Fall and Winter Marketing Ideas

Fall is here, or Autumn if you prefer.

Leaves are changing colors and beginning to drop, you and your kids (or your landscaper) are raking them up, and children are dressing up to gather some tricks or treats. 

However, now is not the time to be tricked into thinking that cold weather is just around the corner and the broken heating systems and pipes will keep you busy all winter.  Treat your company to a steady flow of service and sales calls through both seasons with a few of our not all-inclusive list of fall and winter marketing ideas.

Your fall maintenance promotions in full swing selling tune-ups, duct cleaning and service agreements.  This should have been marketed from the end of September or early October right  through November.

The middle to end of October right through November is the time to market to the general public for your fall heating system replacements.  This is also the time to market to customers for comfort-enhancing accessories such as humidifiers, air cleaners, zoning, duct cleaning, UV lights, etc., especially those that purchased a system without these items in the last 2 years.  I prefer a direct mail letter to the general public for replacements and either a letter or postcard to your customers for the accessories.  Fall is HUGE for IAQ.  For all you plumbers, you should also market plumbing services aggressively as fall is also home maintenance time and preparing home for holidays and winter, and time to get those last minute projects done that can be claimed for tax purposes.

Now is also the time to start planning your winter marketing campaign.  This should include newspaper ads in November and December for the general public with an offer of system replacements/upgrades that includes cash back for the holidays and/or no money down deferred payment options along with a “clean-up guarantee” since people will be sensitive to the potential mess.  Also, state that installation is typically a one day process and that the heat will only be off for a few hours, that you can provide portable heaters will the install is being done if necessary, and that you guarantee not to leave without heat overnight or will pay to put them up in a hotel and pay all expenses.

Your winter campaign should also include a letter mailed to your customer base offering a system replacement/upgrade offer that is probably your most aggressive promo of the year.  This offer should be the same you will mail to your general public mailing list after January 12th with an added incentive since these are your very best customers.  In fact, the letter can include a cover letter that thanks them for being your customer and explains how they receive an added bonus.  Your customers should receive this letter the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and should have an expiration date of 12/31 and/or be limited in quantity.

You can then mail the same offer without the cover letter and added incentive to the general public after January 12th thru March 15th at the rate of 2500 pieces per salesperson per week (or every other week if flow is consistent from this and other sources).  The promo should end April 15th, just in time for your Spring maintenance and replacement to drop.

Your fall newsletter should also go out in early to mid November and not include any sales pieces.  The newsletter should contain a “thank you for being our customer” letter insert or letter from the owner column along with helpful home and holiday tips (e.g. maintenance, decorating, cooking, recipes, etc.).

Do not send any “sale mail” from December 10-January 12. You’ll be lost amidst the average of 70 catalogs that your customers are getting. DO send a Holiday Card to ALL customers to stand out.

Free samples of holiday cards and newsletters can be found at www.hudsonink.com.  The Marketing PowerPack, Maintenance & Service PowerPack, IAQ PowerPack, and Plumbing PowerPack all have great marketing pieces you can use.  Check ‘em out.

Please call or email if you have any questions or if we can help.

I can almost smell the s'mores and hot chocolate by an outdoor bonfire.  This is one of my family's favorite times of year.  Enjoy!

Published: October 31, 2007 12:17 PM by Drew Cameron

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