PDA

View Full Version : best marketing dollars you ever spent


David Gretzmier
05-21-2007, 08:09 PM
I've tried alot of advertising venues for lawns/landscaping, and some different ones for Christmas lights. of course referrals/word of mouth are free, and are sometimes enough to keep you going once you've been doing this a long time.

I mentioned the kinds of advertising I've done in the past and how much I spent on the website/leads thread, so I'll not repeat that here.

To get your business rolling, what worked best for you? how much did you spend and how many leads did it produce?

I really want to grow my landscape light division, and I don't want to throw my money away. what worked for you and what did not?

NightScenes
05-21-2007, 08:54 PM
I started by contacting all of my former electrical clients and let them know of my new service. They kept me busy for a long time. They of course told friends as well.

My yard signs always attract business when I'm able to use them. In most of the areas I work, no signs are allowed. My truck signs and trailer are also very good. I have gotten a lot of jobs from people who have seen my rig around the area. These are all fairly inexpensive forms of advertising and seem to work quite well.

Now that I have some money for advertising, I took out an ad in a very upscale magazine and have gotten some good leads on that, but it ain't cheap!! A full page ad was $2000 with a promise to take out a half page ad in the next 3 issues. This took care of 90% of my advertising budget for this whole year. Good thing I have that word-of-mouth thing happening.

I hear that direct mail works very well and may try that in the future.

Good luck,

extlights
05-21-2007, 09:04 PM
Direct mail has always worked the best for us. We are in the process of trying a few new avenues, but will continue direct mail at the same time. The only thing with direct mail is the price. It gets very expensive to say the least. Repetition is the key.

Chris J
05-21-2007, 09:53 PM
Ditto what Dave said. I said it before in another post, but I'll say it again. I've done radio, magazines, trade-shows (still do), community news letters, coupon magazines, etc... you name it and we probably have done it. Direct mail postcards have always proven to be the most effective return on investment. We target the higher end home values, and keep sending it every 45 days until they have received it 3-4 times. You can start out with a list of 1,000 names and then gradually work your way up as you feel comfortable. It is hard to judge results as some homeowners will hold the card until a later date (they may be building and have no need for a few months or longer). I've gotten calls as far as two years after mailing to a particular client. Don't expect too much in the beginning. You have to get the repetition going. If you get more than 1/10th of a percent in calls from the amount you send out you'll be doing good. Later on, you'll see 1-2% (maybe) but this is a phenominal return in the advertising world. It should cost you no more than .40 to .42 cents per card for 6x9 postcards. This will include the cost of printing sorting and mailing as well as the list of names. Your going to find that like everything else, bulk quantities makes the cost go down. If you have the funds, get your printing done in mass quantities and take it to the mail house a little at a time. I used to have about 60,000-100,000 cards printed up at one time. This would last me for a while, but I was sending out 20,000 at one point. Figure that out at .40 each every 45 days!
You gotta spend money to make money!

Trinity Lawn Care, LLC
05-21-2007, 09:55 PM
Our referral program.

Chris J
05-21-2007, 10:23 PM
This helps out a lot also. Gets a bunch of attention. The other side looks better though, I'll get a pic of that and post it later. There is also a graphic on the hood and the tail gate. Cost $4500, but it paid for itself at the first job it was sitting on. Had three people sign up just because they were taking their morning walk and asked for a card.

Mike M
05-21-2007, 10:47 PM
Very nice.

David Gretzmier
05-21-2007, 10:52 PM
Thanks so far guys,

I have tried direct mail for Christmas Lights, I had a company do 3 mailings of 2000 in my area. I got a ZERO % response. this was 4 years ago and cost me about 5500 bucks. I checked some names I knew, yep, they got them, but nobody called. nice 4 color cards, different ones, etc.

It'll be awhile before I do that again.

Yard signs- for Christmas lights, I have easily done over 100k in new work over the last 4 years from a 1000 dollar investment, and I still have over a hundred signs left.

I put out a landscape lighting sign at my last job, and the next few to see how long they stay up.

