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Acquiring New Customers with Marketing Pro - Direct Mail

Diana Lamirand
March 23rd, 2023
9 Min Read

Looking for an easier way to acquire new customers for your service business in 2023? Say hello to Marketing Pro - Direct Mail, a customizable ServiceTitan tool that allows you to filter and send your direct mail marketing message to the right audience, remove wasted ad spend, and increase your ROI.

“Direct Mail is our full suite, one-stop-shop direct mail tool, which helps you build very targeted audiences, whether they're existing customers or prospective customers,” said Ara Sarkisyan, ServiceTitan’s Senior Project Manager on the Marketing Pro team. “The new feature of Direct Mail—our Acquisition Audiences tool—is what's going to allow you to actually market to those new prospects.”

Making the phones ring and generating leads that convert into jobs requires a more targeted, strategic approach—rather than the old hit-or-miss method of sending mass postcard mailings to every single property within a certain radius, and hoping your message lands in the right hands at the right time. 

With the new Acquisition Audience Builder for Marketing Pro - Direct Mail, you can build targeted mailing lists based on unique property data, then easily launch a new marketing campaign using our professionally designed postcard templates. 

In a recent ServiceTitan webinar, Sarkisyan and Senior Project Manager Heather Donaldson demonstrated the Acquisition Audience Builder tool, explained why targeted direct mail campaigns boost lead-generation efforts, and shared best practices for creating direct mail acquisition campaigns.

» Want to grow your business? Click here to get a demo.

What is Acquisition Audience Builder for Marketing Pro - Direct Mail?

With ServiceTitan’s Marketing Pro - Direct Mail, contractors can send messages to build brand recognition, increase lead generation for new customers, and establish a loyal following among existing customers. 

The Acquisition Audience Builder tool—used mainly to target new prospects or new customers—drills down further into available data to capture property and customer profile information so companies can send certain messages to a specifically chosen audience. 

“It's essentially a data set of prospects and properties in your local service area, and you can filter against properties by their actual traits,” Sarkisyan said. “And the hope here is it's going to allow you to find the correct profile property for your campaign in order to remove any waste and to increase ROI.”

Service providers start a direct mail campaign by selecting the service area they wish to target, using up to five ZIP codes in a certain area. With the Acquisition Audience Builder tool, a small business or large enterprise can then filter by specific property features, such as:

  • Total Assessed Value

  • Property Use

  • Age of Structure

  • HVAC Cooling System

  • HVAC Heating System

  • Total Interior Area

  • Water Source

  • Property Last Sold

“And Direct Mail allows you to send one-time or automated campaigns in a consolidated manner within your CRM, so you’re able to track and reference everything, with all your analytics in one place,” Sarkisyan said.

ServiceTitan created its Acquisition Audience Builder tool to help solve a major pain point for contractors when it comes to marketing their companies via direct mail. The process was often a big hassle, with hours spent digging through your CRM to build potential prospect lists, then struggling to design the content or haggle over print and mailing costs. And once direct mail got sent, many contractors had no way of accessing any data to track these marketing campaigns.

“This is our attempt to solve all these things,” Sarkisyan said. “And by consolidating the tool and your data all in one place with the rest of your marketing, the hope is that we can alleviate these things and make this process a lot smoother and take what used to be potentially a multi-week exercise down to maybe a 15- or 30-minute session.”

Reasons to use Acquisition Audience Builder:

  • Generate more leads and find new customers

  • Less hassle: No mailing lists to buy, no printers to deal with

  • No more hours spent exporting/importing spreadsheets

  • Build your own audiences and send targeted, relevant messaging 

  • Everything in one tool

  • Convenient, easy way to quickly spin up an entire acquisition campaign

The Acquisition Audience Builder tool helped Cherie Hudson, Marketing Manager of Nice Heating & Air in Virginia, save tons of time with her company’s direct mail campaign. What typically took her team a month to pull together–prospect lists, develop creative content, and actually facilitate the sending of the campaign–was shortened to less than a day. And, ultimately, the company’s direct mail campaign generated 14K in revenue, Sarkisyan said.

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How to create prospect mailing lists using Acquisition Audience Builder

To start an Audience Acquisition campaign, you must first build your audience list.

The tool opens to show your company’s local service area, and then you can search by the city’s name that you want to target or enter up to five ZIP codes.

