In the Seattle area, we sell our shade products direct to consumers. Last year, a third of our residential sales came from referral and repeat customers – this is pretty typical for us, and awesome. We spend a ton of money on marketing, and one way that we look at it is that for every new customer we get, we’re generating one third of a future order in referral or repeat business.
Print ads in local newspapers came in next at about twenty percent.
Online was our third biggest marketing source at about eighteen percent – this has been steadily rising over the past few years, so that’s great to see.
Direct mail consistently does really well for us. We have used RSVP for many years and continue to recommend them. The postcards sent by RSVP often get shown to us by customers, years after they have been sent.
Sales from home shows are pretty low but the conversion rates of those leads are remarkably high.
If you’re looking to boost your sales this season, here are the three key things that we recommend you do to market your business:
- Direct mail. 2016 is the 14th year that we’ve worked with RSVP – they’re great, we highly recommend them if they’re in your area. This is only the third year that City Publications has operated in the Seattle area, but they’ve been slowly building some traction. A direct mail deck, like RSVP or City Pub, will get you in front of the right people at the lowest cost per piece.
- Online advertising, specifically a pay per click campaign. We use Reach Local; they’re great at what they do, we’ve had great success with them. I’d recommend that you get in touch with your local representative and get an estimated monthly budget. We also run a second pay per click campaign that we manage ourselves through Google Adwords. This requires a bit more of a time investment to learn how to use it, but it’s relatively simple and the results are good. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can go through your monthly budget – not because the clicks are expensive, but because you’ll get a ton of them!
- Finally, make sure you have a really great, professional looking website. If you don’t have a website, or think yours might not be up to par, Rainier is happy to provide content and pictures if you need.