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Smallaxe
01-16-2009, 07:40 AM
In response to the high cost of chemical lawn treatments now at 6-8 Apps per season, and the idea of saving the planet and supportting the local economy, I thought I would try this ad in the local paper throughout the summer.

***Organicplus Lawn Care. Have healthy, lush green turf - Naturally - $For Le$$. Help Protect Wildlife, lakes and streams, while supporting Wisconsin's economy. $7 Consultation fee. Refundable.***

I know its been said that, here in the Midwest we don't go along with all this clean air and water stuff. Backlash against the DNR for its nonsense policies and heavyhanded tactics is mostly to blame for the 'attitude'.

Still it has become fashionable to be Eco-Aware. As long as you have the best lawn in the hood. Evidently, I can do that. :)

dishboy
01-16-2009, 08:48 AM
In response to the high cost of chemical lawn treatments now at 6-8 Apps per season, and the idea of saving the planet and supportting the local economy, I thought I would try this ad in the local paper throughout the summer.

***Organicplus Lawn Care. Have healthy, lush green turf - Naturally - $For Le$$. Help Protect Wildlife, lakes and streams, while supporting Wisconsin's economy. $7 Consultation fee. Refundable.***

I know its been said that, here in the Midwest we don't go along with all this clean air and water stuff. Backlash against the DNR for its nonsense policies and heavyhanded tactics is mostly to blame for the 'attitude'.

Still it has become fashionable to be Eco-Aware. As long as you have the best lawn in the hood. Evidently, I can do that. :)

Do people still read newspapers in Wisconsin? I would price radio time @ a classic hit or "progressive" station to target Yuppies/old Hippies.

DeepGreenLawn
01-16-2009, 09:29 AM
this is my ad going out next month. Two page spread in 7 magazines. Magazines go to a few thousand homes and businesses each... its not cheap but it's effective.

treegal1
01-16-2009, 09:40 AM
Ax, to me smaller stabs at the market with a broader coverage is what has worked, small papers and gazettes, nickle mags, and road side signs (the 200 for 300$ type).

DeepGreenLawn
01-16-2009, 10:12 AM
These magazines are all local community magazines. Nothing big, they go to certain cities for the most part with a home value on avg above $200k. So it is pretty well confined to the people I want to advertise to. They go to the persons house and the magazine is based completely on their community so they are very likely to read it. The magazines also go to local businesses as well, restaraunts, hair salons, etc etc where people can pick them up and read them. I have based my company off these... had 3 going last year, interested to see what they do this year.

You may also notice the pictures of my wife and I and our new daughter, make it personal, a lot of people don't like the large, impersonable companies. They want someone they can relate to. Put a face to your company. Let them see just enough of you that they know your real. I can't tell you how man people have said they called me, or went with me, because of the picture and story that went with it. I try to build a sort of relationship with my customers and I will make sure my employees do as well as they interact with them. Build a relationship, nothing big, just remember their name or a something that may stand out like their dog, and that will keep you in tight for the long term. They will be less likely to leave you.

Keegan
01-16-2009, 10:40 AM
this is my ad going out next month. Two page spread in 7 magazines. Magazines go to a few thousand homes and businesses each... its not cheap but it's effective.


Nice ad! I like the personal side of it too.
Do you get a lot of response to it?

Kiril
01-16-2009, 10:45 AM
***Organicplus Lawn Care. Have healthy, lush green turf - Naturally - $For Le$$. Help Protect Wildlife, lakes and streams, while supporting Wisconsin's economy. $7 Consultation fee. Refundable.***

I'm curious about the $7 consult fee. At my rates, that about covers the cost of picking up the phone. :laugh:

DUSTYCEDAR
01-16-2009, 10:46 AM
very nice add

i like smalls idea also

DeepGreenLawn
01-16-2009, 10:57 AM
It has been fun the past year... well, not really fun... but I had the same ad run in three magazines all year long. They go out once a month. One month, one or two magazines would do great and the other would give only a few calls. Then next month they would change around and the next it would change again. We can't figure out the pattern, it is as random as it gets. Not all magazines are the same ofcourse, so I can only figure different front covers catch peoples eyes than others which then leads them to my ad.

When I do get calls though I get a lot of them.... at least one magazine a month does really well a lot of times two. Last year in the spring I could barely keep up with the call volume. Then all through summer I was still giving estimates. This year we are prepared with 3 sales reps, and a new phone system that will spread the calls out to three different lines as of right now. I have my new office associate ready to go just about. She will be handling my scheduling and routes as well as answering the phones.

This new phone system is pretty cool too... you call and it walks the customer through starting with them stating their name. Then it will simultaneously call 3 different lines at once. You answer and it states who is calling and asks if you want to answer the call or send it to voicemail without talking to the customer. If you don't want to talk to the customer or can't then it will send them to the voice mail. When they are done leaving a voice mail it is then emailed to me as well as a voice copy so we have better tracking of the call. It is new, and we haven't been able to put it to the test yet but others with similar programs say they love it.

