Advertising/Marketing

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lawnoasis, Jan 28, 2000.

  1. lawnoasis

    lawnoasis LawnSite Member
    from Omaha
    Posts: 16

    How much and where do you spend your advertising dollars per year. Flyers, mailers, bill boards, cold calls? What would you spend on mailers and how many do you distribute? Thanks for the info.<p>in Neb.
     
  2. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Yellow Pages, $300.00 per month. It works, just paid too much for the ad, took out a big ad to get on top of competition. Still getting 3-4 calls a week and picking up business in the middle of winter. I think flyers are a temporary thing, a phone book is in all houses.<p>Homer
     
  3. bdemir

    bdemir LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 610

    homer where are you located. Because some cities are full of lawncompanies in the yellowpages.
     
  4. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    South Al. The ones in the book are the ones with most of the business. I know it has helped me but it is just too expensive. I tried everything else and it didn't make a difference, other than word of mouth. I can and will go with a much smaller ad next year or just let it be listed in the white pages. You also have to have a business line in order to place a yellow page ad! <p>Homer
     
  5. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    I spend my money on mailings. In my area there are hunderds of landscapers in the yellow pages and when I first advertised there I got shoppers, some saying that they were getting 8 or 12 quotes! I discontinued that ad the following year and now only go with direct mail. I've mailed out 10,000 pro. printed flyers in march and still get calls from it 6-10 months later. I think the yellow pages are alright if the section is not overcrowded, all depends on where you live. Yes, everyone has one in the house, but the customer opens your flyer/letter and will not see any of your competition only your business and your sales pitch.<p>Chris
     
  6. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Good point, how much does it cost to go the direct mail route? Do you get a break on the posatage or not? I might try another phone book next year. Pioneer also puts out a phone book and I heard their yellow page ads are much cheaper. <p>Homer
     
  7. nlminc

    nlminc LawnSite Bronze Member
    from GA
    Posts: 1,671

    Homer, I spent approx. $700.00 on the flyers to be printed, 2 different flyers, because I market 2 seperate markets 30 miles apart and the address info is not the same, 2 color, folded 10,000 flyers all together. I paid full rate on the postage and split the cost with a fert. company that I included in the flyer as an added service. The post office will give you a better rate, but I was only sending out one mailing and the trouble of all the sorting you have to do was not worth it to me. 1 thing they make you do is sort by zip code, I live in a seasonal area and everyones homes address comes up all over the country, so I wasn't about to sort thru 10,000 flyers to find the 6000-8000 zip code to sort. The addresses cost me under $75.00 and I was able to sort by income, and High to low residential properties. I was getting between 5-18 calls a day for over a month with this one mailing on average. It seemed that my flyer did my selling for me, most people seemed to only call me for a quote and hired me on the spot! <br>This worked for me, I was blown away with the response that I got and I plan on doing it again this season. I want to do a series of mailings this season for reasons that I believe will help me target and gain even more customers. I think if I mail 4 times this season I will get my company name to stick in the minds of these people and be able to generate more business.<p>Chris<p>
     
  8. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Lets see here, $775.00 vs. $4,800.00(business line and ad). Sounds like you did better than me! I think I might try that on a smaller scale. I don't need much more business or I won't be able to keep up. What I do want is to target a certain area and I can do that with brochures. I'll be glad when June gets here and I can quit paying for that ad!<p>Homer
     
  9. Homer,<p>Go to the county courthouse and ask to see<br>the deed books by city, town, or boro.<p>Write down the owners names and addys of<br>the areas you want new work.<p>Enter the names manually into a Microsoft<br>Access database then print out labels and<br>send out postcards YOURSELF.<p>I am sorry to inform you that yellow page adds tend to attract the worst customers.<br>Plus you can't control your service areas.<br>
     
