When promoting your services, the marketing and advertising tactics you choose to employ have a significant impact on your business. In a highly competitive home improvement market, strategic advertising campaigns and marketing materials are key to winning new business and turning them into loyal customers. 
Before creating your strategy, you should understand your competition. Know where they’re advertising and what offers are being leveraged as this will help you plan your own marketing efforts. Once you have a firm understanding of your competitors, a unique, multi-level marketing and advertising strategy can give you the necessary edge to grow your customer base.
A mix of digital and print assets will guarantee the greatest reach, but only if you’re pushing out the right message to resonate with your target audience. Whether you’re creating a direct mail piece or a mobile ad, the following should be taken into consideration: 
Determine the right reach
For a direct mail advertisement, you’ll need to evaluate the number of households you are seeking to touch. Home improvement brands typically need to target a larger number of “zones” to effectively penetrate the market and garner the best response.  You should consider reaching the neighborhoods within a 10-25-mile radius of your location. Make sure to evaluate the average income for the surrounding areas, and target neighborhoods that fit your customer demographic. 
Communicate with frequency
Because not every customer is ready, willing, and able to buy at any specific point in time, it is important to have your message consistently in front of them. Send out a direct mail piece at minimum, once a month in order to remain top of mind for consumers in your area. 
Identify your best offers
The strongest offers are those that are broad-based or tiered for different product lines or services. You want to make sure you appeal to multiple types of budgets so that you have a better chance for redemption. Here are some examples of attractive offers to consider:
$500 Off Complete Cabinet Refacing (Minimum Purchase Required)
$150 Off Any New Installation (500 Sq. Ft. Minimum) 
It’s possible to have the right reach and frequency, however if you don’t give consumers attractive offers that are designed to build trust and acquire new business, the result will be a small response rate and wasted advertising dollars.
Generate an effective illustration (artwork)
The final element for an effective ad are the graphics. Consumers are exposed to so many messages today that clear and concise communication of your offer is important. Recipients should be able to quickly determine what you do, what you are offering and how they can access your goods and/or services. Your illustration should be easily identifiable—within one or two seconds of looking at the ad.
For home improvement services, images of a finished project or stock photos of the tools you use will allow consumers to instantly recognize what you do. Red, blue and black have been known to be the most effective colors to use in your advertising materials, with softer blue and green tones for the secondary or “highlight” colors. 
These tips should help set the foundation so that you can ‘hammer out’ a refreshed and effective marketing strategy for your business.

Author Mike Tinz is VP of Franchise Sales at Money Mailer, a firm who helps small businesses reach more customers.


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