99 Direct Mail Marketing Tips

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 20. December 2012 05:14

Direct mail is one of the most important pieces of your marketing plan. Developing and executing the campaign can many times be a thankless job. Today's mailing regulations can get complicated--postage rates are changing and the flood of mail makes it harder to stand out. The right message is very important and must get to the target prospect in the right way on a frequent basis. Capturing your reader has to happen fast and your reader must be motivated to take action. 

Here are 99 direct mail marketing tips to ensure that you get the right message to the right target--in the right way.

  • Give a free gift to increase response
  • Highlight the free-gift offer prominently
  • Use short copy to tease the reader to read further or respond
  • Minimize the use of buzz words
  • Make your offer easy to respond to
  • Prove any claims with details to add credibility
  • Ask for the order right away
  • Use graphics and color to support the message and text
  • Offer a free trial to eliminate risk
  • Hire a professional copywriter for your content
  • Hire a professional graphic designer
  • Make your offer easy to understand at a glance
  • Promise many benefits
  • Give many reasons to buy
  • Use all the formatting available with taste
  • Have your direct mail reviewed by an objective third party
  • Use colored paper to make impact and save on printing costs
  • Consult with a direct-mail specialist
  • Use a reply card or other reply mechanism
  • Put a headline on the envelope
  • Survey customers about what they'll respond to
  • Include postage-paid return cards or envelopes
  • End a page with the middle of a sentence to encourage more reading
  • Personalize as much as you can
  • Use a Post-It note for greater impact and attention
  • Make the offer very prominent in the copy
  • Use a no-risk guarantee
  • Keep track of target recipients, replies and follow-up
  • Tell the whole story
  • Keep paragraphs short
  • Break up long copy with graphics or white space
  • Don't dwell on history or background
  • Offer a free-trial period
  • State your geographical service area even if its global, national, regional or local
  • Keep the sales pitch positive and highlight the benefits
  • Include a call to action; tell your readers exactly what you want them to do
  • Use a "P.S."--its one of the most frequently read parts of the copy
  • Make it easy to purchase: credit cards, terms, etc.
  • Offer a discount for a quick response and order
  • Make a simple order form for faxing
  • Always put a sense of urgency and deadline in your copy
  • Put a picture of a phone by your phone number
  • Put testimonials at the top of the content and by the call to action
  • Use typestyles that are easy to read, not a mix of them
  • Have a call to action at the beginning, middle and end of your copy
  • Use free information, free samples and a free demonstration as a marketing hook
  • Offer a free consultation in addition to the free information hook
  • Separate features and benefits (emphasize benefits)
  • Use bullet points and small segments of information
  • Use subheadings and subtitles
  • Include a toll-free number if you have one
  • Get your readers involved with a contest
  • Use a tear-out coupon or one with a printed perforation
  • Ask plain questions and offer a simple solution
  • Put in a photo of yourself or an associate's to personalize it
  • Make promises; keep promises
  • "Free" is still a motivating word--use it and highlight it
  • Use handwritten notes or comments on your direct-mail piece
  • Guarantee customer satisfaction
  • Offer proof of the benefits
  • Include case studies and success stories
  • Restate your offer often, especially at the end of the communication
  • Use captions, sayings or titles under all photos
  • Order your mailing list or compile it way in advance of your execution date
  • Test your list and use "Address Correction Requested" to clean your list
  • Mail to vendors as well as target prospects
  • Outsource things you don't do best: printing, mail prep, design, etc.
  • Put yourself on all mailing lists
  • Work with a list broker to tighten list specifications
  • Test different copy, headlines and offers
  • Use graphics on the outside of envelopes
  • Measure results and calculate ROM (Return on Mailing) dollars
  • Code your mailings to measure response
  • Mail frequently to a smaller subset of your list
  • Plan and prepare enough mailings for three months at a time
  • Use color
  • Do a co-op mailing with a fusion marketing partner or power partner
  • White space is good--a clean look is professional and easy to read
  • Print in large quantities to take advantage of cheaper printing prices
  • Use mailing pieces as handouts and for sales kits
  • Mail to PR contacts
  • Self-mailers are read more than stuffed envelopes
  • Postcards are very efficient; usually both sides are looked at
  • Print on the flap of the envelope to increase exposure
  • Create excitement: "Act Now!", "For a limited time!", "Hurry while it lasts!"
  • Deliver stacks of left-over printed items to trade organizations
  • Its OK to send the same piece over and over for consistency
  • Mail to educational institutions
  • Create fun for you and your prospect with your campaign
  • Tie other marketing to your mailings
  • Put your website address on all mailing pieces
  • Odd shapes work, too
  • Mail with stamps get opened before metered mail
  • Include pre-stamped reply envelopes
  • Don't delay your mailing by trying to mail in bulk on one day
  • Include a business card in a letter
  • Lumpy mail gets attention--it gets opened and gets a good response
  • Have a conversation with your prospect
  • Publicize your direct-mail campaign