  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,842

    We spend a good deal of money on Yellow Pages ads. If you want to be big you gotta do this. But there's a secret. If you can't afford the top position (biggest ad) or at least one of the top 3 in your section (which should be LAWN CARE -- NOT -- Landscaping) then it's not cost effective. The top ad in any given catagory gets 50% of the calls for that catagory. The next 2-3 get 40% and the small ads get less than 3% each. A small ad will rarely pay for itself. This is from personal experience and a lot of research. <p>But, if you can't afford a big ad in your yellow pages, then there are other good options. We use all of these too;<p>Fliers - these are probably the second best form of advertising. The results are always good if you lay enough of them and you control which areas you want to target. Also, I only use black and white one sided fliers. They look very professional and have nice graphics, content, etc. But I get as much response from my 2 cent black and white copies as I ever did with my nice folded color ones. <p>Mailers - in my opinion, these are just the lazy man' way to lay fliers. And it doesn't get as much response or attention as a flier on the door does. Mailers get thrown away as junk mail a lot more often than fliers do. Still, they have their use. If you want to bomb 50,000 households all at once then this is how you do it. But it can be very expensive. <p>Joint Mailer Ads - This is a VERY lucritive deal. Recently I was approached by a local company who sends out coupons magazines only to upscale houses in 3 cities. They approached me with an idea that I loved and took advantage of. They would sell me a full-page, color ad, crafted by a graphic design company in town, for $950. Their usual price is $1350. This is per month. They hit 50,000 households. Now, here's the clencher! They had the idea to form a &quot;Landscapers Cooperative&quot;, where I would list a variety of services and boxes at the bottom that said &quot;For City A - call 555-1212. For City B call 555-1213, etc....&quot; I went and sold each &quot;box&quot; to different landscapers in my area. Each box sold for up to $300. So if a customer was in City A and wanted a service they'd call him. City B would call my number, and city C would call another friend of mine. Now I went a step further and split the page into two halves. The top half was the Landscape Maintenance section and the bottom was the Landscape Contractor's section. I sold the bottom half to landscapers in this area the same way as the top half was divided. (In City A - call....) I sold these boxes to all the other companies and the total I brought in was $1100. I got my number in there for my city for totally free PLUS I made another $150. So I'll get the benefit of hitting the 15,000 or so homes that are targeted in my city for free! Any of you could do this. <p>Billboards - heck no. Are you crazy? They cost WAY too much. That's for huge companies. <p>Cold calls - tried it. Hated it. Response was decent. I got about 1 lead for every 30 calls. And I was targeting certain areas. But I couldn't handle the rejection. It sucked. If you got an iron will go ahead. It's a decent way to get leads. Otherwise it may be a good idea to hire a telemarketing company. They charge about $30 an hour. But the results could be worth it. <p>Signs, Truck lettering, etc. - This is a no brainer. In my opinion if you don't have a good, easy to recognize logo, USM, and phone number on your truck you are wasting valuable ad space. It costs me $80 to put lettering on our trucks. And they are the best looking logos and lettering in town. I just shopped around. We also use tent signs when we are at a job site for any good length of time. People can't see the side of a truck as they drive by as well as they can see a sign that's focused right at them. These are cheap forms of advertising that will work for years to come. <p>The Newspaper - most newspaper classifieds have a special section for &quot;Lawn care&quot; or &quot;Home Services&quot; or something. We get GREAT response from these - but only in the spring. Every other time of year is a waste of money. They do tend to attract a lower class of homeowners so you have to weed out the bad ones but you learn that over time. <p>Website - I am telling you guys. Over time, people are going to look on the web for all sorts of stuff. Even lawn maintenance. They already do. I got my first customer the other day strictly from a search engine. That doesn't happen very ofen but it will happen more and more in the future. Having a good web site and getting listed on the top 10 most used search engines will be very important in the coming years. <p>That's about all I can think of. And I am exhausted typing. Hope that helps. <p>----------<br>Jim Lewis - Lewis Landscape Services<br>http://www.lewislandscape.com
     

Share This Page