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View Full Version : Best advetising for your dollar?


TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 02:20 PM
I tried val pak which got us a couple calls but no sells. And ive recently tried door hangers which also got no response. Is direct mail my last hope?

MarcSmith
07-21-2008, 02:27 PM
have you tried HOA newsletters or home and garden shows? just thinking outloud...

TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 02:38 PM
i have thought about em, but never tried, never knew where to get into it.

Chris J
07-21-2008, 03:37 PM
I wouldn't call direct mail your last hope. Direct mail is the single best return on investment for my business. I got started with direct mail, and it shot me straight to the level I wanted to be at. It's expensive, but I think you'll find the more you spend the more you will make. With direct mail, however, you have to be consistent. You have to keep your ad in front of the potential client by sending pieces to them several times. Don't think you can send them a card and move on. That method will be as good as throwing your money away.

Lite4
07-21-2008, 03:47 PM
Home shows have by far given me the best ROI. I did 50,000 pieces of direct mail 3 weeks ago with only 3 calls. I am somewhat disapointed with it, but I will still wait and see. Chris- Check your PM

TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 04:13 PM
I wouldn't call direct mail your last hope. Direct mail is the single best return on investment for my business. I got started with direct mail, and it shot me straight to the level I wanted to be at. It's expensive, but I think you'll find the more you spend the more you will make. With direct mail, however, you have to be consistent. You have to keep your ad in front of the potential client by sending pieces to them several times. Don't think you can send them a card and move on. That method will be as good as throwing your money away.

Weve used this somewhat direct mail magazine that is only advertisements to the highend people. ill send you a pm

TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 04:15 PM
Home shows have by far given me the best ROI. I did 50,000 pieces of direct mail 3 weeks ago with only 3 calls. I am somewhat disapointed with it, but I will still wait and see. Chris- Check your PM

ok im going to start looking into home shows.

Chris J
07-21-2008, 04:16 PM
You know, different markets respond to different things. As Tim stated, he gets the best results from home shows, and a good friend of mine in Central Florida swears by magazines. I can't tell you how much money I've spent on high-end magazine ads with no results to show for it.

TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 04:23 PM
You know, different markets respond to different things. As Tim stated, he gets the best results from home shows, and a good friend of mine in Central Florida swears by magazines. I can't tell you how much money I've spent on high-end magazine ads with no results to show for it.

lets see we got one job off 4 months in a high end magazine...1350/month...

Mataman
07-21-2008, 04:27 PM
How do you set up your site for a Garden/Home Show? Do ya drag in some plants? Blocks, maybe a little water feature? Anybody have a sample pic?

Chris J
07-21-2008, 04:29 PM
lets see we got one job off 4 months in a high end magazine...1350/month...

That's not bad as long as that job was 50k.

TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 04:34 PM
That's not bad as long as that job was 50k.

yeh that woulda been great! but it was a 6250 dollar job...

TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 04:44 PM
How do you set up your site for a Garden/Home Show? Do ya drag in some plants? Blocks, maybe a little water feature? Anybody have a sample pic?

do a search. theres a thread on here with a bunch of pictures of home and garden shows.

Chris J
07-21-2008, 05:12 PM
yeh that woulda been great! but it was a 6250 dollar job...

OK, so you made $850. Did you put a yard sign up and door-hangers on the neighbors houses? That will usually turn into a few more jobs.

TXNSLighting
07-21-2008, 09:02 PM
OK, so you made $850. Did you put a yard sign up and door-hangers on the neighbors houses? That will usually turn into a few more jobs.

Yes to the yard sign, and no to the hangers. Didnt have any. didnt get anything from it.

Chris J
07-21-2008, 09:24 PM
Well, don't fret. If you did a good job, the neighbors have noticed and have probably written down the phone number. Everyone has their own time and priority schedule. Don't be suprised if you get a few calls a year or so from now and they tell you they received a card or saw a job you did a year or two ago. As a matter of fact, I didn't do the last home and patio show due to a conflict with an overseas vacation. When I got back, I received a call from a lady who said she was ready for lighting, but didn't see me at the show. We met a few days later, and WHAM! a 10k job was born. People will hold on to your info, and that's why it's so important to keep advertising to them. They may not be ready now, but when they are ready you will need to be the one who has your phone number in front of them.

