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The Best Print Marketing Ideas for Painting Contractors

The Best Print Marketing Ideas for Painting Contractors

Published On: October 12, 202210.4 min readCategories: AdvertisingTags: , ,
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The Best Print Marketing Ideas for Painting Contractors

No, print marketing is not dead. In fact, printed advertisements are one of the best supplemental marketing channels your painting business can invest in today.

Did you catch that?

If your business acquires most of its repaint leads through a single marketing or advertising source, you’re asking for trouble. This is why it’s important to supplement and diversify your lead sources.

Secondary lead flows are the best way to ensure stable and predictable growth.

Why?

Because markets fluctuate and the world never stops changing. What worked yesterday may not work today.

I’m sure this makes sense to most, but it produces a few questions:

  • Why is print marketing a good secondary lead source?
  • Why shouldn’t we use print marketing as our primary lead source?

  • Which print marketing strategies should our painting business focus on?

  • Do door hangers produce better results than postcard mailers?
  • What kind of ROI should I expect from print marketing?

Keep reading for answers to these questions and more!

What Is Print Marketing?

Painter Print Marketing Ideas

Any advertising that is not conducted online is considered print marketing, but this wasn’t always the case.

Before written words, people were using symbols to identify their families and businesses.

Fast forward a century or two and we’re in the Mad Men era. Billboards and magazines dominated the marketing industry until TV commercials were front and center in every living room across America.

Finally, comes the age of the internet where the cost of advertising drops to a point that even a small business can afford.

I know… you came here to learn about marketing your painting business, not a history lesson. But it’s important to explain HOW we got here so we can understand WHY it works.

So Why Does Print Marketing Still Work?

Simply, people who grew up in the era of TV ads, billboards and magazines are still alive today *gasp*!

Right, but there is more to it than that.

In an age of goldfish marketing (advertisements that grab your subconscious 2-second attention span) it’s refreshing to hold something physical, like a postcard!

Compared to internet ads which often come across as cold and robotic, postcards and door hangers that arrive directly at your front door feel personalized, perhaps even sentimental. 

More so, those between the ages of 65-75 hold the most wealth in this country. This is the same age group that still orders newspapers to their house, so rest assured, your printed marketing campaigns are still relevant today.

The Importance of Diversifying Your Marketing Strategy

Painting Contractor Marketing Strategies

As a painting business owner, you’re probably aware of where most of your business comes from.

The numbers vary from market to market, but a 70/30 split between digital and print marketing is generally accepted as a healthy lead generation strategy for the professional painting industry. This is primarily due to the ultra-low CPL that comes from digital marketing.

Most Painting Business Owners fail to recognize that just because you’re busy now it doesn’t mean that strategy will work next year, next month, or even tomorrow.

I know this because we talk to hundreds of painting business owners every year, and nearly every single one has a similar story — “Our leads dried up, I’m not sure what changed.”

If you haven’t experienced this yet you’ve either adopted a healthy marketing plan with various lead sources, or your time is coming.

The best way to avoid this problem is to plan ahead. Test various marketing strategies to determine what works best in your service area. For instance, what works for a painting business in Texas might not work for someone in Florida.

The primary purpose of diversifying your marketing strategy is to maintain a predictable source of new business. 

Ok we determined what Print Marketing is and why it works. Now let’s discuss how best to implement this marketing strategy for your painting business.

Print Marketing Strategies for Painting Contractors

Vehicle Wraps

Aside from business cards, vehicle wraps are one of the first marketing investments a painting business owner will make, and rightfully so.

The CPM (the amount you pay for one thousand people to see your advertisement) for vehicle wraps is significantly lower than any other form of print marketing at scale.

Advertising Medium Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM)
Fleet vehicle wrap graphics $0.48
Outdoor Billboards $3.56
Magazines $21.46
Newspaper $19.70

The more you drive your vehicle(s) the more business they will capture.

The best part about this marketing strategy is other than general vehicle maintenance, it’s a one-time investment!

For best results we recommend including the following elements on your vehicle:

  • Logo — Be sure to account for windows, doors, and any other surface that may cover or crop your logo.

  • Phone Number — Put this on every side of the vehicle

  • Website URL — For moving advertisements, less is better so be sure to exclude the “www” to make it easier to remember
  • Services — Just because your business name might include the word “Painting” don’t assume those driving by your vehicle will know you do cabinet painting.

Some things to avoid adding to your vehicle include:

  • QR Codes — While this may seem like a sound element to include, a little dirt on the code can make it unscalable, and it has to be large to scan from a distance which can distract from your messaging.

  • Social Media Icons — Your website is more than enough, any icons serve no benefit.

  • Ratings — Your online ratings can change tomorrow so be careful including that 5-stars on print marketing.

Yard Signs

Have you ever noticed an influx of yard signs around town during election season? They are hard to miss, and for a good reason. Politicians know that name recognition goes a long way, and as a smart business owner, you’ve probably recognized the same.