SWEET TRUCK. If I had 4.5k I would definetly consider that. Our trailer and Christmas bus have well over 3 grand in color photo graphics, but yours is way nicer.

we are upgrading the grahics on my truck and other service truck to include landscape and Christmas lights.

Mike M
05-21-2007, 10:55 PM
Chris, on those mailings, do you indicate a starting price, like in the cast materials, to eliminate false leads?

High Performance Lighting
05-21-2007, 11:06 PM
This www.GAMBINOLANDSCAPELIGHTING.com

and THIS

High Performance Lighting
05-21-2007, 11:31 PM
This too................

Mark B
05-21-2007, 11:35 PM
I just mailed out 600 mailers to homes over 225k. I have only gotten 2 calls from that. I did get one job from it though. I took the advice from someone on tehe board abot going to the tax dept I paid $25.00 for a CD that was nice.

David Gretzmier
05-22-2007, 12:16 AM
mike g, awesome truck- definetly says to the customer " I am serious about this"

looking at your light, I had an idea that you could take a picture of it propping up a truck axle with it or something to demonstrate how tough that light is. It looks REALLY heavy duty.

I think of how my truck looks- It needs to say something other than I am red. luckily my trailer I pull has nice graphics for Christmas lights. I am doing something about that truck next rainy day.

NightScenes
05-22-2007, 12:37 AM
Mike, nice rig!! Sleepy head, glad that tax office tip helped you out. Most people don't know about that information.

Chris J
05-22-2007, 07:39 AM
Chris, on those mailings, do you indicate a starting price, like in the cast materials, to eliminate false leads?

I don't mention price on the print materials. I will try to at least wait until I have the opportunity to speak with the client so that I can explain, in detail, what is involved before going into numbers. Around here, a lot of people have no idea what to expect. I at least want the opportunity to educate them before running them off.

Free411
05-22-2007, 08:12 AM
Has anyone ever tried hooking up with other professionals? For example partner up with a local real estate agent and get them to promote you to light up hard to sell houses.

Pro-Scapes
05-22-2007, 10:19 AM
so far...

door tags zero results
magazine full page ad.... zero results. (i blame this on exagerated circulation by publisher)
direct marketing (building custom list of homes we want) to go out in june.
Word of mouth has netted us a few jobs.
yard signs we have gotten at least 1 job off each project we used signs at.
Refferal program... netted us 2 jobs this spring...

seems guys here do not want to sub jobs out but once they do and see the refferal is real they say they wont do lighting anymore and will call us.

We have back window of truck lettered. Waiting on oppurtunity to buy a cargo van to do the full blown graphics.

We have been asked to be part of an editorial in a local mag but no idea when it will happen.

David Gretzmier
05-22-2007, 11:20 AM
I did door tags a few years ago, did a few bids but no jobs. I think there might be a better way to do it, a "we're Lighting up your neighborhood" kind of thing if you are lighting a house in that subdivision. If there was a line to include the address of the home you are working, and you had a sign in the yard to boot, It might work. Door tags are cheap on the web, there is a site called 1500doortags or 3000doortags or something like that.

I'm going to give them another go only in neighborhoods we are currently working. If I can pick up either Christmas or landscape lighting near a house we already do, It makes our once yearly route all the better.

It seems all the TV News stories, articles and ad's in Newspapers we have either paid for or gotten because of Christmas only served to help name recognition or enhance our credibility when we do a bid, but they don't GET us bids. they usually find us in the yellow pages, or a yard sign, or truck graphics and call. at the visit, they go, " yeah, I saw a picture of you in the paper !" or " you're the Christmas Safety Guy on TV" something like that.

It definetly helps us CLOSE bids. It seems the easier cheaper things- signs, word of mouth, referrals, graphics ( cheap over 7 years anyway) etc , get us bids.

Pro-Scapes
05-22-2007, 04:52 PM
thats funny you mention that dave.... I just got with 3000doorhangers the other day about doing some tags for just that reason. Left a blank line for puttin in the address that we are working at and plan to make it a point to have a guy go hang the nieghborhood while we are installing it. Helps with the keeping up with the jones syndrom.

