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American_Lawn
09-24-2008, 09:12 PM
I went to a shop today and built my list for next season. I want to only market myself to a certain area around me. About 10-15 miles. Well the lady said that there would be about 60,000 names that come back. Thats after going through households with an annual income of $50,000+ and lots under 15k. Should I go for the big bang or divide this into two sections. Market to one area the first season then the other the second season? What other demographics do you guys have these people pull? I am ready to go balls to the wall. The lady told me to expect a 1-2% return, so if I get 2%thats 1200 and 1% would be 600. What can I expect (%) of those calls I land the account?

P.Services
09-24-2008, 09:19 PM
nothing even close to 1% if your market is like michigans.

cbscreative
09-24-2008, 11:40 PM
I had to laugh at Picasso. Since you're in TX, you won't have to subscribe to that line of reasoning, but even in Michigan, it's a matter of being creative with your mailer. There are two ways to view the market and circumstances. You either go in defeated because you believe the economy is bad, or you look for opportunity and sieze it. It always exists. Why settle for 2% or less when you can get 3%, 5%, or higher. Of course, if you choose a template and market yourself like everyone else, then you get average results. Since 80% of all businesses fail in 5 years or less, I don't recommend that option.

I'm in Michigan too, but if I adapt the thinking I hear others around here regurgitating, I'd already be defeated. No thanks! I've beat the odds too long to start listening to the prophets of doom and gloom, and I don't intend to start now. Besides, I know for a fact they are wrong. It's like Henry Ford said, "If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right." Since I know that to be true, I say proceed with caution, but don't let fear get in your way.

P.Services
09-24-2008, 11:42 PM
creative do you mow or do web design?

KrayzKajun
09-24-2008, 11:50 PM
wht is it goin to cost you to do tht many mailers?? jus wondering

P.Services
09-24-2008, 11:54 PM
whats it going to cost to make them? i did 30k i know how much this can run.

American_Lawn
09-24-2008, 11:55 PM
wht is it goin to cost you to do tht many mailers?? jus wondering

I get the price on friday. I will be printing them out from my own source. I get a very very cheap rate. They are only making the list and mailing them for me. I will know more once I get them designed and everything. I will post the price for the list once I get it.

American_Lawn
09-24-2008, 11:57 PM
whats it going to cost to make them? i did 30k i know how much this can run.

What was your cost for a list that big?(LIST ONLY)
What was it for everything?

P.Services
09-24-2008, 11:58 PM
so from your own source what did they run you, just the fliers that is? im assuming you dont mean your own home printer right?

cbscreative
09-24-2008, 11:58 PM
creative do you mow or do web design?
Picasso, I hope you didn't take offense. I wasn't laughing at you, I laugh at the idea that the economy is more important than it really is. I have a client in manufacturing, and in Michigan, yet they are doing well which is saying a lot.

To directly answer your question, I do web design with other related services. I know how things are in this state, but there are always ways around every situation. It does require creative thinking, so my main point is about stepping back and solving the problem so you can make a business successful. There is always a way, even if it requires a change (usually does). Even in the worst economy, people don't stop spending money, they just need to feel like the money is worth it.

I see business owners lamenting the economy, which here, it is bad, but that doesn't mean there is not opportunity. I've been in business long enough to know that economic conditions have little effect on those who seek to solve problems. It may be tough, and right now it is, especially here, but every challenge has a solution. I'm not a lawn guy, I make that clear, but I am a business person, and I know how to overcome adversity.

American_Lawn
09-25-2008, 12:05 AM
so from your own source what did they run you, just the fliers that is? im assuming you dont mean your own home printer right?

Was told it all depends on the paper quality, colors, etc... I never know until I submit what I want. Remember this is for next spring so I have some time to perfect the mailers. I am not sure yet but I can probably get a rough quote tomorrow.

