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Soon to have 1/4 page ad in YP's.....need ideas!!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by walker-talker, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Well I have almost decided to place a 1/4 page ad in the yellow pages. Included will be a coupon in the back and ad placed on the interent. Here is my situation. I currently maintenance 20 lawn a week and 6 weed control/fertilizer accounts. I work 3 days one week and four days the next (due to a few bi-weeklys), in addition to my full-time, 3rd shift job at the factory. I want to go full-time next year, but will need at least 30 more accounts. What kind of heading would you suggest to get the phone ringing?? My current ad in the phone book is just under the size of a business card, called a "single quarter". There are about 12 others of this size under the category "lawn maintenance". There are two ads just under the quarter page ad called "triple quarters". So, my ad being a 1/4 page or "double half" will be the largest ad under that category or at least it would have been in this year"s book.

    Examples of a few ideas.....

    1) 3 free mowings (at the end of the season of course, weekly accounts and will have a sign up deadline).

    2) most lawns done for $25. I could go $30 to weed out some of the unwanted tire kickers. Most lawns I maintain now I charge are between the $30-$40 range.

    3) 1/2 chem apps for the first year. This would get me the mowing and no discount and get my foot in the door on the chem apps. I might break even the first year on a few of the application, but still make a small profit on the fertilizer treatments.

    4) Offer a free service, such as aerating, overseeding, dethatching....whatever.

    I am leaning towards either 1 or 3 as my coupon and put 2 somewhere in the ad.

    This is not my only form of advertising, but obviously the most costly one. I will still hand out doorhangers/fliers and run ads in the newspaper. My current ad does fine for one-time jobs....its mainly mowing that I am targeting this year. Once I build this up I will start to lean more of the chem app side of the business.

    Questions, comments or ideas???
  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    Not sure if I should respond since I do not have anything positive to say about my ad in the yellow pages other then 6 more months and I'm through paying for it. The news paper gets me calls and direct mail makes the phone ring off the hook the yellow pages have gotten very little hits, and since my book combines 33 towns and I work in 10 of them I got nearly a 70% chance the call will be from a place I don't want to drive too.

    If I had it to do over I would like my 5000 dollars back.
  3. TotalCareSolutions

    TotalCareSolutions LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518


    Our ad is a '3 line+ address bold' and internet. We pay $227 month. I just spoke to a consultant who indicated I should have done some things differently and that many times the people that sell the ad, are just that SALESPEOPLE and do not know the different ways to make the ad work. A 'dollar size' would cost us over $800 in Atlanta. This guy told me he could offer me a dollar size "guaranteed" ad, where could guarantee 150 calls a month or I don't pay. I would come in sit with an artist blah, blah...
    I mention all this to say, spend the money to zero in on your specific area and see if you can consult with someone before signing to work out the best deal.

    We are also looking to ad about 30-40 customers by March05. I have decided to spend the money on direct mail cards. i thought I recalled you looking into that?
  4. carbon737

    carbon737 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 46

    In our area around here YP means nothing unless you are into heavy landscaping and heavy snow removal. Word of mouth is advertising #1. In the spring I usually knock on doors. Direct mailing is always in the top three things to do. You must sit and think... How many times will someone look at my add?
    Realistically how many calls will this generate?
    By direct mailing you not only put your name and services in their face and in the palm of their hands, but they are usually looking through their mail while looking at their lawn. They are more apt to call you with your card in their hand as they are looking at their lawn, but it will save you tremendously on overhead expenses. I hope these suggestions prove you well. Good Luck from the Mitten.
  5. polecat63

    polecat63 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,655

    My best advice wold be to save your money. I had an ad for 4 years in the yellow pages and averaged about 30 calls per year and the were shoppers. You know, they would call everyone in the book and most times by the time you got there they already had some scrub cuttin. Just not worth it in my book.
  6. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Thanks for the post everyone....looks like I am going to have to think about this one, but more than likely, not going with what I had planned.

    Has anyone had great sucess with the YP ads?

  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Yes....I did do 5000 postcards, but did not have the response rate like I thought I would get. I spent around $2K for those and only landed 5 mowing accounts. I did get a lot of one time jobs also. I think I am going to concentrate more on doorhangers and fliers. I always have good results with the service directory for the "add on jobs" and will sometimes get a mowing account out of one of those.

    Thanks again
  8. TSS

    TSS LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 31

    I have a different side to this story. When I placed our ad in the yellow pages, I could not keep up with the quotes. I have tried all areas of advertising and the two that worked for me are yp and direct marketing. My ad was only a dollar bill size ad but the most important thing I used was my phone number. When I first started out I used a number for the area that I wanted to concentrate the bulk of our business in. I also included as much information about our services as possible which allowed people to know what are services are before they call. Homeowners called us instead of some other company because we had the same first three numbers which meant we were in the same area. Good Luck:D
  9. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Posts: 4,041

  10. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    If I were you, I would use the yellow pages to advertise more of your unique stuff, such as aereating and fertilizing and stuff like that. When I look for services in the yellow pages I look for things that I really have no clue where to find them at. Most people can find someone to mow their lawns pretty easily, but I don't know anyone that does aereating.

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