I think it went great so far.... closed 2 jobs and have given a few estimates that I hope to hear back from.
I have used Postcard mania in the past and have always been very happy with there people and product-this time I was helped by Amber Sullivan and Brad James they are great, a wonderful combination!
We use the postcards differently in that we send them to only customers in our database. That said, we get at least a 50% to 60% response. Income varies because the postcards are for people that have already purchased a maintenance contract. The postcards serve as an appointment reminder card. Sabrina is great! The process is very informative from purchase to creative, to printing, to mailing...Simply said: I know too much (but I like it)!
Thank you Samantha, I just did my first tuneup today. Impressed, I wasn't expecting it to hit the streets that fast.
I have had the best experiences with both Ryan and Charlene. These two are wonderful and do a great job. Keep up the great work guys!
We know that, as a home services small business owner, one of your biggest challenges is getting the word out about your services.
The good news is that the home services industry is growing fast, and families need home cleanings, renovations, and repairs now more than ever. Ever since the pandemic, people are spending more time at home and want their spaces to look and feel beautiful.
According to Verified Market Research, the home services industry is expected to increase in size 18.9% every year till 2026. Valued at $105 billion in 2018, they are predicting it will exceed $1 trillion by 2026.
So, the potential for your home services business to grow exponentially is super high! You just need the right tools to let your local area know about who you are, what you do, and why they should choose you.
To help you stand out amongst your competitors, we dove deep into researching home services marketing — specifically the trends and timings.
We analyzed every home services mailing we sent in 2021 — a total of over 17 million postcards. As a result, we found the top trends and all the major factors that led our home services clients to success.
Want to find out more? Keep scrolling!
Here’s a snapshot of every PostcardMania home services mailing from 2021
So, what do we mean exactly by “home services industry”?
Here is a list of all the business types we included in our study:
- A/C and Heating (HVAC)
- Carpet Cleaning
- Cleaning Services
- Home Services
- Interior Design
- Pest Control
- Pressure Washing
We looked at every single mailing of 2021 sent by the above businesses, and here’s the big-picture view of what we found:
- Total postcards mailed: 17,523,486
- Average mailing size: 3,081
- Single largest mailing: 99,907
- Busiest month for mailings: May
- Month with the highest mail volume: March
We mailed more than 17 million home services postcards in 2021 alone. Out of all those mailings, we found that the average mailing quantity (aka how many postcards are mailed at a time) was a little over 3,000. The largest went all the way up to almost 100,000 pieces, and the busiest month for mailings (when the most home services businesses sent mail of any quantity) was May.
However, this is just the bird’s-eye view of home services direct mail.
Here are the nitty-gritty details…
HOW MANY PIECES DO HOME SERVICES BUSINESSES MAIL AT A TIME?
The smaller-size mailings were more consistent throughout the year, while the largest mailings went out during peak seasons — mainly the spring.
It’s important to examine and understand the next three graphs before we dive into what they mean…
First, let’s look at this Most Common Home Services Mailing Quantities graph:
This graph shows which mailing quantities were mailed most throughout the year by different home services businesses. Most businesses — 41.86% of them — mailed in quantities of 1,000 to 2,499 postcards at a time.
The likely reason this quantity is so popular? Presort postage.
Presort postage is a big postage discount (as much as double-digit cents per piece) that only kicks in when 500 pieces or more are being mailed at the same time.
In our 20+ years of mailing postcards and tracking responses, we’ve found it most cost effective to mail at least 1,000 pieces at a time in order to generate a positive response and return on investment (ROI).
WHICH MONTHS DO HOME SERVICES BUSINESSES MAIL THE MOST?
When we’re looking at the busiest times to mail for the home services industries, we should look at two things:
- Number of mailings: the number of mailings being sent within a certain time frame
- Mail volume: the total number of mail pieces being mailed
Looking at mailings gives us a sense of activity and intent — more businesses are initiating mailings to attract more customers.
Looking at mail volume tells us the sheer number of postcards in mailboxes that you might have to contend with.
Both are worthwhile factors to look at when determining the best time to mail for your business.
First, let’s look at year-round mailings:
You can see outgoing mailings jump in March, increasing 58% over February.
