what 1000 bucks will buy in advertising.

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by David Gretzmier, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    what will 1000 bucks buy you and what will the result be? These are my experiences in my market with my reputation.

    truck graphics- if you pay to have it done, 1000 bucks will get you alot of lettering and some small color photo's on a full size truck or boxvan. but no wraps or reflective lettering unless you really limit your message to a small area. this should last 4-10 years, based on the quality of the vinyl, and will bring you probably 10 percent of your jobs in a year. for us that is about 15 grand, but we tend to spend more than 1000 bucks. on graphics each year. I'm at about 2 grand out of pocket this year, but that is for 2 box vans and we did some funky stuff. for a smaller company that does 20-40 grand in new sales annually, I would expect 2-4 grand per year in sales just from graphics. so we'll say that 1 grand spent now will yield 20 grand over 5 years. good money.

    yellow pages. they bill monthly and that works out to 80 bucks per month. for that in my market, in one book you can get a listing box that is 1 inch tall in 2 categories, christmas lighting and decorators or lighting consultants. my market has 3 books, and we do a bit more than 1000, but we are reducing what we have spent in the past fairly dramatically. 5 years ago we got quite a few leads from yellow pages, and still get a few. I'd say that 15-20% of our leads come from the pages, but we spent close 5-6 grand over the last 12 months and it is going down as new books go out. for 5-6 grand this year I expect to get 15-20 grand in sales. that is not nearly enough for the money invested. I would expect 1000 bucks would get you 3-4 grand in sales. This also gives you credibility. when you are listed, you are considered a real business.

    postcards. in the past I used quantum digital, and it works and is expensive. 1000 bucks will buy about 1700 jumbo 8x5 postcards printed and mailed there. I get 10-12 grand in sales off that, but a new salesperson may not close as well as me. I am trying to do postcards printed through got print.com, the 5000 6x11's are $324 and the and saturation mailing 3000 of them will cost me about 750 bucks in addressing and postage to a local mailing comapny. but I get a larger postcard mailed and way more cards for nearly the same money. I am expecting 15-20 grand or more. but beware, a bad card, a bad mailing list or whatever can rip this to pieces. I have heard of folks dropping 5 grand on cards and gotten 1 customer.

    Yard signs. 1000 bucks can buy you 250 full color 24x24 signs over at victorystore.com, or more signs if you go smaller and less colors. i think Christmas Lights installed in black over white text is probably too cheap. we have done 2 color 2 sided with red and green and it has owrked great. 250 will last us 2 seasons plus a few for next, but that is because we do not use them enough. I really believe this is the best bang for your buck next to truck graphics, and this one thing can power a christmas business. 25-30% of overall volume, 60% of our call volume comes from signs, and probably 40-50% of our closed jobs between Nov.14-Dec 5. I'd say 500 bucks a year in signs brings us close to 30-45k in sales. put them at intersections and across the street from the stop sign where folks leave nice neighborhoods. you do have to deal with the angry calls from code enforcement officers, and angry landowners who own the land where you put the sign. but way, way worth it.

    radio- 1000 bucks: for 300 per month for 3 months, gets you 80 30 second spots a month and 8 30 second spots on college game day every saturday for pre-game, during game and after game call in show on local sports talk radio for Arkansas Razorbacks. who, by the way, play alabama tomorrow. tomorrow will be my 3rd game day advertising and as far as I can tell, no calls. this may be a waste, but hey, who knows?

    television. no idea. last time was a waste and it was 8 years ago.

    newspaper. done it in the past, my brother has paid for editorial advertising where they write articles and run your ad on the same page. he got a few grand in sales off about a grand in expense.

    real estate magazines. my brother did this one too. paid for the cover and got a 3 page spread with photos. no calls. 1400 bucks gone. ouch.

    publicity and public relations. free. calling your local TV station and local paper and telling them you are installing lights at a certain location every day or once per week is free. i got to be the Christmas Light Safety guy each year for the past 3 years by doing just that. I've gotten a few jobs off it, but hey, it is free, and more importantly it gives you credibility as a pro. 1000 bucks would hire you a public relations person who would get you more free stuff like a press release published in the paper, etc. about 3 grand a year from free publicity.

    printing- 1000 bucks a year over a few years can get you nice full color bid forms and some full color catalogs, some photo books from walmart with pictures of your work. some color folders to present your bids, or some free chocolates in cute tiny boxes to give with bids. these things help you close jobs you would not normally get. I would say 1 grand spent in these areas yearly gets me 3-4 more jobs a year, so 8-12 grand.

    time for bed for me. hope these ideas help some folks decide where to spend your money.
  2. Don M.

    Don M. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

  3. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 569

    Thanks Dave, as usual, the experienced guys trying to help the newbies, just isn;t enough that can be said about that.

    Don, I was talking to Mike out at HBL yesterday, finalizing some direct mail and such and he mentioned the home shows explicitly. I had considered them, but had also dismissed the idea as here they are done in the Spring. But if you think about it, setting up some product, putting together a nice little display, some fliers, I see where you could really get some one to remember you. If you have them in your area in the Fall, wow that could really be big, maybe some Styrofoam to imitate snow, etc.
  4. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 583

    Did the largest fall home show in metro Detroit last year, and didn't get a whole lot out of it.....

  5. BeSeenGraphics

    BeSeenGraphics LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    Great thread. I am assuming those were UV Printed Yard Signs.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    my signs are out there a week to 14 days tops before the sign police come and swipe them. the garbage guys and all street crews pick up all temp signs and garage sale signs on monday or tuesday mornings. so UV coating makes no sense to me. graphics on trucks have UV coating.

    I have done a couple of home shows, and gotten no jobs off either. my brother did one in Texarkana in his market, same result.

    The folks that buy lights form me, business's and high end residential, don't seem to make the time to attend a home show.
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,645

    I'd also like to add a nice website can be had for 100o bucks and bring you leads. I paid 1200, many guys on here swear by them, this is my first year trying them out. we'll see.

    service magic on the web is also a way to get leads and spend some cash, 1000 bucks will get you 100 leads or so. I've gotten some jobs off it, so it works. but lots of leads are losers. but it does help your google listing.

    google maps is also free to set your business address and some photo's, and when folks tap in Christmas lights and the city/state, you should come up 1st in google listings. .
  8. BeSeenGraphics

    BeSeenGraphics LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    UV Printed not UV Coated. Those are printed on a UV flatbed printer. I'll bet thats the yard signs you got. Perfect for your application. Especially since they're getting swiped on you.

    Silk screened ones are much more durable and fade resistant. They cost almost double the price though. We do both.
  9. brianpsmith

    brianpsmith LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    Learning from my reading here, I need to get on board with yard sign marketing!

    I see that gotprint.com is recommended, are they fast this late in the year? What wording and colors on the 24"x24" signs seem to work best?

    Brian P. Smith
  10. BeSeenGraphics

    BeSeenGraphics LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    I do the 18 x 24 signs full color on both sides for less than what GotPrint does 1 side for. My pricing is on my website now.

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