P.Services
09-25-2008, 12:10 AM
if you go back to some of my previous posts you will see i too could care less about the economy. i had an old teach always say "adapt or die but never give in". my company started in the shaty economy so this is just what im use to, im doing great making huge amounts of money for a one man wreaking crew in my first real year.

its the guys that go buy a new truck trailer 3 ztrs and the whole package that have the " im gona take over the world mentality" they need to slow down and realize they arnt going to get 1200 clients out of the hole. ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. i was like that at one time and was set on 1000 my first year:laugh:, you need to start the snowball rolling and as it keeps going its going to gain speed and mass FAST. you need the proper mind set and support (equipment&manpower) to be able to handle something that can grow so fast. He couldn't handle 1200 clients all at once with a young company. i have passed out 10,000 fliers myself this spring, i have knocked on soooo many doors its insane. dare i brag but i have the best looking flier, equipment and company image in my area, i didt even get a 1% return but i also didnt expect it. iwanted it but didnt get it.

Flow Control
09-25-2008, 06:53 AM
We mailed out 52k postcards last year and received a .5% response. Just don't get your hopes up too high. Our bulk mailing was for a specific annual service and we were targeting 100k+ incomes w/300k+ homes. We lost money on the mailers at the time but broke even on our next annual service and will start seeing a return this year on the direct mail. We are set to mail out another 52k in the upcoming weeks. Each time we mail it is around 16k for everything. Repetition of potential customers seeing your advertising is key for longterm success in marketing. We are a niche company so you may see a high response 1-2% in your market with a general landscaping postcard. Best of luck.

larryinalabama
09-25-2008, 07:51 AM
Just curious, if you got 1200 responses right away how could you give that many estmates? It would seem you wolud have to hire a couple of salesman.

Flow Control
09-25-2008, 07:59 AM
If someone actually planned such a large response they would/should stagger the drop over a period of time so that they would not run into such a problem. If such a response was common everyone would be spending the money on mailings since the ROI would be so high. Luckily though a LCO can recoup a lot of money on a few sales if they offer the right services (patio's, water features, lighting, irrigation, decks, whatever) or if they land the righ jobs. Unlike my company that would only get a decent ROI based strictly on volumn since are our service may only average $60 per house.

American_Lawn
09-25-2008, 09:56 AM
if you go back to some of my previous posts you will see i too could care less about the economy. i had an old teach always say "adapt or die but never give in". my company started in the shaty economy so this is just what im use to, im doing great making huge amounts of money for a one man wreaking crew in my first real year.

its the guys that go buy a new truck trailer 3 ztrs and the whole package that have the " im gona take over the world mentality" they need to slow down and realize they arnt going to get 1200 clients out of the hole. ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. i was like that at one time and was set on 1000 my first year:laugh:, you need to start the snowball rolling and as it keeps going its going to gain speed and mass FAST. you need the proper mind set and support (equipment&manpower) to be able to handle something that can grow so fast. He couldn't handle 1200 clients all at once with a young company. i have passed out 10,000 fliers myself this spring, i have knocked on soooo many doors its insane. dare i brag but i have the best looking flier, equipment and company image in my area, i didt even get a 1% return but i also didnt expect it. iwanted it but didnt get it.


I am not expecting 1200 calls, would be great, but very hard to handle. Also, that was what the lady told me. I have never done mailers, I will most likly split up my area and do half one season and half another season. There are alot of guys on here that are afraid of letting their business take off and letting others do the work.

larryinalabama
09-25-2008, 10:03 AM
I am not expecting 1200 calls, would be great, but very hard to handle. Also, that was what the lady told me. I have never done mailers, I will most likly split up my area and do half one season and half another season. There are alot of guys on here that are afraid of letting their business take off and letting others do the work.

Its not that were afraid of a growing business, the deal is if you all of a sudden get 1200 calls theres no way to handle them, and your name will become worthless. Plus Im SOLO and plan to stay that way. I can give 3 or 4 estmates a day and fit them but thers no way I could give 7 to 8 a day. Im just saying make your advertising $ build your name not knock it down.

American_Lawn
09-25-2008, 10:12 AM
Its not that were afraid of a growing business, the deal is if you all of a sudden get 1200 calls theres no way to handle them, and your name will become worthless. Plus Im SOLO and plan to stay that way. I can give 3 or 4 estmates a day and fit them but thers no way I could give 7 to 8 a day. Im just saying make your advertising $ build your name not knock it down.

