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Envy Lawn Service
04-19-2006, 12:16 AM
Well, the title seems to have about said it all. Despite the fact I have spent more this year than I ever have on marketing, it is turning out to be the biggest FLOP ever!

At what point does your patients wear down and your panic alert go off???
In other words, how long do you wait before you decide it's time to make changes?

I've been hitting a large group simple advertising and another smaller group in addition. I mean I have been advertising to a general area to the degree of playing "The Law of Large Numbers" which in general will ordinarily result in at least a 3% return... 3 calls per hundred people who view the ad... which will usually start out slow, then peak, then taper way off in say a 30 day period, for an overall average of a 3% return and a trickling residual.

But I'm not getting anything near that!!! So far I have had '0' hot calls that lead to estimates. Total I have had '2' calls for lawn & landscape related work, neither of which I was interested in, so I gave two referrals... And I have had numerous calls from people seeking employment with my company although my marketing is not directed in that area at all.

So I am not real sure what to think. On one hand I think it's time to change it up and see if I can get the phone ringing. But on the other hand, after questioning the callers, I'm thinking maybe the advertising looks just fine since it is pulling so many employment calls (they see my ad and call me instead of the others hoping to find work).

Anyways, I'm debating on rather to just be more patient or to go ahead and get started on changing the content in hopes of getting more calls. The current marketing plan has been in action hot-n-heavy for about 2 weeks and so far it's been a non-performer.

Should I make major changes or not?

ALarsh
04-19-2006, 12:25 AM
I put out 1,000 flyers - got 3 calls so far.

Call #1 - Wanted mulch dropped off, not spread. My reply, "No"

Call #2 - Lawn mowing, landed job

Call #3 - Asking if I fertilize even though it isn't listed on my services. My reply, "No"

Got 1 job out of 1,000 flyers:dizzy:

topsites
04-19-2006, 12:26 AM
Envy:
This appears to be a targeting issue... I dare say your ad is missing its intended target, as to how I could not tell you for sure but it appears the marketable segment who is seeing your ad, although interested in lawn care, happens to be the folks looking for work and not the folks looking for work to be done.

I would consider some kind of change, if not in the company doing the advertising, then in the location of the ad.
If it's in the classifieds section, this might be the reason why (but not always, just an example).

//////////////////////////////////////

As for the guy with the flyers, expect 3-4 calls per k and if you convert more than half something is wrong as well lol, so what you're seeing is normal.

Ed Ryder
04-19-2006, 12:35 AM
Your ad is a failure. Pull it and try again with a different ad or marketing method. Maybe hire a pro to write and design it, since time is of the essence.

Envy Lawn Service
04-19-2006, 12:38 AM
I put out 1,000 flyers - got 3 calls so far.

Call #1 - Wanted mulch dropped off, not spread. My reply, "No"

Call #2 - Lawn mowing, landed job

Call #3 - Asking if I fertilize even though it isn't listed on my services. My reply, "No"

Got 1 job out of 1,000 flyers:dizzy:

But see... that is still a 3% return even if it is gross, with a 1% net.
But yes, a 3% or better net would be better and more typical.

I would be absolutely tickled pink with a 1% net off my marketing.
I could give high estimates and cherry pick.

ALarsh
04-19-2006, 12:41 AM
3% gross of 1,000 flyers would be 30 calls

1% net of 1,000 flyers would be 10 jobs landed

I landed 1 job out of 3 calls......

Envy Lawn Service
04-19-2006, 01:05 AM
Envy:
This appears to be a targeting issue... I dare say your ad is missing its intended target, as to how I could not tell you for sure but it appears the marketable segment who is seeing your ad, although interested in lawn care, happens to be the folks looking for work and not the folks looking for work to be done.

I would consider some kind of change, if not in the company doing the advertising, then in the location of the ad.
If it's in the classifieds section, this might be the reason why (but not always, just an example).

