Do Newspaper inserts really work???

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by fastrunner, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. fastrunner

    fastrunner LawnSite Member
    Posts: 96

    hi, i am just starting out a business, been in it about two years now. I just went to my local newspaper and gave them my flier and told them to deliver 10,000 of them in the saturday paper. they said, ok, that will be $390.00 i figured, ok, thats not bad... but the question is, do you think it will work?? HOw many call should i expect over the weekend, or period. thanks. jeff
     
  2. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    Assuming the newspaper is hitting your target market, maybe 1%. Don't expect all the calls at once, as some people will hold onto the fliers.

    On a different note, or recommendation, make sure you ask people how they heard of you, and track their responses. We use 7 primary categories to track. In each category, there may be sub categories. Like in Advertisement; a) spring flyer, b) direct mail post card, c) newspaper flyer, etc. Under Customer Referral we track the customer's name. We have some customers that will refer us to 8 or 10 people. You can then track your closing rate on sales from each of these categories. You'll find your existing customers typically have the highest closing rate, where yellow pages and flyers will have the lowest closing rate. Since you track your selling cost, now you can evaluate if it works for you since you're tracking effectiveness.

    1) Advertisement - which one?
    2) Customer Referral
    3) Other referral (Friend, third party referral)
    4) Existing Customer (Existing customer requesting a different service)
    5) Yellow Pages/Phone book
    6) Walk Up (Saw crew/truck)
    7) Unknown
     
  3. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,325

    I've had pretty good luck with inserts. We usually do 20-30,000 in the spring and then follow - up with weekly classified/display advertising. It seems pretty effective for us. 1%-2% response is about right to expect/ Good luck
     
  4. rdln

    rdln LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Let me make one comment, I'll get my local paper, open it up, there are only two sections (small paper) in the middle are grocery store flyers with coupons and probably other advertisements but I wouldn't know because I set them aside and read the actual newspaper including service directory to see who is new in town. When I am done, grab those inserts put back in and throw it all away.
     
  5. millsmowing

    millsmowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    I have 20,000 going out this weekend in my local papers. I'm hoping for a 1% response rate and a 1/4% closing rate. This would give me my goal of 50 new clients from these inserts. I'm shooting low on the closing rate because I have to get my price. The ones that think I'm too high can get the local neighbor boy or another low priced outfit.
     
  6. There is an LCO in my area that distributes his flyer in the small neighborhhod paper. He goes pretty low on pricing and a 1 price for all lawns. ( I can tell where they have been working - 0 cleanup + this week they were running their dethatchers through ice and snow drifts) But they are doing lots of work so people must read and respond to those inserts.
     
  7. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    20-30,000 with a 1-2% response rate: are you getting 250 new accounts every time you do this?

    Or, at the 1/4% closing rate, are you getting 60 new accounts?

    How has this been going for you guys? The wife and I are putting about 5000 flyers in the local paper next week to expand our business, and I'm projecting a close of 25 new accounts. If successful, I'll run another 5-10,000 in the summer. Weather out here allows for year-around growth, so if these numbers are hitting I may go for accelerated growth.

    Tell me more!
     
  8. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 870

    Missing a few things:

    a.) Quality of the flyer: design, layout, pictures.

    b.) Specials offered: prices, coupons

    c.) Most important: Name recognition. Do people know you? Or your business? Have they seen your trucks?

    These things all affect response.
     
  9. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    Kent,

    How much do these things affect response?

    We're working very hard on flyer design, working on other established models and working with the newspaper on what they've seen that works.

    Our prices are a little high for our area, but we're practically the only licensed, insured professional residential lawn care here. We've got tons of guys working from the back of their truck, unable to afford insurance, unable to pay taxes, etc., but that's my competition. We're the real deal, but we're a little more pricey.

    Our flyer will offer a coupon for reduced first month service if responded by XX/XX/XX.

    We've been around for years, but we have very little in the name of recognition. We're just getting our magnetic signs and pushing for a serious marketing attempt for the first time ever. Before now, and for years, we've gone strictly word of mouth. Before now, and for years, however, we treated the business like side income. Now, our eggs are firmly planted in this basket and we've got a little money, and a lot of experience, to back us up.

    I'm planning a 1% response with a 50% close. I'm hoping for a 2% response with a 50% close, because that'll give us what we need to make ends meet while we progress (w/o borrowing from our backup fund anymore). Any less and we might have to take side work to make it through the year. Any more and I may have a labor problem on my hand... :)
     
  10. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    Speaking from experience... try not to have them go out the day of a snowstorm! Although you can not control the weather work with the rep from the paper and get them to tell you if the day that you pick is not conflicting with another company. They may not be able to tell you outright but they can "advise" on on a better date..
     

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