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gogetter
03-15-2003, 03:20 PM
I did a search, found some stuff, but some was older. A lot of new members here, so here goes.


I called the Val Pak people to get some prices. $375 for 10K homes if I commit to 2 mailings about a month apart. So in the end it would be 20K mailings for $750.
This is right around 4 cents each.
They do all the layout/design, printing and mailing.

I was going to do door hangers, but they are almost the same price ($369) for only 2500, and I have to distribute them myself or pay someone to put them out which would cost me quite a bit. Plus it's very time consuming. But I know the response would be better.
The cost of the hangers and cost of distribution (if I pay someone) would work out to about 28 cents or so, each.

What do you guys think? Wondering what kind of response I might expect from 20K mailings (10K x 2, a month apart).

If I got 1/4 of a % response total, that would be 50 calls. If I was lucky enough to close 50% of those, I'd get 25 new customers, which is right about what I want to add to my current customers.

Think 1/4% response is realistic?

idugaholez
03-15-2003, 04:31 PM
I designed my own fliers when i first started. I used a copy machine with my own paper, and in the end, I made 1000 fliers. I took them and tri-folded them myself- a few hours worth of work. But in the end, my cost was $18.88. I went door-to-door myself, and out of all the advertising, to this day, it was still the best thing that Ive done. If you have your own computer, which obviously you do, i'd do it that way...

doug

wojo23323
03-15-2003, 04:57 PM
I have not tried Val-Pak but for that price I would. How long would it take you to distribute 10,000 flyers? I'd say days and days, maybe weeks. During that time you could be out earning money not walking door to door. My opinion is do it and let us know the results.

idugaholez
03-15-2003, 05:30 PM
In the spring, when its too wet to do anything else, in a days time, i ditributed about 250- 300 fliers a day. The best part was, I picked the neighborhhood. I selected where they went.

I also kept some, so when I did a job in a neighborhood that I liked, I would take 10 minutes and distribute 10 to 20 flyers.

You can say what you want, but its more personal than valpak, and around here, that means something.

Also, when you look at the results, I got a more results from those fliers, than any other ads that Ive done. That includes the local paper, and the Yellow pages. I still have fliers in my truck to pass out...And much cheaper than val pak.

And besides, what else is there to do on a sunny day in spring, when the ground is too wet to do anything?@!


Doug

Green Finger
03-15-2003, 05:54 PM
Gogetter,

Based on what I know, If you use Val Pac you will get the calls. In My opinion Val Pac is better than flyers because if people see that you took the time to get your advertising done professionally they seem to call more. Not knocking flyers it's just what I know. I've been doing professional advertising for about five years. It works.

Advice: 1.Make sure you have someone answering the phones. 2.Also run coupons, people love to see coupons.
3 Pick a high income areas to advertise with.

Also people will save their Val Pac flyer and call you three months down the road.:blob3:

Mike Bradbury
03-15-2003, 06:29 PM
around here the Val Pacs come stuffed in an envelope with about 50 other ads. ours get tossed in the trash without even looking through them, just too many to bother.
Someone takes a door hanger off they'll at least glance at it before crumpling it.

gogetter
03-15-2003, 07:40 PM
idugaholez, I should explain that I have done the flier thing before, although not in big numbers. It does work well, but it's a pain to put them out.
I averaged between 1% and 2% response both years.
This year I'm going full time so I would need to put out large numbers of fliers to get the amount of customers I want.

I thought maybe the val-pak was the ticket, but after doing some more searching on here, it's seems like the response rate is less then I was hoping for. If I couldn't get at least 50 calls from 20K homes (1/4 of 1%), it wouldn't be worth it to me. And from the past posts I've found, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

Oh well, I gotta go stretch and get ready to do alot of walking this spring! LOL!.

LakeSide Lawn and Landscape
03-15-2003, 08:29 PM
for the price i would do both,if your budget allows it.Maybe 5,000 flyers on colored paper (around $220) at %1 that would be your 50 calls.I know you wont close that many for weekly mowing accounts but it would save you alot of time.Then hopefully you get30 calls from the val-pak and boom your in business!!!!!:D oh yes i forgot to mention,if it were that easy everyone would be making millions in the lawn business.:D :cool: ;)

HBFOXJr
03-16-2003, 09:46 AM
I did 30,000 in one shot last year. Color both sides, fert offer on one side, irrigation on the other, listened to and followed ALL THEIR suggestions. Result- 2 redeemed coupons from EXISTING CUSTOMERS that were no even entitled to the offer. I've made up my mind, now you can make up yours.