//////////////////////////////////////

As for the guy with the flyers, expect 3-4 calls per k and if you convert more than half something is wrong as well lol, so what you're seeing is normal.

Well, generally I would agree. But as it seems, the reason it is generating 'work search' calls is that they call because I seem like their best chance of gainful employment out of the advertising they are recieving.

But also, both of us have to be honest here and address the issue of the current economy and job market. It this were not an issue, I sure as heck wouldn't be getting these calls off my marketing material. But also to be honest, if it was not for the current economy and job market, I wouldn't be advertising like this either.

But yes, this is 'blanket' advertising. This area is just different in that way. It would be really good to be able to do 'target marketing' but in this area, the best you can do with larger scale advertising is to add some small degree of targeting inside your blanket advertising so that you don't have like a 30% return of worthless cheapskate calls.

The reason being is that very targeted stuff (like door hangers for example) are just not a well recieved method of advertising. It's a 'country culture' type thing I guess. It would be an ugly event if you were to try it and VERY UNSUCESSFUL. I have seen some door hangers, but in my life I have never found a doorhanger on my doorknob, and I think I might have had 3 salesmen come cold-call door knocking, and when they did I knew instantly they were traveling salesmen from out of town.

It's just a different world here....

Envy Lawn Service
04-19-2006, 01:11 AM
3% gross of 1,000 flyers would be 30 calls

1% net of 1,000 flyers would be 10 jobs landed

I landed 1 job out of 3 calls......

Sorry, it's late here (EST) and I'm typing fast.

Your numbers are .3% gross and .1% net.
I missed putting the POINT.

And yes I did mean I would be happy with .3% and .1% overall.

But yes, with flyers, one should expect 10X that return (3%) v/s simple blanket ads.

Envy Lawn Service
04-19-2006, 01:30 AM
Your ad is a failure. Pull it and try again with a different ad or marketing method. Maybe hire a pro to write and design it, since time is of the essence.

I did hire a pro do write and design the ad slicks.

But it is a simple ad... nothing elaborate like you would have on a flyer or door hanger.

At the same time though, it's not your typical ad either...
Company Name
Services Provided
Free Estimates
Phone Number

Instead, my ad is an advertisement for my company more so than the typical block ad of services provided and it makes no suggestion of low/cheap/affordable/reasonable rates or anything of the sort. I did not want to attract those calls I guess you could say and I really didn't see where there would be a need for anything of the sort to boost call numbers. Frankly I still don't see that as a consideration.

You are right though... time is of the essence... and if I am going to make a change, I'm thinking of some other wording associated with this time of year that will generate 'ad pull' and pull calls. I would rather try something like that or some sort of catch phrase ad than to make suggestions about rates and have my phone ringing off the hook with worthless calls wasting my time.

bobbygedd
04-19-2006, 06:39 AM
i also tried something i thought was gonna be huge. it turned out to be a total flop. after only a couple of weeks, it was obvious that something in my add was acting as a client reppellent, so i immediately changed it. bingo, the change worked. still don't know why my add was a flop, some things just don't work. change it now

bullethead
04-19-2006, 10:37 AM
Re ad response rate - I have concluded that most people on here can't perform basic math. 1 out of a thousand is 1/10th of a percent (0.10%). If you are putting out 10, 20, 50 or 100 thousand, this will probably be about your average response rate (0.10%).


Now if you only put out about 500 or 1,000, you may get a higher reponse rate, but as you increase your volume I am willing to bet the law of averages is going to catch up to you and you will end up in the 1 out of a 1,000 range.

EliteImpressions
04-19-2006, 12:01 PM
can you post what your ad was? Maybe we can fine tune it for you.

ALarsh
04-19-2006, 12:04 PM
I'm not sure what Envy's ad was, but this one was mine:

http://cclawnservice.com/Personal/LawnFolder/Door%20Hanger/front%20copy.jpg

http://cclawnservice.com/Personal/LawnFolder/Door%20Hanger/back%20copy.jpg

gqnine44
04-19-2006, 06:26 PM
I'm not sure what Envy's ad was, but this one was mine:

And how were your results from this ad?

