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View Full Version : what 1000 bucks will buy in advertising.


David Gretzmier
09-26-2009, 12:01 AM
what will 1000 bucks buy you and what will the result be? These are my experiences in my market with my reputation.

truck graphics- if you pay to have it done, 1000 bucks will get you alot of lettering and some small color photo's on a full size truck or boxvan. but no wraps or reflective lettering unless you really limit your message to a small area. this should last 4-10 years, based on the quality of the vinyl, and will bring you probably 10 percent of your jobs in a year. for us that is about 15 grand, but we tend to spend more than 1000 bucks. on graphics each year. I'm at about 2 grand out of pocket this year, but that is for 2 box vans and we did some funky stuff. for a smaller company that does 20-40 grand in new sales annually, I would expect 2-4 grand per year in sales just from graphics. so we'll say that 1 grand spent now will yield 20 grand over 5 years. good money.

yellow pages. they bill monthly and that works out to 80 bucks per month. for that in my market, in one book you can get a listing box that is 1 inch tall in 2 categories, christmas lighting and decorators or lighting consultants. my market has 3 books, and we do a bit more than 1000, but we are reducing what we have spent in the past fairly dramatically. 5 years ago we got quite a few leads from yellow pages, and still get a few. I'd say that 15-20% of our leads come from the pages, but we spent close 5-6 grand over the last 12 months and it is going down as new books go out. for 5-6 grand this year I expect to get 15-20 grand in sales. that is not nearly enough for the money invested. I would expect 1000 bucks would get you 3-4 grand in sales. This also gives you credibility. when you are listed, you are considered a real business.

postcards. in the past I used quantum digital, and it works and is expensive. 1000 bucks will buy about 1700 jumbo 8x5 postcards printed and mailed there. I get 10-12 grand in sales off that, but a new salesperson may not close as well as me. I am trying to do postcards printed through got print.com, the 5000 6x11's are $324 and the and saturation mailing 3000 of them will cost me about 750 bucks in addressing and postage to a local mailing comapny. but I get a larger postcard mailed and way more cards for nearly the same money. I am expecting 15-20 grand or more. but beware, a bad card, a bad mailing list or whatever can rip this to pieces. I have heard of folks dropping 5 grand on cards and gotten 1 customer.

Yard signs. 1000 bucks can buy you 250 full color 24x24 signs over at victorystore.com, or more signs if you go smaller and less colors. i think Christmas Lights installed in black over white text is probably too cheap. we have done 2 color 2 sided with red and green and it has owrked great. 250 will last us 2 seasons plus a few for next, but that is because we do not use them enough. I really believe this is the best bang for your buck next to truck graphics, and this one thing can power a christmas business. 25-30% of overall volume, 60% of our call volume comes from signs, and probably 40-50% of our closed jobs between Nov.14-Dec 5. I'd say 500 bucks a year in signs brings us close to 30-45k in sales. put them at intersections and across the street from the stop sign where folks leave nice neighborhoods. you do have to deal with the angry calls from code enforcement officers, and angry landowners who own the land where you put the sign. but way, way worth it.

radio- 1000 bucks: for 300 per month for 3 months, gets you 80 30 second spots a month and 8 30 second spots on college game day every saturday for pre-game, during game and after game call in show on local sports talk radio for Arkansas Razorbacks. who, by the way, play alabama tomorrow. tomorrow will be my 3rd game day advertising and as far as I can tell, no calls. this may be a waste, but hey, who knows?

television. no idea. last time was a waste and it was 8 years ago.

newspaper. done it in the past, my brother has paid for editorial advertising where they write articles and run your ad on the same page. he got a few grand in sales off about a grand in expense.

real estate magazines. my brother did this one too. paid for the cover and got a 3 page spread with photos. no calls. 1400 bucks gone. ouch.

publicity and public relations. free. calling your local TV station and local paper and telling them you are installing lights at a certain location every day or once per week is free. i got to be the Christmas Light Safety guy each year for the past 3 years by doing just that. I've gotten a few jobs off it, but hey, it is free, and more importantly it gives you credibility as a pro. 1000 bucks would hire you a public relations person who would get you more free stuff like a press release published in the paper, etc. about 3 grand a year from free publicity.

printing- 1000 bucks a year over a few years can get you nice full color bid forms and some full color catalogs, some photo books from walmart with pictures of your work. some color folders to present your bids, or some free chocolates in cute tiny boxes to give with bids. these things help you close jobs you would not normally get. I would say 1 grand spent in these areas yearly gets me 3-4 more jobs a year, so 8-12 grand.

time for bed for me. hope these ideas help some folks decide where to spend your money.

Don M.
09-26-2009, 12:57 AM
David, what are your thoughts about a home show?

addictedtolandscaping
09-26-2009, 07:08 AM
Thanks Dave, as usual, the experienced guys trying to help the newbies, just isn;t enough that can be said about that.

Don, I was talking to Mike out at HBL yesterday, finalizing some direct mail and such and he mentioned the home shows explicitly. I had considered them, but had also dismissed the idea as here they are done in the Spring. But if you think about it, setting up some product, putting together a nice little display, some fliers, I see where you could really get some one to remember you. If you have them in your area in the Fall, wow that could really be big, maybe some Styrofoam to imitate snow, etc.

hotrod1965
09-26-2009, 09:49 PM
Did the largest fall home show in metro Detroit last year, and didn't get a whole lot out of it.....

David, what are your thoughts about a home show?

BeSeenGraphics
09-26-2009, 09:58 PM
Great thread. I am assuming those were UV Printed Yard Signs.

David Gretzmier
09-26-2009, 11:28 PM
my signs are out there a week to 14 days tops before the sign police come and swipe them. the garbage guys and all street crews pick up all temp signs and garage sale signs on monday or tuesday mornings. so UV coating makes no sense to me. graphics on trucks have UV coating.

I have done a couple of home shows, and gotten no jobs off either. my brother did one in Texarkana in his market, same result.

The folks that buy lights form me, business's and high end residential, don't seem to make the time to attend a home show.

David Gretzmier
09-26-2009, 11:32 PM
I'd also like to add a nice website can be had for 100o bucks and bring you leads. I paid 1200, many guys on here swear by them, this is my first year trying them out. we'll see.

service magic on the web is also a way to get leads and spend some cash, 1000 bucks will get you 100 leads or so. I've gotten some jobs off it, so it works. but lots of leads are losers. but it does help your google listing.

google maps is also free to set your business address and some photo's, and when folks tap in Christmas lights and the city/state, you should come up 1st in google listings. .

BeSeenGraphics
09-27-2009, 08:58 AM
my signs are out there a week to 14 days tops before the sign police come and swipe them. the garbage guys and all street crews pick up all temp signs and garage sale signs on monday or tuesday mornings. so UV coating makes no sense to me. graphics on trucks have UV coating.

I have done a couple of home shows, and gotten no jobs off either. my brother did one in Texarkana in his market, same result.

The folks that buy lights form me, business's and high end residential, don't seem to make the time to attend a home show.

UV Printed not UV Coated. Those are printed on a UV flatbed printer. I'll bet thats the yard signs you got. Perfect for your application. Especially since they're getting swiped on you.

Silk screened ones are much more durable and fade resistant. They cost almost double the price though. We do both.

brianpsmith
10-14-2009, 07:44 PM
Learning from my reading here, I need to get on board with yard sign marketing!

I see that gotprint.com is recommended, are they fast this late in the year? What wording and colors on the 24"x24" signs seem to work best?

Brian P. Smith
www.we-illuminate-4u.com

BeSeenGraphics
10-15-2009, 01:07 PM
I do the 18 x 24 signs full color on both sides for less than what GotPrint does 1 side for. My pricing is on my website now.

David Gretzmier
10-15-2009, 11:46 PM
Gotprint.com is not very competitive on yard signs. I am going with victorystore.com full color 24x24's, 1000 bucks buys you 250 of them. but they are printed, not silk screened, so I have been told they have a much shorter life. I will let you know when we actually have one out in the weather for more than 14 days.

By the way, I got in my 6x11 postcards from gotprint and they were gorgeous. I understand the shipping charge now. 5000 postcards that size weighs about 300 pounds and came in 6 seperate boxes.

corey4671
10-16-2009, 12:03 AM
$1000 buys me a business card sized ad in a paper that goes into 18,000 households free of charge every Wednesday for 9 months.

jdutcher003
10-19-2009, 12:11 AM
can anyone give me any help in designing a postcard for my company that will sell to people? I want to spend $1000 on advertising this year and gain as much business as possible

hotrod1965
10-19-2009, 10:55 AM
You can hire a graphic designer. Or you can use the "design your own" software that a lot of online companies have.


can anyone give me any help in designing a postcard for my company that will sell to people? I want to spend $1000 on advertising this year and gain as much business as possible

AztlanLC
10-19-2009, 09:31 PM
5-6k in advertisement and you expect 15-20k in sales is that much profit in Christmas lights to commit 25% 30% in advertisement?

David Gretzmier
10-19-2009, 10:56 PM
I struggle with what amount of dollars make sense for advertising.

I felt as though the yellow pages have continued to return less and less sales over the last 20 years. it has reached the point that I have cut way back on it, but still have small listing ads. You just have to be in there . if not, most folks consider you a fake, or just a "guy" not a real business.