I know from reading, seminars and 31 seasons behind me that repetition is a must but in my world, you gotta show me something for 30K exposures.

Mike Bradbury
03-16-2003, 01:01 PM
My wife and I own a food franchise where we are required to spend 5% of our gross on advertising. Lots of experience that past 6 years.
Val Pac is the most worthless effort we've done, for the reason given. TOO MANY ads in one place. Nobody looks through 100 ads to find yours.

TSM
03-16-2003, 02:12 PM
spent a little over $10,000 in valpak one season. Got about $2000 worth of new business from it.



ouch!!!!

suprised about the food franchise though, i was gonna say valpak might work better for pizza or dry cleaning, but not green industry.

I have talked with somebody on another forum, he thinks valpak is the best thing since sliced bread.

we do newspaper inserts. an 8x11 advertisment inserted into newspaper dilivered to select zip codes. cost about twice as much as valpak, but a much better return. We design the flyer, paper does the copy. The paper recommended doing it in Thursdays paper. they say other then Sunday, thursdays paper is the most read. But, it also has the most inserts! we do mondays or wednesdays

any advertising is a roll of the dice

Haley Lawn Care
03-16-2003, 10:43 PM
The only problem with valpak around here is they dont care if it is houses or apartments. I was going to do it once but when i found out what zip codes they were going to use I asked them about apartments. They told me that if they fell in the zip code they would get the valpak. Well out of 10,000 approx 3000 to 5000 were apartments in the zip codes. So it was a bad idea for me.

David

drobson
03-16-2003, 11:12 PM
I looked into valpak in the past also, and thought it was not a very good idea. For mostly the same reasons others have posted (too many ads, poor percentage of target audience, too low of a response, etc...)

I have been doing flyers and have had pretty good success, but they are not cheap and add the time to put them out and it's costing quite a bit. I'm thinking of doing some direct mail. With the cost of the flyers, bags and time; I would be saving money by sending the flyers in the mail. Just have to figure the best way to get the addresses I want.

Mike Bradbury
03-17-2003, 01:29 AM
is a division of United Way. They will do mailings for less than you can do them yourself! Because they do all the coding to get the very best rates from the post office, they actually stuffed our envelopes, addressed the envelopes and mailed them FOR LESS THAN OUR COST FOR STAMPS!!
They'll keep a mailing list on file and any samples of artwork/letters you want. Just call and tell them what and how many and what day you want them shipped.
Check the local United Way for info on service in your area.
I intend to make good use of them as I get immersed in this new business. :cool:

http://www.awsusa.com/pmmailing.html

jsr2741
03-17-2003, 05:07 PM
I did it this year. Bought 2 months (March/April), it's been out about 5 days and so far I've had 4 inquiries.

Not sure this is a good way to advertise our type of business. Most of these folks look through these things looking to get a deal, all I offered was $10 off the first cut and that was for seasonal contracts only.

There was another Lco in with mine and he was offering $25 off the first fertilizer application if you signed up for a 6,7, or 8 step program. He also had another coupon on his add but I forgot what it was.

Heavenly Green
03-20-2003, 05:37 AM
We are doing several things this season to get our name out there one just happens to be Val-Pac it cost $315 per 10,000 and you have to do a min. of 20,000 so we picked two areas that we want more bizz in and the total cost was $642. They go out April 7-10th. We also had 3000 door hangers made and have gotten about half of those put out with no response yet. We have a yellow page ad that starts this June that is 2.5" square and is going to cost us $99. a mo. This season we've also started cold calling scouted subs. And Ive sent out about 100 introduction letters to scouted homes and business's so after this season we should have a pretty good feel for what work in our area and start pumping all of our advertising dollars into what works best.
Also got some nice signs for the backs of our 2 trailers and new magnetic door signs for the trucks. Were hoping to go from 80 weekly accounts to 150 to 200 weekly accounts. This may be a tough season with going to war and economic uncertainty in the air.