Another trick that worked once for us... in a sub division your not allowed to solicite in.. We knocked on the nieghbors door and let them know we would have 2 trucks working next door and if we got in thier way at all to come let us know right away. Didnt land us an install but landed us a nice service job that we were able to perform while we were there and I have no doubt they will call us when thier no name brand system fails.

Really dig your trucks Chris and Mike. Would hate to have to fill up Mike G's sled tho thats for sure. Shows that orginazational skills are essential. Looks like he has a place to secure everything on there... How bout some pics of the inside of that tank

David Gretzmier
05-22-2007, 08:01 PM
let me know if the doorhanger thing works. I kind of got the idea from Tony Bass- he's a lawn care consultant that owns Bass custom Landscapes and Super Lawn Trucks.

When he does a landscape installation he sends a letter to each home in the subdivision. the person who makes the sale and get's the deposit check has to write the streets and start/stop addresses on the contract. The letter basically explains they will be doing work at x address and he apologizes for all the trucks, dumptrucks, parking and equipment noise beforehand, and lists the estimated construction dates and completion times. he includes a 3 fold color flyer, and his card asking them to call him directly if there are any problems.

Of course folks will drive by and check out the work.

He says he gets anywhere from 1-3 jobs per every "new" neighborhood.

It costs more than a doorhanger, but would take less time than doorhanging. If you have a good mailing company they can pull addresses for the range and mail it for you. since it is probably only a 50-200 houses, probably costs a buck a piece because of low volume. I am going to try it on a few jobs this summer.

Chris J
05-22-2007, 08:02 PM
Thanks so far guys,

I have tried direct mail for Christmas Lights, I had a company do 3 mailings of 2000 in my area. I got a ZERO % response. this was 4 years ago and cost me about 5500 bucks. I checked some names I knew, yep, they got them, but nobody called. nice 4 color cards, different ones, etc.

It'll be awhile before I do that again.

Yard signs- for Christmas lights, I have easily done over 100k in new work over the last 4 years from a 1000 dollar investment, and I still have over a hundred signs left.

I put out a landscape lighting sign at my last job, and the next few to see how long they stay up.

SWEET TRUCK. If I had 4.5k I would definetly consider that. Our trailer and Christmas bus have well over 3 grand in color photo graphics, but yours is way nicer.

we are upgrading the grahics on my truck and other service truck to include landscape and Christmas lights.

David,
I'm suprised that you received no response at all from your direct mail campaign. Did you mail to upscale homes? I ask this because there are several zip codes in my area that I never advertise to anymore. Even though there are some nice neighborhoods in these zip codes, some areas seem to be more "blue collar" and would rather do it themselves with the home center stuff.
Then again, I do know that every area is different. A little further south of me, I have a friend that has a significant outdoor lighting business (750k/year in sales). He claims that radio and magazines are his favorites. Like I said earlier, these are my worst favorite and he is only 2 1/2 hours south....go figure.

David Gretzmier
05-22-2007, 08:12 PM
supposedly the mailing list only contained incomes of over 90k and homewoners, no renters. they were nice full color postcards and one was a 3 fold color. go figure.

extlights
05-23-2007, 01:27 AM
Credentials for our mailers are $400,000 homes and up, and $125,000 household income. On average we will get about a half of a percent response from our mailers and will usually send out a minimum of 5,000 pieces. The problem is the consistancy. Sometimes we will get a better response, and other times we will get less. This is where tracking and repitition plays a very important role in determining your next area to send the mailer to.

One main key is the layout of the flyer. We have used a few different designs and layouts before finally finding one that seems to work. You can send out 10,000 mailers a month and have a bad design and layout and not get a very good response. On the other hand you could send out 2500 mailers a month with a great layout and get more calls.

Pro-Scapes
05-23-2007, 01:09 PM
another question... How are you guys addressing post cards ? as im custom building my list I am hand entering each last name and putting like "Smith Residence" then the addy... Any better suggestions. I am taking this live off the tax appraisers website so should be current.

Chris J
05-23-2007, 04:36 PM
If you don't want the card returned in the event the original resident has moved, you could use "To our Neighbors At" or "Current Resident". The tax appraisers website is not updated on a regular basis, so this is what I would do.