Let Mailbox Marketing help you with your 2013 marketing plan. Many of the above tips are executable with our stock mailing options on the website. If any of the "outside the box" tips interest you, we can help you with those as well. Just give our customer service team a call - 800-767-9559 to get started!

 
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/193436#

 

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Trigger Marketing

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 5. November 2012 05:18

According to Wikipedia - Trigger-based marketing is defined as a marketing technique that is based on response to a measurable change in customer behavior or a specific customer action or an event that influences customer response.  Assisted by technology, organizations can deliver personalized relevant communications on products and offers to each customer, generating a higher ROI.  The key to the success of trigger based marketing is timing and relevancy.

Broadly, there are four types of triggers that can initiate a marketing action aimed at an individual customer:

  • Transactional triggers – based on a customer action such as a purchase or quote inquiry, thus providing a natural trigger for follow-up marketing communication.
    • Once someone has made contact with you through a request for information, add them to your mailing list.  Now you have a reason to keep in touch with them and to share anything new and exciting that is going on with your business. 
    • Another idea would be to send a personalized thank you note to everyone who has requested information from you.  Include a coupon as an incentive to try your services. 

  • Recurring triggers – based on an individual’s details and personal profile. Thus a birthday or membership renewal date can act as the trigger for a piece of marketing activity.
    • How about when the seasons change?  Homeowners should be doing a laundry list of home projects each season to prepare their homes for the upcoming weather.  Send them a reminder list of the tasks that should be done each season.  Whether they need to enlist your help or not, this keeps your name in front of them. 
    • Keep a record of birthdays so that you can send a birthday card each year to the individuals on your mailing list.  This is a perfect way to keep in touch but not using high-pressure sales tactics to do so. 

  • Behavioral triggers – such as homeowners in their area having work done on their homes or a weather event that causes a need for work done in a certain area.
    • When working in a neighborhood, make sure you hang your sign for all to see the quality of your work.  For homeowners, there is no better way to research a contractor than by seeing their work in person.  Go one step further and send a neighborhood mailing listing the address of the home you are working on so that anyone in the market for a contractor can check out your handiwork. 
    • A bad storm or weather-event often ends in an immediate need for home repair.  Watch the weather, and send a postcard to those neighborhoods that have been affected by the storm. 

  • Threshold triggers – where a customer’s actions reach a threshold, such as reaching a specific spending amount or completing a certain number of projects with you.
    • Offer a special discount to those who meet the threshold. 
    • You could also run a “contest” to help you get new leads.  Ask for referrals and every time you get one, send a thank you/referral note to encourage continued participation. 

In trigger-based marketing, an activity or event acts as a trigger to initiate a certain marketing response.

 

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5 Reasons to Use Norandex Mailbox Marketing

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 13. October 2012 08:27

1. Direct Targeted Marketing

The Norandex Mailbox Marketing consumer list selector allows you to target specific neighborhoods, so you can hit the exact target area you want to reach.  You can also narrow your list by demographics like age and value of home to get even more specific.

