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cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 03:47 PM
I would like to hear from some of you that has had some succesfull direct mail campaigns over the years and what you have learned from them. I want to do my first one for this upcoming season and just want to get some feedback on how to make it successful.

larryinalabama
12-17-2012, 04:00 PM
I looked into direct mail a few years back, and for my business it wasnt worth the expense.

One thing you can do is get a list of reciently people who have moved into your aera and mail them a welcome card as well as leaving them fliers multibale times.

inzane
12-17-2012, 05:20 PM
I did not have any luck with it at all last year.

JesseN
12-17-2012, 06:06 PM
I was thinking about mailing magnets out this year and the UPS store had a decent rate on it but haven't pulled the trigger.

If any one has done something like that, I would love to talk to you about the results

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 06:47 PM
I looked into direct mail a few years back, and for my business it wasnt worth the expense.

One thing you can do is get a list of reciently people who have moved into your aera and mail them a welcome card as well as leaving them fliers multibale times.

That's what I'm fighting, from what I can tell the ROI just isn't there.

grassmasterswilson
12-17-2012, 07:02 PM
It's my best method. I send out mailers at the start of the year to specific addresses.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 07:20 PM
It's my best method. I send out mailers at the start of the year to specific addresses.
Posted via Mobile Device

How many? and what is the ROI?

GMLC
12-17-2012, 08:55 PM
Direct mail has been one of the best ROI for me. I target specific neighborhoods. High end gets custom introduction letters and middle class gets a nice flyer. I had a 10% call back rate and closed about 30% of those. Sent 1000 and got about 30 new clients this year, so 3% total. Did 1500 door hangers randomly and was lucky to get 1%.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 09:06 PM
do you build your own mailing list?I could see 30 accounts per 1000 but 2-3 per thousand isn't going to cut it.

larryinalabama
12-17-2012, 09:16 PM
do you build your own mailing list?I could see 30 accounts per 1000 but 2-3 per thousand isn't going to cut it.

2 per thousand would be great, but its not likley.

The cheapest way is too pass out fliers on the aeras you want to work in. I would figure 2 per 5000 might be realistic.

I once put a full page flier in a paper that goes to every house in our county and didnt get a single call. A simple add in that paper was getting me 2 accounts per year at the cost of 50$ per month.

If you have a family owned nursury in your aera, offer them a kick back for any accounts they send your way.

Another quick way is to put fliers on cars at Home Depoit on a Saturday morning when homeowneers are there.

GMLC
12-17-2012, 09:17 PM
Yes, I find the developments I want to target and then go to the towns tax info online and build my list of addresses. This is why I feel I can get 30 out of 1000 but its a lot of hard work. I do it over the winter and mail in the spring. I feel I have been very fortunate to get 3%. Most are happy with 1% like I get with door hangers. This all works in conjunction with my branding and networking.
Posted via Mobile Device

larryinalabama
12-17-2012, 09:22 PM
I guess every aera is different, where Im at 3 calls per thousand would a good response.

When I had my business in So. California it was normal to get a couple of calls by just passing out fliers on one street.

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 10:05 PM
Yes, I find the developments I want to target and then go to the towns tax info online and build my list of addresses. This is why I feel I can get 30 out of 1000 but its a lot of hard work. I do it over the winter and mail in the spring. I feel I have been very fortunate to get 3%. Most are happy with 1% like I get with door hangers. This all works in conjunction with my branding and networking.
Posted via Mobile Device

You can do the same thing with carrier routes and it's a lot less work. I know about the tax info way, but like you said it's a lot of work, and with carrier routes you can be household income specific, around here there are developments with 500- 1000 houses in each one, and there are a LOT of them, but there are a LOT of LCO's here too so it's all relative.

grassmasterswilson
12-17-2012, 10:06 PM
I don't get the 1-2% return tht everyone will tell u they get. I have always picked up enough new business to pay for the mailers. I normally send about around 5000 cards at a cost of $1600-1800 total. I have my own mailing list so I'm not charged. For the names. That's roughly 1 yearly mowing account!

I go through cactus mailing.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-17-2012, 10:23 PM
I was quoted $1500 for a 5000 mailing, sounds like that's about right, wilson do you do multiple mailings or just one?

Will P.C.
12-18-2012, 12:07 AM
You can do the same thing with carrier routes and it's a lot less work. I know about the tax info way, but like you said it's a lot of work, and with carrier routes you can be household income specific, around here there are developments with 500- 1000 houses in each one, and there are a LOT of them, but there are a LOT of LCO's here too so it's all relative.

