How Commercial Cleaning Services Use Direct Mail Marketing

Get Commercial Cleaning & Janitorial Accounts With Direct Mail

We know and can prove direct mail marketing works for commercial services and janitorial companies. The question becomes Who, How, When and Where. The biggest disadvantage being in the commercial cleaning business is who should we be sending direct mail pieces to.

We always want to get the most out of our marketing $$ and the best ROI. Direct Mail is expensive compared to email or social media. The best way to use direct mail on a small budget is keep it for Key Accounts and prospects that are difficult to reach.

*** Personal story, I personally would keep it to medium to large accounts.

One of our largest carpet cleaning contracts came from a simple tile cleaning postcard. We literally called this contact 30 times over the years and never even spoke with him.

Finally, I decided to send a couple postcards focused on tile cleaning restroom floors and he called right away for a bid on 12 restrooms. This led to a large commercial carpet cleaning contract that we still service monthly for over 10 years.

Table of Contents

What is the Marketing Budget

Starting point with any strategy is going over our marketing plan and deciding how many hours month you are willing to dedicate to this and how much of your monthly budget.

For example, if our monthly budget is $1000 month and 10 hours. Assigning $50 month to Direct Mail which roughly equals 40-50 pieces a month.

SWOT Questions:

  1. Strength-Is our target older?
  2. Weakness- Is our target younger and less influenced by mail?
  3. Opportunities- This can be a way to contact prospects who are difficult to reach
  4. Threats- Are any competitors using direct mail?

You can use our SWOT worksheet to determine if this is a good fit for you and more importantly how much?

Who Should We Target?

Cleaning is often a service that many different business titles can be a contact person or decision maker. Titles can range from receptionist, owner, facility manager, purchasing dept., general manager, plant manager and several others.

With all these different people being a potential contact person and decision maker deciding who we should be addressing the piece to becomes the critical question.

You can eat up a majority of a budget sending postcards to people who do not even oversee cleaning as part of their duties and job description. This is a massive waste of money obviously and will result in a poor ROI.

When is the Best Time to Send Direct Mail?

The best time to send direct mail pieces is AFTER we know for sure who the decision maker is. This information can come from telemarketing, networking, social media, filling of contact forms.

You should keep direct mail to qualified leads and follow up after an estimate. Even if you lose a bid, after 3-6 months is a great time to send a postcard or sales letter to check in and see how the current vendor is doing.

The current vendor might be falling apart and your piece comes in perfect timing for the prospect. They already know you and have made a decision if they would hire your company or not.

A year example program:

  • 4x phone call
  • 2x year mail
  • 4x year email

What Type of Mail is Best?

What are our options for direct mail pieces?

  1. Postcard small
  2. Postcard oversize or irregular
  3. Sales letter
  4. Specialty item, pens, mousepads, etc.

The big question becomes what is the potential payoff. For a property manager that potentially spends $20k or more per year, spending $5 per or more for an envelope, flyer and a specialty item makes good economic sense.

On the other hand, a small dentist that spends potentially $400 2x year that might not be worth the investment. A couple postcards and sales letter might be a better fit.

This is why it is critical to set a budget for yourself every month so you can decide how best to get the most out of it. If my budget is $50 month than I would keep my mailings to oversized postcards/sales letters to only the premium accounts.


If you don’t set a budget what happens is people make all kinds of impulsive decisions and never end up using the item.

If you want to buy 100 pens, great plus figure on envelop, postage and who those 100 pens will go to specifically and why.

What is Your Goal?

There are 2 main sales objectives with direct mail

  • Branding
  • Direct Sales


is using a multi-channel approach combining direct mail with telemarketing and maybe even other methods.

Remember with branding you will want to look at the total ROI and not just direct sales. An example would be having a telemarketing campaign plus direct mail follow up.

You will want to look at how adding the direct mail to telemarketing impacted leads, estimates, closing.

Simple Test

Simple test to find out, choose 100 (or whatever) of the same contacts. 1 group use telemarketing only, 2nd group phone plus direct mail. You could also choose a 3rd group telemarketing plus mail, plus social media.

Attribution can be difficult, its hard to know which one really pushed them over, its best to give the total program credit.

Direct Sales

This will be obvious, we send out a piece and the prospect replies mentioning the piece. Just remember prospects often keep mail pieces for months and even years.

How do you track it?

  1. Tracking phone number
  2. Landing page
  3. Unique 1x offer

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