I am prepared this year. We have gone from 3 magazines to 7 and are anticipating complete madness. I think we are prepared though...

DUSTYCEDAR
01-16-2009, 11:07 AM
wow thats a setup

Mr. Nice
01-16-2009, 11:33 AM
Smallaxe,

What is the 7$ for? the estimite? or a consult fee?
I would offer free unless you have more work then you can handle.


Deep,
Can you post more info about your phone system? Is it through your local phone company? How much is setup and monthly charge?

You did a good job on your ad, You have a beautiful family and I like the personal touch it gives the ad. I can finally put a FACE to your name:)

Kiril
01-16-2009, 12:07 PM
this is my ad going out next month. Two page spread in 7 magazines. Magazines go to a few thousand homes and businesses each... its not cheap but it's effective.

Suggestion: I would get that partial paragraph on page one and move it to page two. It is confusing and hard to follow with all the stuff in between.

DeepGreenLawn
01-16-2009, 12:16 PM
Suggestion: I would get that partial paragraph on page one and move it to page two. It is confusing and hard to follow with all the stuff in between.

your right, I don't know why they aren't indented either... you also have to think though that they are two pages side by side so it is easier to read than it is here.

Mr. Nice... the system is Evoice Receptionist... it is a pretty cool set up and it only only costs $30/month for the basic.

Basic gives you 3 lines, 1000 minutes, and all the good voice mail to email stuff. The main reason we went with this was to ensure better follow up and record keeping of our incoming calls.

As I said, it is new to us, still haven't had the chance to use it a lot, but other have said they really liked it. I will probably have a line go to the office and my cell phone. I don't have a need for the third yet. The emails will go to both the office associate as well as myself. If I find one that is needing to be returned right away I will handle it then email the office as to what the call was about so the follow up procedures can take place.

It is a system... but this past year we lost a lot of work a couple of customers thanks to my forgetfulness so I have found that I have to have these in place in order for the business to run smoothly. I can't wait until next month when the calls come in to see how the system works itself out. The only kink in it, is that the office associate is pregnant and the due date is in Septemberish... but that gives me plenty of time to get the system working and have a replacement while she is on leave.

TF PLUS
01-16-2009, 04:38 PM
You may also notice the pictures of my wife and I and our new daughter, make it personal, a lot of people don't like the large, impersonable companies. They want someone they can relate to. Put a face to your company. Let them see just enough of you that they know your real. I can't tell you how man people have said they called me, or went with me, because of the picture and story that went with it. I try to build a sort of relationship with my customers and I will make sure my employees do as well as they interact with them. Build a relationship, nothing big, just remember their name or a something that may stand out like their dog, and that will keep you in tight for the long term. They will be less likely to leave you.
DGL,
Very nice touch

phasthound
01-16-2009, 06:33 PM
DGL,
Kudos, very well done!!

The ad is great, phone system sounds powerful. Your website is off to a good start. You should do well in business. I know your lawns will look great, then the word of mouth and referrals will go to work for you.

Smallaxe
01-17-2009, 12:22 PM
Thanks everyone for the input. :)

I am using the local weekly paper, which is actually read, to hopefully get a feeling of the market.
The consultation fee is in lieu of 'Free Estimate', because there are a lot of people who would love to have me come over and chat with them about their lawn for an hour, just for fun. These same people wouldn't part with $7, just to pick my brain.

This project is actually for a college student who will not graduate and be ready to start the business until spring 2010. I am a solo operator that can rely on a few connections to pick up the additional work load, if any, until the graduate is ready to take it over.

If there is a demand, moving into broader advertising base will be her decision.
This should make the new business, premier to the area, as there is no real competition.
[I don't count TGCL or the Scott's bags in the box stores.]

BTW, Good job with your ad, TGL. You must be premier in Georgia after that! :)

Thanks again

DeepGreenLawn
01-17-2009, 12:29 PM
Thanks, we will find out soon enough...

treegal1
01-17-2009, 12:34 PM
If there is a demand, moving into broader advertising base will be her decision.yes more HER's in the biz:)

Smallaxe
01-17-2009, 01:13 PM
yes more HER's in the biz:)

:laugh: I actually thought of you when I decided to reveal - 'Her'.

I'm confident, that she will do us all proud. :)

treegal1
01-17-2009, 01:25 PM
that's sooo cool, tell her "GO GIRL"!!!

Smallaxe
01-17-2009, 01:35 PM
that's sooo cool, tell her "GO GIRL"!!!

:laugh: I'll tell her that, Wonder Woman, is backing her all the way! :laugh:

It will give her something to aspire to.

DUSTYCEDAR
01-23-2009, 12:41 AM
:weightlifter::weightlifter::weightlifter::weightlifter: