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Contractor Marketing Quick Tips: Plain English Writing

Your Ads Might Be As Hard To Read As Ancient Hieroglyphs… And You Don’t Even Know It.

Your Ads Might Be As Hard To Read As Ancient Hieroglyphs… And You Don’t Even Know It.

Your English Teachers Were Wrong. So Was Shakespeare.
Your Writing Should Be Simple And Easy To Read.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

When I was in Boy Scouts, one of our leaders, Mr. Colby, was a certified, bona fide, and unapologetic NERD. He constantly said stuff that left all of us scratching our heads and wondering what the heck he was talking about. If the answer to a question was yes, instead of a simple “yes,” he’d say “affirmative.” Instead of telling us where we were headed on a hike, he’d give us latitude and longitude coordinates. Like that.

Usually we’d just roll our eyes and ignore him.

Then one night after a hearty campfire meal, Mr. Colby put his hands behind his head, leaned back in his chair, and pronounced to the entire group,

“My gastronomical satiety admonishes me to such an extent that I am no longer able to indulge myself beyond the limits of dietary integrity.”

He said it with a straight face. We all just looked at him with blank stares.
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Are You Flushing Your Advertising Dollars Down The Toilet?

Is Advertising A Good Investment… Or Just Flushing Money Down The Toilet?

Is Advertising A Good Investment… Or Just Flushing Money Down The Toilet?

Take A Few Minutes To Figure Out Your Numbers…
Then Spending Money Becomes Slightly Less Stressful.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

Give me the proverbial nickel for every time I’ve heard someone say, “This advertising costs too much!” and I could afford to buy my own Caribbean island.

Clients practically go into cardiac arrest when they find out it costs $32,000 a month to run six spots a week on the six o’clock news. It is pretty easy to get sticker shock when you see that a sixty-second radio commercial on a popular Los Angeles station could cost you a thousand bucks. Each. Or when you realize that a newspaper ad in your city barely bigger than a Hershey Bar will cost a couple thousand dollars. It’s easy to automatically think that’s a lot of money.

Now here’s the important question for you, the advertiser: Does the ad actually cost too much?
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Fun With Gift Cards

The Reluctant Buyer Suddenly Turned Into A Motivated Now Buyer… Thanks To The Gift Card.

The Reluctant Buyer Suddenly Turned Into A Motivated Now Buyer… Thanks To The Gift Card.

People Perceive Gift Cards To Be Extremely Valuable…
Here Are Seven Ways To Use Them To Your Advantage.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article called “Wink, Wink Deals” and gave an example of a remodeling salesman pulling a gift card out of his wallet and offering it to a client as a “deal clincher.” I’ve had several people ask me for more details about that, so I decided to cover it in more detail—along with several other ways to use gift cards in your business—in today’s article.

But first let’s talk about gift cards—what they are, how they work, and why they’re so darn powerful in a contractor’s marketing campaign.

For our purposes, there are two different kinds of gift cards—gift cards that can be redeemed for purchases with YOUR COMPANY, and gift cards for other companies… usually restaurants or retailers.

The second kind of gift cards—restaurants, retailers, etc. —have swept over the country like a plastic tsunami in recent years. They’re the go-to (and admittedly lazy) gift for all occasions—from birthdays, to holidays, to thank you’s, to graduations, to anything and everything else. These kinds of cards can be extremely useful in a marketing campaign… but they also have given a sort of “credibility by association” to the other kind of gift cards—ones that are only valid for purchases at your company.
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Free Burritos And Starving Artists…

The Artists Are Starving Because They Fail To Implement The Simplest Marketing Technique: Name Capturing.

The Artists Are Starving Because They Fail To Implement The Simplest Marketing Technique: Name Capturing.

If You Fail To Capture Contact Information From Prospects,
You’re Killing Future Sales—And You Don’t Even Know It.

Written by Rich Harshaw.

Note: This article is part of Monopolize Your Marketplace’s ongoing “Outside The Box” series, which feature ideas, strategies, and case studies from OUTSIDE the remodeling industry, with suggestions of how to implement those ideas into your own contractor marketing efforts.

A few years ago, a guy from a local Chipotle knock-off called “Planet Burrito” dumped a stack of coupons off at my office. Each paper in the stack actually included three separate coupons… two of them were for “Buy One Get One Free” and the other for “Free Entree With Drink Purchase.” Since their burritos cost about $7 each, the coupons were actually worth quite a bit. In fact, the bearer of the “Free Entree With Drink” coupon could actually walk in there and eat a full meal (with a drink, of course!) for a paltry $1.66 including tax.

So what did we do? Naturally, half my staff and I ate at Planet Burrito for free or half-price for most of the next month. It wasn’t our fault the guy gave us practically infinite coupons. We actually started to feel a little bit guilty. Especially when we looked around and saw that most of the other customers were getting out of there for less than two bucks.

So… did Planet Burrito ever once ask me for my name, address, or email? Of course not! They did have an offer on the back of the coupons for a free cruise drawing. Unfortunately, the part where you fill in your name was opposite of the coupons that the cashier would tear off (leaving nowhere to write your name if you did want to enter the drawing), and the cashier never did ask us to fill anything out.
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