“We want these campaigns to be as targeted as possible and we want to make sure there's a lot of focus going into each campaign,” Sarkisyan said. “Right now, we're limiting it to five ZIP codes. One, just to control the amount of people in the audience, and two, as a way to make sure we're getting as narrow as possible.”

Rather than sending a mass mailing, the tool allows you to filter out waste, save money, and achieve a higher return on your marketing dollars. For instance, you can select “single family residential” to filter out commercial properties, apartment buildings, duplexes, and even vacant properties to narrow your list. Existing customers are automatically excluded from your acquisition list.

Then, it’s just a matter of stacking on any filters you want to use in a particular campaign. Maybe you’re an HVAC company and looking to grow your install leads. You might filter out any homes less than 15 years old and with a higher assessed value to find customers in need of replacing their old HVAC system with a new unit. Or you might use the “property last sold” filter to find new homeowners interested in receiving service from a reliable HVAC company near them.

“These filters, when used in combination with one another, should be able to take direct mail away from a wide-net approach to a more targeted and focused one,” Sarkisyan said. “There's no reason to send out 5,000 postcards to get 50 jobs, if you can just send 500 to the right people for that same return.”

Once your audience is built, you simply attach it to a direct mail campaign. Marketing Pro - Direct Mail currently offers several pre-built templates using a 4x6 postcard, but other print types and sizes are coming soon. Direct Mail is limited to first-class mail, and the postcards typically deliver within five to seven business days.

Then, you can assign a unique tracking number to your direct mail campaign, allowing you to capture any attributed revenue and monitor each campaign’s success.

You can also open ServiceTitan’s Direct Mail gallery to find a template you like, then create your own postcards by adding your own photos, branding, and more.

If you choose to add your own images, just make sure they adhere to the specifications on the upload page for quality printing, said Heather Donaldson. The size should be:

  • 1,875 x 1,275 pixels

  • 300 DPI minimum

Once you’ve created your postcard, click save and continue, then review to make sure all content is where it needs to be. If all looks good, click “schedule,” and it’s ready to send. Once it arrives in your target audience’s mailbox a week later, you can start checking the Campaign Metrics tab to see how the campaign performs.

In Sarkisyan’s mass mailing example to 16,000 homes, the cost would have been nearly $9,000. After applying specific filters to narrow his acquisition audience, Sarkisyan was able to whittle down the list to just over 3,000 homes and reduce the cost significantly.

“With just two or three clicks of filter applications, we reduced 75% of the cost,” he said. “We want to keep you guys from wasting your money, and we want those marketing dollars to be spent on another campaign or potentially somewhere else to drive more jobs and more revenue.”

Donaldson said the Acquisition Audience Builder tool is immediately available at no additional cost to all ServiceTitan users with access to the full suite of Marketing Pro services, which includes Direct Mail.

“This is not an added expense. You're only paying for what you send,” Donaldson said. “Marketing Pro-Direct Mail is pay-per-send. You are just going to be paying for the postcards you send out.”

Best practices for creating direct mail acquisition campaigns

Direct mail postcards simply work because they bypass junk email filters and go straight into the hands of the property owners you're trying to reach. Even if a customer leaves the postcard on the counter or in a drawer, they may be reminded of your company at a later date.

The most successful direct mail campaigns that elicited the best results had actionable value to them, Donaldson said, in addition to a very targeted audience.

“Instead of just sending something to show branding like, ‘Welcome to the neighborhood, call us if you need us,’ give them an offer,” Donaldson said. “You're going to have to sweet talk and entice them a little bit to bring them through the door."

“The other thing to remember is to measure those campaigns,” she added. “Add unique tracking numbers to make sure you can actually track the campaigns that you're sending.”

Think of marketing as a multi-pronged approach, Donaldson said, and know that it sometimes takes a couple of touchpoints for you to actually get prospects to take action. 

“Typically, when somebody gets something from your company, they're probably not ready to pull the trigger just yet. What they need to do is gain some trust in your company and start hearing about you a little bit more, so they are a little more confident in working with you,” Donaldson said. “You're actually building relationships through all of the marketing you're doing, even with the customers who aren't even your customers yet. 

“So, all of your marketing, in general, equals the full picture,” she added. “It's not ever going to be just one single campaign that elicits results, especially with new customers.”

ServiceTitan Software

ServiceTitan is a comprehensive software solution built specifically to help service companies streamline their operations, boost revenue, and substantially elevate the trajectory of their business. Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

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