 2. Affordable, Timely & Easy

With Norandex Mailbox Marketing, you can reach 200 homes for as little as $122.  AND, your mailing will drop within 3 working days.  Our easy-to-use website allows you to choose a postcard template, personalize it with your company information, logo and special offer(s), and choose a consumer list in a matter of minutes.  Unsure that it will work for you?  Test it!  With very little money or time invested, you’ve got nothing to lose.

 3. Reach More People with Mail

Even today, not everyone owns or uses a computer. Direct mail marketing campaigns can reach populations who are less likely to use the Internet to find a business. And remember, just because you have a website still does not mean people will find your business. With Norandex Mailbox Marketing, you know that the direct mail postcard will be delivered to the people you have chosen to target.

 4. Coupons Convert to Customers

People are more likely to use a local business if they have an incentive to do so. Norandex Mailbox Market postcards have convenient, personalizable coupons available on all postcard templates.  We make it easy for you to enter your special offer(s).

 

5. Most People like Getting Mail

According to the USPS, the majority of consumers in general like to get mail at home: “Many people look forward to receiving their daily mail. In fact, 98 percent of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered, and 77 percent sort through it immediately.”

http://womeninbusiness.about.com/od/directmailmarketing/tp/hub-pros-directmail.htm

 

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Thinking of Not Sending Your Holiday Cards This Year?

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 10. September 2012 06:55

Budgets are tight.  Your marketing budget has been revamped and redistributed and reduced.  And, with all the social channels available to us these days, why not skip mailing your holiday cards this year in favor of reaching out to your customers via free channels like email or text or Facebook?  Marketing budget shortage problem solved, right?  WRONG!  Read below for 5 reasons why skipping the holiday cards this year is a bad idea:

1) Personal Relationships -

You need to put a little extra effort into maintaining and growing your personal relationships. True, you may have followed up on your last meeting with a phone call but that has become expected. You need to work harder at strengthening relationships and holiday cards can do just that. Taking that bit of extra time to address and mail them a card lets them know they matter to you and to your business.

2) Loyalty -

It takes effort to build loyalty and even more to maintain it. Closing that first sale means a lot, but you want that customer to keep coming back to you. You don't want them looking around, you just want them to trust that you are providing them with the very best in price, quality, service. To insure that they think of you and only you, you must earn their trust and maintain their loyalty. Sending them thoughtful holiday cards will let them know that they are special to you.

3) Hard copy

 Research shows that people actually ignore more than half of the emails they receive daily. Unless they are looking for an email from you or you are offering something free or at a great discount that they actually want and need, emails are glanced at and deleted. Personal holiday cards that come through the mail are always opened and enjoyed. During the holidays these cards are often displayed for all to see. What better way to get your name in front of those that matter?

4) Time Well Spent -

This once a year ritual is well worth the effort if you want to stay connected with customer and business associates. It’s September, which is the perfect time to take a moment and select a card design with a thoughtful custom imprinted verse and your very own personalization. Use this opportunity to update your mailing list. With just a little effort and time spent you will be rewarded with lasting partnerships and strengthen new connections.

5) Stay in Touch -

Don't just say "I'll be in touch" - do it! By sending holiday cards you are being proactive and investing in your future.  Your customers, prospects and business associates will feel special and will appreciate your kind gesture.

Do not forego the holiday cards this year. Considering how tough it is to grow and maintain business, any advantage you can leverage is called for. Personalized holiday cards are a simple way to express thoughtfulness and appreciation to those you value.

http://ezinearticles.com/?5-Reasons-Why-You-Should-Send-Holiday-Cards&id=5066338

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The Baby Boomer Effect

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 20. August 2012 03:23

The first wave of Baby Boomers turned 65 last year, which will have a significant impact on real estate and the nation's housing market. Not only should home sales increase, but hammers and nails will be flying as homes change hands from older to younger owners, while the home remodeling industry strikes it rich.

In fact, home remodels could be in for their best years ever. According to the Joint Cetner for Housing Studies at Harvard University, home owners over age 55 comprised a third of all home sellers between 1997 and 2007. That is a trend that experts say will only increase over the next 20 years as more Boomers retire.
 
