted Direct Mail Campaign

Not too long ago, the Direct Marketing Association found that every dollar spent on print marketing can generate an average of $12.57 in sales, and that figure transcended the type of industry. And a recent Gallup poll showed that 41 percent of adults look forward to checking their mail each day, and another survey discovered that 73 percent of consumers actually prefer mail to other marketing platforms. Follow these guidelines when setting up your next HVAC direct mail campaign.

Do Personalize; Don’t Spray and Pray

A personalized piece of print marketing sent to a targeted subject will do a lot more for your HVAC business than an impersonal direct mail blast. You don’t want to send a postcard for a $49.99 AC tune-up to apartment residents, for example, and you don’t want to send a rebate offer on a new HVAC system to customers who just paid full price. Once you have your target, make sure you personalize your materials. Try hand- or laser-addressing your mail and using a “real” stamp instead of a meter mark for better responses.

Do Send a Consistent Message; Don’t Dwell on Sales

Direct mail that is always trying to sell you something is akin to a friend who only calls when he needs a favor. You don’t want your customers to grow weary of your sales pitches, so try mixing it up with appointment reminders, thank-you postcards, surveys, and newsletters. Do remember to keep your brand message consistent when you do. Your customers should immediately associate the name of your HVAC company with savings, quality, service, and your specific brand message.

Do Test Your Offers; Don’t Neglect Multi-Channel Opportunities

A low response rate to an untested direct mail campaign costs you a lot more than just the wasted postage. Say you’d tested the 5,000 pieces you sent out beforehand. You may have found that a simple headline change upped your response rate from 0.75 percent to 1.2 percent. That would’ve meant many more leads, potentially costing you thousands in sales. Try to test at least 5% of your mailing list before you launch a campaign.

Also remember the value of a multi-channel approach. Test CTAs and offers that utilize various combinations of platforms and landing pages to see which ones yield the best results for your target market. According to Direct Marketing News, you can increase your direct mail response rate as much as 35 percent with a multi-channel approach.

Create a Direct Mail Campaign that Gets Results

Even when done as part of a group or co-op program, direct mail campaigns can mean a significant investment for manufacturers, distributors, and individual HVAC dealerships. And the response rate of your direct mail campaign will only rise as high as the quality of the campaign itself.

To do it right, you need to work with an agency that has experience with executing multi-channel direct mail marketing efforts for all levels of the HVAC industry — local, regional, and national. At Mediagistic, we keep all of our marketing and advertising disciplines under one roof to maximize our ability to execute any campaign, regardless of its scope. Our print production team can create a highly coordinated direct mail campaign designed to get results. Contact us today to get started planning your next direct mail effort.

James Gilbert is a QA specialist for Mediagistic’s production team. Connect with him on Linkedin.

Image via Thinkstock

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