Best Form of Advertising

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by AlleganyLawnCare, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Of course it is word of mouth. But what do you find, that works well to get new clients besides the number one way? i.e., flyers on cars, doorhangers, newspaper ads, billboard, etc?
     
  2. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Door Hangers. Flyers on cars are crazy! You would get a wide service area.
     
  3. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Flyers or door hangers are probably the least expensive route, but be ready to do some walking.
     
  4. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Door hangers. Hands down.

    It's the only form of advertising you can have any control over. You control where they go and the more you distribute, the more calls you get. You can't work "harder" with any other form of advertising. Once the yellow pages ad is in the book, there is nothing else you can do to increase the rate of calls coming in. Same for every other form of advertising that I can think of. Door hangers are just a numbers game....distribute more if you want more calls.

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  5. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Classified ads! I spend about $50-$100 a month and its seen by 250k potential customers. I think door hangers take way too long to had out, unless you have extra time. I figure the people wanting your service will be looking at the phone book or be looking in the paper. Our local news paper has a couple of pages reserved for just for services. I think in a nut shell any type of advertising is good the more the better! I personally didn't have much luck with door hangers, after handing out probably 200 300 I only got 2 calls and 1 customer. But again the more your name is out there the better!
     
  6. dmc337

    dmc337 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 49

    I saw a huge jump in calls after my classified ad was inserted in the paper. I also have a rather pricey ad in one of the residential community member guides nearby where I target most of my business. I have run into a few people up by me that have taken to doing the flyer and rock in the sandwich baggie thrown into the driveway (littering) thing. I've even called some of those people to come over and give me an estimate for my property. Only when they have given me a price do I hand them my business card and see the look on their face. One didn't even notice my full trailer sitting in my driveway until he went to look at the backyard. Stick with the legitimate advertising ways...my yellow book ad went in but I don't do as well as with the paper.
     
  7. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,457

    Word of mouth is not advertising .
    It is the most flattering , though.
    Door hangers or post cards are best .
    I've no time for door hangers , I do post cards .
    $4,400.00 for 30,000 post cards and postage
     
  8. bgil

    bgil LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Airizweedhead,

    Is this the first time that you are doing the direct mailing. If not how has it worked for you in the past. I live in atlanta and have been mowing since i was a freshman in high school. I have right around 20 accounts that i do in one day. I am looking to expand aggressively now. I just turned 21. I figure if i can net about 700 in a day, what can I do in 5 days.
     
  9. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Arizweedhead,

    I disagree.

    Word of mouth is advertising. Just like some idiots spray painting their name on a bridge or on the side of a train. Just because it is free, does not mean it is not advertising. Just because you pay $300 bucks for a small newspaper ad or $1000 bucks for doorhangers, doesn't mean that is the only form of advertising out there.

    Is word of mouth a countable item? Can you track how many potential clients will hear about your business? Can you possibly come up with an idea of client sign up ratio with it? The answere is simple. No. There is no possible way to do any of that. Whereas, the printed ads, you are able to formulate a closing ratio (may not be accurate), but at least you can come up with a possible solution.


    BUT, what way of getting your name out there, that is the most effective, most productive over time, but yet can also be a double-edge sword, causing more damage than all of your door hangers, newprint ads combined? Simple. Word of mouth.

    If you don't consider that advertising (free or not), then you need to really consider how word of mouth affects the world in which we live in. Retailers lose a lot of customers, because of how they treat customers (i.e., walmart), Customers share those feelings with friends. Those friends may still go to that retailer, but now they start to pay attention a little more to how they are treated. And if they start seeing the same pattern to themselves, they quit going there, and they tell their friends. Restaurants are a very risky business - cook an item wrong - see how fast the restaurant gets a bad name. The list goes on.


    I am not saying you can count on word of mouth advertising. There is no way you can plan your business completely or even partially around it. You paint your trucks, you put signs on your trailers, a driver sees it.They tell their friend about a great LCO they saw out working one day. You get a call from that person and now that person becomes a client. When you ask how they came to you, and they tell you that a friend reccommended you when they saw you working. Do you count it as word of mouth or because of the sign. In my eyes, I count it as word of mouth. For myself personally, if I hear of a bad company or see someone doing crappy work (but hey I see their trailer sign) I am not going to refer to someone that is a friend or relative unless I think they (the company) can do a great job. My reputation as a friend is now on the line.


    I don't mean to make this long. For that I am sorry. I can get long winded sometimes. My point is - never underestimate various forms of advertising, whether it be free or must be paid for.
     
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Please share where you can get rates this good. Does that include a mailing list? From my calculations it would cost me over $12,000 to have that many sent out. I sent out 5,000 spring of last year and it ended up costing me 40 cents each, that's the list, print and postage. Postage was an even 20 cent per piece.
     

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