Chris J
05-23-2007, 07:38 PM
I just mailed out 600 mailers to homes over 225k. I have only gotten 2 calls from that. I did get one job from it though. I took the advice from someone on tehe board abot going to the tax dept I paid $25.00 for a CD that was nice.

What is this advice about the tax department? I must have missed this post. Are you guys referring to pulling tax rolls at the tax collectors office?
Please let me know......:confused:

extlights
05-24-2007, 01:26 AM
Our mailing company sends out all of our mailers. We basically just call them and tell them to send another batch out to so and so zip codes. To our neighbors sounds more curtious than "current resident", although I've seen both ways used.

A couple of little tid bits though. More often than not, on a decent sized mailer (2,000 plus) you will get some returned. I think on almost all mailers we've done we've gotten returns for one reason or another. This is a good way to know if the mailers actually did go out....if you're not sending them out yourself that is. Another way is to tell the company mailing them out to send them to a couple of addresses that you know..(i.e. friends, or your own home.) When you're spending that kind of money you want to make sure they are really going out. Sometimes you just have to cover yourself to give you that piece of mind.

High Performance Lighting
05-25-2007, 10:17 PM
I failed to mention a photo calendar I had printed for 2007 that features photos from my projects. I focused on distributing them to established clients. To date it has been a great success proving to have a tremendous ROI. This was my first yr and I made a few mistakes. The computer monitor I used had the brightness set too low, so what looked good on my screen actually printed a bit bright (not too bad though) Second mistake was that I didn't print enough copies. I didn't count on those clients who were featured to request in some cases 10 or more copies each to distribute to family and friends. I was really surprised how honored some of them were to be featured. I received a call today from a client whose backyard is featured on the back cover. She requested another 5 calendars because she is so proud of the photo and wants to distribute more of them to those in her circle. She also scheduled an appointment to talk about doing the frontyard. Needless to say I will be doing a 2008 calendar. This time I will have them completed by November 2007 and will print 500 more copies which will bring my cost per pc. down.

Chris J
05-25-2007, 11:01 PM
Wow! That is an incredibly great idea. Did you actually think of that yourself? Damn Mike, I am actually honored to know you now.:usflag: When I read this post, my mind started racing with all of the possibilities this has of promoting good will and additional leads among neighbors of current customers. I am seriously going to print this message, and tape it to my office wall to remind me to do something similar. This idea is really sharp, and also leads to some other really interesting ideas.
Thanks G.
By the way, did you get my PM?

High Performance Lighting
05-26-2007, 12:01 AM
It wasn't my idea. Many years ago Nightscaping announced (along with dozens of other things they never followed through with) they were going to publish a calendar featuring the work of their "top" contractors who used their products. It's about 10 years later and I've never seen a calendar from them. I did send Bill Locklin a few copies. So if they all of a sudden start putting out calendars then it would come full circle. I stole their idea and they would have stole mine. I think.

Regarding your PM-I just read it. Lighten up I wasn't specifically referring to you in my so called "rant" so there is no need to piss on me as you threatened. Why would you want to piss on someone who just gave you such a great idea anyway.

I'm the kind of guy who calls em as I see em and if that ruffles a few feathers then so be it. Like I've said previously I don't know it all and I come here to pick up some tidbits like most others. But sometimes I wonder if it's just better to read than to post.

Chris J
05-26-2007, 09:26 AM
Naaa. you need to post as well. It wouldn't be as much fun if you didn't.

niteliters
05-26-2007, 05:31 PM
mostly, I've learned to just read, my brother from another mother.

Chris J
05-27-2007, 01:19 AM
What the hell are you talkin about chris? Are you somokin something?

klkanders
05-27-2007, 12:10 PM
Same goes here Chris M. How the heck have you been? Keeping busy?
Have a great weekend!

niteliters
05-27-2007, 04:39 PM
enjoying this weekend off. how is you and yours?
have a great weekend

NightScenes
05-28-2007, 12:00 PM
What is this advice about the tax department? I must have missed this post. Are you guys referring to pulling tax rolls at the tax collectors office?
Please let me know......:confused:

Chris, you can go to your local tax office and request the names and addresses of all homes in a certain criteria. I have asked for homes of $400k and over. It costs about $25. Then, if you are a member of your local chamber of commerce, you can use their bulk stamp to send them at bulk mail rates. This can save a boatload of money when you are talking about sending out a couple of thousand cards.