ALarsh
04-19-2006, 06:57 PM
And how were your results from this ad?

I put out 1,000 flyers - got 3 calls so far.

Call #1 - Wanted mulch dropped off, not spread. My reply, "No"

Call #2 - Lawn mowing, landed job

Call #3 - Asking if I fertilize even though it isn't listed on my services. My reply, "No"

Got 1 job out of 1,000 flyers:dizzy:

They were all placed in mailboxes so some may have been removed by the postmaster. I'm not sure actually how many made it to the customer.

EliteImpressions
04-19-2006, 09:30 PM
why did you put them in the mail if you bought door hangers? The whole perpose (sp) of using door hangers is to force the customer to read your ad, not throw it away like the rest of the junk mail.

Envy Lawn Service
04-19-2006, 10:40 PM
I'm not sure what Envy's ad was, but this one was mine:

http://cclawnservice.com/Personal/LawnFolder/Door%20Hanger/back%20copy.jpg

Mine was similar to that, company focused, but no suggestions about pricing.


Anyways, we are working on some changes.
I may start with minor editing and continue to re-draft periodically until the phone starts ringing.

ALarsh
04-20-2006, 12:53 AM
why did you put them in the mail if you bought door hangers? The whole perpose (sp) of using door hangers is to force the customer to read your ad, not throw it away like the rest of the junk mail.

Because my costs of delivery are 1/3 that than putting on doors. Tried doors and took 1 hour to do 100. Did mailboxes and got anywhere from 250-350 done an hour.

SOMM
04-20-2006, 01:44 AM
Good take, Bobby.
Make a change and just keep at it!

Placing cheap (that way we don't appear too expensive) small ads in the backs of neighborhood weekly or monthly newspapers has gotten us better response than flyers overall, but there are certain areas we always flyer because of better flyer response in those areas.

Another thread had said " 1000 flyers ain't _ _ _ _ ", we agree if this is solely how you advertise, without print or other media.
Another thread had said that a flyer does better with an incentive to purchase like: "__% discount on ________ (seasonal program or incentive to purchase) for first 50 new April customers", or "Several Choices of Free Fall Mums or Perennial Plantings for first 15 new full-season customers." The thread refers to flyers without such seasonal incentives as merely "name dropping".

We get another round of response in May, when the bermuda and everything else is growing outta control. Never stop marketing, and if it's green - cut it !

daveintoledo
04-20-2006, 12:50 PM
Because my costs of delivery are 1/3 that than putting on doors. Tried doors and took 1 hour to do 100. Did mailboxes and got anywhere from 250-350 done an hour.

so how high was the cost seeing that most of them never where seen by the potental customer..... its a federal offense to put flyers in the mail box... how do people not know this by now......

olderthandirt
04-20-2006, 01:10 PM
Envy, if ordinary won't work try expensive.

If you want the best and are prepared to spend a little more to stand out from the crowd call XXX-XXXX and see what a few dollars more WILL get you.

Theres a lot of people that have the money and will spend it with only the perception that there getting the best. And at this point 1 or 2 great paying jobs make up for a bunch of mediocre ones

topsites
04-20-2006, 10:04 PM
Envy, if ordinary won't work try expensive.

If you want the best and are prepared to spend a little more to stand out from the crowd call XXX-XXXX and see what a few dollars more WILL get you.

