Nowadays, when it comes to finding anything, mobile usability and consumer convenience are definitely the #1 priorities. It’s vital to have a solid SEO/PPC (search engine optimization / pay per click program). Plus, it’s important to be linked to other meaningful websites that can bring you traffic. Examples of this can be your local Better Business Bureau or local Chamber of Commerce. The Water Quality Association (WQA) is also a quality link for you.

Make sure you are properly signed up with Google local. The listing is free but you need to add or claim your business. Be sure to take advantage of click for directions/maps, hours, and click to call button options. I hate to tell you how many businesses are not set up properly. This means that they are losing a vital source of traffic and exposure.

Do a self-test. Type in the words “buy water filter” into Google on your phone. If you don’t come up near the top, you need to take action immediately.

Direct Mail – Resurfacing with renewed ROI

According to the 2017 Media Usage Survey results – Direct mail is not only holding steady, but it’s growing. Nearly one-third (31%) of marketers responding to the survey are increasing their use of direct mail this year. 33% are keeping it the same.  The U.S. Post Office has upgraded their own technology. They are working closely with mailers and offering discounts, promotions and suggestions that can save your company money. BTW – Make sure you find out about Informed Delivery and see how your business can get twice the media channel impact.

In the Water Quality Industry, direct mail is still a top marketing channel. It continues to generate leads month-after-month, year-after year. Most dealerships mail to new homeowners, homeowners with children or health-conscious homeowners.  Dealerships in high alkaline areas mail to psoriasis and eczema sufferers. The list or combination of lists used depends on the dealerships’ focus and budget.

We are seeing a resurgence of print options for direct mail. Water dealers can stand out from the crowd with unique shapes, sizes and marketing QR codes that take readers to a new reality. Experiment with textured envelopes or the new satin feel.

Millennials continue to be a surprise strong mail market segment. Additionally, seniors, parents of new babies and ailment sufferers also rely heavily on this channel for information and offers.

Did you know that 86% of consumers prefer personalization? With today’s variable print technology, this makes using people’s names a breeze. If your printer is already doing the addressing on your mailer, ask him if there is another place on the card he can personalize for you at the same time.

Compelling Call to Action

Don’t forget, the key to a strong ROI is making it easy for the prospect to respond to your direct mail. Make sure the phone # on your mailer is large and easy-to-read.  Consider using one of the new visual QR codes to brand your dealership and drive visitors to your website, where you can capture their information and generate your own leads online for your sales people. Your Call to Action needs to push people to dial your phone number, visit your site or answer your call.

One of my new favorite direct mailers is mail-able virtual reality glasses. Imagine mailing your top prospects a set of VR glasses that allow them to actually see your system in the comfort of their own homes. This is brand new in the world of print & mail. Today this costs about $8.00 each. Who knows what the next cool thing will be.

Bottom line with print – if it’s great, people will read it and save it. If the offer is worthy – they will take action.

Stay In Touch with Your Customers

When it comes to marketing for water dealers, sometimes the best prospects are right under your nose. Your own database can be a goldmine. A well-tuned database is a great source of referrals and continuous business.

Your job is to keep it in tip-top shape. New technology makes list hygiene processes cost-effective for your businesses. There are new options that can correct and append telephone numbers to your database. This is for both landlines and cell phones. There are other processes to add email addresses to your list.

Your goal is to continue the dialogue with your customers and prospects via multiple channels.  You need to stay in touch with them. They need to think of you as their water treatment expert.

And, in the 2019 marketing environment, your job it to engage them in a myriad of ways so they can respond to you the way that suits them best. Therefore, you need to use all the tools at your disposal to enhance and improve your list – it’s a good investment.


While we all want to showcase our companies across every marketing channel, from a cost perspective, it’s not just feasible. For 2019, Water Quality industry marketers need to test their message in several different marketing channels to find the special formula that’s right for them.


NOTE: This article reprinted from Water Conditioning & Purification Magazine, August 2018 issue and updated with 2019 information


About the author

Dale ‘DataDale’ Filhaber is President of Dataman Group Direct, a Florida-based direct marketing company founded in 1981. She is an author, lecturer, Listologist and direct marketing innovator.  In the past 35+ years, Filhaber has trained many water quality dealers in direct marketing and lead generation techniques, ranging from direct mail to telemarketing to social media. Her latest book, Lead Generation for Water Quality Dealers – New for 2018, has received rave reviews  and can be purchased on Amazon. Filhaber is also the author of Pure Water Profits, a blog on marketing focusing on the water treatment industry. She is also a frequent guest lecturer at the annual WQA conference. Filhaber can be reached at (800) 771-3282 or [email protected], or visit the website, Dataman Group Direct is proud to showcase, dedicated website focusing on lead generation and direct marketing for the water quality industry.