Door hangars vs. Postcard Mailer vs. Ad in local paper

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by runninhorn, Feb 11, 2006.

  1. runninhorn

    runninhorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    My initial goal is to get 20-30 lawns a week. Id like to start small at first. Ive priced postcard mailers, and they are quite $$$$$. The second cheapest form was door hangars. The last was an ad in the local paper. There are 11,000 homes in my zip code, the zip code Id like to advertise in. My question is, what form of advertising would you do? If you say postcards or door hangars, how many would you send out? Thanks for any input.
     
  2. baddboygeorge

    baddboygeorge LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,249

    listen get some flyers made up i do my own from the computer an then have them mass printed at staples for 3 cents each at 1000 minimum. then what i do with great results is distribute these when times are slow . i tape the flyer to the storm door on the glass area not to do any paint damage when tape is pulled off. these work great for me 12 years ago when i first started i pulled in 47 weekly customers using this technique
     
  3. runninhorn

    runninhorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    well, thats the problem, I work at a fulltime job now putting in about 50 hours a week, so I really dont have time to distribute them myself. Should i hire some kids to walk the neighborhoods for me?
     
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Not if you actually want them delivered.

    my experiences:

    cheap ads in local "ad" papers are less than worthless.
    You get a bunch of cheapo's wanting tons for nothing

    post cards work decent, I average a 1.5% response rate

    Door hangers work decent too. Pretty much the same response rate.

    The thing is post cards are more expensive (cash outlay) Door hangers are cheaper, you deliver them, but if time is an issue.

    for 45 lawns you will need 4500 to 9000 post cards / flyers unless you are really cheap. But the thing is, can you go from 0 -45 quickly? I would suggest batches of 750 per week starting soon.

    Also 45 lawns does not make for 45 good, on time paying customers. Plan to get over 100 clients before you can weed it down to 40ish who are reliable.
     
  5. mikefromny

    mikefromny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    your saying pass out 9,000 doorhangers and you can get 45 jobs?
     
  6. mikefromny

    mikefromny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

     
  7. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    I gotta ask the question, if you don't have time to pass out door hangers, how will you ever find the time to mow the lawns, maintain your equipment and keep your books?
    It's all about supply and demand. You advertise to increase your demand to match your current supply/capacity. Once you accomplish this, then you add additional capacity and the cycle begins anew. If you are thinking of advertising you must perceive that you have more capacity than your current demand. Therefore if you just apply some of that excess capacity toward creating the demand, you should be back to balanced very quickly. The advantage of having more demand than supply of course is that each time you get to that point you can begin to raise prices and take only the better jobs.
     
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    Very good point. ties in with needing 100 accounts (or more) to cull it down to 45 good ones.

    and the way the numbers work on direct advertising is you will get a 1-3% response rate. Then off of your responses you will get 25-60% close rate, then you will get some amount of buyers remorse 10-30%.

    So simple math says for 45 accounts best case you need 1500 flyers to get that many responses. worst case 4500.

    Now you have to get them to sign up. Personally, I price where I land about 30-40% So I would need triple the flyers to get that close rate. 4500 - 13,500

    now lets say you land 45 accts on 9000 postcards. post card cost including printing and bulk mail postage and labeling. $.32 each. $2880
    now divide that by your new accts $2880/45 = $64 per acct acquisition cost.


    This is how it works in the real world. Obviously, your ad, your pricing, your ability to sell, your personality, your professionalism will all have an effect on how it turns out.
     
  9. runninhorn

    runninhorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    because at the moment I dont have the time to go door to door with flyers, but in about a month I will have alot more time.
     
  10. runninhorn

    runninhorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 36

    would you do flyers or postcards or split them and see which works best?

    Its now the 2nd week in February here in Texas, when should I start advertising?
     

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