PDA

View Full Version : coupons


Jim Feder
01-25-2002, 08:14 PM
Feder Bros lawn care is running a coupon that is geting sent out to 40,000 homes to get new bus two coupons one Free Spring Aeration with mowing or fertilizer season service agreement.

the other coupon is free 6th application of fertilizer or free 5th mowing with season service agreement.

it is only going to zip codes i want
how much work do the pros on lawnsite think i well get
:p :D let me know
thanks

MATTHEW
01-25-2002, 08:45 PM
Little to none. Maybe a few price shoppers. Most people are inundated with phone calls to buy lawncare, so they usually won't go out of their way to call you (my experience).

gogetter
01-25-2002, 10:09 PM
I have read on LS and other sources that a 1% response is average for this type of advertising.
I put out close to 700 fliers last spring and received 10 calls and did work for for 8 of them, with 6 becoming regular customers.

Keep us posted on your numbers. This wil help others in the future. Good luck.

bruces
01-25-2002, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by JIM FEDER
Feder Bros lawn care is running a coupon that is geting sent out to 40,000 homes to get new bus two coupons one Free Spring Aeration with mowing or fertilizer season service agreement.

the other coupon is free 6th application of fertilizer or free 5th mowing with season service agreement.

it is only going to zip codes i want
how much work do the pros on lawnsite think i well get
:p :D let me know
thanks

I put a coupon in Val Pak ( a mailer with multiple coupons)for $30 off second month with a season long service agreement. It went to 10,000 homes last week in a specified region. I have gotten 4 calls so far, 2 sound promising (am going to bid one tomorrow, sounds like possibility of a $1200 to @1500 account), the other 2 were people wanting to sell me more advertising.

The ad was maybe too early, but we'll see. I'm also repeating it again in February.

I would think with 40,000 you would get 100 to 200 calls, (1/2% maximum). Anything better would be great.

How did you send them?
What did it cost?

The Val Pak, being in a group of coupons, I would assume that a good number of them are thrown away by the homeowner unopened.

Good luck., let us know how you do, responses and jobs.

LAWNGODFATHER
01-26-2002, 12:50 AM
I am doing similar to yours and will post the responces when done.

outrunjason
02-07-2002, 09:27 PM
I used something similar to valpack here in Dallas. I am a 23 male and work out of the back of my car. All commercial equipment. I payed $300 for 10,000 fliers 85% homes. I recieved 14 calls and signed 10 customers. I figure that I got my money's worth. I also put out fliers myself that I made up. I found that for every 100 fliers I only had one call. Not really a good turn around. But 1,000 fliers at 3 cents a copy is not bad.

The best way to advertise I found was to buy some posterborad. Then buy 2 dalrods. Make a sign stick it in the ground at a major intersection. I had more calls that way. It is also much cheaper. The sign was sometimes all wet and runny and I still got calls. Posterboard is only about 44 cents a wal-mart and the dalroads about the same. Can't beat that.

Jason

bruces
02-07-2002, 09:34 PM
I have received 2 calls from my first mailing of 10,000 coupons in Valpak. Fortunately, both will probably lead to work ( approximately 2000 to 2400 in annual billing).

The next one is supposed to go out next week, hopefully that will result in more calls since we are getting closer to the season starting.

LoneStarLawn
02-07-2002, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by outrunjason
I payed $300 for 10,000 fliers 85% homes. I recieved 14 calls and signed 10 customers. I figure that I got my money's worth. I also put out fliers myself that I made up. I found that for every 100 fliers I only had one call. Not really a good turn around.

That is an average turnaround for fliers that you put out yourself. 1.0% is the norm (which you accomplished).

Now only 14 calls for 10,000 fliers is not good at all. That is only 0.14%

outrunjason
02-07-2002, 09:53 PM
10 customers signed from 10,000 fliers is not much but at $20 a customer it is. 10 customers x $20 each a week is $200 a week and $800 a month. Then if you figure that up for the rest of the summer the ad payed for it self. But Yes I would agree that it was not the best. I am going to put out 5,000 fliers by myself this year.

Jason

LoneStarLawn
02-07-2002, 10:03 PM
I was refering to response rate only. Just the marketing part of it not revenue wise.

packy
02-07-2002, 10:46 PM
Just signed one with value pack 10,000 mailed $440.00 i'll up date you on the return will be in the march 16 mailing

HBFOXJr
02-08-2002, 07:58 AM
My val pak guy is coming today 2/8/2002. Can anyone fax samples of what they sent? I need ideas. 609-953-5775 Thanks.

