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About Harley Neal

My main goal at the end of the day is helping others climb this mountain of life. In business, I strive to find new as well as bring back old ideas that help our contractor clients grow their business regardless of the challenges.

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Here are my most recent posts

10 Requirements For Every Contractor Postcard Marketing Design

The postcard has taken on new prominence as a kind of “anti-internet” agent. Homeowners are paying more attention than ever to postcards they receive in the mail, and are responding to offers at high rates.

87% of mail recipients claim to at least scan postcards that they receive. So it is very important that the design of the postcard.

When it comes to contractor postcard marketing, there are many factors to its success. Postcard marketing for contractors is an affordable marketing tool that gets directly into your customers hands.

10 Factors For Quality Contractor Postcard Marketing Design

contractor postcard marketing design

Listed below are the 10 most important factors when it comes to a home improvement contractor and their postcard design.

  1. A Bold Headline – The headline should explain in what you are offering. Many contractors make the mistake of using their logo or company name as the largest aspect of a postcard, but the headline should be what you are offering to the homeowner.
  2. Bold Colors – If getting noticed is the primary goal of postcard design, it stands to reason that you would select bright, attention getting colors for your postcard design. In the sample design color can trigger emotion as autumn colors.
  3. Graphic or Photo That Supports Headline – A strong photo that details what the headline is stating.
  4. Benefits – Many contractors display a list of services or industry jargon. Instead always put a clear benefit for the homeowner.
  5. A strong Call to action on both sides of the card – How do you want people to contact you? Phone number and your website should be prominent. Always direct people to what they need to do next.
  6. A second headline on the back of the card which leads to call to action – Either your phone number or web address or both. Encourage quick action. Give homeowners a good reason to act now, perhaps a fast action bonus with a deadline.
  7. Offer or discount – Make sure that your offer has an expiration date, this way the homeowner may be more likely to use.
  8. Company Name and Logo
  9. Return address
  10. Contact information highlighted or in bold

Postcards can be an effective and affordable part of your contractor marketing program. So don’t let a lack of writing experience stop you from using them. View the latest in contractor postcard designs at:

Top Of Mind Marketing… with Postcards! Have Your Started Yours Yet?

Well, it’s a new year full of new possibilities. Have you planned a marketing strategy to reach out to potential new customers or even touch base with your existing clients yet? No, you say? Tis’ tis’… Now, we all know how busy our daily routine can be and how often we need reminding of things. Why not give those in your service area a friendly nudge to remind them of your available services?

Whether it is an A/C Tune-Up postcard, roof maintenance for the stormy season or electrical safety inspection special, postcards and direct print marketing have a way of reaching people that otherwise may not be reached by technological means. Even in the event that the recipients of your fantastic marketing piece do not call right away, you are engaging in what is known as (top of mind marketing). That simply means, when the A/C crashes or the roof caves in your company (and not your competition) will be in the forefront of their mind. Watch our short video to learn more. More Information »

Project Photos That Should NEVER Be Used

Don’t waste your time taking project photos that will either never be used by a sensible designer or at the least never should be used.  It’s not so much that project photos are a waste, the problem is that 75% of project photos taken on the job are useless and do not benefit your marketing promotions in a favorable way, whether it be online or offline.

Ultimately, customers are not interested in seeing mid-construction photos that give the appearance of a sheetrock bomb going off in their kitchen.  A good honest before photo and a CLEAN (this means, no half used paint buckets, no scrap wood or tools on the counter – just clean & professional ) after shot.  If you can’t look at a photo and say, “That would impress me” then keep taking them until you can. Pictures can be worth a thousand words, let’s just make sure that your pictures leave potential clients with the right kind of words.

As someone who has designed well over 500+ websites and numerous direct marketing pieces, I can say that one or two quality, high resolution images that are unique to your industry are a treasure and will help improve your overall marketing presence a 1,000 times more than 147 images that do your company no justice.

So where do you go from here now that you’ve discovered that your priceless collection of project photos may not be so priceless? I get it, you’re not a photographer. So, perhaps a few quick tips will clear this all up and set you on the road to success.

First, let’s start with lighting. If the lighting for a potential photo is poor, try getting a mobile floodlight or even a flash light to brighten up the colors and detail. Don’t move! Blurry photos produce nothing but headaches. Remove any materials, tools, dirty towels, water bottles etc. from the target area. Imagine Architectural Digest or some such magazine to get your minds eye in the right frame of mind. Think of the service that you want to promote with the photo that you about to take before you take it. Is it crown molding? Then, take a clean somewhat closer picture to highlight the quality of our work. Are you promoting landscaping? Then, remove the bouncy ball and garbage can from the front lawn before taking the picture. Finally, remember that designers can always shrink down larger photos but we cannot blow them up very much, so try taking higher quality photos if at all possible.

The Black Eye of Contractor Marketing

It is said that 90% of contractors do not have a retention program.  Meaning, no mailing list of past customers, no email address collection, no seasonal thank you cards or service reminders, just dead silence. Generally, the attitude is “project completed, got paid, on to the next client”. This is what we refer to as the “Black Eye” of contractor marketing. You need to look at retention marketing as investing in the future of your business by staying connected to your past. By staying connected to your “sold” customers, you are holding on to an ever increasing client base that is already sold on calling “You” and not your competition. It is 70% easier to sell to a past customer than it is to close potential new clients.

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