This presents an excellent opportunity for home remodelers, because when the Boomers sell their homes
and move, younger buyers are extremely likely to remodel.

According to housing turnover data between 2001 and 2011, buyers of existing homes tend to be younger; the sellers, older. Of the 24.5 million owner-occupied sellers during this decade, about 7.6 million, or almost one-third, were over age 55 when they sold their home.

And who buys these homes?  (Yo
ung) people under age 45, who purchased 57 percent of the homes the older folks sold off. In fact, the median age buyer was about 33. With the median age seller almost 68 years old, we see that buyers tend to be about 35 years younger than the owners of the homes they purchase.

With the median age of the average American home at 32 years (up from 29 years in 2001), these homes are ripe for a remodel.  The age and condition of these homes makes them affordable to younger buyers, but to make them work for these young buyers’ needs, the need for remodeling is huge.

Something else we know about the behavior of recent home buyers?  They spend buckets of money directly after first purchasing a home.  “Home buyers age 35 to 55 spend more on average for home improvements than any other age group because these are the wonder years when families and incomes grow and flourish.”  And goodbye Formica: what rooms do buyers who buy from older sellers focus on? Kitchens and baths – of course!

Following the trend and shaping your approach to focus on these “younger” buyers will be the way to go for the next several years.  No doubt about it!
 
Source – realestate.com

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The benefits of targeted marketing

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 30. July 2012 06:31

Targeted marketing enables you to get to appropriate prospective customers more efficiently than any other marketing strategy. Here are some of the benefits of targeted marketing.

The guided missile

Today's anti-aircraft attack method is far more effective. Just one heat-seeking ground-to-air missile is released, which homes accurately in on its target.

That's what targeted marketing is all about. Recruitment agencies say that the ideal job advert will attract just one applicant, and that will be the perfect candidate for the job. Ideally, that is what all advertising should aim for. That's clearly impractical, but your advertising and promotion should be moving in that direction.

Unless you are targeting just one specific prospect (and there are occasions when you could be doing just that), practical targeted marketing could, perhaps be more accurately described as...


...Batch targeting  This is where you break your overall target market down into manageable segments - such as one specific industry, or a geographical area, or a demographic profile. The segments should not just be ones which are convenient to you, but ones which allow you to direct, to one specific target market, promotional messages which:

  • Are highly relevant to the prospects in that sector
  • Convince them that you are a specialist in their own activity / interest area
  • Show them that you can meet their own specific needs.

As a contractor who has just finished work in a specific neighborhood, why not target other houses in the same neighborhood.  Chances are if one house in the neighborhood needed a new roof or new windows, there are others that do too.  Maybe there was recent storm damage that caused the need, or maybe all of the houses were built in the same time period and are coming due for a new roof or windows based strictly on age and wear and tear over time.  Regardless of the reason, chances are pretty high that neighborhood needs tend to be similar.

Let your work speak for itself.  A beautifully done new roof stands out in a crowd.  It’s like your own free, personalized billboard. By showing that you are a specialist supplier, you'll stand out from all your other 'me too' competitors.

To summarize, the advantages of targeted marketing are:

  • Your attention is focused on one specific market area, which is likely to result in your marketing campaigns being far more cost- and time-efficient.
  • You appear to be a specialist in the prospective customer's own field, and you can increasingly build up a reputation as being just that.
  • Your promotion material is highly relevant to their needs, and is less likely to be junked
  • You stand out from your competitors
  • By differentiating yourself from your competitors, prospective customers are less likely to focus on price as the key issue, thus enhancing your profit margins

http://www.marketing-magic.biz/workshops/targeted-marketing/tm-2.htm

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State of the Industry

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 23. July 2012 05:26

WASHINGTON (July 19, 2012) - Existing-home prices continued to show gains but sales fell in June with tight supplies of affordable homes limiting first-time buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, declined 5.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.37 million in June from an upwardly revised 4.62 million in May, but are 4.5 percent higher than the 4.18 million-unit level in June 2011.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the bigger story is lower inventory and the recovery in home prices. "Despite the frictions related to obtaining mortgages, buyer interest remains solid. But inventory continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities. This, in turn, is pushing up home prices in many markets," he said. "The price improvement also results from fewer distressed homes in the sales mix."

