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View Full Version : Not the response I wanted . . .


Century Landscape
04-21-2011, 12:47 AM
All right,

So I sent out about 400 postcards a week ago and I've had three calls so far - one was asking if I trimmed trees (serious stuff, so not at this time), the other two were people asking if I had any jobs available!:hammerhead:

Too bad that's not what I was looking for!

Anyhow, I'll be sending out about 480 more tomorrow. What kind of rate of return do you guys normally see on direct mailed postcards? I've targeted them to some of the areas where I already have customers and the market should be able to afford my services. Any rough idea on how many calls I can expect / what percentage you normally receive?

I know each market's different, but as a percentage, I'm curious what kind of response others in my industry receive.

Thanks, all response is appreciated.

CSL&L
04-21-2011, 12:50 AM
2-3% is average

Century Landscape
04-21-2011, 12:57 AM
Ha!

I sure hope part of my 2-3% wasn't wasted with the job hunters:cry:

I'd love to spend more on advertising but I'm small right now. Oh well, at least I got a great piece together to mail out.

HitchC&L
04-21-2011, 12:57 AM
I sent out 1263 of them this past week

2 Calls for decks

1 Call for sheetrock

1 Call for tree work

1 Call to ask if I was hiring

0 Calls for mowing

The postcard was directed to pick up mainly mowing customers, with a striped lawn background, but my business is built as being a construction company that also offers landscape/mowing/site work, so Im pleased that I got the decks and sheetrock bids, but I was really hoping to add some more mowing this season.

Hopefully Ill get some mowing calls in the next few days, spring cleanups are just starting and mowing will be in a week or two so Im starting to get worried

lawnkingforever
04-21-2011, 08:34 AM
Postcards may be different, but putting out flyers is becoming useless. I have seen so many flyers jammed into those newspaper slots on the mailboxes around here. People are just throwing them out or letting them sit in there. Invest that money into good signage for your rig.

nobagger
04-21-2011, 08:54 AM
Its slow going here as well. We've had advertising in a local paper that goes to 50/60k people if not more and 1 call from it, we usually average a few calls a day from this paper this time of year. I called a few people we didn't hear from with renewals, their response was oh I wasn't even thinking about that yet. Its coming up on the end of April but our weather just plain sucks! Rain, even wet snow as of the other day so I don't think people are really thinking of it yet, it still feels and looks like winter still. Just keep your name out there, eventually it pays off.

doyles
04-21-2011, 09:08 AM
Its slow going here as well. We've had advertising in a local paper that goes to 50/60k people if not more and 1 call from it, we usually average a few calls a day from this paper this time of year. I called a few people we didn't hear from with renewals, their response was oh I wasn't even thinking about that yet. Its coming up on the end of April but our weather just plain sucks! Rain, even wet snow as of the other day so I don't think people are really thinking of it yet, it still feels and looks like winter still. Just keep your name out there, eventually it pays off.

same problem here hopefully it will warm up this weekend and ito next week
so people will start thiunking about there lawns

Golfpro21
04-21-2011, 09:24 AM
same up here in Ontario..............snow the last few nights, and rain.....pretty low temps.....we had a stretch of like 5 great days last week.....the phone calls were crazy....picked up like 8 new accounts, no the phone seems like its unplugged......but noone is thinking about grass with minus 2 temps

zopi
04-21-2011, 09:43 AM
Direct mail has the smallest return per dollar invested of almost any advetising method...takes deep pockets, and is really only useful to larger organizations who are tweaking a tiny fraction of market share increase....a good tactic for mailing when you are small is targeted mailing..write down neighbor's addresses while out working, particularly ones that bear the tells of busy working folks who don't have time to mess with details..like hunting someone up to do the work.
Posted via Mobile Device

PostcardMania
04-21-2011, 11:37 AM
All right,

So I sent out about 400 postcards a week ago and I've had three calls so far - one was asking if I trimmed trees (serious stuff, so not at this time), the other two were people asking if I had any jobs available!:hammerhead:

Too bad that's not what I was looking for!

Anyhow, I'll be sending out about 480 more tomorrow. What kind of rate of return do you guys normally see on direct mailed postcards? I've targeted them to some of the areas where I already have customers and the market should be able to afford my services. Any rough idea on how many calls I can expect / what percentage you normally receive?

