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Thursday, December 04, 2008

An elegant idea

Jon Goldman speaking at Construct Canada. He has an impressive collection of ideas -- some of which I will share in future blog postings.

Here is a story that will brighten your day -- and perhaps provide the marketing answer you are seeking.

Hopkins and Porter, a Potomac, MD, contractor planned a special celebration for its 25th anniversary. The company sent a letter to its former clients, offering them one free hour of handyman services in exchange for permission to putting a lawn sign at their home.
The campaign cost $2,000 -- and netted $375,000 in sales -- marketing consultant Jon Goldman told a Construct Canada seminar today.

Goldman said 32 per cent of the people who received the letter responded. Many took up the offer of the free handyman service -- but many purchased additional services, and referred their friends.

The thing that I really like about this idea is its impressive simplicity. You don't need to be in business for 25 years to make it work (Hopkins and Porter's website says it celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2007 -- I will check to see if they repeated the story last year.) "Every business has an anniversary; it could be five years, three years, even one years, and this would work," says Goldman.

Goldman says marketing makes the most sense when you pick the "low hanging fruit" and that fruit is, of course, your previous satisfied clients and referral contacts. Give them a reason to connect with you again, and you'll get even more business, and quickly.

Here's the good news. If your business had been doing well in good times, relying on word of mouth and referrals, you can implement this type of strategy quickly, easily, and profitably.
Smart marketing need not be expensive nor difficult to co-ordinate.

1 comment:

Mark Buckshon said...

I have received this email from Guy Hopkins Semmes in response to an email to him to verify this posting:

Mark - All true and fine to use in your blog. We did not repeat this
program on our 30th. Something about turning 30?!? we kept it kind oflow. Our activity that year was to sponsor a ballgame at the local
college wooden bat league ball park invite all our subs and clients and raised $8,000 for Habit for Humanity which we presented before the game on the pitching mound. There is more to the story about the ballpark and our involvement which is quite neat.

Keep up the good work.