I live in one of those developments with 3,000 homes. 300k-1+ million. We constantly get mail from LCO, door hangers, rocks and business card thrown in driveway, etc. There are always weeks when we get something on a daily basis.

I am not knocking the idea of DM, but just giving you an idea. Every other LCO knows about these places to as they are ideal for a LCO.

I know you can get a list of new people in a county and consistently target them which IMO seems like a better way and also cheaper.

DM can be a great approach for mass marketing. The potential customer has to go through there mail on a daily basis and at the very least will see your ad.

You need to determine a 'good response'. How much will it costs and what is the average amount I can clear with each response.

You might want to try sending out a small sample first of the minimum amount you have to buy to gauge interest.

cpllawncare
12-18-2012, 12:17 AM
Yea that was a thought also, a small amount like 1000 to guage the response and check the message and adjust accordingly.

Will P.C.
12-18-2012, 01:30 AM
Yea that was a thought also, a small amount like 1000 to guage the response and check the message and adjust accordingly.

I don't understand when guys say they expect a 1-2% response. The best thing would be for guys to post what they actually cleared.

For example, sent out 5K flyers which costs 500 total. Signed 2 people up for weekly maint. Average yearly profit per yard of $500. Did 1 mulch install, profit of 200. Total clearance including DM $700.

The above numbers are made up, but this would be much more helpful instead of just writing '2%'

grassmasterswilson
12-18-2012, 06:39 AM
I was quoted $1500 for a 5000 mailing, sounds like that's about right, wilson do you do multiple mailings or just one?

Think the printing was 425 and then you had postage.

I do 1 mailer at the beginning of the year to target pre apps and before everything gets going. As the year goes on I may send out a smaller one for seeding/aeration/etc. This year I'm adding mosquito apps, so I may send out a small mailer around april to specifically target those apps.

For me its all about getting my money back. If I can pick up enough new business to pay for the mailers I'm happy. That customer will hopefully be reoccuring over the next few years and puts me in a place to show my work. It also gets your brand out there so people keep you in mind. I've had people call 6 months after the card went out saying....I got your mailer and...

Another think mentioned above is how many different cards do you recieve from other LCO at your home?? I don't remember seeing very many in my mailbox so there may be more opportunity for me. I'm in a town of 50k with quite a few companies. None of which pound the pavement with commercials, fliers, mailers, etc.

GMLC
12-18-2012, 06:50 AM
You can do the same thing with carrier routes and it's a lot less work. I know about the tax info way, but like you said it's a lot of work, and with carrier routes you can be household income specific, around here there are developments with 500- 1000 houses in each one, and there are a LOT of them, but there are a LOT of LCO's here too so it's all relative.

Things are a bit different here. Developments are 75-200 homes with a 2-5 acre minimum depending on the town. Homes are $500k-$1m+. Again my marketing plan elements are meant to work in conjunction with each other so my direct mail numbers are not typical. Here is a copy of my introduction letter which works great in high end developments.

GMLC
12-18-2012, 06:58 AM
Also here is a link to another thread where I and others touch on the importance of branding and a marketing plan.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=372148&highlight=branding

grassmasterswilson
12-18-2012, 07:13 PM
Got a question..... When you guys send out mailers to commercial properties. Do u use the physical address or mailing address? Some of the mailing addresses are out of state and wonder if the physical address would be best.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
12-19-2012, 09:01 PM
That's a great thread! and it's all right on target. Although it's expensive to do it all, especially when your starting out, I'm slowly building up to it, I want a website, but a nice looking one is so dang expensive and I don't want a cheap looking one, the truck is getting lettered on the side glasses as we speak, and signs for the trailer are to follow. I put ads in all the high end golf course pamphlets at $300 for two years I figured it couldn't hurt. Getting new service agreement forms made up with all our awards for this last year put on them as well as letterheads. Like you guys said it's a process and it takes time to build brand awareness.

Bunton Guy
12-19-2012, 09:44 PM
I don't have a exact count on my EDDM post cards for this year...but the last mailing was 5,000 post cards every 30 days to the same batch of people for 90 days.

15,000 post cards $3,400 shipped
Return was 7 new yearly maintenance contracts = $17,000
Plus I went door knocking and got two of my new clients neighbors for a total of 9 properties. Which put me into the $22,000 range. That does not include upsales for the year off those clients.

Received 12 calls. Pre qualified and met with only 10 of the callers & sold 7 of the 10.

I usually see a 0.001% return rate on most of my flyers/post cards.

Now keep in mind my local news station years ago said there is an estimated 10,000 landscapers in my area. So the competition is as dense as it gets....