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DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-06-2009, 01:16 AM
Guys,

Very much contemplating running a 8 1/2 x 11 insert in our local (town pop 7K) newspaper this October, advertising fert/squirts for 2010. Would include a coupon toward $ or % off for next season.

I know that folks are sitting on TG renewals as we speak. TG does A LOT of business in this town. If I can get my info out in front of A LOT of people this fall, I am thinking I can snag a few accounts for next season and easily pay for the insertion and printing costs. I got a few TG and SpringGreen conversions this season, and people are happier with what I do that with the 'corporate' touch.

What do you guys think of this? Or, should I wait until next March/April to do this> I am planning a one time insert as it is reasonably pricey to do.

Thx,
DA

Volman
10-06-2009, 11:52 AM
i think next march & april would be to late. I think TG will send out renewal notices the first couple weeks of Jan. They try to get the year long renewal asap.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-06-2009, 12:44 PM
volman thx...anyone else's opinion?

phasthound
10-06-2009, 06:01 PM
DA,

Do not waste money on a one time ad. Sure you're good, but that's what everyone says about themselves. Saying it once rarely makes someone reach for his wallet.

You will have more impact by targeting neighborhoods you already work in. Whenever you are doing applications, leave door hangers at the 4 closest neighbors. On bad weather days leave door hangers in all neighborhoods you work in.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. It takes time to build up name recognition.

Offer existing clients discounts for referrals. And tell them this twice a year, at the end of the season & with renewals. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

For targeted mailings check out http://quantumdigital.com/direct-mail?r=1 Repeat, repeat, repeat.

One time shots generally don't pay off. Spend the same money (with some leg work on downtime) on targeted areas and repeat several times.

Consistency & repetition work.

tlg
10-06-2009, 09:03 PM
I would say no. Newspaper ads or inserts are advertising dinosaurs IMO. Especially a one time deal. You don't want your ad with a bunch of other inserts. Believe me it will have little impact. In order to get people to call you will have to really have some sort of ad campaign. Target areas where you want more work. Direct mail these areas. To expect any good return on the newspaper idea. Does anybody even read newspapers anymore???? Last I heard was most of them were going bankrupt or circulation numbers were way down.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-06-2009, 09:09 PM
tlg - Listening, but disagree with respect to newspaper readership in a small town in rural America like I want to market in. Many people here are older and do get the local paper.

Direct mailers are out, WAY too expensive and the minimum is way over the top for what I would want to do.

ted putnam
10-06-2009, 09:46 PM
DA,

Do not waste money on a one time ad. Sure you're good, but that's what everyone says about themselves. Saying it once rarely makes someone reach for his wallet.

You will have more impact by targeting neighborhoods you already work in. Whenever you are doing applications, leave door hangers at the 4 closest neighbors. On bad weather days leave door hangers in all neighborhoods you work in.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. It takes time to build up name recognition.

Offer existing clients discounts for referrals. And tell them this twice a year, at the end of the season & with renewals. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

For targeted mailings check out http://quantumdigital.com/direct-mail?r=1 Repeat, repeat, repeat.

One time shots generally don't pay off. Spend the same money (with some leg work on downtime) on targeted areas and repeat several times.

Consistency & repetition work.

DA. Take the advice of this man. He is absolutely right. This method will take time but is by far the least expensive and is very and one of the most effective. Especially if you have customers in these neighborhood. I've done this and even written the addresses of present customers on the flyers so they could see some of my work first hand.

LIBERTYLANDSCAPING
10-06-2009, 10:52 PM
D&A-Do yourself a favor & listen to Phasthound & TLG... Newspaper inserts are NOT effective-especially without repetition. You should familiarize yourself with marketing strategies. There is something called the marketing pyramid. The top of the pyramid consists of the best response rate (and coincidentally the less amount of $$ spent) Things like soliciting referrals from existing customers, marketing to neigbors of existing clients, block leading, etc... By the time you get done with the stuff at the top of the pyramid, you won't have much time/money left for newspaper inserts:waving:


If you really want to drum up some new biz, get cleaned up & knock on some doors! I know, it sucks-but it is cheap & gets results:usflag:

zurfsturfcare
10-07-2009, 12:11 AM
i did 10 k inserts in our local paper this year, added 14k gross so far, small town older population, I dont have time to do the door to door thing anymore

Pythium
10-07-2009, 08:39 AM
I have to agree with phatshound. Speaking from first hand experience. We did 50K in a major newspaper that also included direct mailing to non subscribers for a total of about 75k 8.5X11 inserts. total responses..*drumroll*.....five..and we had our ad professionally done. Boy was I pissed at that. Live and learn. By far our most successful adverts have been referrals and door hangers. Lots cheaper too.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-07-2009, 10:04 AM
I get the sense that an insert run is not preferred on here.....
Would it make a difference if I am the only fert/squirt show in town here? I have built up some name recognition through my vehicle signage AND 3 years worth of ads in the local paper.

