Tuesday, 30 April 2013

‘Acres Of Diamonds’

“Are You Too Busy Finding New Marketing Ideas And Missing The ‘Acres Of Diamonds’ At Your Feet?” 

NCCA Member, Jim Leech of Essex, Went Back To ‘OLD SCHOOL’ Marketing And Made £7,084 (And Counting) From A £698.00 Investment …
And Took Him Minutes To Do!

Being from the ‘Old School’ of marketing myself, I was very glad to hear from TWO current NCCA members that have gone ‘off-line’ with their marketing this month.  They were ‘gobsmacked’ at the results of their ‘Old School’ marketing both with the amount of money they made for very little time and effort. 

Mark Pritchard, NCCA carpet cleaners makes a 12:1 Return on Investment by sending Postcard to his clients
Please keep reading and I’ll share with you the actual numbers from both these carpet cleaners and how YOU can also make between 10:1 and 12:1 return on your investments (£10 - £12 back on every £1 invested). 

Firstly, this reminds me of the story of “Acres of Diamonds” … and I’d like to give you a quick overview of it.

In marketing it is said a good ‘List’ is solid ‘Gold’.

But if lists are gold, then your own 'Client List' has to be like finding “Acres of Diamonds”.

“Acres of Diamonds” is not a ‘new-fangled’ marketing idea … in fact it dates way back and was from a parable, told in lectures over 6,000 times by a Baptist Minister from Massachusetts, USA called Russell H. Conwell.

Russell discovered the story himself while travelling in the Middle East, upon his return he spent many years travelling North America giving his lecture and encouraging his audience to find “acres of diamonds” in their own ‘backyards’.

Now this wasn’t ‘old school’ motivation; it was positively ‘pre-school’ as Russell gave his talks and lectures way back in the late 1800’s, therefore making him one of the original ‘motivational speakers’. 

Acres of Diamonds - carpet cleaners find your diamonds by marketing to your own database

It was over 100-years ago “Acres of Diamonds” was first published as a book telling this ancient ‘true story’ about a contented and wealthy farmer called Ali Hafed, -- contented because he was wealthy, and wealthy because he was contented.

Unfortunately one day Hafed learnt of the discovery of precious diamonds in Europe from a travelling Monk. This left
Hafed feeling less than contented, in fact he felt ‘poor’. This feeling ate at Hafed so much he sold his farm and left his family to go in search of Diamonds for himself.

After years of searching, without any success, he lost his health and his wealth and finally in desperation he flung himself in to the sea, never to be seen again.

Acres of Diamonds - marketing message to carpet cleaners, mail your list
Ironically, the new owner of Hafed's farm discovered, on the very same land the great diamond mines of Golconda, which were to produce some of the most magnificent diamonds in all history. Even the Koh-i-noor diamond, in the British Crown Jewels was found in the Golconda mines.

The moral of the story is that we often dream of fortunes to be made elsewhere. The idea that the "grass is always greener on the other side"... and so on. 

Instead we ought to be open to the opportunities that are around us.  Now I’m not suggesting you physically go and start digging up your back garden, so how can you find your acres of diamonds?  Just look around you now and find your Diamonds.
“Acres of Diamonds” For UK Carpet Cleaners Now. 

To bring this back to marketing for carpet cleaners in the 21st century, is simple… A lot of carpet cleaners seem to always be looking for new clients.  Trying to find the new magic marketing tool to bring them success.     Some of these cleaners tell me they attract all their new customers on the ‘Internet’ and ‘it doesn’t cost them much money’.

While I completely agree, the Internet is a great way to find new customers and if done correctly, it can be very cheap too. However, it often costs far more than people think!

When I question these ‘Internet Cleaners’ I find they spend hours and hours per day online tweaking multiple sites, or you can see them posting on Facebook 24/7 etc… they seem to forget their 'time' is precious! 

So the Internet can be a great tool to help you bring in new customers, but may I suggest you spread your marketing budget (on-line and off-line) around a little more.   And the first place you should be focusing on is your very own customers.

Building a ‘good list’ from your customers will become your “Acres of Diamonds” and all you really need to do is keep in regular contact with them offering deals and specials etc...

Now, if you are new to business and don't have a single client then compile a list of your "circle of influence", or people you know or are acquainted with, and start from there.

Or, align yourself with a business owner who already has lots of your type of customers - and offer his list an amazing deal only for his/her customers. (Hint: It might help if you demo your carpet cleaning service to this business owner for free so he can confidently recommend you to his clients)

Why Is This List So VALUABLE?

