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View Full Version : 2011 outlook, where to spend money.


srl28
01-03-2011, 06:18 PM
I set goals almost monthly for my business, during the season and off season. One of my goals for the upcoming year is to add at least 15 to 20 additional lawn maintenance accoutns. Happy with our commercial accounts and have some new ones we will be doing this coming year, really I'm looking to add to our residential list.

So lets say I'm setting aside $3k for this "advertising campaign". What in your mind is the best way to spend that and get a good return in the sector I'm targeting?

We've used flyers and doorhangers in targeted neighborhoods and had some decent results with that but I'm looking for a larger return this time, again 15 to 20+ new residential accounts.

Thoughts now are Val-pak, Local newspaper (pretty inexpensive), or direct mail (need some numbers on this, how much would say 10k direct mailings be, mailed say twice)

gasracer
01-03-2011, 07:11 PM
Val-Pak is $425 per month for 6 months(10,000 mailings per month). Newspapers are not worth it,

srl28
01-03-2011, 07:23 PM
Ever advertised in the newspaper or are you just making an assumption or good guess?

Val-pak seemed to be an ok option. Little pricey but not when its broken down. Friend of mine in a different business did a lot of research on it and how it worked,returns, ROI, etc and it worked very well for him, granted he is in a completely different industry but his facts and figures were pretty good.

gasracer
01-03-2011, 07:59 PM
My point about newspapers is so many people read online (including me). I would check with Val-pal in your area and see what they had to offer.It's based on zip codes and full service Landscapers. They don't cover my own zip code so it doesn't help me.

walker-talker
01-04-2011, 12:01 AM
I did some math awhile back and $3000 bought me 15000 5.5x8.5 postcards. mail list, postage, print. Basically everything except the postcard design which would cost around $450 (thats for 3 different designs). I was going to mail 2500 to a specific market and another 2500 to a specific mail carrier route. Thats 5000 postcards mail 3X.

You could save money and just do mail carrier routes. Then take the money left over and buy 500 yard signs for about $500. Then take $300 and buy 5000 small flags from blackburn and stick them in the ground in front of the houses. Goes much quicker that putting up door hangers or flyers, but has less info. Just a couple ideas.

srl28
01-04-2011, 12:06 AM
Did you ever go with the flyers/mailings? How did it work out for you? Who did you use for the printing, etc.

walker-talker
01-04-2011, 12:27 AM
I had used printwarehouse.com years ago and they did a good job. gotprint.com has the best prices on postcards I have seen recently. I did a mailing of postcards about 5 years ago, but didnt pick up many mowing jobs. I did 5000 (2500x2) and got about 30 or 40 calls and picked up 3 mowing jobs. I've done monthly HOA newsletters and other monthly newsletters with no luck at all. Newspaper usually does a decent job. I spent about $300 last year on that and picked up about 3 accounts. I could of had more, but there were not in my area.

If you're going to do a mailing and need a list, take a look at your current customer base and find a target markey there.

Chilehead
01-04-2011, 12:32 AM
I had used printwarehouse.com years ago and they did a good job. gotprint.com has the best prices on postcards I have seen recently. I did a mailing of postcards about 5 years ago, but didnt pick up many mowing jobs. I did 5000 (2500x2) and got about 30 or 40 calls and picked up 3 mowing jobs. I've done monthly HOA newsletters and other monthly newsletters with no luck at all. Newspaper usually does a decent job. I spent about $300 last year on that and picked up about 3 accounts. I could of had more, but there were not in my area.

If you're going to do a mailing and need a list, take a look at your current customer base and find a target markey there.

I'd have to agree about the HOA newsletters. Most people who pay dues to an HOA don't give a rip about the newsletter or participating in some committee.

srl28
01-04-2011, 12:33 AM
That was my next question. I find it pretty easy to drive around neighborhoods we re already in or want to expand into and just jot down the addresses and compile our own marketing/mailing list.