I know each market's different, but as a percentage, I'm curious what kind of response others in my industry receive.

Thanks, all response is appreciated.

Hey there! First of all, 400 postcards is NOT gong to get you sort of large response rate you're expecting, it's just too little. Every postcard campaign we've done for this industry starts with 2,000 - 3,000 postcards per mailing.

There are several other factors that may be adding to your low response rate... for example the offer, the design/layout of the card, is your phone number and website easy to see, are you listing benefits or just featuring what you can do?

The company I work for, PostcardMania, has collected stories of some of our most successful landscaping clients and compiled them in a report we call "How to Get More Landscaping Clients: 7 Real-Life Marketing Success Stories". You can download this report (for free) and see what others, just like you did!

Here's the link: http://www.postcardmania.com/7-ways-to-build-landscaping-empire/

Hope this helps :)

Century Landscape
04-21-2011, 12:09 PM
Hmm . . .

I thought I'd heard that direct mail was supposed to be one of the best uses of advertising money based on rate of interested return.

I'd love to do a larger mailing, but have to keep budget in line for now. Hopefully, will get some more leads soon.

BestImpressions99
04-21-2011, 12:53 PM
Door to door, hoofing it out with flyers in hand. Never sent out stuff. I just asked a girl next to me and she agrees that as a homeowner she's more likely to throw something out that's just left in the door or mailed unsolicited to her.

I didn't push her for an answer but just sat there while she thought about which she would be apt to reply to. She agrees that door to door would get a better response from her. She like me actually thinks that word of mouth (putting out a good product and the customer references you) is the BEST way of getting new clients.

newtostone
04-21-2011, 01:04 PM
Door to Door is best. Post Cards need big pockets.

PostcardMania
04-21-2011, 04:48 PM
Hmm . . .

I thought I'd heard that direct mail was supposed to be one of the best uses of advertising money based on rate of interested return.

I'd love to do a larger mailing, but have to keep budget in line for now. Hopefully, will get some more leads soon.

You're right! Direct mail postcards are one of the best forms of marketing, especially for your industry. But you can't expect to get a huge response from one mailing, just like any form of marketing, it's a continuous effort staying in from of your target.

Yes, there is some cost to invest in it (majority of the cost is postage unfortunately). But you will be investing in something that will get you real results if done correctly.

Take a look at these postcard designs that have been used for mailings. These have been very successful for landscaping businesses: http://www.postcardmania.com/library/landscape-marketing/

KINGMADE
04-21-2011, 07:02 PM
Because you are doing it wrong. Don't mail them, don't stick them into slots in or around the mail box. Pay some people that are hard up for cash to walk around at minimum wage to stick them on DOORS. You will probably get the same percentage response for a hell of a lot cheaper than using the postal service. You can still use the same post cards. The mail service is a joke for what they charge. I got 2,000 fliers on doors for 200 bucks labor. 10 cents each plus the cost of the advertisement.

Patriot Services
04-21-2011, 07:19 PM
Postcards and flyers have a 1% percent close rate based on at least 20k sent out. Get some good quality doorhangers and saturate areas around current accounts.
Posted via Mobile Device

KINGMADE
04-21-2011, 07:21 PM
Postcards and flyers have a 1% percent close rate based on at least 20k sent out. Get some good quality doorhangers and saturate areas around current accounts.
Posted via Mobile Device

Then after you saturated the area, do it again a few weeks later. The calls will come.

WLC26
04-21-2011, 11:11 PM
For the last two years, i have printed out black flyers with my inkjet printer, and refilled the cartridges myself, bought the ink online by the gallon. I print out 30000 flyers, and I get about 20 new accounts from that. It costs me just under 1500 bucks, including having a private company deliver them. A couple accounts pays for the cost, the rest is pocket money.

cms289
04-22-2011, 09:58 PM
Might just be the year. We are getting about 1/2 the response rate from last year. But I assume every year is different.

dogdjour
04-22-2011, 10:09 PM
Ky. is the same right now too. rain......rain......rain and.........oh, more rain.
I have made half the money this month i made the last two years at this time.
I still have all of my customers from last year but have only picked up 2 more this April.
I run ads in the paper which usually rings my phone off the hook but things are alot slower this year. I hoped the talk of a better economy was right and things would pick up.
The only hope for now is May!