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View Full Version : Best way to advertise


humble1
02-16-2009, 06:22 PM
I am wondering what your best return on investment has been to gain new accounts.

I have had the best referals from landscapers last year, versus what I spent on direct mail postcards and hangers


It is hard to penetrate into the landscapers because unless their current guy pisses them off then you dont have a shot.

mrkosar
02-16-2009, 08:49 PM
referral program. yellow pages was the worst investment since i started my company.

Grandview
02-16-2009, 09:14 PM
referral program. yellow pages was the worst investment since i started my company.

What kind of referral program do you have?

mow2nd
02-16-2009, 10:07 PM
flyers work the best for us. we've done mailer, newspapers, phone books, etc....

we dont do the call for a free estimate flyer, that never works. our flyer basically says we're going to be in the area offering a one time application and here is our price. sure we do a lot of one time apps but we turn a lot into regulars. i like to call it "bait."

we do 1000 flyers everyday mon-fri. we avg 10 to 20 apps a day off the flyer and sign up at least 2-5 a day for our turf program. for us it's the only way to go.

mrkosar
02-16-2009, 10:26 PM
What kind of referral program do you have?

we send out a letter in march/april (when the grass is green and the weather has people getting that good old spring fever). give them a magnet for their fridge with the letter too. we offer $25 off the new customer's first app and $25 credited toward the referring customer, but only to be used on our additional services (aeration, grub, etc..). good way to upsell current customer PLUS get a new customer. really nice if it is their neighbors because then you can save money on labor and gas costs by getting tighter routes. got to get the customer excited about your customer and constantly remind them to talk about you though. sometimes the deals just aren't enough.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
02-16-2009, 11:01 PM
Constant ad in my local paper has been my best bang for the buck.
Tried some doorhangers last year....a lot of walking pre-season with little return.
Going to hang the rest of em out this year, tho.

mngrassguy
02-16-2009, 11:44 PM
Word of mouth (customer referrals) followed by reselling old cancels this time of year. Local newspaper ads will start soon. Then, I start hanging door flyer's on neighbor houses.

garydale
02-17-2009, 11:36 AM
Do a search on this subject, We have been all over it.

Ric
02-17-2009, 02:28 PM
Humble

Many years ago I got established by buying accounts or other business. To this day I believe this is the quickest and least expensive way to build accounts. In some cases I culted account by reselling them to guys who serviced that area to keep my route tight. By buying accounts I got into new neighborhoods where I could clover leaf to gain more accounts. Now granted you must wait for these opportunities to come your way. BTW one such account purchase was Mow and Go only in the fall of the year. In our year round growing season I rode those accounts over the slow months only to resell them in the spring just before rainy season. Had I not of sold them I would still come way ahead.

Now I won't tell you being big doesn't have certain advantages as well as headaches. But having been there and done that, I enjoy being a part time one man band now in semi retirement. I now work to support my hobbies and not my living expense.

americanlawn
02-17-2009, 05:54 PM
We get most of our new accounts from referrals. Then yellow pages, seeing trucks, flags, & TV. The vast majority are from referrals. My 2 cents worth.

phasthound
02-17-2009, 06:31 PM
"I know half of my marketing works. If I knew which half, I'd be retired." :)

Ric
02-17-2009, 06:45 PM
We get most of our new accounts from referrals. Then yellow pages, seeing trucks, flags, & TV. The vast majority are from referrals. My 2 cents worth.

Larry

If you get so many accounts from referrals??? Then why do you spend so much money on TV advertisement??????????????????????????

BTW Before Humble can get referrals he needs a customer base to send him those referrals. So what is the quickest and least expensive way to build a customer base. Well IMHO and experience Buying Accounts is both fast and less expensive in the long run. When doing the math, be sure to take into account all the running and sales time to gain account slower than buying them. Be sure to figure in the instant income you get when buying those established accounts. TG/CL as well as other big boys do this all the time because they know the value of buying income. Now I am not interested in gaining accounts at present time and have no interest in buying accounts because I have an established customer base that sends me enough referrals to keep me happy. But I have bought several business out or there accounts in the past with great success.

Humble

Sweat equity is one way to purchase accounts short cash. This is done by doing the work for a certain period of time while the former owner collect all or part of the income generated during that time. This is done more so on mowing accounts than Fert & squirt only accounts because it is sometimes the only way to finance the purchase of accounts. I have both bought businesses and sold my business to my former employees using this method successful.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-17-2009, 06:57 PM
still dont know but i like trucks with signs

sprayboy
02-17-2009, 10:04 PM
Ric,

Curious......... when you bought fert and squirts did you see a certain percentage of cancels, just from customer uncertainty about a new owner?

Or was there any trends at all?

Ric
02-17-2009, 10:47 PM
Ric,

Curious......... when you bought fert and squirts did you see a certain percentage of cancels, just from customer uncertainty about a new owner?

Or was there any trends at all?