HBFOXJr
02-08-2002, 08:00 AM
I think the way to evaluate anything is by the cost per sale. Although the val pak stuff may not respond well, the cost per sale isn't looking too bad.

SprinklerGuy
02-08-2002, 08:25 AM
Hold on a sec...........do a search I am sure I have posted these figures before......

If you got a 1% return on val-pak as far as phone calls that would be 100 calls when mailing 10k flyers. THAT WILL NEVER HAPPEN.....expect it to be more like .1% which is 10 calls. Trust me on this.....I have been doing the val-pak type flyers for 6 years now. Don't expect it to work right away. The first year or two I got not much response. ONly now am I getting the type of response I want.

I mailed out 420,000 Last year at a cost of $12,839 and received in initial response revenue approximately $62,663

I have about a 40% GROSS profit figure working for me so.......that leaves me with 25,065 gross profit from that work. Not real good, but it keeps my guys busy.

This year I think I am cancelling the service to do my own mailings. I really think a more targeted mailing by itself in an envelope will work better.

ONly problem,,,,,I am addicted to mailing these things....I love the first day when the phone rings like crazy. Remember, I am mailing about 80k at a wack....80 calls within a week's time.


Be prepared for disappointment if you do this..

packy
02-08-2002, 08:35 AM
Your valuepac rep should bring you samples and show you the ropes. my guy brought other lawn care samples and they will do the graphics for you with your input. 10,000 mailings for $440.00, even with a return of 2 replies i more than madeup the difference. eventually people will recognize my name when they see me in the neighborhood. It's cheap exposure that many others don't spend the money on!!!

SprinklerGuy
02-08-2002, 09:06 AM
10,000 mailings for $440.00,


WOW! shop that guy down.....we pay 275.00 for 10k

heygrassman
02-08-2002, 09:50 AM
I have looked at this pretty hard in a past life (career).

You have to be ingenius on the design for ValPak. The average time that a coupon stays in a customers hands is 3 seconds. However, if it is of interest to a potential customer that coupon can have a shelf life of up to a year (stuck on the fride or in a drawer). Moral of that story got to hve a great offer and something that stands out or right into the circular file.

If I remember correctly we were at $.03-$.04 per at a quantity of 40.000. Longer you commit to drop of course the price drops.

Just another opinion.

Jeff

cody
02-09-2002, 12:20 AM
Val-Pak sucks!Not worth the money.IN my third year we spending $9000.00 By May on a front cover high gloss spread,its a 9.5x 12.5 magizine.It will hit approx.85,000 homes.Granted we dont do any maintenance or cutting.from the responce we got off a smaaler ad in this mag. last fall I'm hoping for approx. $100,000
return.A key thing I have learned, you have to spend the money to make the money.

gslam88
02-19-2002, 12:02 AM
Guys,

Since every seems mixed on the results of direct mailing, then what would you sugests on a limited budget (i.e. a lot less then $12,000) for the most cost effective response?


Flyers
Local community newspapers
Direct mailing
fill in the blank


Pete

Jim Feder
02-24-2002, 11:40 AM
20,000 went out two calls and two bids out in the 4 day of them being out got 20,000 more going out in two weeks lets see what happens tell then :angry: :blush: :confused:

TurfGuyTX
08-21-2002, 08:30 PM
Val-Pak sucks. We had tons of calls, all of them looking for scrubs. We did get good results from Southwestern Bell's coupon mailings. Seemed like better customers looked at them. How'd it go for you guys?

jkelton
08-21-2002, 09:21 PM
My personal preference is direct mail postcards, only to the target market you are trying to approach. Make sure they are colorful and professional to make them stand out. My theory is that this has to be done several times in order for name recognition to take effect. Even if the particuliar type of advertising is "annoying", people will remember who you are and what you do. Why do you think Verizon still has the guy saying "Can you hear me now?" - although people say the ad is annoying, the point is they remember it and they associate Verizon with the ad.

turfmarketing
08-22-2002, 09:38 AM
In any form of adverting, frequency is important. The more copies distributed, the more opportunities you have to make an impression on prospects or customers. The impression can be good OR bad. 40,000 bad coupons are still bad. Even worse. It's bad on a grand scale.