Mailings remain high throughout spring and hit their peak in May with more than 500 home services mailings that month alone. July represents the slowest summer month — and perhaps a window of opportunity to be noticed — with mailings falling off 20% from June and then jumping 26% in August.
Then, the mailings slowly start to taper off after August, the unofficial end of summer.
Next, let’s look at the mail volume graph below.
It shows how many mail pieces were mailed throughout the year each month. You can see a big jump from February to March, in which home services postcard volume more than doubled, jumping 154%. The next largest month-to-month change isn’t until November, when volume drops 26% from October.
The industries reflecting triple-digit increases in mail volume from February to March include:
- Roofing: 466% increase
- Pools: 402% increase
- Electric/Energy: 295% increase
- Landscaping: 217% increase
- A/C & Heating: 167% increase
- Interior Design: 153% increase
So, here’s the main question:
Why would home services mailings flood mailboxes in the spring?
It likely boils down to three reasons:
- Warmer weather. Some home services can’t be completed unless the conditions are right.
- “Spring cleaning.” As the days get longer and warmer, many households catch the cleaning bee.
- Relocations. Research estimates that 40 million Americans relocate every year, with 80% of those moves occurring between April and September.
And what’s the first thing families do when they move into a new home? Make it their own.
That requires lots of home service companies to help them with home maintenance, renovation, cleaning, repairs, and more.
When do real estate agents mail the most? The spring! We actually did a similar study for real estate professionals and you can read those details here if you are curious about those details.
Or, if your home services business is tied to the change in seasons, don’t be afraid to embrace it. One lawn care company went from mailing 20,000 postcards a week to 40,000 postcards in April.
Below, you’ll see a breakdown of all the mailing volumes for each industry throughout the year. Simply click on the industry you want to look at, and the image will open larger to view.
Each graph will give you a general idea of when businesses mailed the most postcards. This data can help guide you in deciding when you could do your own mailings throughout the year.
WHO DO HOME SERVICES BUSINESSES MAIL TO?
The majority of home services companies used a targeted consumer mailing list to reach their ideal prospects.
The mailing list you select for your direct mail campaign has a huge importance, because it determines who will receive your message.
Is one list better than another? Not necessarily — it’s all about determining your end goal and operating on a budget. Here is a summary of all the different list types and where they fell on the chart for the home services industry.
Consumer Lists – 37%
The consumer list won out as the home service industry’s most used mailing list.
Consumer lists target homes at the household level instead of entire mail routes, and are usually narrowed down by any number of demographics, such as:
- Home value, age or features, for example if you only want to target homes with pools
- Household income or net worth
- The presence of children down to children of certain ages — a targeting mechanism unique to direct mail that you won’t find in online marketing
- And many, many more options that you can learn more about here
With a consumer list, you have almost infinite targeting options, including gender, age, hobbies, interests, income, marital status, children, etc. For example, if a carpet cleaner wanted to target residents with pets and children in the home and exclude other addresses on the mailing route, like restaurant or an apartment full of renters, then a consumer list would be the best option.
The biggest benefit of using this list type is that you have more control over who receives the postcard and you avoid wasting postage on mailing to people or places who don’t need (or can’t afford) your services. If you’re a pool cleaning company, mailing to anyone without a pool would be a huge waste.
The greatest drawback of the consumer mailing list is that it can be one of the more expensive list options. The narrower and more specific your targeting becomes, the more it will cost you.
Optimizing a consumer mailing list to ensure it delivers success while keeping costs in check can be a delicate balancing act that requires a little trial and error. Be sure you’re closely tracking your results to measure which lists provide the best return on your investment, and don’t be afraid to work closely with a mailing list professional if you’re new to direct mail.
The home services industries that mailed the most postcards to consumer lists include:
- AC & Heating
Our client, Total Clean Freaks, achieved great success with their consumer mailing list. They targeted residents in their local area who own homes valued at $450,000 or more with incomes of $125,000 a year or more. Since they offer routine, whole-home cleanings, they were looking to find wealthier clients who could afford their services and owned homes likely to need regular cleanings.
