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Phone or Mail

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by scottt, Jan 23, 2004.

  1. scottt

    scottt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    If you had the choice between 10,000 full color postcard mailings at $3499, or 110 hours of telemarketing for the same price which would you use. I don't care about the time to run all the estimates from telemarketing, I just need more customers. After talking with a few companies, it looks like direct mail closing rates average only .35%:eek: This turned me off of direct mail a bit, but I have seen other companies post on this board much different results. If you have ever used either of these services please let me know your results. I am making final decisions on all my marketing for the year. Thank You!
  2. Pilgrims' Pride

    Pilgrims' Pride LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA.
    Posts: 481


    Some years ago I worked for a company that did lots of telemarketing. They did bring in many leads.
    I believe after that it was up to the individual rep and his abilities to close after that.

    Now these days either way it is up to us to sell these leads.

    With that in mind, I am giving serious thought to the telemarketing this year.

    Bring me tthe leads, I'll do the rest.

    Good luck,

  3. kels

    kels LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 280

    for telemarketing, how would you know if they (the people you would call) are on the "do not call list"?
  4. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    Scott, Direct mail should be around 2%, telemarketing is far lower around 1/2-1%. You keep talking about the brochures, but what are you gonna do with them? You need the brochures not matter what type of adv you do. THe brochures are what you leave the customer once you do the estimate.
    Here' what I did my first year

    I bought ProCd, I telemarketed myself (before no call lists) I asked the homeowner if they would like a free estimate buy mail, they said yes and the next day I went out and drove buy the house and took a guessimate on Sq ft then I would mail the estimate and Brochure to them. Then I would follow up with a call 3 days later to sell them. You have to be good with guessing Sqft to do this or you will either lose your shirt or be way over priced. I had been doing lawn care for 10 years before I did this

    Because you telemarket by area I would get around 50 estimates a night (5:30-8:30 call times) or 300 week was my goal all in the same area. My sales where 3% which is very high for telemarketing, however my plan was more like tele-direct-mail-marketing.

    So no matter what you do, phonebook,telemarketing,newspaper you still need the brochures to leave the customer.

    When a customer is taking estimates you are not the only one leaving something, and if lawn doctor,chemlawn and what ever company your coming up against leaves a nice brochure and you leave hand written peice of paper your not gonna do to well.
  5. trimmasters

    trimmasters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 261

    I dont understand how you guys are geting such a low % for telemarketing. out of 500 leads generated last season we closed slightly over 100 of them.
  6. T.E.

    T.E. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 799

    Since I'm considering doing some direct mail this year also, This thread is interesting. I for one hang up on all telemarketers! So that is out for me. I believe that the response rate for direct mail is supposed to be 1% to 3% low side to high side. What concerns me is the closing rate mentioned above, .35% ... I find that a little low. I know that myself I can, and do close far more than that percentage of the estimates that I give. I think that if I am closing more than 75% I'm too low on my prices. If I'm closing less than 50% I'm too high for the market. I know that I have accounts that are paying me more than they were with someone else.(example) I picked up an account for apps. that was paying $81.00 per app! My charge for the same prop. $113.00 per app! How did that happen? I sold them that I'm better than what they had at $81.00 My point in all of this rambling is, that one's closing percentage is going to depend on one's salesmanship. I believe that I should be able to close about 50% of the calls I get. Just my thoughts, Tony
  7. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    T.E. Telemarketing sucks...period...but...it works, it works, it works and it was the cheapest way to adv. However now with the no call lists I think its done. I was the director of marketing for some companies before I started my own and telemarketing was the best way to grow a business.
    When We give %'s we are talking avg sales, yes I know some can sell better than others, but on avg. the rates are true.
    My goal was to get to walk the lawn with the person, if I could do that then I knew I could sell them, I think my sales rate was 80% if I could walk the lawn, but it should be when someone with 18years doing one thing vs. a one or 2 year old business. Then the only thing a new business has over me will be price.
  8. Mac V2.0

    Mac V2.0 LawnSite Member
    from Mid OH
    Posts: 92

    Even with the do not call lists, who really knows what to do in the situation when they are solicited to and are on the list. I dont and i am on the list.
  9. scottt

    scottt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    Thank you for all the replies. I never mentioned brochures in this thread at all, it was postcards. I will still get brochures though for handing out with the estimate. This will not be my only marketing, as I will do some telemarketing on my own and have about 4000 doorknob hangers left over from last year. The .35% was 3/10 ths of a percent of total mailings, not 35% on all leads. A .72% response rate and 50% close on each response. I have spoken with several marketing companies and they have all given me roughly the same information. These numbers conflict with what most people on this board are saying at 1-2% for mailings. If you have personally used either service I would like your experience please. Thanks again for all the help.
  10. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 1,218

    Sorry, your right postcards, I would spend the money on postcards, but rememeber your gonna spend around .19 to mail them but budget the normal price of .22 or is the price 3400 that you quoted include mailings( that a great price if so ) Id buy 20k if that was the case,

    Any way, if someone is telling you they will get you 70% reponse rate then see if they will guarntee it, and you will sell 50% of them (total sale % would be 35%) boy they know something no one else knows....
    the last company I worked for spent 90k on direct mail and telemarketing, we sold 750 customers from March 1- july 1

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