Using flyers to attract customers - is this new approach feasible?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Doogiegh, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 871

    Ok, I had an idea tonight...

    I'm just starting out, and want to put flyers out door to door in February/March. I'm operating in Central New Jersey.

    On the flyer, I know some people look at the property as they hand them out.. For example,

    ... Weekly grass cutting - Your charge per week would be $___ per week..

    and they handwrite in $25, 30, 40, etc..

    Now, here's the new idea... Rough draft version..

    Has anyone ever added a coupon type of thing to the bottom of
    the flyer that says "Reccomend me to a neighbor and I'll take $5.00 a week off of YOUR price!!"


    This way, the neighbors will start talking.. And if you deliver service, neighbor A will say, Yeah, I use Joe Blow grass cutting and neighbor A would actually have an incentive to get neighbor B to also use me.. And of course this would have to be disclaimed to something like "Must be within 1 block distance from your house" or whatever cause then I'll have customers cross-recommending each other 3 towns away.. <G>

    But, conceptually, does anyone think the idea is workable, or absolutly, no way?

    I figure by doing 2 lawns that are neighbors, I would pass that savings on to the original person who gave me the word of mouth..

    Just like when you have a friend sign up for cable-modem access, you get a month free.. <G>
     
  2. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I tried a coupon this spring. It was $10 off any of my other services with a year cutting agreement. Really wasn't worth the time I had involved in it. Picked up some, but not what I expected.
     
  3. 2 man crew

    2 man crew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    I do 10 thousand flyers in the spring. Yes it works.
    The down side is its time consuming if you hand deliver.
    Or expensive if you pay for the mailing.

    As far as the first part of your idea with filling out amounts as you go. I would say that will take forever. So I would print something like "CALL FOR YOUR FREE ESTAMITE".


    The second part about the coupon is good except for the fact your offering $5.oo off per week. In Minnesota there is around 24 weeks to cut. That comes out to be a $120.00 coupon. You might want to word that a little differently. Or just offer a $25.00 off coupon for their 1st season contract remember CONTRACT.


    And your third idea about passing the savings on to the customers is fine if your doing like the cable company. The key is they are only passing the savings on for one month!


    When I do flyers I expect around a 0.5% call back rate.
    It could be better or worse in your area but do at least 3 or 4 thou to see if it works.
     
  4. It's not new.

    I put out flyer to target more lawns in the neighborhoods I am currently in.

    For giving a discount money back, free cuts or whatever for referrals is a waiste of time, and giving your money away.

    Most people in general will referr you for free, just for doing quality work. Those are the referrals you will want.

    Not Joe Blow telling his broke beer buddy "Hey use my guy to cut your lawn" he does a good job I think. He will give me $25 for telling you to have him mow your lawn. Then you do it and he bounces you a check ETC...............

    I though about this and started to work on it, never putting it to use, and thought back to see if I ever got any good referrals from customers, and then found that it would have beem a waiste.

    They will do it for free.

    Giving drive by prices. Gotten burned a few time will never do it again. You can miss the fenced in back yards, mega trim work, etc... All the stuff you can't see drivng down the road. Especialy the stuff that was intended to be hidden.

    What you should do is have your flyers professionaly printed and make it more appealing to the customers eyes. Spend the money on that, not the customers for refferals.

    My luck has been with MS Word made fliers with Word art. Nothing to fancy.

    However, what are the restrictions on putting your fliers out. Will the postmaster have a problem with it. Will the muni/city have no soliciting restricions.

    EG: buddy I use to plow for owned an asphault co. He and others put fliers out in a city that was resrticted from doing so. Cost him a fortune, They charged him so much for every house in the city. And he only put out a few hundred

    So Target areas with big money.
     
  5. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    Many years ago I tried fliers - not much luck though.

    Recommed: Use computer graphics and/or get printed professionally. Be careful how you introduce coupons make sure you're not "giving away" too much. Also n NJ, you must still submit theNJSales Tax on the pre-coupon amount (get brochure from state on NJ Sales Tax - all maintenance is taxable, materials sold are not, if you're doing large job issue a ST-* Sales Tax exemption form and keep on file). For referrals, I have a form letter that goes out as such: Dear John Doe, Thank you fo referring Mrs Smith to me for (type) work at (location). We are currently preparing estimates for her approval and are looking forward to providing them with quality service. Again thank you for being thougtful.

    Finally target areas which you alrady provide service in as some residents may remeber your name from your vehicle and are more likely to call a LCO that already does business in that area.
     
  6. Devin

    Devin Guest
    Posts: 0

    I use the flyer system myself. I went door to door for about 2 weeks and walked till I couldnt walk anymore. I went home and put my thinking hat on.
    Heres what I came up with,
    Make your flyer up on your computer at home.
    Take it to a place that makes copies, mine was kiko's copiers.
    Pick out a eye catching colored paper you want your flyers to be copied on.
    I had 10,000 flyers made at $200.00.
    Then I took them all to the news paper and talked to the editor.
    He charged me $30.00 per thousand to insert them into every news paper they put out for the week.
    IT WORKED!
    It made my whole buisness take off like a rocket.
    I still have people contact me today saying, I got your flyer in the news paper and held onto it so when i needed it I could call you

    I promice you it works.

    Devin
    Wilson's Lawn Service.:blob4: :D
     
  7. MATTHEW

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Posts: 665

    This is why I love Lawnsite! Devon has a great idea. Actually ADDING a flyer insert will get noticed, while a spot on a page might not. I think I'll be making a call tomarrow.
    And as for the flyer issue, do it. Send out tons of them, anywhere you can. Remember- "some will, some won't, so what" Just get 'em out there.:blob1:
     
  8. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    I put an insert in the newspaper here in the spring. You can pick and choose which aeras you want it to go to. I usually have it sent out to about 3000 homes. I find this more effective than passing out flyers. On my insert I always have a coupon that offers $5 off the first grass cutting for a new customer. I have a lot of people who use them too. The great thing is that a lot of times the coupon will attract the customer initially, and then they will forget to use it when we start.
     
  9. Best idea yet.

    At $30 per a 1000, that's cheaper and takes less time then driving around.

    And paper routes are uslualy realy tight routes.

    Specially the Sunday paper.

    Also which day paper did you use.
     
  10. Lawn Dog2001

    Lawn Dog2001 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,027

    I used a local paper in my area called the Kiskimenitas. It is a free publication that comes out on Saturdays. It has all the local news, food ads, and classified. It goes out to 3 different counties here in Pa with many different cities. I have always done well advertising with them. Im pretty sure 3000 inserts cost me about $120. That included printing costs of the flyers. They will even design your flyer under that price if you want. I always do my own though. I do this every March, and the phone does not stop ringing from my ad until June. The nice thing is you can pic and chose only the neighborhoods you want your insert to go to. I always chose desirable areas so I get the right kind of accounts.
     

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