Theres a lot of people that have the money and will spend it with only the perception that there getting the best. And at this point 1 or 2 great paying jobs make up for a bunch of mediocre ones

Yeah but that's the same thing I was told by the rep of an advertising medium I tried last year ... This bs about how other companies were purchasing half-page ads, etc, etc...
My reply was: I spent 2 thousand dollars and got maybe 4 or 6 phonecalls total, half of which were other companies trying to sell me crap!
I am sure if I spend more money I'll get more calls, but I am also sure you understand my clients don't spend a fortune and if I am to expect figures in relation to the money, I am in no mood to throw more good money after bad considering if I spend 10 grand I can expect 20 calls? My usual return for investment is around 1 closure per every 40 dollars spent, so since at times I close as little as 1 out of 10 calls, I am sure you understand that 2000 dollars needs to translate into 500 calls, but even 50-100 I would be ok with, but not 4 or 6, not even 10 or 20 cuts it, not even close.
Now I have done my part and fulfilled my end of the bargain so until you deliver a rough percentage of customers for the money I spent, I will not be doing any more business with you.
...
They called again this year.
I swear.

ALarsh
04-21-2006, 12:10 AM
so how high was the cost seeing that most of them never where seen by the potental customer..... its a federal offense to put flyers in the mail box... how do people not know this by now......
Just got another call today. Customer wants weekly lawn mowing, fert (refer to another local company), mulch and shrub trimming. I am meeting with them tomorrow.

Coreyb
04-21-2006, 09:11 PM
Because my costs of delivery are 1/3 that than putting on doors. Tried doors and took 1 hour to do 100. Did mailboxes and got anywhere from 250-350 done an hour.

be sure to make a post when the post master nails you for breaking the law.

Freddy_Kruger
04-21-2006, 09:59 PM
I put out 1,000 flyers - got 3 calls so far.

Call #1 - Wanted mulch dropped off, not spread. My reply, "No"

Call #2 - Lawn mowing, landed job

Call #3 - Asking if I fertilize even though it isn't listed on my services. My reply, "No"

Got 1 job out of 1,000 flyers:dizzy:
I put out 11'000 flyers and I got flooded with work :(

topsites
04-22-2006, 12:21 AM
I put out 11'000 flyers and I got flooded with work :(

But... That is a good problem. :)

ALarsh
04-22-2006, 12:55 AM
be sure to make a post when the post master nails you for breaking the law.
I didn't get nailed, just a simple phone call informing me of the laws about mailboxes, because after all, I was "unaware" that I couldn't put my flyers in the mailboxes.

Coreyb
04-22-2006, 08:02 AM
ignorance of the law is not a defense.

rob7233
04-22-2006, 03:49 PM
ignorance of the law is not a defense.

Okay already, we all got it by now..... That also includes anything hung or afixed to the mailbox or it's post. I had my mailman advise me of this when he returned to me a big stack of my flyers that he pulled for me. Great guy he was, for doing this for me. :nono:

Envy Lawn Service
04-22-2006, 04:21 PM
Well crap!

I got everything changed to something else that believe it or not, I actually felt better about than what I started out with. In addition, this week we have had and are still having our first rounds of real spring thunderstorms. Unfortunately though, the phone still is not ringing.

To be honest though, I'm starting to doubt it's the advertising. So much so that I'm going to be tempted to arrange one run of the typical landscape looser ad that suggests I am the cheapest bonehead around.... just to see if the phone doesn't ring off the friggin hook.

Anyways, I also have 2 'catch-phrase' type ads ready that I will run before I give up.

I am also considering what SOMM and olderthandirt have suggested.
BS incentives to purchase.... (% off, free this, ect)
Big buck no bull straight to the point of the matter ads. (Want the best? Hire me)

kc2006
04-22-2006, 05:13 PM
I say go with what Mac said. I'm doing that now. I had doorhanger design that was just 2 color on white paper, not glossy. It was a in the middle type flyer, wasn't cheap, but wasn't full color glossy all the works. It got more results then the cheap flyer did last year. Now I have full color glossy, very nice designed doorhangers designed by team gopher and I can't wait to see the results. They'll be going out later this week to test the waters.