NightScenes
05-28-2007, 12:04 PM
Mike, I really like the calender idea. I think it's a great way to stay in their faces year round. Also if they give some away to their friends, that' great.

Chris J
05-28-2007, 12:17 PM
Chris, you can go to your local tax office and request the names and addresses of all homes in a certain criteria. I have asked for homes of $400k and over. It costs about $25. Then, if you are a member of your local chamber of commerce, you can use their bulk stamp to send them at bulk mail rates. This can save a boatload of money when you are talking about sending out a couple of thousand cards.

Cool! I knew about the CD and the tax rolls, but I didn't know about the stamp available through the chamber. Thanks for the info. I'll have to check into that.

High Performance Lighting
05-28-2007, 01:17 PM
Mike, I really like the calender idea. I think it's a great way to stay in their faces year round. Also if they give some away to their friends, that' great.

Paul this might be a good project to bring to the AOLP. No?

NightScenes
05-28-2007, 11:35 PM
Maybe so Mike. The AOLP could feature work from members.

Eden Lights
05-29-2007, 12:40 AM
Best results for me have been High end charitable benefit auction donations and Precise targeted direct mail with a very nice 6x9 full color heavy card.

Worst results have been print advertising: Garden Magazines, Yellow Pages, and etc.

David Gretzmier
05-29-2007, 08:55 PM
I Like the calender Idea- Mike- it sounds like you did it on your own computer and had it assembled and printed by a company? any chance of posting the price per calender/x number of copies and the size?

I have a color laser, but some photo's still look kinda waxy. I'd want to do a mix of Christmas and landscape lighting photo's and send it to current customers with magnets for fridge.

I've been out of town and unable to access the internet for 4 days- you guys have been posting ALOT !

great to be back.

Keep the ideas coming- This Is what I log onto Lawnsite for - Ideas that work.

High Performance Lighting
05-29-2007, 10:04 PM
Dave they are regular sized wall calendars 8 1/2" X 11". I supplied the digital files and they did the 4 color printing on a press. I sent you an e-mail on the rest.

High Performance Lighting
07-01-2007, 09:55 PM
I failed to mention a photo calendar I had printed for 2007 that features photos from my projects. I focused on distributing them to established clients. To date it has been a great success proving to have a tremendous ROI. This was my first yr and I made a few mistakes. The computer monitor I used had the brightness set too low, so what looked good on my screen actually printed a bit bright (not too bad though) Second mistake was that I didn't print enough copies. I didn't count on those clients who were featured to request in some cases 10 or more copies each to distribute to family and friends. I was really surprised how honored some of them were to be featured. I received a call today from a client whose backyard is featured on the back cover. She requested another 5 calendars because she is so proud of the photo and wants to distribute more of them to those in her circle. She also scheduled an appointment to talk about doing the frontyard. Needless to say I will be doing a 2008 calendar. This time I will have them completed by November 2007 and will print 500 more copies which will bring my cost per pc. down.

Just an update on the Calendar. I signed a very large project this morning for a family member of the client whose backyard is featured on the back cover. She requested 5 copies of the Calendar because she was so proud and obviously has distributed them. This new job alone will have paid for this years calendar campaign and that of the next 10 yrs. I now have clients upon signing my contract ask to be placed in next yrs calendar. This has been a success beyond my wildest imagination. :clapping:

Pro-Scapes
07-01-2007, 11:42 PM
The calanders looked great. I actually "won" one so to speak. I think they are a tremendous idea. After all... Upscale clients tend to have upscale friends who happen to come to thier homes. It woud be wonderful if the AOLP came up with one and members could purchase them to distribute as well for thoes of us who cant otherwise justify the high cost of these.

