It began in 1929 with one truck and three Deiter family members delivering block ice to homes in Bethlehem, Pa. Three generations and 70 years later, the family now delivers fuel oil and installs radiant heat, but they're still focused on the comfort of satisfied customers.
Four years ago, the family took its business elsewhere - online.
"We decided to go online because we're pro-active marketers of our products, services and company. It really added another communication tool to our marketing arsenal," explains Jim Deiter, vice president of Deiter Brothers Fuel Co. Inc.
The Web site www.dbrothers.com - with its printable coupons, jobsite photos and downloadable newsletter - is just a hint of how Deiter Brothers advertises. Direct mail, radio and TV commercials print ads and community events have helped the company become one of the largest fuel oil companies in the Lehigh Valley.
"Our site has helped increase our installation business, too, particularly with radiant heat," Deiter says. "We are currently installing 15 radiant jobs a year. One-third are from initial inquiries via the Web. Virtually all of them were sold with the assistance of a visit to the site."
The Deiter Web site is designed and updated monthly by Keenan-Nagle advertising in Allentown, Pa. With a market population of 550,000, the company knows how important it is to have all information updated and current, to keep that edge over competitors.
Its most interesting inquiry from the site came for a snowmelt system for the entire asphalted surface of a gas station. Deiter Brothers, with more than 60 employees and 50 trucks, got the job, and were proud to see the results of their labor the following winter.
"When the rest of the driving surfaces in the area were covered with ice or slush, the station's area was clear and dry - without shoveling!" says Deiter proudly.