The Lighting Geek
07-22-2008, 10:13 AM
I have had success in magazines in 2 areas. Branding and jobs. Branding is important but you can't brand yourself if you are not consistent with your marketing. One month here and a month there is not going to cut it. I generally get enough business to more than pay the ad. Right now it is tough getting calls from magazines if you do not the perfect ad that calls out to the client and gets them to call you. ValuPak is a low end marketing, stay away from them.

If you get a job, go out on a Saturday and shake hands with neighbors and give them you card. It has always done the job for me and you can learn a lot from it. It might help you get a demo or 2 if you do it in a new area without a job nearby. In these times you do what needs done.

Direct mail is ok but you really need to know what your doing for it to work, Many times I see bad cards in a good mailings and good cards in a poor mailings.

Don't forget to contact your past customers and chat with them to reignite the relationship. They can be a good source of referrals. If they are unhappy for some reason, fix it and they will love ya.

Doorhangers work if you use them all the time. We hang all the homes around our jobs if I don't have time to go door to door on a weekend. YARD AND TRUCK signs are a must!

That's my 2.4756 cents...LOL

Eden Lights
07-22-2008, 10:27 AM
I wouldn't call direct mail your last hope. Direct mail is the single best return on investment for my business. I got started with direct mail, and it shot me straight to the level I wanted to be at. It's expensive, but I think you'll find the more you spend the more you will make. With direct mail, however, you have to be consistent. You have to keep your ad in front of the potential client by sending pieces to them several times. Don't think you can send them a card and move on. That method will be as good as throwing your money away.

I 2nd that!

TXNSLighting
07-22-2008, 12:24 PM
I have had success in magazines in 2 areas. Branding and jobs. Branding is important but you can't brand yourself if you are not consistent with your marketing. One month here and a month there is not going to cut it. I generally get enough business to more than pay the ad. Right now it is tough getting calls from magazines if you do not the perfect ad that calls out to the client and gets them to call you. ValuPak is a low end marketing, stay away from them.

If you get a job, go out on a Saturday and shake hands with neighbors and give them you card. It has always done the job for me and you can learn a lot from it. It might help you get a demo or 2 if you do it in a new area without a job nearby. In these times you do what needs done.

Direct mail is ok but you really need to know what your doing for it to work, Many times I see bad cards in a good mailings and good cards in a poor mailings.

Don't forget to contact your past customers and chat with them to reignite the relationship. They can be a good source of referrals. If they are unhappy for some reason, fix it and they will love ya.

Doorhangers work if you use them all the time. We hang all the homes around our jobs if I don't have time to go door to door on a weekend. YARD AND TRUCK signs are a must!

That's my 2.4756 cents...LOL

Ha! nice.

Well i have the truck lettered and that hasnt got much of anything...the trailer though has got us 2 jobs. One was the 85 light job. That thing needs to be out more come to think of it. Yard signs got one job. I cant think of where the rest came from... o i actually got a few outta news paper. Yeh and a few off referals.

The diect mail magazine got me the most calls, but i really was not good enough at closing then. i think its time to get back in the direct mail magazine maybe... and now that i have door hangers im going to hang the surrounding homes of my demo. see if that brings anything in.

Repetativeness seems like the key here. Looks like thats the next thing to try.

TXNSLighting
07-22-2008, 12:26 PM
Well, don't fret. If you did a good job, the neighbors have noticed and have probably written down the phone number. Everyone has their own time and priority schedule. Don't be suprised if you get a few calls a year or so from now and they tell you they received a card or saw a job you did a year or two ago. As a matter of fact, I didn't do the last home and patio show due to a conflict with an overseas vacation. When I got back, I received a call from a lady who said she was ready for lighting, but didn't see me at the show. We met a few days later, and WHAM! a 10k job was born. People will hold on to your info, and that's why it's so important to keep advertising to them. They may not be ready now, but when they are ready you will need to be the one who has your phone number in front of them.