Now before you start throwing yard signs around town be sure to check your local ordinances first to avoid fines or trashed signs.

For best results we recommend asking your customer if they would mind you placing a sign in their front yard while you’re working on their property. If they push back don’t be afraid to incentivize the ask with a $50 discount or an extended warranty. It only takes one call from that sign for a discount to pay for itself.

When placing a yard sign check the direction of traffic to make sure your phone number is readable from the street. If cars park on the road consider moving your sign closer to the house for better visibility.

Remember, even if you’re working in a cul-de-sac with little traffic, your sign can still attract the neighbor’s attention.

Elements to include on your yard sign include:

  • Phone Number — Make this large and easy to read from a distance.

  • Services — Include your services so your sign provides some context. If it take up too much space at least include the word “Painters” somewhere on the sign.

  • Website URL — As with vehicle wraps, less is better. Drop the “www” if you include your website address.

  • Logo — Your logo is one of the least important elements on your yard sign, so keep it small.

  • QR Code — If you’re working in an area of high foot traffic these codes can be handy, but they do take up space. As an alternative, consider purchasing a second square yard sign with only a QR Code that you can position next to your primary yard sign. This not only helps grab attention but can make it large enough to scan from the road.

Door Hangers

Painting Contractor Door Hangers

Like yard signs, door hangers are a great way to capture the neighbor’s attention. Like any other form of print marketing, there are some strategies you can implement to improve results:

  • Always have a stack of hangers with you in the car. When you start a new job slip a door hanger on any house you can see from the front yard of the house you’re working on.

  • Match the color scheme/fonts/layout of your yard sign with the door hangers to provide. Advertising continuity helps with context and builds trust.

  • For best results, leave some whitespace on the door hanger to handwrite a discount or exterior quote. Personalization goes a LONG way.

We recommend door hangers over paper flyers as they’re typically made of a better material that can withstand the elements, they won’t blow away in the wind, and they require that someone physically remove them from the door.

If you’re targeting your customer’s neighbors try knocking on the door first to provide them with an in-person promo or quote. This will generate better results and save you the overhead of blowing through your stash of door hangers.

Another strategy that gets results is hiring a local crew to blanket an entire subdivision with door hangers. While this can be costly, if you target an area full of prequalified prospects it only takes one or two jobs to make a return.

Postcards

How many postcards from local businesses do you receive that end up right in the trash? Do you ever wonder why they keep sending them? Don’t they know you keep throwing them away?!?

If you have a large advertising budget direct mailers can produce great results at scale, but what about the local painting companies with a limited budget?

Postcards and other forms of direct mail advertising are best utilized with a hyper-local targeting approach. The best part? This tactic doesn’t require mass mailing to generate a return.

Consider these examples:

  • Send postcards once a month to anyone who purchased a new home in the last 30 days with a “new homeowner” promotional offer.

  • Reactivate past customers with a referral incentive or a cross-sell offer on another service. This works particularly well around the holidays when the season begins to slow — “Book between October-January for 10%”

  • Send to the neighbors — With the right mailing list you can target the 50 closest neighbors with a picture of their neighbor’s house you recently painted. For best results, send once a week for four weeks!

Business Cards

Painting Contractor Business Card Ideas

Business cards are a no-brainer. In fact, we wrote an entire article about how to design a high-quality business card for your painting business!

Include them with your estimate, hand them out to the neighbors, or ask if you can add a stack to the front desk at your local real estate office. They’re a low-cost marketing solution that should come standard with every painting business.

Promo Merchandise

Painting Contractor Promo Merchandise Ideas

Promotional materials like hats, t-shirts and drink coozies can be expensive, but they serve an important purpose in generating customer loyalty, and referrals. A simple parting gift on your final walkthrough can become a walking billboard from a satisfied customer.

Since these gifts can be expensive it’s best to reserve them for customers, not prospects. Let your finished product do the heavy lifting. A satisfied customer will be more than happy to wear your hat around town!

Marketing Services for Painting Contractors

While the use of printed material is a great marketing strategy, the cost per lead will always remain lowest with a solid digital marketing strategy. This is the primary reason we consider print marketing a good secondary lead source.

More so, the line between digital and print marketing is becoming less obvious. For instance, when is the last time you were handed a business card without a website or email address?

As these two marketing mediums continue to converge it’s best to leave your strategy to the experts.

Here a Base Coat Marketing, we’re a results-focused company with over a decade of lead generation and digital marketing experience.

Our team of marketing experts located in Wilmington, North Carolina caters exclusively to residential and commercial painting companies, like yours!

Give us a call or schedule a free strategy call today to learn more about how we can help take your painting business to the next level.

Schedule a free strategy call to learn more about our exclusive repaint lead generation services!
Austin Houser
Austin Houser
About the Author: As founder of Base Coat Marketing, Austin is a data scientist and digital marketing expert with over a decade of lead generation experience within the professional painting industry.
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