They mailed 6,000 cleaning services postcards over 3 months and also paired the mailings with digital ads displayed on Google, Facebook, and Instagram via our Everywhere Small Business plan. As a result, they received 96 responses and converted 67 of them to new clients.
Each client brings in about $5,000 in revenue a year, so these new clients brought in $335,000 in just one year!
Provided Lists – 27%
A provided list is as obvious as it sounds — it’s a mailing list that’s provided by the business.
These lists are usually one of two things:
- The business’s own list of existing prospects and customers that they provide to us. This is far and away the most prevalent type of list in this category.
- A list obtained somewhere else, like another list provider or that they created themselves. Some penny-pinching business owners have even been known to create their own lists by driving around and taking notes.
A provided list was the second most-used list type in 2021 amongst home service businesses, likely because the industry thrives on repeat business, much of it monthly or even weekly. Cleaning, lawn care, and pest control are just a few of the home service businesses that survive on continuing services, so it’s important to regularly keep in touch with customers.
Taconic Heating & Cooling is a good example of a home services company that routinely mails AC and heating postcards to a provided list and made big bucks as a result.
They used their own list of past customers to send seasonal reminds to have their HVAC equipment maintained and tuned up — and they did this consistently every year. As a result, Taconic Heating & Cooling increased their sales 60% over 5 years.
Provided lists don’t stop at customer lists though — a provided list could consist of leads that never closed; leads that got an estimate and never purchased; customers that purchased a one-off service and never opted into recurring services; you get the idea. If you have some of their information in your CRM (customer relationship management software), you can mail to them.
You can even mail to leads that were interested enough to visit your website, but not quite interested enough to convert there by filling out a form or contacting you. More on that in a bit.
Provided lists carry a huge cost benefit — they’re absolutely free to use because they’re yours. Even if your list needs a little cleaning up and general maintenance, this cost is almost negligible and well worth it to avoid wasting postage mailing to people who’ve relocated.
The only negative to using a provided list is that you will be limiting your reach to what you have already acquired, meaning you won’t be expanding your customer base. If you want to expand or enter new areas, then you’ll have to opt for another list type.
The home services industries that mailed the most postcards to provided lists include:
- Pest Control
- AC & Heating
Website Visitors – 17%
Think you can’t target your anonymous website visitors? Think again!
Website to Mailbox is a special technology we developed at PostcardMania that finds the physical location of website visitors, matches it to their home address, and automatically sends them a postcard within 24 hours of their website visit.
These mailings are fully automated, meaning you set it up once and then it runs on its own.
And here’s another important component to this list:
It’s fully reactive rather than proactive — you’re only mailing to people interested enough to visit your website rather than reaching out to a massive number of prospects.
If only 10 qualified leads visit all month, you’ll only mail to 10 people and pay for 10 postcards.
Since these mailings are sent as website visitors come in, the mail volume is smaller. Not to mention this product was only launched in July of 2021, so there’s only a few months of mailings to measure. In fact, in terms of volume, these postcards represent less than 1% of all 17 million postcards mailed by home services businesses that year.
Yet these mailings also represent a few important things:
First, the home services industry was very quick to adopt this new technology — something you might want to keep an eye on if competitors start to gain a step ahead. And second, each postcard mailed almost represents a second conversation with a prospect, guiding them further down the sales funnel to closing.
The home services industries that mailed the most postcards anonymous website visitors via Website to Mail lists include:
- AC & Heating
One of our roofing clients landed a job for a new roof after sending only 57 Website to Mailbox postcards. They spent under $100 to land a job worth somewhere in the realm of $10,000.
The return on that investment is north if 10,000%.
Resident/Occupant Lists – 15%
Resident/occupant lists were the third most popular choice among home service businesses in 2021.
These lists are ideal for businesses who want to blanket entire mail carrier routes with direct mail — and eke out a little bit of savings on postage (details on that below).
Every address on your chosen route will get a postcard, but you are able to narrow down your targeting based on some qualifiers like home market value, median household income, median age, and dwelling type. However, you won’t be able to narrow down the list beyond those more basic details like you would get with a consumer list.