Hey i havent given up yet! im not a quiter. as long as theres buyers i will not give up. Maybe its stupid maybe not but i just dont know when to quit!

David Gretzmier
07-22-2008, 02:34 PM
I have to say that for Christmas and Landscape lights, the money that I pay for truck graphics is absolutely the best payoff. you spend 2-3 grand once, make an awesome photo-quality wrap, and it lasts for 5-7 years. I get 15-20 jobs per year off of truck advertising. Next would easily be yellow pages. I just got a a new listing in the AT&T one, at $139 per month for full color "leader" ad. There are 3 leader ad's per listing, and it is the first 3 listed under landscape contractors, landscape lighting, etc. It is aprox. 3 inches long, a column wide, and I will easily get 20-25 jobs off an investment of 16-1700 bucks or so. with direct mail, you'd have to spend 5-10 times that to get that many jobs. plus yellow pages and truck graphics give you something that other advertising does not- CREDIBILITY. When folks see your truck and see you in the yellow pages, you are a "real" business.

TXNSLighting
07-22-2008, 02:38 PM
I have to say that for Christmas and Landscape lights, the money that I pay for truck graphics is absolutely the best payoff. you spend 2-3 grand once, make an awesome photo-quality wrap, and it lasts for 5-7 years. I get 15-20 jobs per year off of truck advertising. Next would easily be yellow pages. I just got a a new listing in the AT&T one, at $139 per month for full color "leader" ad. There are 3 leader ad's per listing, and it is the first 3 listed under landscape contractors, landscape lighting, etc. It is aprox. 3 inches long, a column wide, and I will easily get 20-25 jobs off an investment of 16-1700 bucks or so. with direct mail, you'd have to spend 5-10 times that to get that many jobs. plus yellow pages and truck graphics give you something that other advertising does not- CREDIBILITY. When folks see your truck and see you in the yellow pages, you are a "real" business.

well, maybe i need to look into wraps...i just have the name down the side of both doors. and the number on the bed. i think im going to try this also. atleast delve in. my truck has only got 2 calls. and one was shocked at the price and said i was crazy, the other was fine with the price but never returned my phone calls.

David Gretzmier
07-22-2008, 02:42 PM
Your truck should absolutely have a non-pixelized photo of your best work, as large as possible. The graphics should fill both sides and the full back of the vehicle. I also use reflector type lettering to sparke the letters at night.

TXNSLighting
07-22-2008, 02:48 PM
yeh im with you. i just didnt want to spend the money when i lettered this truck... i kinda wanted to wait til i had a dedicated truck for lighting. but if its gotten you that gooda response...

Lite4
07-22-2008, 03:06 PM
I spent about 4k in yellow page adds this year and it has amounted to ...0... that's right 0 phone calls. I track every call to find out where they saw me and what made them contact me. The phone book is a dying media source. I will not be putting in more than just my name this next year. What a waste of money. At least it is in my area.

Chris J
07-22-2008, 03:16 PM
I think most people are now using the online phone books. Yellow pages will also advertise for you online if you're so inclined. I've always felt that yellow pages attracts too many of the wrong prospects, and waste valuable time giving estimates to those that won't buy. I just don't like being that "accessible."

TXNSLighting
07-22-2008, 04:03 PM
I think most people are now using the online phone books. Yellow pages will also advertise for you online if you're so inclined. I've always felt that yellow pages attracts too many of the wrong prospects, and waste valuable time giving estimates to those that won't buy. I just don't like being that "accessible."

yeh ive always heard never use the yellow pages for this biz. Tommy is really against them.

pihta
07-22-2008, 04:20 PM
Our main source of clients is a website.
They searches for landscape lighting, landscape lighting fixtures, and all relating keywords and they see our site in first 3 places in search engine's first page. Thats gives us about 20-30 visitors a day. Plus we are on 4th page in search engine on words "landscape design" - they give plus 50 visitors, about 80 a day for all keywords.