Thats what I am thinking about. I dont wont to over commit and under deliver. My goal is to gain about 75-90 weekly custmers, enough to fill one truck. Would 10,000 flyers cover that?

cbscreative
09-25-2008, 11:18 AM
Repetition of potential customers seeing your advertising is key for longterm success in marketing.
That is one thing that is commonly missed, and it is absolutely true. There is also one of the primary rules of marketing that goes something like this, "Getting the right message, to the right people, at the right time." And many marketing experts add, "And keep doing it repeatedly."

One of the problems I often see with mailers is the "template" approach. This usually involves selling a service rather than a solution. People don't buy products and services, they buy solutions to problems. They don't buy lawn care, they buy free time without the pain of having to do the yard themselves. They buy time to spend with their families. They buy relaxation after they have worked all day. Trying to sell a service will greatly reduce your response rate. Solve a problem or take away pain and you will see much better results. If not the first time, maybe the second, third, or fourth. Repitition is important.

Picasso, I'm glad you don't bend to the economy. I completely agree, and your instructor taught you well.

Team-Green L&L
09-25-2008, 12:21 PM
From a background of desperately trying to get direct mail to be effective for a service industry, I must admit that I have seen very poor results in, even the most targeted, direct mailings for service guys.

In 2005 I sent out 25,000 8.5 x 5" postcards (well designed) and with a well known mailing company. I yielded 4 jobs totaling $3400 from a $5000 venture.

In '06 we sent another 50,000 out and brought in a whopping 7 jobs totaling $14,500 for a $11,000 venture.

I tried RSVP mailings, Jetmail, Reach, ShopLocal, Valpak, and PennySaver. I used the Haynes Criss-Cross software for realtors to develop the most targeted list and even did a couple campaigns for a specific service during it's peak season. I even hired a local firm that specializes in direct mail to try to identify why my results were lower than expected.

In the end I did not MAKE any money directly from the mailings, but I certainly recognize the branding that it did. My sales are much easier to close, the prospects don't "worry" much when working with me, and I spend about 30% less time closing the sale.

If I could do it all again, I wouldn't change a thing, but be warned...I was extremely concerned with my finances during the mailings because my net profits were cut in half in a percentage ratio from previous years.

larryinalabama
09-25-2008, 12:40 PM
This comimng feburary I plan to run a few adds in the local rags, and put door hangers on target neighboorhoods. Im figuring on spending less than 500$.

The problems I see with direct mail is most of it goes directly into the trash. Then some neighboorhoods that are less than desireable may be targeted and that would be a waste of money. What if you dont want to do a certain house, just dont leave a door hanger, but if they get something in the mail and call you.... you killed an hour giving a estmate on something you dont want to do anyway

georgiagrass
09-25-2008, 02:14 PM
What was the charge for the address list?

jkason
09-25-2008, 05:03 PM
That is one thing that is commonly missed, and it is absolutely true. There is also one of the primary rules of marketing that goes something like this, "Getting the right message, to the right people, at the right time." And many marketing experts add, "And keep doing it repeatedly."

One of the problems I often see with mailers is the "template" approach. This usually involves selling a service rather than a solution. People don't buy products and services, they buy solutions to problems. They don't buy lawn care, they buy free time without the pain of having to do the yard themselves. They buy time to spend with their families. They buy relaxation after they have worked all day. Trying to sell a service will greatly reduce your response rate. Solve a problem or take away pain and you will see much better results. If not the first time, maybe the second, third, or fourth. Repitition is important.

Picasso, I'm glad you don't bend to the economy. I completely agree, and your instructor taught you well.


You may get a better response from doing quarterly mailings of the top 25% of the list in the first year, then drop them to every 6 months the next year. When you drop them to every 6 months, take the next top 25% and hit them quarterly. And so on down the line. Keep repeating and don't skip a year. Change up the quarterly mailings. Name Recognition is everything.

huskres
09-25-2008, 06:25 PM
All ive used is black and white basic flyers and have gotten a 3% return on them. I was surprised.

cbscreative
09-25-2008, 07:11 PM
All ive used is black and white basic flyers and have gotten a 3% return on them. I was surprised.
Obviously, you have discovered the power of having the right message for your target market, so I am pleased to hear about that success. I am amazed at how so many in my industry think that graphics are everything, and they get mad when I say it's not true. Congrats on your success, you've made a very important discovery.