The other day I was astounded to see a brilliant marketing offer in my mailbox:
“2 Free Months of Pool or Spa Service”
When I turned over the tri-folded flyer, however, here’s what I saw.
The “2 free months” promoted in a large, bold headline on the front side turned out to be the 6th and 12th month of one year’s service (yawn)…
…noted in the tiniest type size used anywhere on the flyer.
“Well, what’ya expect, Dan? That a pool service company is going to try to attract business by offering new clients 2 months’ service for free? No strings attached? No one-year requirement?”
Yes, that’s what I expect.
At least, that’s the kind of thing I expect in a Great Offer.
It can be limited to
• New clients
• Residential pools (single residences only; not apartments)
• Owners only
• Within a specific geographic area.
Think about it.
What do you know about the people who would respond to such an offer?
• They are homeowners in your defined geographic area.
• They have a swimming pool.
• They do not presently have anyone servicing their pool… Or they’ve finally gotten so fed up with the unreliable service they’ve been getting that they’d love to make a change for the better.
Pools need servicing.
All year ’round.
If you provide excellent servicing at a price that isn’t outrageously higher than the standard in your area…
If you teach your pool service people how to interact with clients and make sure they show up when they’re supposed to show up…
What do you think is going to happen after those first 2 months?
Do you think the pool owner is going think, “Okay, I got my 2 free months. Now I’ll start all over and try to find a good pool service company”?
Of course not.
Once people find a reliable service company that does a good job and that they can trust, they stay with that company.
For a long time.
Actually, It’s the Offer Plus…
At the beginning of this article, I declared “It’s all about the offer.”
Actually, it’s “all about the offer…being made to the right people.”
In this case, “the right people” = homeowners in a specific geographic area who own swimming pools and don’t presently have satisfactory regular pool service.
This pool company could have purchased a list limited to homeowners with pools, in a specified geographic area.
Maybe they were smart enough to do that, rather than simply mail to every homeowner in the neighborhood.
In that case, they ended up making a crappy offer to a good list.
One secret of marketing success is to make a great offer to a good list.
This mailing piece, however, doesn’t make a great offer.
Not even a good offer.
But it began with so much promise.
Does Your Radio Station Encourage Crappy Offers?
When a local advertiser wants to run commercials that promise FREE* BIG BURGERS, EVERY TUESDAY (*with the purchase of a jumbo burger meal with fries and a large soda), do you try to steer them toward a more compelling offer that will deliver a positive R.O.I. on their ad campaign?
Or you just thank them and then tell your production department, “This needs to be on-the-air tomorrow”?