Ads in magazaines are expensive, cause for better result you need to pay for ad in several issues. Yellow pages (local ones and global) are not popular, its source for cheap and standart jobes. All our clients know what is 'landscape lighting' and they searching for this in Internet.
Internet is the first place for search for our clients.

My 2c :)

And yes, about dollar. Its cost us about $500 for first time SEO-work. And about $10-20 a month now to support our positions in search results. We got TARGETED clients which are searching for OUR JOB. And some people with related interests ('landscape design').

Lite4
07-22-2008, 05:59 PM
Hey Egor,
I am not overly familiar with the demographic makeup of the people of Moscow, but do you find that there are quite a few people living there that can afford your services? I may just have a lot of misconceptions about the free market and living standards in Russia since the Soviet Union broke apart. Can you enlighten me on this. I would find it very fascinating to hear about business in your part of the world.
Thanks in advance.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-22-2008, 06:22 PM
Rather then advertise in a magazine or print media I have found the best way to get leads is from being the 'content' of the magazine. You have to do something remarkable to start with, but once you have been published in a good quality periodical you will find that you suddenly become a 'source' of information and will be getting interview requests and articles written regularly. There is no better advertising then that.

After you have become a respectable source of info for the media, then approach your fav. editor and ask to pen a article or series of articles. You will be amazed how doing so can position your business at the top of the heap, along with greatly increasing your brand recognition in your market.

Have a great day.

Lite4
07-22-2008, 08:29 PM
Great advice James. I don't know how anyone could go wrong once they have hit that milestone. I am actually looking at donating a lighting package for our local Ronald Mcdonald house. The House is in the historic district about 3 blocks from the hospital. It is a mansion that is about 100 years old and covered with ornate stone work and marbled columns and balustrades. Just the project to get some press and it would look incredible.

TXNSLighting
07-22-2008, 08:54 PM
Rather then advertise in a magazine or print media I have found the best way to get leads is from being the 'content' of the magazine. You have to do something remarkable to start with, but once you have been published in a good quality periodical you will find that you suddenly become a 'source' of information and will be getting interview requests and articles written regularly. There is no better advertising then that.

After you have become a respectable source of info for the media, then approach your fav. editor and ask to pen a article or series of articles. You will be amazed how doing so can position your business at the top of the heap, along with greatly increasing your brand recognition in your market.

Have a great day.

Now thats a nice little idea! I need to figure this one out. Ill do some research.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-22-2008, 11:47 PM
Great advice James. I don't know how anyone could go wrong once they have hit that milestone. I am actually looking at donating a lighting package for our local Ronald Mcdonald house. The House is in the historic district about 3 blocks from the hospital. It is a mansion that is about 100 years old and covered with ornate stone work and marbled columns and balustrades. Just the project to get some press and it would look incredible.

Sounds like an excellent project Tim. Donations of this type are always newsworthy events and can garner a lot of attention for you. Just be sure to provide the photos so that they are good images and try to book some time with the person who reports about it. That way you can develop a rapport and have some more influence on what gets reported.

Think of what a wonderful world we would live in if every skilled trade, every professional, every working person, etc would take the time to donate one project in their specialty to a worthy cause each and every year.

Have a great day.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-22-2008, 11:49 PM
Now thats a nice little idea! I need to figure this one out. Ill do some research.

The media content thing has worked pretty well for me... check it out here:

http://www.integralighting.com/reference.htm That is only some of the articles and news pieces that I have been covered in or have contributed to. It really does work.

pihta
07-23-2008, 01:16 AM
Hey Egor,
I am not overly familiar with the demographic makeup of the people of Moscow, but do you find that there are quite a few people living there that can afford your services? I may just have a lot of misconceptions about the free market and living standards in Russia since the Soviet Union broke apart. Can you enlighten me on this. I would find it very fascinating to hear about business in your part of the world.
Thanks in advance.

Okay. We use mostly Unique & Kichler. Not the cheapest fixtures on the US market. After they travel to Russia, they got about 2-3 of US retail price. Yes,for a Unique fixture for list price $166 we sell it for $280-320. Its because of transportation and profit.

