PDA

View Full Version : Looking for SPECIFIC numbers on flyers, etc.


eruuska
10-09-2004, 01:01 AM
Okay, here's the deal. I'm not in the biz yet, but am going to be starting up in 2005. By nature I'm a very pragmatic, practical person. I want the most bang for the buck and I'm not afraid to invest time and money into a project or equipment if it will pay off down the road.

As I see it, the biggest initial hurdle I face is picking up clients. Again, I want the most bang for the buck, and I don't want to have to reinvent the wheel. I go back and forth in my mind whether to use flyers, door hangers, or whatever else comes out of my head. I want to use the most effective method of snagging customers that I can.

What I'm asking for is SPECIFIC numbers on effectiveness of flyers, door hangers, etc. For example "I put out X door hangers, got Y calls which yielded Z new customers." Maybe elaborate on whether you used color, glossy paper, single sided or both sides. Whatever you think made a difference.

On a related note, I think I've decided that I'm going to make sure I saturate adjacent areas, rather than trying different areas around me. I live in a fairly rural area, but near a town of about 2800 households, and near two other towns with about 1000 households each. Not a whole lot of professional LCO's, but I do know of a few kids who do it on a part time basis. Saturating adjacent areas will keep drive time between jobs to a minimum, and just make daily life more efficient.

Any thoughts?

Eric

HOOLIE
10-09-2004, 11:17 PM
Seems the general rule of thumb with flyers is to expect a 1% response. I got less than that, but I had my flyers distributed by a company, along with a bunch of other flyers. But well worth it for $25 per 1000.

I can't remember exact numbers, but I probably signed up two-thirds of the estimates I did. If your pricing is fair, you should do pretty well.

My flyers were basic, black ink on yellow paper. Wife designed them on the computer. Rather than spend extra money on fancy flyers, I'd spend a little extra to make a nice little package to leave with the estimate. Maybe a little background info on your company, possibly a photo of your setup, etc.

KINGjosh
10-10-2004, 05:44 PM
I used florescent yellow paper with black ink. You get about a 1-3% calll back.
But to get the best response in the are of 5% call back you need to have some kind of "HOOK". ex. BAIT and SWITCH, 1st cut free, 50% off first cut, 50% off first months bill, discount only good till next month, or offer a free service that doesn't take much time to do and cost's you 0. People love to see the word FREE it makes there eyes water. Alot of LCO's around here offer first cut FREE . Make sure you have your # real big and center every thing out so it aint so harsh on the eyes. Make sure you record your results so you know which ones worked the best. Don;t give up because I just had someone call me from and old flyer that i had passed out 7 months ago. People love to hold on to your flyers for ever. We did a fun experiment with one set of flyers , it said something like this,
"SAVE YOURSELF FROM A HEAT STROKE"
Let us cut your lawn for FREE.
Call now to get your first cut FREE!

crawdad
10-10-2004, 07:54 PM
I used florescent yellow paper with black ink. You get about a 1-3% calll back.
But to get the best response in the are of 5% call back you need to have some kind of "HOOK". ex. BAIT and SWITCH, 1st cut free, 50% off first cut, 50% off first months bill, discount only good till next month, or offer a free service that doesn't take much time to do and cost's you 0. People love to see the word FREE it makes there eyes water. Alot of LCO's around here offer first cut FREE . Make sure you have your # real big and center every thing out so it aint so harsh on the eyes. Make sure you record your results so you know which ones worked the best. Don;t give up because I just had someone call me from and old flyer that i had passed out 7 months ago. People love to hold on to your flyers for ever. We did a fun experiment with one set of flyers , it said something like this,
"SAVE YOURSELF FROM A HEAT STROKE"
Let us cut your lawn for FREE.
Call now to get your first cut FREE!

You gave us only half of the story here. How many mows did they have to sign up for,to get the first mow free?
Crawdad

KINGjosh
10-10-2004, 09:36 PM
They didn't have to sign anything because, we dont do contracts for residential. My contract for residential is a simple HAND SHAKE. The ones that worked the best were the BAIT AND SWITCH. I cut down on my passing out of flyers, because i am to busy lately. Im trying to con my little brother into passing out them for me for a little bit of cheese.

z_clark
10-10-2004, 10:09 PM
My response to door hangers was 2.2 percent. (many new neighborhoods)

From the estimates I gave:

Sign up rate was 95 percent if I could get them to set a time to meet face to face on their property and discuss what I could perform and pricing.

Sign up rate was 40 percent for those that did not have the time to meet, so I just left the estimate on the door.

I also tried stapling florescent slips of paper on my door hangers in the middle of the season offering "mulching $65 per cubic yard", or "Pruning special in July". I did not put out too many, and don't have exact numbers, but it was probably a 1 % success rate +-.

HOOLIE
10-11-2004, 12:22 AM
At my old job my boss tried various times to offer free cuts and discounts and the like. Seemed like the type of customer this attracted didn't stay a customer long, they were just looking for a deal. When the deal ran out they cancelled and went on their way.