It would be several years at the least before we could justify such a hand out. Good clients we given a nice bottle of wine and a thank you note last year.

High Performance Lighting
07-01-2007, 11:58 PM
I dragged my heals for years before acting on this and I should not have waited this long but out of pure laziness did. One thing that never can be recovered is time.

Pro-Scapes
07-11-2007, 10:01 PM
Just to update guys... My post cards are now starting to hit mailboxes. They took over 2 weeks to get here out of orlando but Got a call last night off one where the lady had been looking for 2 years to get someone to light her pathway. Met today and got the job. Small job only 14 lights due to the design of the home. In an exclusive sub division so hopefully it leads to more.

Chris J
07-11-2007, 10:21 PM
That's good news Billy. Did this one job at least pay for the production cost? Maybe a yard sign will produce yet another job which you can then claim some pure pure profit on. Either way, it's getting you some more exposure, which is always a good thing. Here's to your marketing efforts! :drinkup:

Pro-Scapes
07-11-2007, 11:16 PM
Its been worth it so far lets just say that. I will more than likley send out another round in 3 weeks once I come up with something catchy to say on em. Any ideas ?

Thanks for the reminder I forgot to put a sign in the truck for tmrw. Only got 3 lawns to do so should be able to knock that out then hop on the lighting job and rock it out.

This job is a classic... high end home... had huge spots that were reccomnded by electrician... ... took thoes out... put in solars and cant see the walkway. Really nice lady. Pleasure to work with. Hope this is a real sign of things to come.

Chris J
07-11-2007, 11:35 PM
Just keep it simple and to the point. Show a very nice picture on the front, with contact info, and then let them know what you do on the back. Don't try to put too much info on the card as you only have about 10-15 seconds to capture someone's interest with direct mail. In other words, don't try to sell your lawn care, landscape architechture, christmas lights and landscape lighting on the same card.
Damn, I wouldn't normally do this but I'll attach an example of one of my original cards. The one that really got me off to a great start. This stuff is copyrighten, so everbody please respect this and do not copy and/or plagiarize.

Chris J
07-11-2007, 11:47 PM
Sorry, the front would not upload because it is too big. It is basically the front of a very nice home with my logo in the upper right hand corner. Across the bottom it says "Call now for a free design consultation at your home (904) 614-7208". And that's it! This card launched me into this business beyond my wildest dreams. I don't know if it was my market at that particular time, or if I had any kind of charisma to speak of or what. But when I started out, I sent this card to the same 1,000 people every 45 days for at least 5 mailings. Then I switched to a different set of zip codes, and sent to another 1,000 for another 5 mailings. I learned very quickly that I could dictate the amount I earned by the amount I spent. As you could imagine, it didn't bother me one bit to drop 20k on direct mail at any given time.
This is just my experience though, so I claim no responsibility if this does not work for you as well.
Best of luck,

Pro-Scapes
07-12-2007, 12:53 AM
Chris... drop me an email and I will send you the pdf versions of our cards. Im not posting them in public forums to either be capped on or stolen by some inbred degenerate. A contractor friend allowed us usage of the front of his card and we had our own back designed. Some people think I paid too much on em but 4/4 both sides.. glossy both sides... super heavy stock... client today comented about how nice it was and caught her attn. I think you got closer to 3 seconds or less to capture thier attn. Take note next time you go thru the mail.

I think we will probably do another round in about 3 weeks to the same 1200 lists with a few additional select targets. Will also take the time one rainy day to more closley verify and update our list..I think I may have a few zip codes off by one digit... will post cards still go thru like this like 1st class mail will ????