Sprayboy

I have never bought straight Fert & Squirt customers only full service back when I still mowed. But most Fert & Squirt customer are under contract and must stay with the contract holder. This doesn't say they won't break a contract but it gives you more opportunity to prove your self.

rnd
02-20-2009, 02:48 PM
Go to RNDSIGNS.COM (http://rndsigns.com). See hundreds of advertising ideas for the green industry from all over the U.S. Request a FREE marketing handbook. Easy to custom design, affordable.

Rayholio
02-20-2009, 04:50 PM
ANY advertizing that offers a return on investment is excecellent.

Referrals, Door Hangers, Trade Shows, Direct marketing ect. have had no problem paying for themselves in my hood....

Radio, community calanders, newspaper ads, larger YELLOW PAGE ADS, ink pens, etc DO NOT pay for themselves.

As a rule of thumb, don't pay one red cent to put your message in front of a non-potential customer...

Radio, Newspapers, etc all touch a whole lot more non-potentials... so you can just figure on that money being wasted.. Where as a letter sent to every occupant in a subdivision you work in will be well spent, and WILL have a higher return than 2% IF the ad is designed properly..

My Favorite is block leading.

humble1
02-21-2009, 09:12 PM
ANY advertizing that offers a return on investment is excecellent.

Referrals, Door Hangers, Trade Shows, Direct marketing ect. have had no problem paying for themselves in my hood....

Radio, community calanders, newspaper ads, larger YELLOW PAGE ADS, ink pens, etc DO NOT pay for themselves.

As a rule of thumb, don't pay one red cent to put your message in front of a non-potential customer...

Radio, Newspapers, etc all touch a whole lot more non-potentials... so you can just figure on that money being wasted.. Where as a letter sent to every occupant in a subdivision you work in will be well spent, and WILL have a higher return than 2% IF the ad is designed properly..

My Favorite is block leading.


Ray, I have picked up some accounts in some nice neighborhoods, so I wanted to mail a few times this spring to each person on the road. I want to use a reverse lookup like whitepages.com but the current resident seems to be hit or miss, it will list all people that have lived at that address. So I never know who the current owner is. What do you use to get the customers names and address?

Rayholio
02-21-2009, 10:15 PM
I use reverse lookup.. if that is confusing, our county is set up on the 'beakon' system, which means I can look up the property via a map, find out who is paying taxes on it, and even measure via satilight image.

If all of that fails, I just address the letter to "<subdivision> Resident"

"Dear Briar Brook Resident,

We have a great deal for our customers neighbors in Briar Brook!...."

mngrassguy
02-22-2009, 12:57 AM
I use these guys for reverse look-up. Not sure if it's available in your area. I can look-up by address or phone #. Annual subscription is $140.00/year for me. They say 20% (average) of their listings change each year. With the sub, I can call 3 times a day for look-ups out of my area.

http://www.coleinformation.com/

Lawnmasters
02-22-2009, 09:26 AM
We are in a rural area and I understand that some methods of marketing work different depending on where you are. But, in 18 years I have gotten the best results from a little trader paper in my area. The best thing is it's basically free. I trade out spraying the owners lawn and he keeps ads running for whatever I want. He also owns 4 radio stations, tried that, nothing. Door hangers are the next best thing for us. We established a route in a new town fairly quick with them. We would be hanging on one street and the phone ringing with someone two streets over that just looked at it wanting an estimate.
My opinion is any activity will breed more activity, just get out and do something and don't wait for them to come to you.

rnd
02-23-2009, 02:04 PM
Go to RNDSIGNS.COM (http://rndsigns.com)to see hundreds of advertising ideas from all over the U.S.and see what green industry businesses are doing. Request a FREE marketing handbook. See layouts, photography and online pricing.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-23-2009, 02:25 PM
Signs everywhere

humble1
02-23-2009, 10:02 PM
Larry

If you get so many accounts from referrals??? Then why do you spend so much money on TV advertisement??????????????????????????

BTW Before Humble can get referrals he needs a customer base to send him those referrals. So what is the quickest and least expensive way to build a customer base. Well IMHO and experience Buying Accounts is both fast and less expensive in the long run. When doing the math, be sure to take into account all the running and sales time to gain account slower than buying them. Be sure to figure in the instant income you get when buying those established accounts. TG/CL as well as other big boys do this all the time because they know the value of buying income. Now I am not interested in gaining accounts at present time and have no interest in buying accounts because I have an established customer base that sends me enough referrals to keep me happy. But I have bought several business out or there accounts in the past with great success.

Humble

Sweat equity is one way to purchase accounts short cash. This is done by doing the work for a certain period of time while the former owner collect all or part of the income generated during that time. This is done more so on mowing accounts than Fert & squirt only accounts because it is sometimes the only way to finance the purchase of accounts. I have both bought businesses and sold my business to my former employees using this method successful.

I like the idea of sweat equity, if you dont have a strong cash position to buy a lot of accounts you still can work something out. Good Point:usflag:

Ric
02-23-2009, 11:15 PM
I like the idea of sweat equity, if you dont have a strong cash position to buy a lot of accounts you still can work something out. Good Point:usflag:

Humble

Don't try and buy accounts too short cash flow. Remember it cost money to do work and you might be 4 months before you see a payment from those accounts.