When considering producing coupons, mailers, yellow-page advertising, or any marketing material, QUALITY is just as important as QUANTITY. 1,000 pieces of a well done promotion is much more effective than 40,000 pieces of a poor one.

Nebraska
08-29-2002, 11:34 PM
Now that we are almost in September, how many customers did you get off the 40,000 coupons?

MacLawnCo
12-30-2002, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
I am doing similar to yours and will post the responces when done.

so...what happened?

Jim Feder
12-30-2002, 07:16 PM
we got 17 out of 40,000 some are fert some are mow some are both going to do it this year two.:p

xpnd
12-30-2002, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by LoneStarLawn
That is an average turnaround for fliers that you put out yourself. 1.0% is the norm (which you accomplished).

Now only 14 calls for 10,000 fliers is not good at all. That is only 0.14%

Average residential mowing service $1K annually. $300.00 invested, 10 customers @ $1K each, $9.7K net gain. Not bad numbers in my book

Nebraska
12-30-2002, 07:35 PM
.0425% ..... and your going to do it again? Does not seem too effective unless they are VERY CHEAP (the coupons).

Jim Feder
12-30-2002, 09:09 PM
i will tell you what i paid if you tell me what is the most you would pay for 40,000 names to homes that are going to see your trucks and signs week after week working in their hood.:D

Nebraska
12-31-2002, 01:08 AM
I would pay approximately $340-$566..... That's our exact cost to attain 17 new mowing &/or fert customers based upon our marketing methods in 2002.

So really, how much did it cost you? How many calls did they generate? How many of the initial calls were actually "closed....the sale made?"

Kent Lawns
12-31-2002, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
responces

"If you're stupid, you deserve to suffer"

LAWNGODFATHER
12-31-2002, 04:25 PM
OK got a few who wanted cheap weedcontrol and nothing else.

40,000 coupons and 7 calls and 3 jobs. just barrily covered the cost to put them out.

HBFOXJr
12-31-2002, 05:04 PM
We did 10k Val Pak this spring with 2 offers. One on each side for sprinklers and fert.

2 redemptions and they were from exisiting customers that it didn't apply tooo, but they deducted it from their bill.

Now these advertising genius' tell you yopu gotta repeat, repeat, repeat which is true. But you gotta show me the money before I repeat. And it is a pain cause if you follow all their suggestions and it doesn't work, tough noogies. They don't care and they wanna get paid just like a doctor.

Jim Feder
12-31-2002, 09:17 PM
we pay 349.00 for every 20,000 to go out that is not much i only had 3 jobs i bid that i did not get but one is in the richest part of town and has already signed up for next year. we can see what this year brings we are adding something else to coupon and should help on are fert jobs. :p

Clay
12-31-2002, 10:03 PM
Guys, Try this thread... http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=37955

That's about a yellow page ad, but all advertising follows the same basic formula.... Target and personlize as much as possible... Always test before you actually "roll out" the entire advertising budget...

A good ad will show results immediately! There should be an immediate "Pop" if the ad is good, then a few more the next few days... then lucky if any after 7 days...

But remember... Advertising is mostly about timing!!! You can't sell ice to an eskimo... so even though you would rather, don't expect good results for lawn care in the winter... Better to flood the market right as Spring in springing....

Spring warmth is to landscape like Christmas is to retailers!!!!

Good Luck, Clay

Andrew S
01-01-2003, 07:56 AM
I look at it this way-If you do nothing you will get nothing in return

Sometimes my direct mail responses are very poor,but at least some work is generated and in turn you are promoting your business constantly.

I think you should use as many forms of advertising as possible

We use:

1. yellow pages

2.the local community newspaper

3. direct mail

4.our customers refer us to their friends

5.good signs on trucks

you might be the best contractor in your area have the best equipment and have great staff but unless people hear about you or see some form of advertising to inform them of what you do you might as well stay home and watch TV

KenH
01-01-2003, 08:13 AM
Please do not take this reply as being conceited, because it is not.
Do you guys advertise due to the competition in your area??
I ask, because in 20 years of maintenance, I never advertised. No yellow pages, no truck signs, no mass mailings......my business is not even listed in the white pages. I had 1000 business cards made up once....now they are used for scratch paper. ALL my customers, including commercials have been referrals. I think when I was 17 or 18, I maybe put out 100 or so fliers in driveways of affluent homes. Im in CT, and I see a ton of other guys around. Im not sure what my secret is, even if there is any. I do good work, am friends with all my customers, and am mildly expensive. Im beginning to think customer realtions is the most important aspect going on here.