Because you already have a relationship with these people!
Rather than only searching for new prospects and working with 'cold' lists, we want to convert your 'warm' database of customers (a customer is a one time transaction) into a 'hot' list of clients (with regular, ongoing relationships), full of people who are familiar with you, they have used your service before and trust you.

You’ll get between 500% and 600% increase in return from your investment when you market to your clients instead of running after new people all the time.

NOW, for a ‘quick-start’ I recommend you use ‘Old School’ off-line marketing first.

There are two main reasons for this…
  1. Ask yourself how many emails, addressed to you, came in your inbox last week (not including spam). Then ask how many letters (not bills) did you receive by post last week? A letter by Royal Mail stands out more than an email and will provoke more people to take action.
  2. How many emails do you have in your list for your customers? And of those emails how many are current??  People often DO NOT give out their main email, they a secondary ‘home email’.   The secondary or home email is often from their broadband suppliers and will change them every couple of years or so when they change internet providers… and shock horror they do this without telling you first!
Unquestionably the most reliable way to contact your customers (and convert them in to clients) is via good old direct mail and by posting them a letter.

With direct mail you need to aim for your ‘lowest hanging fruit’ … or market to the warmest list, which is the people that are more likely to purchase now. Try dividing your customers into four groups.
  1. Current Customers. People that have purchased in the last 6-12 months, you like them and are mid to high-end ticket jobs. This is your hot list. 
  2. Past Customers. People that last purchased between 12 and 24 months, you like them and they can pay your invoices. This is your warm list.
  3. Old Customers. People that last purchased between 24 and 60 months and are willing to pay your invoices. These are cooling down. 
  4. Dead Customers. Anyone not returning within 60-months are now cold. Plus anyone you didn’t like working for or that you don’t think would pay £100 plus for your service. You should think carefully marketing to these people, it could be very costly.
What If You Don't Have The Tools?

Don’t worry if you haven’t got the ‘software’ to segregate your customers or indeed the ‘knowledge’ to set-up and send out an effective mailshot yourself … as help is at hand.

In the last year or so we have had THREE NEW ‘Corporate’ members join the NCCA that can really help you convert your ‘list’ in to
“Acres of Diamonds”.

Two of them have ‘Client Database Marketing Software’, or in other words computer programmes written for UK carpet cleaners to you get the most out of your customer database and create great marketing lists.

Both software packages are designed and owned by genuine people and both are still carpet cleaners, you may know or have heard of …

Allan Simmons, with Get Booked Up www.getbookedup.com

Kevin Loomes, with Cleaners Mate www.cleanersmate.co.uk

Please give them both a try as they have FREE sample software on their websites.

The third Corporate Member I recommend you contact is Neil Jenkins, he runs a ‘printing and fulfilment house’, called Mail Boxes Etc... of Maidenhead.   Neil will provide the paper for letter, the envelope, print the letter, stuff the letter in the envelope and post it for you ... all cheaper than you can buy a 2nd class stamp for!  

And the great thing is as a NCCA Corporate member Neil will give NCCA members the same great deal of just 39p (47p inc vat) for one letter or up to 1 million letters. 

So a for 500 letters, you just send the letter and 500 names and addresses, along with £235 ... and Neil will do all the hard word of printing and posting ... to generate you £2,350 worth of work. 

Neil Jenkins, with Mail Boxes etc… Maidenhead www.mbe.co.uk/maidenhead

DO YOU want to fill your diary next week and bring in immediate money into your business, send out an "irresistible offer" to your existing clients that haven't used you in 6 months or more.

Harvesting Your "Acres Of Diamonds"

As I said at the start of the blog I have had TWO long-term NCCA members send me their results of their off-line mailshot to their ‘list’ or current customers.   

One member used a letter and the other postcard, however, both these cleaners used a on-line printing and mailing company to take out all the hard.   And thankfully both these guys have allowed me to share with you their numbers. 

The first is Jim Leech, from Essex.    Jim, who would be the first to admit he is not great on computers and dealing with mailshots.   He had his daughter help him put a letter together and built a list for him from his database.

Jim's mailshot was a letter with a £10 OFF voucher and over the last few months he has been sending the letters to his list in groups of a few hundred people … here’s Jim's results...

