I opened my front door one morning to greet my mother-in-law, who had swung by the house to see the kids.
Tied to the handle of the door with a red string was a cute little yellow card.
Somebody must have quietly placed it there early in the morning before the day started.
Most of the time I toss these things in the trash. They're usually generic marketing cards or brochures that are offering window washing, garage door painting, landscaping or other services homeowners generally need.
But I didn't throw this one away.
Glancing at the card, it was a simple direct response letter from a lady who was offering her cleaning services.
It wasn't overly fancy.
No attention was paid to fancy branding, logos, colours or even a link to her website.
A yellow card. A picture of her smiling face. A red string tied through a hole. And a simple letter offering her cleaning services.
Home-made marketing in its purest form.
The letter opened with a simple introduction to who she is, what she offers and how you could contact her.
Then she launched into a few scenarios that helped you visualize the benefits of hiring her:
- Imagine coming home from visiting with your family to a clean & fresh home
- You can run your errands while I clean your house
- Don't worry about tidying, I'll take care of it all
She closed with some objection handling, directly addressing that she has a limited ability to speak the English language and assures the homeowner that her cleaning skills are far more important and they will not be dissatisfied.
She ended with her phone number and email to contact her.
Let's take a look at the classic A.I.D.A. marketing formula, and see how well her direct response letter stacked up:
A cute homemade yellow card was hand-tied to my door handle with a red string. It was different than the mass-produced generic marketing material I usually receive from big companies. Definitely caught my attention!
The simple homemade touch encouraged me to take a moment and start reading. Plus the fact that we constantly have to keep our house tidy (we have a dog and two young kids) meant that her marketing efforts were relevant to us. I'm interested.
Her letter was not about her plea to hire her services, rather, it was about encouraging the reader to desire a specific outcome by helping them imagine how nice, convenient and relaxing it would be to not have to worry about tidying, cleaning and organizing. Yup, that's in there!
Before closing, she offered some objection handling and finally, she closed with a direct phone number to hire her. No vague call to action - just a straight forward, "Want this for your life? Great. Call me today." Nailed it.
She also chose a great neighbourhood in which to drop the letters off! A mature neighbourhood with very few rental homes in the area. This means that most of the inhabitants are proud homeowners, mostly established in their careers (or retired), and are more willing to pay for convenience.
I wouldn't be surprised if she's booked up for the summer.
Heck, even one client can lead to a year's worth of steady work.
What she could do to make it even better
- Create two more variations: one for the university neighbourhoods, one for new home owners who are busy working professionals
- For the university crowd, change the wording to be relevant to their needs, such as "moving out cleaning" or "after party tidy up"
- For the busy working professionals, something like "come home to a clean house every day" would be effective
- 3 total variations: Mature neighbourhood, university crowd, working professionals
- Test the response rate of each, go with the winner
- Create a simple website with local client testimonials, with the option to automatically schedule her and pay for her services online
I know who I'm hiring when I need to call in a pro.