Whats been your most effective advertising?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by WHIPPLE5.7, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    Please don't say word of mouth, that is not advertising. I'm talking about getting totally new customers. Myself along with almost all the other lawn guys here have gotten way too used to running ads in the newspaper. Its the most wellknown advertising source for this area and everyone does. There are two problems with that I see. One guys ad gets lost among dozens of others and also I feel there is many thousands of people who aren't even reading the paper. A couple years ago I tried some doorhangers but I ran out of time to hang them. I only got about 200-250 out and I never did get a single call from any of them. I don't really like the cost of direct mailing. Maybe I should give doorhangers another try but not sure if its worth all the walking?
  2. CTS Lawn & Landscape

    CTS Lawn & Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    I did the 'local' yellow pages in two of the areas I work in, and it worked out pretty well! Cincinnati is very broad, with many different areas in town. The Home Pages flagged me down while working and was skeptical about thinking the same thing that my name would get lost among the 100's of other lawn care co. But making it look like I only did work in that particular area, the potential customers assumed that I lived and only worked in that area of town. The one in one of my areas got me 2-4 big landscape jobs, no mowing. The other landed a bunch! (This area they know how to handle their money and not live outside their means). And I know you don't want to hear it but yes that led to word of mouth. I've done the same thing you have.. door flyers. Ran out of time and handed out 300-400+ and maybe only one two calls...

    Good luck! But check out the Local Home Pages Yellow book. Like I said more personal for the local area and less Competition, and if you go the extra amount and make you stand out more than the others ppl will notice
  3. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    We have a total of 4 phonebooks that hit this area and I went with the one that gets used by far the most. I got a small ad like several lawn guys. There are a few in there who have big ads but it was kinda out of my price range plus I didn't know if it would do much.
  4. ochosdaddy

    ochosdaddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    #1, do you have a marketing plan? If not, the majority of your advertising is useless. Prepare a marketing plan and stick with it. It'll make any and all advertising you do more effective. Marketing isn't a couple month deal any successful landscape business does in late winter/early spring. Rather it's a thing that happens every day of the year.

    #2, I've found if you're going to be in the yellow pages, go big. Very few, and I mean very few will call off a dinky display ad. Even with a nice big ad, be prepared to field a lot of calls about anything and everything. Do you have the capability to handle the flood of calls? If not, then it's worthless to spend the money to generate a lot of hot leads and allow them to cool off because of a delayed response.

    #3, I've also found newspaper classified advertising near worthless. You'll get a lot of price shoppers. Unless you're building your business model on Cheap! Cheap!, forget the newspaper.

    #4, What do you mean word of mouth isn't advertising? IT IS! AND it's the most effective form of advertising. Have you not experienced this? Ask your current clients to refer you to their friends. If they aren't willing, you'll want to find out why - therein lays a problem!

    #5, internet! Use it, get listed with Google. It's free (unlike all the internet listing crap those telephone directories sell you). I've found more people find me on my website through Google than any other source. There are many other free listing deals on the internet, load up on them all.

    #6, Keep track of how effective your advertising is. This should be all part of your marketing plan, measuring your successes and failures. Once you know what works best for you, that's where you'll know to spend more money on. Perhaps what advertising you thought would work best doesn't, but you'll never know unless you ask all contacts how they learned about you!

    #7, www.tightwadmarketing.com I assume this site is still up. Read through it, it contains lots of useful info for free.
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,353

    I have mentioned this before on here. Its marketing 101, you must remember the rule of 13. It can take up to 13 views before a prospect even reads your ad! This doesn't mean you just put out door hangers 13 times. There is not one form of advertisement that works alone, they all work together. You need to have a plan! Here are just some examples I use.

    1: Logo.
    2: Ad in local paper running all year.
    3: Business cards.(Hand out and hang at town hot spots)
    4: Uniforms.
    5: Truck lettering.
    6: Trailer lettering.
    7: Door Hangers.
    8: Direct mail(post cards or introduction letters)
    9: Letter head on everything you mail.
    10: Flyer's(Hand out and hang in town hot spots)
    11: Website.
    12: Google, Yahoo, Bing places/maps presence. Craigslist in some areas.
    13: Signs that can be stuck in the ground when your truck and trailer cant be seen.
    14: And the most important, NETWORKING, get active in your community so everyone knows who you are and what you do!

    I know some of these CAN be expensive but many are FREE or can be made with microsoft office or similar programs!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    Word of mouth for me I dont do no advertising only have the listing in the phone book
    I have more work I can handle at times
    We use to do a lot back in the 80s but we made are name and we are well known in my area
    But these days more new people moving in and looking more on the internet for contactors So thought about running ads on facebook site like I need more work aready run 6-7 days a week soon to be 12 hr days Though on facebook might catch some new people
  7. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    The most effective advertising we have done is putting a coupon/ad in a local magazine that goes out quarterly.

    It gets mailed out to over 50,000 homes in the area. Each run we get 1-2 quality clients that are potential long-term clients.

    Yellow pages sucked for us. Facebook page has helped. Next is the web-site which should be going up in the next 3-4 weeks.


    ALEX'S LANDSCAPING LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 680

    1. Website
    2. T-shirts/ uniforms (don't clutter up the back).
    3. Business cards to people that are interested.
    4. My new cart is magnetic so I got magnetic letters from staples to write my company's name on both sides of the cart.
    5. NEWSPAPER!!!!!
  9. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 958

    Thanks guys, you all make some very good points. My current situation is that I was in this business for 3 years and got out for over a year to go to work somewhere else. That job wasn't even close to all it was promised to be so I've decided to do this again. In the past I have had customers try to get me more business by word of mouth but the people they try to line me up with always seem to have issues like they don't want to pay for services or something like that. My customers tried but the people they know just didn't pan out. I'm running ads in the paper now and have signs on my truck. I'm looking at doing some T-shirts with logos and maybe some yards signs too. This year I can't take on too much work because I'm working with an injury I recieved days before I started up again. The injury will likely require surgery but I'd like to postpone it until late fall so I can maintain any and work that I do have. I think if I end the year on a good note with a decent amount of work I'll plan on really ramping up the advertising over the winter and bringing a guy to help by next March. Image says alot and I failed a bit at that with my first go around. There are way more lawn guys around here now than when I started a couple years back but most of them are dirty looking, smoking cigs, tattoo's all over, trucks are falling apart, etc. Many people don't want that kind of image around their place. I've made a good effort to have more of presentable image this time. I'd be happy with only about 20-25 mowing accounts this year since I'm hurt so I hope I can get that many.
  10. USAProLawnCare

    USAProLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    I'm new so I can't give you an accurate response as far as effectiveness goes, but I too am using the Yellow Pages for a couple of reasons. I live in a mountain community with a LOT of older retired people who PROBABLY don't use the internet. Also, (my ad doesn't start til June so I can't be completely sure until then) as long as nobody else changed their ads, I am the ONLY landscape maintenance company in my area with a color ad w/white background. I am running a "half business card" sized ad for only 34.50 a month.. Again, full color, logo, and white background to help it stand out more.. One yard will more than cover that ad.. something to consider.


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