The Yellow Pages, man is it expensive

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by studentlawn, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    I would suggest spending $200+ per month (or $600 every quarter) on a direct mail campaign.

    I prefere direct mail over yellow pages or any other media.

    Direct-- target your customers- target your neighborhoods!
     
  2. studentlawn

    studentlawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 117

    how would a direct mailing system work? what would i have to do?.. just get fliers/coupons printed up? and how would i go about sending them?
     
  3. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    I have found the best way is to use a direct mail business.

    Let's say you want to send a letter on your letterhead to one area. I take the letter in soft copy on Word to them along with an adequate amount of letterhead. They already have the mailing list and it's sorted by ZIP code. I tell them I want to send it to the 83706 ZIP code. I can even tell them which mail carriers I want to hit (smaller zone than a ZIP) and I can say no apartments, no businesses. Or I could say, I want to mail to all the houses over $100,000 annual income (they have THAT list). They print the letter onto the letterhead, stuff the envelops, and mail them out. I can ask them to spread out the mailer too to send 1/2 Monday and 1/2 Friday (to allow me to keep up on the response).

    Since they are a bulk mailer they use their bulk mail permit so postage is cheaper. I pay them for postages, printing, & a service charge for stuffing. It is well worth the cost since my time is minimal.

    OR I can have them send postcards (flyers). Postage is less, printing is less since they put either 2 or 4 on one sheet of card stock and letterhead is not required.

    So it is best if you can use a business that does it all for you. Otherwise you may have to get the printing done at one shop and then take them to another to have the mail labels produced, placed, and sent.

    Surf the Internet for you area or the Yellowpages for someone to do it for you. Here is my local guy so you have an idea what to look for: http://www.espprintmail.com/services.htm .


    Later, I'll post a sampe of one I did.
     
  4. IndyPropertyCare

    IndyPropertyCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 201

    Here are some stats to think about in advertising..

    YP ads....good for a year but cost $$$$ for a good ad. The ROI is medium at best. works for some and not for others.

    Direct mail ads ,,you get 3 seconds to get the persons attention and then its over ( in the trash )

    Flyers / handbills yield 1 to 2 % callback and an average 1% yield

    local newspapers classified ads > same as flyers & HB's

    Radio.. very good return , if you can afford it !!!!!

    TV.... Wow, if only I could afford it ( I would be famous )
     
  5. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    Here is the mailing side of a postcard I did in '94. Notice the bulk permit in upper right corner and they printed the address.

    scan0003.jpg
     
  6. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    Here's the ad side. It is 4 copies per page and goes postcard rate.

    scan0004.jpg
     
  7. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    Here is a more recent ad I sent out in my current business. The purpose was to just get out the name and services message to a reasonalbe quantity of people in my target geo area. The front was in a digital photo so a photo of a nice lawn or landscape work would be perfect for the eye-catcher and your info on the back to get them to make the call.

    scan0005.jpg
     
  8. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    And the back of the dog card. Notice same postal permit. This one is 5 1/2 X8 1/2 (two per page size)

    scan0006.jpg
     
  9. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    To close on these, they're examples of a direct marketing campaign. With good design for a targeted audience it can be lucrative. I got a huge response from the sprinkler blow-out ad- huge being 4%. Doing a four mailers per year can be more productive than listing in the yellow pages. Even a small campaign can be good. i.e. printing a small number of cards with a photo of your work and mail them just to the 100 homes in that neighborhood.

    One way to get a small number of address in an area is to use a City Directory. Most metro areas are servced by a city directory. Much like a telephone book but it's organized by address instead of last name. You can go the page for Washington Street and see the name, street number, and telephone # for everyone on that street. (BTW That is what most telemarketers use). Punch those address into an Excel spreadsheet and then do a Mail Merge function to labels and POOF you have your own small direct mail campaign that you can do over and over. City directories are often available at your local library at the reference counter. A city directory ROCKS for small scale direct mailing! Mailing services rock for big scale.

    Like everything else, figure out your costs, figure out the potential profit and compare.

    Advertising can be a good way to grow the business OR it can be a good way to flush money down the toilet.
     
  10. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    Word of mouth is free:) :) !!
     

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