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low 3.68 percent in June from 3.80 percent in May; the rate was 4.51 percent in June 2011; recordkeeping began in 1971.

The national median existing-home price2 for all housing types was $189,400 in June, up 7.9 percent from a year ago. This marks four back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier, which last occurred in February to May of 2006. June's gain was the strongest since February 2006 when the median price rose 8.7 percent from a year prior.

Distressed homes3 - foreclosures and short sales sold at deep discounts - accounted for 25 percent of June sales (13 percent were foreclosures and 12 percent were short sales), unchanged from May but down from 30 percent in June 2011. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 18 percent below market value in June, while short sales were discounted 15 percent. "The distressed portion of the market will further diminish because the number of seriously delinquent mortgages has been falling," said Yun.

NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said there's been a steady growth in buyer interest. "Buyer traffic has virtually doubled from last fall, while seller traffic has risen only modestly," he said. "The very favorable market conditions are helping to unleash a pent-up demand, which is why housing supplies have tightened and are supporting growth in home prices. Nonetheless, incorrectly priced homes will not attract buyers."

Total housing inventory at the end June fell another 3.2 percent to 2.39 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.6-month supply4 at the current sales pace, up from a 6.4-month supply in May. Listed inventory is 24.4 percent below a year ago when there was a 9.1-month supply.

First-time buyers accounted for 32 percent of purchasers in June, compared with 34 percent in May and 31 percent in June 2011. "A healthy market share of first-time buyers would be about 40 percent, so these figures show that tight inventory in the lower price ranges, along with unnecessarily tight credit standards, are holding back entry level activity," Yun said.

All-cash sales edged up to 29 percent of transactions in June from 28 percent in May; they were 29 percent in June 2011. Investors, who account for the bulk of cash sales, purchased 19 percent of homes in June, up from 17 percent in May; they were 19 percent in June 2011.

Single-family home sales declined 5.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.90 million in June from 4.11 million in May, but are 4.8 percent above the 3.72 million-unit pace in June 2011. The median existing single-family home price was $190,100 in June, up 8.0 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales fell 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 470,000 in June from 510,000 in May, but are 2.2 percent higher than the 460,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price was $183,200 in June, which is 6.9 percent above June 2011.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast dropped 11.5 percent to an annual pace of 540,000 in June but are 1.9 percent above June 2011. The median price in the Northeast was $253,700, down 1.8 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest slipped 1.9 percent in June to a level of 1.02 million but are 14.6 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $157,600, up 8.4 percent from June 2011.

In the South, existing-home sales declined 4.4 percent to an annual pace of 1.73 million in June but are 5.5 percent above June 2011. The median price in the South was $165,000, up 6.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West fell 6.9 percent to an annual level of 1.08 million in June and are 3.6 percent below a year ago. The median price in the West was $233,300, up 13.3 percent from May 2011. Given tight supply in both the low and middle price ranges in this region, sales in the West are stronger in the higher price ranges.

The National Association of Realtors®, "The Voice for Real Estate," is America's largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

 

http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/07/june-existing-home-prices-rise-again-sales-down-with-constrained-supply

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Remodeling takeaways from “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2012” report

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 28. June 2012 04:18

Although “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2012” report, released recently by The Joint Center for Housing Studies, doesn’t cover remodeling specifically, data trends and indicators from the housing market often causes a ripple effect on the remodeling market.