Personally, and I don't have any evidence to verify this, I just feel like if you make a decent flyer that gets the pertinent info across that's good enough. The vast majority of your flyers will go straight to the garbage can. I think some people tend to read them more than others, as long as yours doesn't look like it was designed by a 12-year old you should be OK. Just one man's opinion.

crawdad
10-11-2004, 06:33 AM
They didn't have to sign anything because, we dont do contracts for residential. My contract for residential is a simple HAND SHAKE. The ones that worked the best were the BAIT AND SWITCH. I cut down on my passing out of flyers, because i am to busy lately. Im trying to con my little brother into passing out them for me for a little bit of cheese.
Bait and switch? Please explain? So, you never give them the free cut, eh? How'd that work out? What did you switch them to?

Team Gopher
10-11-2004, 06:54 PM
Hi eruuska,

I think you would get a very similar response % from direct mailings your flyers as well.

eruuska
10-11-2004, 07:52 PM
Hi eruuska,

I think you would get a very similar response % from direct mailings your flyers as well.

I think I'm going to go with both of these. There is a direct mailing house in town that sends out an advertising flyer every couple of months. I'm going to catch the one he's sending out in late January.

As far as flyers go, I'm probably going to design my own and get it printed in one color on glossy paper, and take it around town, starting in the uppity subdivisions. :)

Thanks for all the help, I hope it works.

Eric

Groundcover Solutions
10-11-2004, 07:57 PM
as what has been said you can expect about a 1% return on the full page black (on some color paper) Don't go with plain white paper. We tried using half sheet flyers but it seemed to get less of a response. Now when you step it up to the big leages or have a spacific service that you are going to target to a spacific group (ie mulch blowing to landscape contractors). We have used two sided full color gloss paper with also a full bleed. Meaning color runs all the way to the edge. The response to these is extremly high. we recive about 90% call back on these. We destribute them through the mail in company enevlopes addressed to a spacific contact person at the company. Also typicaly fallow it up with a call or visit to there office. so far every one i have talked to has resulted in a job, or future job if they do not have work at the time. The price on these flyers are quite expenseve though. they would not be cost effective for mass distribution. (at least for a smaller co. in this industry) just my 2 cents.

KINGjosh
10-13-2004, 07:17 PM
Bait and switch? Please explain? So, you never give them the free cut, eh? How'd that work out? What did you switch them to?
Bait and swicth is the oldest trick in the book for car sales man. they advertise a ford f-150 in the paper for 12,000 you go and find out its only a v-4 with no AC. or they tell you we sold out, but you can get this one for 5,000 more. We advertised cuts as low as $10. they called because they needed a lawn guy anyway, because this is in a new development. They would call and i would go over their dressed in kacky pants boots and a company polo shirt. Tell them that the $10 was only gonna cover mowing, thats it. then they asked for quote with everything , cut, trim ,edge, blow. Being as they need somone to do it , they hired me. I also sold plenty of extras while there. It gives you tons of calls that are potential customers. and it exuahst's most poeple's time. they dont want to call ant body else to give another estamate, so you win. The key to this, is to befriend them in that 5 mins your there. Fter you give them the price, wait till time is right then start a bull **** conversation about thier property to get to know them. i found myself talking to poeple for 20 mins after the estamate sometimes. After that we're laughing and they dont care what the price is. we only did this because of the feirce competion surrounding this development, but it worked out great. as for the free cut, we did give free cuts for the first cut, and that did pretty well to. nobody ever stiffed us because we would recieve payment right there for that month

HOOLIE
10-13-2004, 09:06 PM
Can't see too many people putting up with that around me.

Soupy
10-14-2004, 03:15 AM
A lot of good advice said already. I spent a lot of money last year creating a image. I have been doing this for many years and have always went with word of mouth with a little advertising here and there. Last year I decided I could do much better, so I went out and had a door hanger designed in full color front and back. I had my truck lettered from front to back with a very professional design. Every thing I came up with was designed from a professional. My return increased big time. My contracts are now color with carbon copies. When I give an estimate, I just say sign here. I never get question because my image makes them think it is common to have a contract. I am no longer viewed as just another guy cutting grass. Most people think my company is a franchise. Which was my goal. So you might want to look into spending a little money on professional designers.

Door-Hangers and fliers are practically the same. You will get the same response as long as the ad is equal. What I mean by this is, you can have a bad ad in full color on hard glossy stock and it will not do any better (in fact it will do worse) then a good add printed on yellow paper with black ink. If you take the same ad and print it in full color on glossy hard stock it will out perform the same ad in black ink on yellow paper. My point is, it's all in the add. The bait and switch does work. For example my last add was for aeration. I printed it on yellow paper in black ink (my color adds are for spring time). At the top it reads Aeration special $60*. The "*" means there is a small print at the bototm that lets them know this is for 5k turf only and each addition 1,000 sq. ft. will be extra. Most people see the $60 and say why not. They call me and when I get there I tell them it will be $100 because their turf does not meat the minimum. Oh' OK, go ahead and do it.

