best marketing dollars you ever spent

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by David Gretzmier, May 21, 2007.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I've tried alot of advertising venues for lawns/landscaping, and some different ones for Christmas lights. of course referrals/word of mouth are free, and are sometimes enough to keep you going once you've been doing this a long time.

    I mentioned the kinds of advertising I've done in the past and how much I spent on the website/leads thread, so I'll not repeat that here.

    To get your business rolling, what worked best for you? how much did you spend and how many leads did it produce?

    I really want to grow my landscape light division, and I don't want to throw my money away. what worked for you and what did not?
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I started by contacting all of my former electrical clients and let them know of my new service. They kept me busy for a long time. They of course told friends as well.

    My yard signs always attract business when I'm able to use them. In most of the areas I work, no signs are allowed. My truck signs and trailer are also very good. I have gotten a lot of jobs from people who have seen my rig around the area. These are all fairly inexpensive forms of advertising and seem to work quite well.

    Now that I have some money for advertising, I took out an ad in a very upscale magazine and have gotten some good leads on that, but it ain't cheap!! A full page ad was $2000 with a promise to take out a half page ad in the next 3 issues. This took care of 90% of my advertising budget for this whole year. Good thing I have that word-of-mouth thing happening.

    I hear that direct mail works very well and may try that in the future.

    Good luck,
  3. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 439

    Direct mail has always worked the best for us. We are in the process of trying a few new avenues, but will continue direct mail at the same time. The only thing with direct mail is the price. It gets very expensive to say the least. Repetition is the key.
  4. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    Ditto what Dave said. I said it before in another post, but I'll say it again. I've done radio, magazines, trade-shows (still do), community news letters, coupon magazines, etc... you name it and we probably have done it. Direct mail postcards have always proven to be the most effective return on investment. We target the higher end home values, and keep sending it every 45 days until they have received it 3-4 times. You can start out with a list of 1,000 names and then gradually work your way up as you feel comfortable. It is hard to judge results as some homeowners will hold the card until a later date (they may be building and have no need for a few months or longer). I've gotten calls as far as two years after mailing to a particular client. Don't expect too much in the beginning. You have to get the repetition going. If you get more than 1/10th of a percent in calls from the amount you send out you'll be doing good. Later on, you'll see 1-2% (maybe) but this is a phenominal return in the advertising world. It should cost you no more than .40 to .42 cents per card for 6x9 postcards. This will include the cost of printing sorting and mailing as well as the list of names. Your going to find that like everything else, bulk quantities makes the cost go down. If you have the funds, get your printing done in mass quantities and take it to the mail house a little at a time. I used to have about 60,000-100,000 cards printed up at one time. This would last me for a while, but I was sending out 20,000 at one point. Figure that out at .40 each every 45 days!
    You gotta spend money to make money!
  5. Trinity Lawn Care  LLC

    Trinity Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 946

    Our referral program.
  6. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,830

    This helps out a lot also. Gets a bunch of attention. The other side looks better though, I'll get a pic of that and post it later. There is also a graphic on the hood and the tail gate. Cost $4500, but it paid for itself at the first job it was sitting on. Had three people sign up just because they were taking their morning walk and asked for a card.

  7. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,947

  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    Thanks so far guys,

    I have tried direct mail for Christmas Lights, I had a company do 3 mailings of 2000 in my area. I got a ZERO % response. this was 4 years ago and cost me about 5500 bucks. I checked some names I knew, yep, they got them, but nobody called. nice 4 color cards, different ones, etc.

    It'll be awhile before I do that again.

    Yard signs- for Christmas lights, I have easily done over 100k in new work over the last 4 years from a 1000 dollar investment, and I still have over a hundred signs left.

    I put out a landscape lighting sign at my last job, and the next few to see how long they stay up.

    SWEET TRUCK. If I had 4.5k I would definetly consider that. Our trailer and Christmas bus have well over 3 grand in color photo graphics, but yours is way nicer.

    we are upgrading the grahics on my truck and other service truck to include landscape and Christmas lights.
  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Posts: 1,947

    Chris, on those mailings, do you indicate a starting price, like in the cast materials, to eliminate false leads?
  10. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Posts: 326

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