Perhaps I will just run a decent sized display ad in the newspaper and do some targeted flyer drops around my current customers????

Pythium
10-07-2009, 11:01 AM
If what you are going after is more name recognition, then the ad may not be a bad idea for you, if cost effective. When you ask people in your town to name three LCO's you want your name to be in that top 3. (tru-green is almost always in that top 3.) The theory is that when people are looking for lawn care you want them to think of you as one of the top companies. (they think this because A: your reputation and what their friends say about you in a positive manner, and..B:they see your name everywhere) In a small town with limited competition the newspaper ad may get your name in more peoples head faster. But a one time shot isn't the way, they need to see you EVERYWHERE. Repeat repeat, repeat.

tlg
10-07-2009, 11:37 AM
tlg - Listening, but disagree with respect to newspaper readership in a small town in rural America like I want to market in. Many people here are older and do get the local paper.

Direct mailers are out, WAY too expensive and the minimum is way over the top for what I would want to do.

Just because they get the paper won't guarantee a response or that they will even see your insert. Our office is located in a small town. We have done what you propose to do. In fact I ran half page ads in the local paper with little response for the money. If the cost issue of direct mail is a problem, consider doing unsolicited quotes on properties you would like to service ( if your in a small town you likely know who is using TGCL ) to get new work. Your cost is your labor and a quote form. Also ,ask your current customer base for referrals. If your local and offer a personalized service they may be more than willing to offer you leads. You could even offer your customers a discount on a service you perform for any new customer they refer. You won't be spending much out of pocket and you will be visible in neighborhoods where you want more work.

phasthound
10-07-2009, 07:45 PM
If you insist on newspaper ads, consider running a small weekly ad rather than a big one time splash ad. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

A one time ad with no follow up tells people that your company is a flash in the pan. Many small ads tells people that you are always there and are reliable.

All small businesses make the costly mistake of believing "If you build it, they will come". Put more sweat equity into marketing than money. Door hangers, referrals, community service, small continuous local ads and good results will build your business faster than anything else.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-08-2009, 12:59 AM
Barry - I do run a year round small ad in our 'professional services' directory. I get calls from that ad. I do have SOME name recog. in town here - but I am looking to be the GO TO guy for lawn/landscape in my town, not TG-wants-to-sell-your-heinie.

AmGreen
10-26-2009, 06:42 PM
To you guys that are recommending door hangers: Do y'all still hang your door hangers in neighborhoods that have "NO SOLICITING" at the entrance? Just curious...I've always been cautious about this...

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-26-2009, 07:15 PM
amgreen - skip those houses. Why would you want some crabby old lady come out and chew your booty cause you hung something where you shouldn't have. You just wasted $$ on a doorhanger by doing that.

AmGreen
10-26-2009, 08:09 PM
Because most of the neighborhoods I'm already in are those types. I don't mind the PITA customers. I charge accordingly.

rcreech
10-26-2009, 09:23 PM
Totally wrong time of year IMO to sell lawn care.

Let us know how it turns out for ya!

ATVracer
10-26-2009, 09:39 PM
I did the newspaper inserts a couple years ago. About 4000 newspapers total(Cost around $400) and I specified I wanted to be the only insert the day they went out. I had them sent out at the first of March because it was still cold and not many people were thinking of lawn care yet. I only recieved a dozen or so new customers, so for me it was not worth it. Maybe the timimg was bad, if I ever did it again I would wait until late March. Anyway you need to go around town right now and write down the address of every competitor(especially TG) who has a flag in their yard. Make a professional flyer at home with some sort of incentive and mail them out now for the 2010 season and send the same houses another one next spring. I get most of my business through referrals and word of mouth/networking. Yellow book ads and newspaper classifieds are worthless IMO.