The way a potential client perceives (if good) you will land you more job and get you higher prices. We pick up most customers in the cool season of early spring and fall. When I get out of my Truck (which looks like something a franchise put together) I have khakis on with very nice embroidered navy blue pull over and matching hat (same style hat as Nike uses, but with my logo emroidered on it). I have clipboard with built in calculator, color proposal/contract, and measuring wheel. The customer knows I mean business and they lose the typical thought of an average lawn guy. This builds confidence, which in itself will land you jobs.

Thats my $0.02

trying 2b organic
10-20-2004, 01:56 AM
great advise above as regards the premuim mailer to specific leads. Inspired me to do one for the property managment companies to go after commercial maintenace and care.

Now my question. I have 3 options and based on the percentages you all gave Im now leaning away from the premuim product (glossy mailer) to the less so (black on yellow paper flyer insert)

1. Door hangers $850.00 for 5k that I have to deliver. (thats a lot of time)

2. Coupon book $450.00 for 15 k delivered

3. Flyer insert $40.00 per k deliverd plus .10 printing = $140.00 per k

This makes the coupon book by far the cheapest. I have a sinking feeling I will have to try all 3 to find out but still would love input. If the percent is even close to the same for the 3 or even if the door knockers percent is only twice as much than I should go for the other options.

(Im looking for an excuse not to spend March walking around in the rain with my dog again, delivered b and w flyers I designed myself .o5 % ;})

Soupy
10-20-2004, 03:14 AM
great advise above as regards the premuim mailer to specific leads. Inspired me to do one for the property managment companies to go after commercial maintenace and care.

Now my question. I have 3 options and based on the percentages you all gave Im now leaning away from the premuim product (glossy mailer) to the less so (black on yellow paper flyer insert)

1. Door hangers $850.00 for 5k that I have to deliver. (thats a lot of time)

2. Coupon book $450.00 for 15 k delivered

3. Flyer insert $40.00 per k deliverd plus .10 printing = $140.00 per k

This makes the coupon book by far the cheapest. I have a sinking feeling I will have to try all 3 to find out but still would love input. If the percent is even close to the same for the 3 or even if the door knockers percent is only twice as much than I should go for the other options.

(Im looking for an excuse not to spend March walking around in the rain with my dog again, delivered b and w flyers I designed myself .o5 % ;})

If the coupon book is going to target your area and you don't have a ton of apartments, or low income areas that you don't want. Then I would say that it is a good deal. It won't get you near the response as door hangers, but it will get your name out there. I would not do just the coupon book though.

I would definitely do the Door hangers, or flyers. You can print 5k flyers (black on yellow) for about $300 yourself and have a decent black only laser printer left over when you are done. A decent Brother Laser printer is about $160 and the high yield 6k print (at 5% coverage)cartridge is around $60. There is a Drum Kit you have to replace every 20,000 pages (at 5% coverage) that cost about $110. But you will get a starter cartridge, plus a drum with your purchase. I figured the total price just so you can replace them after running your first flyer.

I would pay some kids to hand out the flyers for 10 cents a piece. So your total cost would be $800 delivered and you will be hitting targeted areas. It still cheaper then the price you quoted for just printing. I sometimes drive certain neighborhoods and find Kids that are old enough and ask them if they want to hand them out. If they do, I ask them to tell me were they live and I meet them there and talk to the parents.

If you have the money? I would do all three. The more you get you name out, the more calls you will get. If you are working on a low budget, then just the flyers would be your best option. You can target the areas you want to work in and repeat the process 4 weeks apart starting the month before grass cutting starts.

tinman
11-21-2004, 09:19 PM
I used florescent yellow paper with black ink. You get about a 1-3% calll back.
But to get the best response in the are of 5% call back you need to have some kind of "HOOK". ex. BAIT and SWITCH, 1st cut free, 50% off first cut, 50% off first months bill, discount only good till next month, or offer a free service that doesn't take much time to do and cost's you 0. People love to see the word FREE it makes there eyes water. Alot of LCO's around here offer first cut FREE . Make sure you have your # real big and center every thing out so it aint so harsh on the eyes. Make sure you record your results so you know which ones worked the best. Don;t give up because I just had someone call me from and old flyer that i had passed out 7 months ago. People love to hold on to your flyers for ever. We did a fun experiment with one set of flyers , it said something like this,
"SAVE YOURSELF FROM A HEAT STROKE"
Let us cut your lawn for FREE.
Call now to get your first cut FREE!

Around here those "hooks" would just get me doing a bunch of free work. Most people who go for the free cut, 50% off, etc just want a deal & when money gets tight they will drop you. In my experience people who need , can afford your service will use you year after year. If it takes a hook to get them you probably do not need them.
I offered 1 mow free with every referral last 2 years. My best clients would not even accept the free mow. The ones that did,,, were not the ideal clients (PITA) and the referrals were not either. So just good word of mouth & people calling from flyers without "hooks" will benefit you most in the long run IMHO.