We are working in Moscow - most expensive city in Russia and where live most rich people. Where are two kinds of real estate that people have (some) - apartment in the city and private house near city. Not every man can have at least apartment, many of them rent apartments. 70 sq.m apartment in old building costs in about $300'000, in new buildings about $500000.

Private houses outside city used as a place to go for weekends, or to live , depending on how comfortable to travel every day from house to work and back, i.e from distance to city. Old houses (wooden) are from Soviet times, they cheap and we dont touch them. Our main client - is a new houses. There are A LOT of new villages and small towns consisting all from such type of houses. Typical house have 2-3 stories, 500+ sq.m (mostly 1000 sq.m), made from bricks\concrete,deco stones etc. Average price for such building on market is $1500000. If you build it yourself, not buing, it will cheaper, about $1000000.

Thats about financial cituation of our clients.
So you can take our fixture price, multiply on average number of fixtures. Plus labor and project. We dont put labor cost into fixture price, its unusual here. And separate money for project - drawings, blueprints etc. Musthave here too.

And this people, who drive Landcruiser 200 ($75000 new), they searches for decorative lighting (cause they are all about decoration and bumping they money into they new home) and call us.

Thats it.

But, because our work with house is related with overal building process (in 50% we light up not finished house) - such projets take up to 6 months.

pihta
07-23-2008, 01:22 AM
Rather then advertise in a magazine or print media I have found the best way to get leads is from being the 'content' of the magazine. You have to do something remarkable to start with, but once you have been published in a good quality periodical you will find that you suddenly become a 'source' of information and will be getting interview requests and articles written regularly. There is no better advertising then that.

After you have become a respectable source of info for the media, then approach your fav. editor and ask to pen a article or series of articles. You will be amazed how doing so can position your business at the top of the heap, along with greatly increasing your brand recognition in your market.

Have a great day.

We made several articles in a such way. :) People from magazine and from weekly newspaper (1500000 copies each day) call us and asks for consultation for they articles about landscape lighting, and asks for pictures. They mention us in the articles as experts and mention our company name.
But this articles dont give us a new clients. All I hope that people who will read them will become for informated that there are other type of lighting than just putting 100W bulb on a 2m post.

Lite4
07-23-2008, 02:05 AM
It is interesting how the new free market in Russia is creating wealth among its residents. I'll bet this much widespread wealth was unheard of even 20 years ago. I am glad to hear you are doing well. It looks like China and Russia are going to easily surpass America as the new world superpowers. You have leaders who understand you must utilize you current energy sources to grow your economy while exploring and producing more locally for yourselves. Our moronic leaders can't seam to pull their own heads out of their 3rd grade educated A## and see how easy this one is to figuire out. Like the old saying goes, "If something does not make any logical sense, you can bet there is a dollar behind it for someone making the decisions."

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-23-2008, 02:38 AM
But Tim, haven't you heard? The USA is overflowing with this NEW "Clean Coal"! :laugh:

With that brainchild, along with Drilling for oil in ANWAR (Don't worry about the Rainbow Caribou Herd, they will just find somewhere else to have their babies) - so that 1/10 of your annual domestic oil supply can be tapped into -you guys will be just fine.

pihta
07-23-2008, 02:55 AM
Well, average salary is $1000. Our clients mostly top managers and business owners. Of course they have another salary. :D Some of them made they money from oil etc. But many are working hard to make they money. I say, its not the easy-money-people. That time is gone. Everything in Moscow is more expensive than in US.
But russian markets are growing up, because they was empty some years ago.

JoeyD
07-23-2008, 01:11 PM
Very cool thread!!! Egor, I would love to see more of your work if you have time to share photos...I am always interested in different architecture and international styles...you should start your own Russian Lighting Thread!

pihta
07-23-2008, 03:14 PM
Well, lighting principles are the same, mostly from N.Mulllen book :D
Houses yes, different.

When I'll got something I'm will be proud of - I'll share for shure :)

We are still learning lighting. Many from you guys :-)

JoeyD
07-23-2008, 05:10 PM
Well thats what we're here for!! Call me or write me anytime!