Any book I've read about marketing says when marketing to baby boomers (mac, old man haha) go all out. Baby boomers have the money and they want quality service and will pay for it. You just have to present that you are the top notch guy and theres a reason to go with you and pay a few dollars more.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-22-2006, 06:00 PM
Well, the title seems to have about said it all. Despite the fact I have spent more this year than I ever have on marketing, it is turning out to be the biggest FLOP ever!

At what point does your patients wear down and your panic alert go off???
In other words, how long do you wait before you decide it's time to make changes?

I've been hitting a large group simple advertising and another smaller group in addition. I mean I have been advertising to a general area to the degree of playing "The Law of Large Numbers" which in general will ordinarily result in at least a 3% return... 3 calls per hundred people who view the ad... which will usually start out slow, then peak, then taper way off in say a 30 day period, for an overall average of a 3% return and a trickling residual.

But I'm not getting anything near that!!! So far I have had '0' hot calls that lead to estimates. Total I have had '2' calls for lawn & landscape related work, neither of which I was interested in, so I gave two referrals... And I have had numerous calls from people seeking employment with my company although my marketing is not directed in that area at all.

So I am not real sure what to think. On one hand I think it's time to change it up and see if I can get the phone ringing. But on the other hand, after questioning the callers, I'm thinking maybe the advertising looks just fine since it is pulling so many employment calls (they see my ad and call me instead of the others hoping to find work).

Anyways, I'm debating on rather to just be more patient or to go ahead and get started on changing the content in hopes of getting more calls. The current marketing plan has been in action hot-n-heavy for about 2 weeks and so far it's been a non-performer.

Should I make major changes or not?


April 18th, 2006 is when mine went off! Good luck Envy.

Envy Lawn Service
05-08-2006, 11:12 PM
Well, this marketing campaign never did 'bare fruit'

Just a great big waste of money I could have saved or spent on something else.

I get more results for free just being out and about.

Prestige-Lawncare
05-09-2006, 09:52 AM
Well, this marketing campaign never did 'bare fruit'

Just a great big waste of money I could have saved or spent on something else.

I get more results for free just being out and about.

Exactly ...

To be seen is to be hired!

olderthandirt
05-09-2006, 10:21 AM
Well, this marketing campaign never did 'bare fruit'

Just a great big waste of money I could have saved or spent on something else.

I get more results for free just being out and about.

Well try something dif for 1 wk in the paper. This should get some reads and get you noticed.

Tired of CHEAP and inadequate lawn & lawn care?
Call xxx-xxxx go from a cheap to a extravagant luxurious lawn this yr. for only a few dollars more a week.


It has the 3 words highlighted that people want to see/read and it tells them what they already know cheap = inferior. Raise the price $10 a cut and put them on a 12 month pay plan and 32 cuts average out to ONLY $ 6.66 more a wk for the BEST. You have to believe that your the best before you can sell yourself as the best. :waving:

Envy Lawn Service
05-09-2006, 01:00 PM
Mac,

Tried all that and then some. I ran and tested various different ads daily in a newspaper with plenty of subscribers every day over the course of two months. I thought that of all things would be a producer due to the law of large numbers. Well, it broke that law.

olderthandirt
05-09-2006, 01:31 PM
Mac,

Tried all that and then some. I ran and tested various different ads daily in a newspaper with plenty of subscribers every day over the course of two months. I thought that of all things would be a producer due to the law of large numbers. Well, it broke that law.

2 things differnt now, customers have had a chance to see what crappy work looks like and the mow joes are falling away fast

kc2006
05-09-2006, 05:07 PM
2 things differnt now, customers have had a chance to see what crappy work looks like and the mow joes are falling away fast

All too often people forget that this is the second best time to advertise. Mid May. mow joe's drop off the face of the planet, they do a crappy job and people see it and aren't happy with it. Now's the time to bank on that. I noticed in the last two years that people want deals in early spring, they want the cheap price...then in May if you advertise it right you get the quality customers that will pay extra to have a good service.