The benefit of a resident/occupant list is that you can save more money on postage, blanket entire areas, but still take advantage of some targeting options. The drawback is that you are more limited on who you can target, meaning you could potentially waste money on postage to reach people unqualified for your services.
The home services industries that mailed the most postcards to resident/occupant lists include:
- AC & Heating
As you can see above, landscapers used resident/occupant lists the most — likely because almost everyone needs lawn care. One of our landscaping clients, Gull Lake Lawn Pros LLC, mailed 3,740 landscaping postcards to a resident/occupant list of homeowners in their area. In response, they gained 31 new clients and an anticipated $135,700 over the next 2 years. That’s a projected return on investment (ROI) of 6,035%.
Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) Lists – 4%
EDDM is a mailing list that only includes carrier routes and home sequence numbers and does not include names or addresses on the mail piece. There is no targeting available other than “all residences” or “all residences and businesses.”
The best advantage of EDDM is that it’s the cheapest of all the options. It also has the benefit of reaching every single door in a specific area. Businesses that offer services that most people can use will like this selection best, like window washers or painters. The drawback is that there is no targeting at all, so again — you may be paying to reach people who don’t need or can’t use your services.
The home services industries that mailed the most postcards to EDDM lists include:
- Cleaning Services
Another landscaping client of ours, Tonka Lawns & Landscape, chose to use an EDDM mailing list and let residents in his local area know what his business had to offer.
They mailed 2,500 lawn services postcards to homes near Blue Bell, PA and gained 3 new clients as a result. One client purchased a landscaping job, generating $8,000, and the other two clients bought monthly mowing services, which brought in $4,650 for a total revenue of $12,650.
After saving money on postage with EDDM, Tonka Lawns & Landscapes spent $1,220 total on this campaign, which amounts to an impressive return on investment of 936%!
WHAT MAILER DESIGNS DO HOME SERVICES BUSINESSES USE?
Businesses in the home services industry overwhelmingly chose custom designs over template designs.
The majority of our home service industry clients are creating their own custom designs (with our designers) that adhere to our 12 key elements of design success. Due to each design being its own custom creation, we aren’t able to read much into design or messaging.
However, a portion of home services businesses — 15% of them — opted to use one of our template designs.
Among those who chose to use a template design, businesses in the roofing and pressure washing industries were the most prolific. You can find our entire design template library here if you want to see them all.
Here are some of the most popular design templates used by home services businesses in 2021:
The pressure washing industry used templates the most among all home services businesses, with almost 32% of pressure washers mailing a template design. The most popular pressure washing templates were:
They selected template #POW-1002, as seen above, and customized it with their own photos and services. They ordered a large number of postcards upfront — 135,000 total — saving them some money by printing in bulk. Once their mailers were printed, mailing the cards consistently throughout the year on a weekly mailing schedule was as easy as sending an email.
Their strategy paid off — after mailing only 64,000 of their 135,000 postcards, they received 97 phone calls, converted 42 of them, and made $170,100 in revenue!
This home services marketing campaign worked well for Xcellent Xteriors, but you’ll have to test different strategies for your own company to see what works best for you. The key to unlocking results is to closely track your leads and find out how your new customers heard about you.
We encourage you to try A/B testing by mailing out two different designs, tracking your results and seeing which one works best. If you choose to create your own home services mailer design, you can always use our design checklist to make sure you are maximizing your campaign’s chance at success.
WHAT POSTAGE CLASS DO HOME SERVICES BUSINESSES USE MOST OFTEN?
They mail standard and carrier route postage most often.
By far and away, postage makes up the lion’s share of any direct mail campaign’s cost. This is where a little bit of savings can go a long way.
There are four main types of postage that home services businesses can use to send their mailers, and each one has advantages and disadvantages. We go over all your options below…
Standard postage: Standard postage is the more affordable selection out of the two-tiered letter-rate postage (as opposed to package rates). It costs between $0.296 and $0.349 per piece.
- Pros: It’s 30–74% less expensive than first-class postage depending on mailing quantity and area saturation. It also allows for individual targeting based upon household demographics regardless of the mailing route.
- Cons: There is no guaranteed delivery time, and it usually takes between 7–14 days. It could also take even longer during peak mailing seasons, like the holidays.
