Personal Letters??

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lsylvain, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    Has anyone tried sending personalized letters out to drum up business, and if so what kind of return did you recieve?
     
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I have tried it once in a while, but not luck on my side.
     
  3. brbsta

    brbsta LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Actaully this year I started doing that. I went around first finding out people that were unhappy with there lawn care last year, and I had a list of lawns that I saw last year that could have been better. I have just sent out like just 10 so far and have already gotten 3 phone calls back. Only been a week so i figure will get another call or two.
     
  4. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    I have had good success with it in the past
     
  5. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 932

    I've been sending out a few postcards with a handwritten message on them trying to give a personal touch to areas I already work in. we'll see how the response is, I have a feeling this next week is the transition week for weather when people start to think about their yards. (fingers crossed)
     
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I have a pretty good referral letter that we use. Send me a PM or email to rspronck@aol.com and I will send ya a copy.
     
  7. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    Thanks for the input guys. I've been out of the biz for about a year now and have been wanting to buy back in, but I havn't found a company that suits my needs as of yet, so I've been thinking of picking up a few accounts I can take care of on the W/E so that the cash flow for these few will cover the pmt of the purchased biz.

    I want them to all be really close to my shop and close together so I can fit more in on the w/e and when I get home from work. I'm figuring I will use the tax roll to get the info on people starting from my shop and working out from there. I don't want a lot of customers, I want "perfect" customers to start. I figure flyers aren't going to get the responce I need without traveling outside my desired area, same goes for the news paper etc. If I get a 1% return on flyers I end up with jobs that take more drive time than actual time on the job. If I can pull off a 10% response rate I can almost leave the truck parked in the driveway.

    I plan on sending out flyers first then a couple of days later sending out a letter to each home that got a flyer.

    I also plan on having a hefty referral program only for people within my desired radius. I havn't figured out how hefty yet, but pretty ridiculusly hefty. With substantial savings for both referrer and referrie.

    Then after a few weeks of the referal program I plan on sending out a second letter to each non-customer's home focusing on the referal program, etc.

    I am hoping for.

    1 Solid customer created from 200 flyers door to door. (Cost about $10 plus time)

    2-3 Solid customers from 200 personal letters. ($10 plus time)

    25% Referral rate 1 cust ( Cost $50-$100)

    1-2 from second round of letters ($10 plus time)

    1 more from referral ($100 - $200)

    Total Result 5- 7 Customers at a cost between $180 and $330 plus time.

    Depending on the results I will adjust what I do next but basically work my way out until I have enough customers to fill up my nights and w/e. If the second mailing yields good results I may go for a 3rd letter.
     
  8. lawnlubber

    lawnlubber LawnSite Member
    Posts: 186

    If I am looking for dramatic growth and the "perfect" customer I can't think of a better way than personal letters. I have done this twice and each time my business nearly doubled. I mailed letters in the spring to all past and present customers advertising add-ons to mowing like aeration, mulch and pruning and also asked for referrals. No incentives, none needed. The new business was more or less evenly split between new mowing accounts and additional services to existing customers. This allowed me to break into much more profitable work than mowing.
     
  9. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 777

    lawnlubber,

    Do you remember by chance what kind of return you got overall as a %. I don't want to send out too many letters and get slammed with to many accounts at once. I've been sitting at a desk for over a year now so Its gonna take me awhile to get back into the grove without having a stroke my first week out.

    thanks
     
  10. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I think personal letters are one of the best ways to go. Many people say to go with post cards, but either way they are going to throw them away if they are not looking for the service. If they are looking for the service, they will read it. With a personal letter you can sell yourself before they even meet you. With a postcard, you are just giving them a pretty picture. I do better with personal letters.
     

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