Clay
01-01-2003, 10:44 AM
Ken...

You are 100% correct!!! Networking is the very best (and cheapest form of advertising!) I know a little about advertising, but built and sold 8 businesses in 12 years basically just as you have described....

"If you are the best at what you do, you will always have plenty of customers!"

You are obviously doing things right... congratulations!

Clay

Andrew S
01-01-2003, 10:50 AM
I think that is great that your business is at a level where you don't actively advertise.(referals excepted)

I increase my prices every year, there are always customers who look only at price and don't want their lawns cut at the frequency that we would like to cut them.Also as I gain customers in my target areas I sell my customers that are further out as I spend extra time travelling.At the moment my target suburb has 3500 houses,I have 125 properties that I service in that one area.

In the my target commercial district we service 46 properties all within a 10 km radius.

By consistantly compacting my business into certain target areas I reduce my travelling and down time.By selling customers in outer areas it gives me a lump sum to invest in equipment,advertising etc.

The benefits of working or targeting areas are numerous,(especially if a customer reschedules or postpones) as I am always in the area .

Clay
01-01-2003, 11:04 AM
Andrew,

Very good plan.... I ended up (as you) after a few years locating all my customers in a little section of Vegas. It was great to pull into a cul-de-sac and do all the homes on the street... profit really soars!!!

I now live in a small town on the Oregon coast so every account is within a short distance... :-)

Do you have a set percentage for raising prices every year? And do you raise the new customers that have been there less than a year? I am curious as I plan on setting some type of annual increase across the board...

Thanks in advance, Clay

Kent Lawns
01-01-2003, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by KenH
Please do not take this reply as being conceited, because it is not.
am friends with all my customers, and am mildly expensive. Im beginning to think customer realtions is the most important aspect going on here.

You're right.

But:

1.) You've gotta start somewhere.
2.) A business as small as yours shouldn't need to advertise.

Andrew S
01-01-2003, 11:20 AM
Hi Clay,

I try to increase prices regularly,leaving it a few years makes it harder to catch up.

No I don't increase new customers ,I try to price the job correctly before I start.

However if I have customers that are difficult to deal with I will increase their prices by a much greater percentage.That way it is their decison to cancel my service rather than argue with them,or if they keep me on I am being paid very well for putting up with them

Clay
01-01-2003, 11:26 AM
"However if I have customers that are difficult to deal with I will increase their prices by a much greater percentage.That way it is their decison to cancel my service rather than argue with them,or if they keep me on I am being paid very well for putting up with them"

Thanks Andrew... Man, do I hear that one!!! lol...

But for the average customer, how do you determine the amount to raise? Cost of living index? Or maybe a set percentage each year? Do they know about this and expect it annually?

Thanks, Clay

Andrew S
01-01-2003, 11:27 AM
As an afterthought here is my increase notice:

TO ALL CLIENTS

Due to ever increasing operating costs it is now necessary to adjust the charge for your lawnmowing services.

In future your regular price will be $....... per cut

Trusting you understand that prices must periodically reviewed

Andrew S
01-01-2003, 11:30 AM
I think the percentage will vary depending on where you work but I try to go for 5% to 6%

Clay
01-01-2003, 11:37 AM
Andrew,

Man, 5 to 6% annually would sure make for some nice accounts in about 10 years!!! :-)

Have you been able to retain multi-year accounts with this strategy? It would seem that you would price yourself out of business after a few years??? I was thinking more like 3 to 3.5% annually... but I sure hope you are right!!! lol...


Clay

Andrew S
01-01-2003, 11:47 AM
Most of my accounts are over 5 years old but this is why I have to advertise to replace the customers looking at price only.

But why would I keep a job that is the same price in 5 to 10 years time,these same people will go for a cheaper price when you do increase your price in 5 years time.you might as well replace them with a better paying job now.

Also when you sell work in your outer areas if the pricing is good , it will be easier to sell, if your pricing is down and the purchaser is smart he will not buy your work

one thing that I have'nt touched on is that we always turn up or follow up with a phone call if we will be late.provide the good service-charge the right price