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  #21  
Old 01-18-2000, 03:31 PM
AandB AandB is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Houston
Posts: 17
mattingly...<p>ProCD is just a nationwide telephone book on CDs (also know as Select Phone). I paid less than $100 to get 150,000,000, or so, names, address, phone numbers, sic codes, census info., etc. Any place that sells software should have ProCD or something similar. Every year you can buy updates.<p>I basically pick the addresses I want to work with from the CD and place them in a &quot;workbook&quot; file. Then the address can be sorted and exported to another program in order to print labels. It's really simple and a cheap way to get a mailing list started. <p><p>----------<br>A and B Lawn Services<br>
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  #22  
Old 01-18-2000, 05:03 PM
Erika B Erika B is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: columbus, OH
Posts: 9
YUK!!! DO NOT USE PRO CD!!<p>Pro CD is based off of old telephone books and they are always at least 18 months behind the times in currency. Not only that - but you have a limit of 5000 addresses to download for your $250 that you have to tag VERY carefully to avoid duplicates such as modems and children and dogs. I have worked with a few other good mailing lists - probably the best so far is Criss+Cross Plus, although Criss+Cross Plus real estate CAN be okay if you're looking to do further targetting, i.e. lawn sizes and what not. Americalist has also done some awesome stuff - although this seems to be better in some areas than others.
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  #23  
Old 01-18-2000, 05:28 PM
AandB AandB is offline
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Location: Houston
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erika b<p>I don't understand what you are saying about downloading 5000 names for $250. I think I paid about $45 for 8 CDs that have millions of names/address/phones numbers. I'm mainly interested in the addresses, not the names or phone numbers, so in my case I don't know or care if the names or numbers are outdated--the address will still be good. <p>Also, I use a program to delete any duplicates so that's not a problem for me either.<p>I'm not sure if ProCD is the best or not since I haven't tried the other programs but it seems work okay for my basic mailing needs. However, I will take a look at the other programs to see what they have to offer.<p><p><p>----------<br>A and B Lawn Services<br>
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  #24  
Old 01-18-2000, 05:38 PM
Tony S Tony S is offline
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Webster MA
Posts: 54
When you purchase a list from a mailing list Co., you can be as specific as you like as to<br>who you want the list narrowed down to. If you want to target homeowners that make<br>$75k+ ONLY, that is no problem. The only thing is, the more specific the list, the less number of names they will have available for any one zip code. This is what your paying them for. They will compile a list to YOUR needs.<p>The only reason I thought of using bulk mail in the first place is because a few big franchises doing lawn apps. in my area are using it. I figured it must work.<br>
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  #25  
Old 01-18-2000, 06:17 PM
Erika B Erika B is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: columbus, OH
Posts: 9
I whole-heartedly agree that bulk mail - which can be broken down further to targetted mailings or saturation mailings (i.e. Val-pak and other cooperative mailings) - can be profitable. I was only concerned about the person looking into buying Pro CD. I've subscribed to Pro CD for as long as I've been doing green industry work (their latest subscription post card was $249), and I've been very disgusted with the changes they've made that make it more time consuming to find your potential customers - AND you may only take 5000 names LEGALLY per their copyright agreement, yakkety and blah. The only real filtering you can do with this software is whether or not you want to include Commercial vs Residential and whether or not you choose to use only CASS Certified addresses. They also do not note whether the property is for an apartment complex, trailer park, condo village, other &quot;rentals&quot;... you get the picture. (Pro CD's parent company Info USA also does the American Business Info - 88 million households)<p>I was merely suggesting Criss+Cross Plus or Americalist as I've noted that many of the people I've spoken to are choosing to go that route in getting ready for the new season. Americalist especially since they're very good about updating your current marketing lists (if they're digital) for the outdated portions such as residents and phone numbers (List appending can get very expensive) and not re-charging you for the material you used last year that is still good.<p>On another note: Do any of you re-market or re-offer to cancels or rejected estimates? And how do you make your approach to this market if you do?<p>Too bad there's no Real Time chat on this thing, as I think it would be helpful to have full conversations on some of these topics. Anyone using ICQ?
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  #26  
Old 01-18-2000, 06:32 PM
Lazer Lazer is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 1,446
erika,<p>Regarding former customers, we repeatedly mail out to them. We do it for the next 2 year after we lost them and then every other year for the next few years.<p>I was surprised at all the customers we got back. People switch for the craziest reasons. Most is was a price issue and they weren't saisfied the the cheaper guy, so they come back.<p>It's important to leave in a postitive way regardless of why you're not renewing that client.<p>Another reason to leave on a positive note: <br>I have serviced many clients over the years, many of whom I no longer do. (Price usually, I hope) I recently moved into a neighborhood in which I used to service half the houses in here. My kids are school-friends with a dozen or more former clients kids. I now run into them in a social setting and it might be a little uncomfortable if I'd been less than professional. <br>
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  #27  
Old 01-18-2000, 06:40 PM
mattingly mattingly is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Lexington, KY
Posts: 136
I have just thought of something recently. In our local paper, they have a homeseller section for real estate. In the back they have a property transfer list. This could be very helpful in directly targeting certain properties and it can be done all season long. First of all you have the opportunity to get your foot in the door first. Second people are moving in all seasons. Keep an eye on this and send out postcards, brochures etc. and you can pick up business all year long by getting there first. Many people when they are moving in don't want to fool with yard work so they will want your/anyone's services.<br>Just a thought<p>----------<br>Integrated Landscape Solutions<br>Lexington, KY
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  #28  
Old 01-18-2000, 06:49 PM
Lazer Lazer is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 1,446
mattingly,<br>There must be some list for this, because when I moved, I recieved all kinds of solicitations from many type of business, including lawn care. <br>Yes, I took advantage of the free estimate lawn care offers and keep them in my file with the rest of them.
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  #29  
Old 01-22-2000, 08:27 AM
Erika B Erika B is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: columbus, OH
Posts: 9
subscribing to these newspapers that give the information is probably a good idea if you have idle time that you are able to go through and sift out the vacant lands for farming, commercial, and apartment dwellings, etcetera. I think (note I said THINK) that local chambers of commerce might have inexpensive lists.<p>I just had another idea. I have had several friends buy new homes recently that included landscaping and turf - and their homebuilder gave them gifts when they closed and took possession. Usually they were tool kits and things that would be helpful with new houses. You might try and contact a homebuilder and ask about having a coupon (with a significant discount for new customers in their first season of course) put in with their gift? Just a thought.<p>----------<br>Insanity takes its toll, Please have exact change.<br>
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  #30  
Old 01-31-2000, 02:14 PM
jeffclc
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I just got off the phone with the local free paper. I ws talking with them on other business, ans since I had them on the phone, I thought that I would ask a few Questions. <p>This paper is delivered free of charge to area residents. They will do an insert flier targeted by zip code. They do have a 1000 minium per insertion. The cost if you supply the flier, 8.5x11 is #37/1000. You have no control over which areas in the particular zip code get the flier unless you insert it in the entire zip code. <p>They will print them for you at additional charge, and are not competitive with the printing shops. <p>I didn't think that the prices for delivery were that bad. $37/1000. I could make more than $37 in an hours mowing, but don't think that I could deliver 1000 fliers in an hour. <p>Just for fun I figured the cost for fliers, using a printing cost of $25/1000, plus the $37/1000 for delivery, and came up with the following numbers: $62/1000. That does not seem all that bad to me, and it is sort of area specific.<p>Hope this helps<br>
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