In a world surgically attached to mobile phones and plugged into social media via every channel, it’s refreshing to take a moment to disconnect. Savvy marketers are discovering that sometimes a back to basics approach can be the best way to promote your business, especially when reaching out to existing customers. It’s time to go back to the old school. Australia’s leading tradie marketer, Eve John shares some simple tips to reignite your client list and turn contacts into coin.

Feeling befuddled by Facebook? Getting anxious over Apps? It’s a minefield out there, especially with the new technologies, online systems and multimedia available. Marketing your plumbing business in the digital era can be challenging and overwhelming – but don’t worry you’re not alone.

So where do you even start? How do you navigate a technical world that even online specialists struggle to truly understand? It can be frustrating to implement new technologies into your marketing mix. Sometimes you have to go back to square one.

Traditionalists rejoice! These quick and easy marketing tips require no online expertise, but still pack a punch nevertheless. These methods may be a little old school – but just because it worked years ago, doesn’t mean it won’t work now. Technology has changed, people haven’t.

The key is about personalisation. My clients are using these techniques I am going to share with you to make customers return time and time again. So what do you need to do?

For starters, consider this:

The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%
– Marketing Metrics

We’ve all heard the old adage that it costs more to get a new client than it does to keep an old one. And while new clients are important, consider how much of your resources you allocate to market to the sitting ducks on your existing marketing list. I’d wager it’s not enough!

Trade business owners, especially plumbers, are renowned for getting a high percentage of their work via word-of-mouth, repeat business and referrals.

If every client you have had over the past three years invited you back to do some work once a year, your diary would no doubt be booked solid.

So, what can you do to ensure that your previous clients keep you front of mind when they need some plumbing services?

Well, aside from providing exceptional service at a reasonable price, you might like to consider the following methods in your marketing strategy. And if you don’t have a strategy, this would be a great place to start.

It begins with the humble letter box.

It is estimated that we see between 3,000 to 20,000 marketing messages each day. This not only includes direct ads, but also those you absorb subconsciously. Labels in the shops, ads online or even labels on clothing are all part of this.

Strangely, these days your letter box is probably the least cluttered information portal out there.

Sending things by post is still one of the best ways to communicate with your clients, to get your message and your business in front of them. As a plumber, you tend to know the postal address of your clients, which is something other industries can only dream of. As simple as it seems, here are some tricks you can use to get yourself on the top of the mailing pile.

Eve John is a multi-awarded business owner, #1 bestselling author and marketing strategist specialising in trade and construction. She is the creator of the Australian Innovation awarded Fully Booked Tradies System which is helping trade business owners build their enterprise and get their time back, by creating highly effective and pro table marketing and sales systems that run on autopilot to turn more of your quotes into paying customers. Eve has been called Australia’s leading tradie marketer with her second book HI VIZ BIZ hitting #1 on the best sellers list on Amazon Australia. For more sales and marketing tips to increase you pro ts or to get a copy of her 10 Word Email or SMS That Converts Old Leads Into New Clients go to

1 Thank you cards 

When was the last time you received something in the mail other than a bill? Chances are it was a while ago. What about something that was in a handwritten envelope? Well, a simple handwritten card sent after the job has been completed, thanking a valued client for their patronage, can go a long way for people to remember you. It’s not uncommon for people to call to thank you for sending them the thank you card – a great opportunity to ask for feedback – keep that dialogue up!

COSTING ESTIMATE Thank you cards from stationery and office supplies are priced at around $10 per pack of ten, postage stamps $1, a few extra business cards cost a few cents. Realistically you are looking at $2.20 per client – pretty manageable!

2 Newsletters 

Newsletters can be a cheap and effective way to communicate with your clients on a continuing basis. Sending your clients monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly newsletters ensures that you are still in contact but not in a way that is too salesy. It allows you to appear helpful and provide information that will make them aware of things that may be relevant to their home or business – as well as push your own services and affiliated products. You can put seasonal tips in there, share some updates about you and your business, or include some ways to avoid plumbing disasters around the home or business. This of course comes with the offer to call you as their primary plumbing contact and guru.

COSTING ESTIMATE If you send out a newsletter to your clients at a cost of $2.50 and post it out to a client every month for 12 month it would cost you $30 per year. If you do this for ve years it would cost $250 per client. If you get one job in or they refer someone to you, you generally have made more than your money back.

This method requires a little sweat equity to get the information together but in my experience, plumbers can give me three mistakes they see every week and recommend how to avoid them o the top of their heads. Not to mention the list of things people need to do each season to ensure they keep their water, gas, sewage and drains in working order. Generally speaking, you will make your money back with newsletter campaigns after the first edition, that way you can reinvest it back into using the system again.

3 Referreal Campaigns 

92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew – Nielsen

Asking for referrals from clients can sometimes feel a bit pushy. So, I have a compromise for you. Rather than actively asking for referrals, when you do get a referral from a client, which happens a lot in the plumbing industry, reward the client for taking the time to deliver feedback. For example if Sarah referred her friend Jane to you to install a ducted heating system, you could purchase something for Jane, perhaps some movie vouchers, a dinner voucher, or a $25 gift card and hand deliver it to her with a note of thanks. This is an elegant way to reward people for referrals and you can be sure that they will refer you again and again.

COSTING ESTIMATE It’s your call completely! Do something relevant to the cost of the job – no matter how small, a gift of appreciation is always welcomed, it doesn’t have to be extravagant.

So there you have it!
Three simple things that you can implement in your business to help you be remembered and recalled. Here’s to a fully booked diary!