Yard signs are obviously a fantastic return on investment, a 1000 buck purchase buys you a good 2-3 years worth of signs for the Christmas light biz. BUT, these are like the opposite of the yellow pages. They take away credibility. too many signs can kind of give you a garage sale reputation.

Truck graphics are an excellent business credibility and revenue enhancer. the more you cover spend, the more both happens. 1000 bucks per year on this should return 20 grand or more. Very good 3M/UV coated graphics also last 7 years or so. cheap graphics only last 3-4 years.

BeSeenGraphics
10-21-2009, 11:52 AM
I struggle with what amount of dollars make sense for advertising.

I felt as though the yellow pages have continued to return less and less sales over the last 20 years. it has reached the point that I have cut way back on it, but still have small listing ads. You just have to be in there . if not, most folks consider you a fake, or just a "guy" not a real business.

Yard signs are obviously a fantastic return on investment, a 1000 buck purchase buys you a good 2-3 years worth of signs for the Christmas light biz. BUT, these are like the opposite of the yellow pages. They take away credibility. too many signs can kind of give you a garage sale reputation.

Truck graphics are an excellent business credibility and revenue enhancer. the more you cover spend, the more both happens. 1000 bucks per year on this should return 20 grand or more. Very good 3M/UV coated graphics also last 7 years or so. cheap graphics only last 3-4 years.

Our less expensive graphics are rated for 5 years. Our good stuff is rated for 7-8 years depending on which you get. There are a lot of factors. Here up north, I have personally seen our 5 year stuff last 10 years. We don't have the sun the south has.

Also, if anybody wants a good deal on some yard signs...CLICK HERE TO CHECK US (AND OUR PRICING) OUT (http://www.beseengraphics.com/store/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&category_id=3).

My prices REALLY DO include FREE step stakes! :cool2:

We are going through website changes, but I did make sure to get these and some pricing up just for the members here.

wurkn with amish
10-21-2009, 05:00 PM
Atzlan,
I would never spend 5-6k in advertising for a measly 20k return! If i'm spending that much sales better be around 80-100k. I spent 750 dollars 2yrs ago and landed 40k in sales, Last year I spent 1000k and landed nothing....

turf hokie
10-21-2009, 05:28 PM
Posted via Mobile Device

turf hokie
10-21-2009, 06:57 PM
Atzlan,
I would never spend 5-6k in advertising for a measly 20k return! If i'm spending that much sales better be around 80-100k. I spent 750 dollars 2yrs ago and landed 40k in sales, Last year I spent 1000k and landed nothing....

I'm glad those numbers work for you. We put that amount 5-6k and generally shoot for 40k in new work. I think getting 80-100k from 5-6k in advertising is a pipe dream.

AztlanLC
10-21-2009, 07:44 PM
Well that is also my target I expect 90-100k in sales for 5k invested this season we got 80k in sales that I consider low.

David Gretzmier
10-21-2009, 10:43 PM
most marketing folks will tell you that what percentage you spend on marketing as a percentage of total revenue varies among industries, and whether you are trying to grow, maintain, or shrink your business. most folks throw aound the 3-7% of revenue as a normal number to work from. I am around 5% of total sales. I think I should be spending closer to 10-15% on the landscape light side since it is newish and needs to grow, and Christmas lights is closer to 5% but rehangs make up close to 50% of revenue. where does that go?
rough dollars-

3600 or so for Yellow pages ( now, but was alot higher)
3000 or so for truck graphics this year
2000 for postcards/postage
1500 for website
1000 for radio
1000 for yard signs
1500 for printing brochures/sales literature, business cards, etc.
500 for logo uniforms for all employees.

I won't need yard signs next year, and probably won't do radio again, website is done, but hosting is 500 per year ( which is way too high ). i will spend more on postcards next year to push landscape lighting monthly, probably 4-5000. truck graphics will also be lower next year since I only have one trailer to redo and probably one more boxvan to do.

turf hokie
10-22-2009, 06:45 AM
Well that is also my target I expect 90-100k in sales for 5k invested this season we got 80k in sales that I consider low.

I have to ask then, what kind of advertising? I know there is a market in your area but I did not think that it would generate that type of ROI. My area demographically should but does not.

I see you are in the poughkeepsie area, are you targeting a lot of commercial?

rnd
10-22-2009, 01:56 PM
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AztlanLC
10-22-2009, 05:40 PM
no commercial work for me I haven't won a single bid for commercial.
We do mostly home shows and direct mailing.

turf hokie
10-22-2009, 06:03 PM
no commercial work for me I haven't won a single bid for commercial.
We do mostly home shows and direct mailing.

Good to know, I was not sure about home shows. The booths are pricey down here. But I may give one a shot just to see.
Thanks
Posted via Mobile Device

rnd
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