Key points for the remodeling industry include:
· Recovery expected in the for-sale housing market in the next year.
· Slide in homeownership.
· Changing demographics of homeowners.
For-sale housing market
There are signs of recovery in the for-sale market (including both new and existing homes), which previously had been impacted by the decrease in home prices and employment and sapped consumer confidence. However, steadier job growth and improved consumer confidence will slowly create a pick-up in this market.
For the remodeling industry, this uptick could create opportunities since research has shown that people tend to renovate their home within the first three years of moving in.
Slide in homeownership
The nation’s rate of homeownership has dipped to 66.1 percent in this past year. But while all age groups under 65 years saw a drop, the homeownership rates for those headed by someone aged 65 or older has seen near record highs.
This market could bring a new revenue stream to remodelers who create a niche within the universal design space, as the Baby Boomers will want improvements that enable them to stay in their homes as they age.
Changing demographics of homeowners
Homeowner demographics are shifting as new housing trends emerge. There are more than two million foreclosures still in progress, more households are choosing to rent, fewer young adults are forming households and the rate of immigration into the United States has slowed.
Over the next few years, the number of renters will continue to outpace the number of homeowners. Although there are obstacles to working in the multi-unit rental space, it is an area of opportunity for the remodeling industry.
To read the full “The State of the Nation’s Housing 2012” report, visit the Joint Center’s Website (http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/research/publications/state-nation%E2%80%99s-housing-2012).

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The DIY Roof Inspection

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 14. June 2012 03:42

Your roof is exposed to scorching sun, high winds, driving rains and heavy snowfalls, which makes it one of home’s toughest-working systems. All that contact with Mother Nature can wreak havoc on the surface and interior structures, so a regular inspection is essential to its longevity. Read on for a three-part plan that will help you identify problems and potential solutions.

  

1.    Inspect the exterior. On a warm, dry day, inspect your entire roof for loose tiles, warped shingles and detached flashing. On some roofs, you can see a lot by using a pair of binoculars. Experienced roof workers can also climb on the roof to inspect the surface. Be sure to recruit a family member or neighbor to be your spotter and ensure that you get up and down safely. 

 

 Solution: If you do find damage, make plans to replace the shingles and reattach flashing. You should also call in a roofing professional to do a more thorough roof inspection. Some roofing companies will perform the inspection for free, while others may charge around $200.

 

2.    Inspect the interior attic space. Look for damaged wood and any indications of water penetration. The presence of mold can indicate poor ventilation; wet building materials; or an improperly vented bathroom, kitchen, and dryer exhaust. Mold growth in attics cause potentially hazardous living conditions, not to mention property depreciation and or structural damage.

  Solution: If you find moisture issues in your attic, it’s best to call in the professionals. A roofing contractor can repair leaks or make recommendations for a roof replacement, if necessary. You can sometimes reverse mold issues by clearing out the affected insulation that is blocking soffit vents. Other times, an electric attic fan and humidistat is necessary. A pro can also seal wire holes, light, or pipe penetrations, or redirect exhaust vents.

 

3.    Look for moss.  Moss thrives on roofs that face north and areas that see little sun. The presence of moss will dramatically reduce the lifespan of your roof because it traps moisture and holds it in place. Wet shingles are prone to rot, and the excess moisture will promote more damage in freeze-thaw conditions.

  

 Solution: Using a pressure washer to clean off moss is not recommended because the high-powered stream will force water beneath your shingles, potentially causing more long-term water damage. Instead, start by brushing off the majority of the moss with a large broom. Then apply a moss remover specifically formulated for roofs. Call in a moss removal specialist for the safest and quickest removal. If you decide to do it yourself, call in a friend to be your safety spotter.    

4.    Check and clean your gutters. On a warm day, inspect your gutters for blockage. A blocked gutter can force water back up and into your roof. You also want to also want to look for any cracks, holes and sags. 
 
 Solution: Using your gloved hand, clean out gutters by scooping out the debris into a trashcan. You can follow up the cleaning by rinsing the interior of the gutter with the hose. Use gutter repair compound to fix any cracks and holes. For sagging gutters, add or replace gutter hangers in the areas that need it.

  

 

Source: http://www.nari.org/

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May is National Home Improvement Month

by Mailbox Marketing Customer Service Team 15. May 2012 10:37

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