Many of your best prospects — homeowners with pride in their property and money to spend on it — are receiving a monthly or quarterly statement from a local service company, companies such as those doing lawn care, maid service, pool cleaning, pest control, and HVAC/plumbing. Their bills are small and their margins are thin but many of these companies prosper by building a trusting, long-term relationship with the homeowner.

A statement stuffer joint promotion with one or several such companies allows you, and them, to trade on that relationship to achieve a lower lead cost for you and a new source of revenue for them.

How It Works Here's a model that has proven successful: Produce a flier using a digital printing service so that you can easily change copy or the logo and serve multiple partners. The flier for a hypothetical company, Green Thumb Lawn Care, should bear the “Green Thumb” logo and should make an offer like “30% savings on replacement windows for Green Thumb customers thanks to our special association with ABC Windows.” In the Green Thumb voice, sell the quality of ABC Windows and the products it installs. Then invite a call to Green Thumb to schedule a quote from ABC. Include a coupon for a $50 credit on Green Thumb lawn services when you get that quote. Response will be greater if the flier directs the call to Green Thumb and it sets the appointment. Your staff can follow up to confirm and reschedule if necessary.

Solid Results Expect much better results than you would get with an ordinary mailing. The list is demographically excellent with no bad addresses, the first-class window envelope from a known source is sure to be opened and the flier read. With a strong offer, look for a response rate above 2%. The close rate on presentations can approach the high level you expect from referral leads.

You pay no list or postage costs, just 30 cents apiece for the flier, $50 for a demo, and 4% of the final price as compensation to the lawn care company. Your marketing costs can be well below 10%.

The key to a successful program is scalability. In a major market, you might partner with a dozen companies and mail monthly to 3,000 homeowners with a new offer each month. With a 2% response, you could enjoy a flow of 60 quality leads each month at a great marketing cost.

—John Stevens is a marketing consultant to the home improvement industry. Reach him at; 678.481.1660