Marketing Piece:
Printed Letter
Marketing Target:
Old Customers
Printed Offer:
£10 off Voucher
Printed & Posted by:
Total Pieces Sent:
1,800 letters
Total Cost:
Total Booked:
42 people
Total £'s Taken:
Average Job ticket:
Return on investment:

1,800 letters, gets 42 jobs and makes £7,084.00, plus this amount is growing as Jim still has more prospects to quote for and more calls almost daily.

For this campaign Jim used Docmail (www.cfhdocmail.com) which is an online printing and post company.    It now takes Jim just minutes to send out a few hundred letters.  However, Docmail does have a number of downsides compared to Neil at MBE, like...
  • Docmail only use 'window envelopes' which means your customers address will take up a large chunk your letter, Neil at MBE allows you to use all the letter for your message as he prints the clients address on the outside. 
  • Docmail will not allow 'teaser copy' on the outside of the envelope, as MBE print on the outside they allow you to add teaser copy for free.  Teaser copy is making an offer on the outside of the envelope which gets it opened quicker and increases responces. 
  • Docmail charge extra for your 'return address', with MBE its free, so allows you to clean your list with people that have moved.
  • Docmail need your list 'post ready' and sent to them in certain way, if not they will not send or charge you extra. Just call Neil at MBE and he will talk you through it. He'll discuss what you need to do ... and send you a printed sample of your letter FREE.     

The second person to do really well with his mailshot is Mark Pritchard of Hertfordshire. 

Mark, said he didn’t want to write a letter, (couldn't be bothered more like) so he asked his wife to make up a postcard out of an advert she already made for him.  Here is a copy of the postcard...

Mark Pritchard, NCCA carpet cleaners makes a 12:1 Return on Investment by sending Postcard to his clients

Marks postcard was A6, but when he noticed it was just 2p more for A5 size, he went for that printed full colour side.

Here's Marks results...

Marketing Piece:
Marketing Target:
Old Customers
Printed Offer:
3 for 2 Offer
Printed & Posted by:
Total Pieces Sent:
896 postcards
Total Cost:
Total Booked:
30 people
Total £'s Taken:
Average Job ticket:
Return on investment:

Marks figures are great, although one of Marks domestic clients works at a school and got him a £900 job there (what a shame). So if you wanted say that one job didn't count and remove the commercial job, Marks average job falls a little to £134 and his return on invest falls just below 10:1.  

Regardless ... Mark did a great job and made £4,813.00 from a £397.83 investment.

Which works best Letter or Postcard...?   I personally like the letters, as you can add more details and personalise them more.  The real answer is they both do ... try mixing them up a little and test the results for yourself.

(Please Note: Most letters/postcards sent before the post office price increase 1st April 2013). 

So there's my proof ...  Old School marketing does work.   Jim and Mark have made it look easy, don’t they? Well I’m going to make it even easier for you.

But first here's something you should remember when using direct mail...
Most people live their lives with tunnel vision, they only see what they want to see.  Therefore Jim sent his letters to 1,800 people and only 42 purchased ... so he CAN keep on mailing, every few weeks to the other 1,758 people.
Don't think because you sent someone a letter this year you will have to wait until next year to write again.     
Here's what to do...

Step 1: Fill in the form below and I’ll send you THREE ready-made letters all with vouchers attached...FOR FREE. These cover the 3 main sections of your customers...    
     a.  Current Clients: 6-12 months with a £10 off Voucher. 
     b.  Past Clients: 12-24 months with a 3 for 2 offer 
     c.  Old Clients: 24-60 months with a FREE ROOM offer 
Step 2: Download the ‘FREE Client Database Software’ packages from both of our Corporate members. Allan or Kevin can help you create three groups from your database, as above be selecting the people you want to work for. I suggest you work in batches of 300-400.
Step 3: Contact Neil Jenkins at Mail Boxes etc… call him on 01628633336 and he will help you put the mailing and database together for you. He will even send you a sample of the letter FREE.   

Carpet Cleaners - get 3 FREE Marketing Letters to your database
 Get these letters here for FREE...

What could be easier? As Jim and Mark have already shown, you could be making between £4000-£7000 additional money over the next few weeks.

Please let me know your success stories.  


Keith Robertson 
NCCA Vice President and Marketing Director

PS. I’d like to thank Jim Leech and Mark Pritchard for sharing their actual marketing figures with us all. And please remember these guys have their own businesses, so please don’t call them … call the three Corporate members who are willing and able to help you better.

PPS. If you have any successful marketing you would like to share with others please contact me via the office.


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