Chris J
07-12-2007, 01:42 AM
Billy,
As far as the postal service thing goes, I'm really not sure. I have all that done through a mail house because it would take me forever to manually address as many cards as we send out. I do know that it is cheeper to send cards via carrier route rather than selected homes. In other words, I usually get a list of specific homes valued at 400k or higher in area code xxxxx. If I wanted to make it cheeper, I could just tell the mail house to send the same amount of cards to that general area via x amount of postal carriers (post-men) This way, every house that this post man goes to would get one of my cards, and there is no sorting charges. Problem is: there might be condos or apartments in that carriers route and I don't want my card going there. There are also "less desirable" areas within every zip code: I don't want my card going there either.
Don't make this more complicated than it has to be. Let the USPS do the work for you, and use the power of numbers and ratios to your advantage. It takes the USPS 2 days to get 10000 cards out. How long will it take you, and at what hourly wage?
Again, If it cost you $5000 to do what I'm talking about, you will make that back in two jobs! With yard signs and word of mouth referrals, it just snowballs from there....hopefully.

Now, about your pdf versions of your card..... I've always givin freely of my information to help you, yet when you sent me a picture the last time half of the card was "blacked out" and I could hardly determine whether it was a good card or not? I can assure you that I will not use you're pictures or graphics. I am way against using anything that is not of my own creation. If you would like to show me something, the address is Ilightemup@comcast.net

See ya!

ALarsh
07-12-2007, 02:18 AM
Great thread guys. Just joining along for the ride.

I have stuck to mostly doorhangers which have given me a nice return but they do take a lot of time and coordinating. I plan to start using direct mail more aggressively now.

Approx. how much will you spend on direct mail and do you focus more of the mailings in April? What kind of return do you typically get? What company are you using to print the post cards and to print the names/addresses on the cards?

Chris J
07-12-2007, 03:27 AM
Alarsh,
I budget about 50k in advertising expenses per yer, but I don't know where you are getting April from? Our busy time is Sept-Dec, but we are steady throughout the rest of the year. Is lighting your main line of work, or are you a landscape contractor (or similar)?

Pro-Scapes
07-12-2007, 06:29 PM
Great thread guys. Just joining along for the ride.

I have stuck to mostly doorhangers which have given me a nice return but they do take a lot of time and coordinating. I plan to start using direct mail more aggressively now.

Approx. how much will you spend on direct mail and do you focus more of the mailings in April? What kind of return do you typically get? What company are you using to print the post cards and to print the names/addresses on the cards?

Larsh.. if I rememeber right you do mostly mowing right ? I tried door hangers for lighting with zero replies... Never tried it for mowing. next year I plan to have a main crew up and running again and me concentrating on the lighting. If I had to choose I woud definatly take the lighting over doing mowing.

If you wanted to start lighting then market to your existing clients first.... if they trust you thats your best bet.

Mike M
07-13-2007, 08:44 AM
Chris, is it true that you can request post card distribution to the last numbers in the extended zip code, to zero in on a tighter area?

Mike

ALarsh
07-13-2007, 01:24 PM
Yes I do mostly mowing, so our busy rush advertising months are a little different. What company are you using for direct mail?

Thanks.

GreenN'Clean
07-13-2007, 02:29 PM
newspaper ads always seem to be the best marketing tool I use

Chris J
07-13-2007, 06:39 PM
Chris, is it true that you can request post card distribution to the last numbers in the extended zip code, to zero in on a tighter area?

Mike

I'm not familiar with this Mike. I really don't even know what the last digits are for. Unless I'm mass mailing with someone like RSVP or City Publications, my direct mail post cards are going to specific homeowners who have been selected using the "home value" criteria. The list agency creates my lists in any given zip code by giving me the names and addresses of homes valued at x amount and above. Obviously, the lower the home value, the bigger your list will be. If I want to narrow it down, I simply raise the home value criteria.

Pro-Scapes
07-13-2007, 06:42 PM
newspaper ads always seem to be the best marketing tool I use

In my experience lawncare and lighting advertising is 2 different worlds. With lawncare it doesnt much matter who you reach... with lighting you need people who can afford yor services. I have never seen the ferrari dealer advertising in the local paper like the chevy dealer. I am in no way bashing lawn guys since I am still one when I am not doing lighting.

I use a different perspective advertising out of orlando. They were timely... had the best deal for my quanity... and they cards are 1st rate... 4/4color both sides... glossy both sides... 6x9" and they still beat the price of the guy who was text only on back.

http://www.dppad.com/ is thier website. I have nothing to gain by reffering them. I just had a 100% positive experience with them