Most home services businesses (37%) chose to mail standard to take advantage of lower postage rates.
Home service industries that mailed standard the most:
- A/C & Heating
- Pest Control
First-class postage: First-class postage is the more expensive letter-rate tier. It costs between $0.455 and $0.515 per piece.
- Pros: It’s faster than standard postage and guarantees delivery 1–5 days from your mailing date (1–3 days locally and 3–5 days nationally). It also provides you with individual targeting based on household demographics regardless of mailing route.
- Cons: It is pricier than standard postage.
Home service industries that mailed first class the most:
- A/C & Heating
Carrier route postage: This is sometimes called a saturation mailing or resident/occupant mailing (res/occ). Carrier route is a standard postage class that is discounted more because its distribution is based on mail carrier routes — specific postal routes taken by USPS delivery staff. It costs between $0.209 and $0.400 per piece.
- Pros: Carrier route postage is up to 146% less costly than first class postage and up to 70% less costly than standard postage. This option is good for saturating an entire area that you know is well qualified.
- Cons: There are limited demographic targeting options, and there is no guaranteed delivery time. A specific type of list is also required, and it usually takes between 7–14 days to mail (but can take even longer during peak mailing seasons like the holidays).
Home service industries that mailed carrier route the most:
- A/C & Heating
Everywhere Direct Door Mailing or EDDM postage: EDDM is a discounted carrier route mailing and the least expensive postage rate available by the USPS aside from specialty postage rates (like nonprofits). It costs between $0.201 and $0.216 per piece.
- Pros: EDDM postage is up to 4% cheaper than carrier route postage and is perfect for saturating an entire area that you know is well qualified. You can even get more affordable options for large mailings.
- Cons: There are not as many options for targeting and no guaranteed delivery time. A specific type of list is required, and it usually takes around 7–14 days to deliver (but longer during peak mailing seasons like the holidays).
Home service industries that mailed EDDM the most:
- Cleaning Services
- Pest Control
Upon looking more closely at which businesses utilize which types of postage, a trend seems to emerge:
Those with more seasonal services — such as pools, landscaping, A/C and heating — are likely to pay more in postage in order to get mail pieces into the hands of prospects quickly. This is especially true for those in the roofing industry, many of whom may be responding to strong storms, where a roofing repair message would need to be delivered ASAP.
WHAT PERCENT OF HOME SERVICES MAILERS USE MATCHING DIGITAL ADS?
About one-third of home services clients integrated digital ads with their direct mail campaigns.
Digital ads can be powerful complementary component to direct mail, since they assist with follow-up, retargeting, and online branding. In fact, according to the Canada Post, integrated direct mail campaigns elicit 39% more attention than single-media digital campaigns.
At PostcardMania, we offer digital ads through our all-in-one campaign bundle, Everywhere Small Business (ESB). It works by launching digital ads on platforms including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google simultaneously when mailers are sent out. These digital ads amplify your message, reaching more people more consistently across a number of media.
This integrated product proved popular among home services businesses:
More than one third — 34% — of home services businesses opted to add digital integration onto their mailings, while 66% were content to stick with mailers alone.
Out of those 34%, there were a number of successful campaigns, which can be found in our case study library.
Red Stick Roofing, for example, ran an Everywhere Small Business campaign that included a custom postcard design, Google ad, Instagram ad, and Facebook ad. They mailed out 4,869 roofing postcards and received 20 responses from prospects.
As a result of their home services marketing campaign, they generated 7 new roofing jobs and $70,000 in revenue!
Below is what their postcard looked like, a design which was closely echoed in their online components of their campaign.
Their Facebook ad:
Their Google ad:
Their Instagram ad:
True Shine Window Washers is another great example of a successful home services marketing campaign that integrated both direct mail and digital advertisements.
They mailed 9,258 window washer postcards to a consumer mailing list that targeted wealthy homeowners who could afford their cleaning services. The coordinating Google ads showed up in prospects’ online feeds 1,560,132 times and received 17,029 clicks! Together, the postcards and digital ads brought in 81 responses, 40 conversions, and $16,000 in revenue!
