Special offers..What works for you?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Soupy, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    What kind of specials do you run on your spring flyer that has worked good.

    If you have that perfect idea and don't want to share it on an open forum, but willing to share with a guy across country then please PM me. If you want it kept a secret I can put it under lock and key :)

    I don't want to give away the farm, but I am willing to give just enough to get outstanding results. I mean if you have an idea that requires giving free service but at the same time it cuts advertising cost an equal amount then I am game. I'll give away $75 worth of services if it attracts enough customers to save $75 in marketing cost per gained customer. The least printing and labor cost the better.

    I'm targeting $30 - $35 lawns if that helps. I'm only looking to pickup 10-15 new customers but I have such a tight area to work in I need something to reel them in with.

    I have always advertised with no specials, but I don't want to be passing out as many flyer's. Well I don't want to market to as many homes.

    I would love to hear your ideas.
  2. DiscoveryLawn

    DiscoveryLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    This is an easy one.
    Since you are willng to give away $75.00 per new client... Offer your existing customers $75.00 in free services for any referral that signs an agreement with you. You will have your 10 - 15 new customers in no time.
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    Soupy, we're talking about this on gophers site about my flyers. I've been thinking of offering 2 or 3 free cuts with a one year service agreement. Or possibly free areation up to a certain sq ft with a one year service agreement.

    If you fertilize maybe you could offer a free application in the spring (up to a certain sq ft)? The thing I'm trying to accomplish is keep the cost of the free service down. This is why I'm thinking I'd rather go with a service that is going to be a one time freebie, this way your not wasting drive time on multiple occations.
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Do a search on this site. This has been covered so many times that I doubt anyone will come up with anything new that hasn't already been discussed.

    Even mowing in a bikini to get customers has been covered. :laugh:
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    That would be the best way to justify $75 since it would be the only cost and we all know $75 for a customer is cheap.

    My problem is I am targeting a very small area. I have a very tight route now and want to keep it that way. So the problem with referrals is they seem to live across town most of the time. I got a call from a referral today I had to pass on. This is how I keep overhead low and profits high. It wasn't always like this, but I slowly tightened the area of service over the years.

    This is actually why I want to get 10-15 more in a targeted area of 2000 homes. Every year I seem to get about 5-7 and I need something to double the response. I have a few on the outer parts of my current route I want to drop. Plus a couple of slow payers, and I had 2 customers pass this year. Haven't had any deaths in awhile so I was do for a couple this year.

    I could get 50 or more with no problem if I wanted to open the services boundaries. So now you see the dilemma. I need to implement the final stage of my business plan and need to grab at least 10 out of 2000 homes. I think I can do this, but I want to get in and out and not have to return several times doing flyer's. I have an excellent retention rate, so I am thinking long term on the cost of obtaining a new customer.
  6. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I did a search. It's always, what method to advertise, or how does this flyer look. I couldn't find what I was looking for. I have seen the ultimate bikini threads, but I'm looking to hear about offers that have worked with success (higher then 1%).

    I can only think of Matt and how he offered 3 free cuts on a beautiful color flyer and didn't have much luck. If the free cuts don't do it, then what does?

    I understand that many just do as I have always done and have no specials. But I know people in todays market are getting spoiled by the competition offering free this, and free that. It's time to play their game so I am not spinning wheels. I'm actually hoping the phone will start ringing and I can cancel the whole idea, but I need a back up plan. Maybe I am wrong and the free offerings don't attract customers at all. If this is the case I would like to hear it confirmed.
  7. TurfProSTL

    TurfProSTL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    How about some tickets to a Cardinals game in the new stadium?
  8. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    Special offers, I have found, generally do not work. I put the 2 free mowing thing and 10% off aeration on my postcards last season, but that didn't really draw much attention. Some of the people that called for aeration because of the postcard didn't even ask about the 10% off. Good advertising will bring you people regardless of the special offer. My phone book ad brings in the most business for me, and there's no special offer there. Just a big ad that I try to grab attention with.
  9. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    My problem is I am hitting one area so the only option I have is target marketing. The phone book, newspaper, Radio, TV, etc. does me no good. I had to quit running a yellow page add because I was turning down the majority of calls.

    I have a nice full color door hanger which I might just continue using. But I wanted to explore other options. If I can get the phone ringing twice as much by offering a free service of some sort then it would be worth it. Less labor handing out flyer's in multiple trips is what I am really after.

    I know the free mowing's don't seem to grab attention and that is why I was wondering what does. Every flyer I see posted on this or other forums seem to have some sort of special offer. It seems every industry advertises some sort of special. TGCL which if anything is good at marketing, always have some sort of special promotion going. I thought maybe it was time to join the competition with some sort of gimmick.
  10. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,267

    In the past I have done the 2 free cuts and 1 free fertilizing application.Its pretty basic if you ask me.
    I was reading something on Gopher's website this week that I thought was pretty interesting.They had the idea of coming up with a coupon book for new customers.I think they were talking about $25 off spring clean-up,$25 of a mulch job or flower plantings,$25 of a cutting (maybe) and $25 off a fall clean-up.I'm sure you could adjust it if you only want to give $75 or rework some other figure's to make it worth your while.
    Just a thought,maybe it will help.

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