With a provocative postcard campaign -- one card features the tail end of the stereotypical handyman -- Connor amp; Co. increased job sizes and overall division volume while reducing the total number of jobs done by its handyman division.

Chris Bischoff, marketing VP at the Indianapolis firm, says the company's handyman division keeps it in touch with a 1,600-member preferred client base. The division did $1.2 million in work last year, with an average ticket price of $2,700 for 452 jobs. The year before, the division did 750 jobs averaging $1,134 each, for $850,500 in work. "The only thing that's different is the postcards," says Bischoff. "The butt was provocative, and we had a great response."

Conner and Co.'s "provocative" postcard approach to a preferred customer base of 1,600 customers boosted its handyman division revenues by more than $300,000.
Conner and Co.'s "provocative" postcard approach to a preferred customer base of 1,600 customers boosted its handyman division revenues by more than $300,000.

The 6-by-9-inch two-color postcards, mailed quarterly, included photos of a brain ("A Connor handyman's most important tool") and the aforementioned butt ("Consider the alternatives, then call a Connor Handy Man"). The flip side tells recipients about how the company uses craftsmen who are inventive, fast, affordable, and show up as scheduled. The cards also list the company's other divisions: design/build, general contracting, and restoration.

The cards generated 169 leads. About 55% of those leads converted to jobs for $305,000 in business. It cost $9,000 to design, print, and mail the cards.

Bischoff says while conveying what Connor feels it brings -- intelligence, trustworthiness, professionalism -- the postcards broadened the image of what people think the company does. Because most large jobs come from its preferred client base, he expects to see full-scale projects on the boards from these same leads soon.

Graphic designer Stahl Partners is developing eight more cards. Distributing one a quarter, Connor will then run all 12 cards through another mailing cycle.