Question is, what would be the best thing to do with this list next. Obviously sticking a stamp on each piece would be costly and somewhat unprofessional, so Im guessing a mailing house or something that we can just hand over "our" mailing list to and let them do the work?

walker-talker
01-04-2011, 01:19 AM
You can go to melissadata.com. Navigate around and do a search for Mail Carrier Routes and punch in the desired zip code. You can see a map of mail carrier routes. With those routes come other info, like average household value, average household income and some other stuff. Call your local Mailing Services and get some estimates on cost, but here's the kicker. I was quouted postage for up to (and mayber larger) 5.5" x 8.5" postcard (these stand out more than the aveage piece of mail) for only .139 cents each. Why pay .28 each? The savings is huge. I was quoted $60 for the mailing list and around $200 for the print on the postcard. This was a quote for 6000 postcards at the time. Like I said, call you local Mailing Services from the yellow pages to get your own quote. I am curious is that postage rate is national.

snomaha
01-06-2011, 08:46 PM
I set goals almost monthly for my business, during the season and off season. One of my goals for the upcoming year is to add at least 15 to 20 additional lawn maintenance accoutns. Happy with our commercial accounts and have some new ones we will be doing this coming year, really I'm looking to add to our residential list.

So lets say I'm setting aside $3k for this "advertising campaign". What in your mind is the best way to spend that and get a good return in the sector I'm targeting?

We've used flyers and doorhangers in targeted neighborhoods and had some decent results with that but I'm looking for a larger return this time, again 15 to 20+ new residential accounts.

Thoughts now are Val-pak, Local newspaper (pretty inexpensive), or direct mail (need some numbers on this, how much would say 10k direct mailings be, mailed say twice)

Kudos to you for setting monthly goals - you are ahead of 50% of your competitors, if not more.

If everyone is putting out door hangers/newspaper/direct mail find something different. Different trumps status quo - why make yourself a commodity where low price wins? What differentiates your company? Easier said then done - right?

Just my 2 cents.

srl28
01-06-2011, 09:22 PM
Very true. Few people around here really advertise that much actually. 1 or two in the newspaper, occasionally you'll find something like a cheap flyer stuck in a mailbox but not that much going on around here in the way of decent advertising.

walker-talker
01-06-2011, 09:47 PM
I still think the search engines are a very under esimated tool in the lawn care industry. I can do some very popular keyword searches in my area and there is a pattern of who shows up. Seems like the same group of companies most of the time. Only two come up religously. I'm all over that.

srl28
01-06-2011, 09:55 PM
Would like to look into that as well. Need to figure out our website and then we can figure out our web presence. Currently we have the beginnings of a website but havent finished things up. Once thats done I will be interested in getting "top-o-the page listing" on google and what not. Curious as to what that costs

gasracer
01-07-2011, 01:04 PM
srl28 you are welcome to contact the people who did my website. Any referrals from lawnsite gets a 10% discount.
http://www.liquiddatafl.com/

shade tree landscaping
01-08-2011, 02:04 PM
SRL I have a company that I used in Hoboken that did Search Engine Optimization for my website. Easy to work with, not to expensive, big results. Don't waste time or money on newspaper. I did last year and got very little response. Response I got were all price shoppers!

TheBetterDoorhanger
01-11-2011, 10:58 AM
SRL I have a company that I used in Hoboken that did Search Engine Optimization for my website. Easy to work with, not to expensive, big results. Don't waste time or money on newspaper. I did last year and got very little response. Response I got were all price shoppers!

It sounds like the one you worked with in Hoboken worked for you... we went through several & lots of money before we found a company that actually knew what they were doing. From experience I definitely advise people to find more than one reference for a search engine optimization company before you decide to build a business relationship with them.

TheBetterDoorhanger
01-11-2011, 11:06 AM
Hey there - here is some pricing for direct mail post cards - FULL COLOR - 9"x6" gloss cover stock & includes saturation postage PLUS FREE CUSTOM GRAPHIC DESIGN SERVICES if you order 2500 or more. More quantity and size options are listed on our website.
250 each - $173.25
500 each - $220.00
1,000 each - $350.00
2,500 each - $700.00
5,000 each - $1300.00

I am happy to walk you through each step so we can help you target your market & get the best return.

We also have great door hanger pricing with Band-It & Stick-It to keep them securely on the door and off the lawn - 1000 Door Hangers - 4.25 x 11 Full Color $99.00 or 5000 for $349 with FREE DESIGN & FREE SHIPPING!

Robin Christopherson
Adeas Printing
866-778-4254 ext.212
robin@adeasprinting.com
www.adeasprinting.com/products

srl28
01-11-2011, 03:14 PM
Hi Robin,

I've been emailing Glenda in your office back and forth for the past week or so getting things setup. Shes been extrememly thorough and helpful with everything. Very knowledgeable.

Guys, if you are interested in doing any sort of postcards, flyers or doorhangers A'deas is the place to go!! Shopped it all around for a while now and they seem to have the best prices and by far the best service so far.