This is the postcard:
This is the matching Google ad:
While these digital ads are an additional expense, they have the potential to exponentially increase ROI. They also assist with brand awareness and help give your company an edge over competition.
WHICH HOME SERVICES INDUSTRIES USE DIRECT MAIL RETARGETING MOST?
AC & Heating companies jumped on using new, automated retargeting technology the fastest.
As we mentioned earlier in our mailing list section, Website to Mailbox is an incredible technology that allows you to mail postcards to website visitors — even if they didn’t convert on your website and give you their address!
All you have to do is let us know who you want to target, and the follow-up postcard is printed and mailed automatically — and you didn’t even have to lift a finger.
Here’s a quick rundown of prospects you might want to target with a campaign like this:
- Website visitors who spend more than 30 seconds on your website
- Visitors who view your services and/or pricing pages but never convert
- Any visitor who starts to convert and then stops — maybe they started to request an appointment or estimate but never went through with it
And if you are wondering exactly WHY your website visitors come and go without reaching out to you, I recommend you read our in-depth article: 4 Big Reasons Your Website Visitors Left, and What to Do About it. The answer to that question can be quite complex, but there are a number of steps you can take to help solve the issue.
After years of research and testing, we launched Website to Mailbox in July of 2021.
You can read the whole story about how we added this tech to our product list here. Although we did make this available to our clients in the middle of the year (so the data is not spanning a full 12 months), certain industries were quicker to adopt it than others — specifically A/C & Heating and Roofing.
You can see above that A/C & Heating businesses were responsible for 70% of the automated Website to Mailbox mailings sent in 2021. Roofing is a distant second, making up 12% of all automated mailings.
Here are some major benefits of home services businesses using Website to Mailbox:
- Mailings are automatic, so you don’t have to do the work of attaining a list or launching a full-on direct mail campaign.
- Sending a mail piece directly to a website visitor increases your chances of converting them into a customer — especially if you include an offer on the card persuading them to take action.
- It can save you money because you are only sending cards to people who have already shown interest in your services.
- It re-engages website visitors while they are at home, relaxed, checking their mailboxes.
If you’re seeing decent website traffic but not much conversion, consider recapturing the attention of those visitors with Website to Mailbox, a fully automated and targeted offline solution to your online goals.
HOME SERVICES POSTCARD MAILINGS BY STATE
California and Florida were the busiest states for home services mailings in 2021.
It’s no shocker that California and Florida — two of the nation’s most populous states — landed on the list for the top 3 busiest states for home services mailings.
Pennsylvania, the 5th largest state, earned the spot for highest mailing volume.
Here are the top 3 states based on number of mailings throughout the year:
And the top 3 states based on total mail volume throughout the year:
Want to know when the most mail went out in your state? Scroll through to see which months revealed the highest home services mail volumes in 2021 in every state, in alphabetical order:
|Delaware||March||July||September – December|
|Hawaii||September||August, April, March, January||–|
|Maine||September||July||March – June, August|
|Montana||May||January – March||–|
|New Mexico||September, October||March||January|
|North Dakota||April – November||–||–|
We also discovered that the most frequent month for mailing in every state was March, and the least frequent month was December.
Like many of the clients we serve, spring is an opportune time to market your business to families throughout the U.S. Why? Because the weather is better and summer is just around the corner when there is more time for homeowners to renovate their properties.
December, which is the peak of the holiday season and the end of the year, is usually a time when families put aside major home improvements until after the holidays.
We hope you found this information about home services marketing helpful, and that you can use the data as you enter into 2023. There are multiple ways to achieve your marketing goals, but sometimes it’s easier to work with a professional like us who can deliver results and save you time, money and energy.
Since 1998 (over 20 years ago), we’ve worked closely with home services businesses to conceptualize, deliver and continually improve their campaigns to achieve maximum success.
In that time, we’ve worked with 14,448 home services business and our 35 marketing consultants are trained to know specific marketing strategies that can make or break your campaign. You can avoid big mistakes and get a head start on marketing success with us.
If you need more information on how to get started, call a PostcardMania marketing consultant FREE at 877-437-6670. They will be able to tailor a marketing strategy that fits your needs and your budget.