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advertising method?

4820 Views 33 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  ted putnam
Ok so TG was going around putting lawn posting signs in every yard stating what that price was to service that yard. Has anyone done this? doesnt seem to bad of an idea, but still kinda putting trash in someones yard. they put one in my fiances parents yard for 29.95 an app and they have 14,000sf?
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I do not like the sign idea personally.

I have seen them stick signs in around us and they have coupons on them, but no price.

I think you would get the same results as a post card...and probably about the same cost by the time you bought the signs and drove around and stuck them in a lawn.

I had great success with post cards in 07 and 08...but I will probably never do them again. I like to grow by referrals (much better customer).

When you market like that it isn't the best customer to have!

This may be a whole different topic..but I would highly recommend getting a website and getting it out there.

If you do end up leaving a sign in a yard go with Ric's idea and make sure there is a website on there.

Most customer I end up meeting with has been on my site before I show up.

I think it is BIG for me right now!

Put your money where it will best work for you and get your name out there on invoices, business cards, pens, literature etc.

I order 1000 pens at a time and put my name, website and phone number on them then go to the local banks, Post Office etc and give them hand fulls at a time. These are a very nice and good quality pens (not the best just very nice). I also leave pens with my customers on Round 1 and Round 3. They love them!

I want the banks and Post Office customers to TAKE the pen out and hopefully build my brand with them and hopefully they will forget them somewhere too!

If you buy cheap are wasting your time. My pens represents my work!

Anyway...I was at gas station about a year ago and when I went to sign my credit card invoice...there sat my pen at the counter.

I didn't put it there...but it could have been from a customer or from the bank etc.

That is how it works...get your name out anyway you can.
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I use PensRUs.

They are easy to order and design.

Once they have you in the system you can place an order in 5 minutes and usually get them within a week or so.

The Pen I get is awesome and it was $.41 each...but they just went up to $.51.

I get great comments and actually see people using them so I know they like them.

If you buy a $.21 pen people will either throw them away or throw them in a kitchen droor and never use them.

You are much better to spend the extra!

I will try and post a pic of them soon.
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The pen that I order is called:

Gateway Express

It feels good in your hand and writes really well.

Some pens look good...but don't feel good in your hand.

You can call them and ask for samples of any pen you are thinking about ordering. That way you can see how it feels and writes before you buy them.

Eye Writing implement Font Office supplies Writing instrument accessory

Eyebrow Eye Writing implement Human body Office supplies

Writing implement Office supplies Writing instrument accessory Tints and shades Font
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In debate of the ink pen idea.........while sitting at gymnastics class with my youngest daughter, I talk to other mothers and fathers while sitting on those uncomfortable bleacher chairs. Often, I will notice a pen of a unspecific company being used or in someone's pocket. I would ask about that company or ask of whom they would suggest doing the work of............lets say home health care. The pen they are holding says the name--number,etc. and the people can only say--Well, the phone book is full of providers.
I agree with you totally!

If I pass out 1000 pens...about 600+ are to customers...and probably another 200 for passing out to others.

It is all about branding and name recognition.

I totally agree with you that many are not used or whatever...but out of 1000 pens if I can get 2-3+ new customers or upsells, not only am I in the BLACK but I also got some advertising and hopefully had some people appreciate the pen.

I would have to say it works better then postcards as they are in the mail today and in the trash can tomorrow.

Pens are something that is used everyday and get passed around continually!

Bullet proof...NO
Do they work well....YES
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So you are saying 2 or 3 new customers per thousand pens or a 0.2 % to 0.3 % sucess factor. I am thinking Direct mail done at bulk postage rates might be a better investment to a more targeted customer base?????????? We have Direct mail providers with Bulk Postage rates who actually have mailing lists and can Direct mail by Bulk rate cheaper than the 1st class postage would cost on a post card.

Look back at my post above.

Out of 1000 pens...I give most of them to my current clients for the most part and hand out a lot just for advertising and when I give estimates etc.

I should have stated that if I can gain 2-3 customers out of the 200-300 pens I am good. At $.51 a piece that is cheap.

So if I hand out 200-300 pens to the post office, banks etc...what I was saying is if I pick up a couple customers, that pays for ALL 1000 of my pens plus some, plus I pick up a new customer.

How I was comparing direct mail vs pens is...pens last for months if not longer and a direct mail probably has less then 5 hours of viability.
less I think I will. Instead, I'm thinking I'll push the referral bonuses harder.
Creech, I wrote a check this morning where I purchase fuel and had to borrow a pen from them. The pen style was exactly like the one you have pictured. Very comfortable to the hand, easy to use, black ink(pet peeve of mine) I even read the name of the business to myself. I couldn't tell you the name of that business to save my life right now.:laugh: I gave them the pen back when I was finished using it. The quality and feel of the pen stuck with me but the name didn't. I'm terrible with names so that could be it.
Referrals are the best!

I know what you mean about the pen and not remembering the name.
That is what I stated earlier as far as everyone not paying attention.

BUT....if for some odd reason you were in the market for a lawncare company and you seen a nice pen with a lawncare companies name on it, you may call.

What I like to see happen is people TAKE the pens not just use them at the bank.

If it is in a womans purse (that she took from the bank) she may not need me today but she may need me in a month or 2 months.
Without a doubt the best advertising I have done is direct mail postcard cards. I have done it three years and have received about a 1 to 2% close rate. After three years of doing this I am at my target number of customers that I am comfortable with can handle a much slower and more manageable growth pattern now with referrals only. Rodney is correct, those are great and reliable customers. I have done the yellow pages thing but will only maintain a small presence in them now. Small local shopping papers are almost worthless in my experience unless you have really large ads in them. One thing that I have used that is informational and helps me are little scales that show the correct height to mow your grass at. I got mine from RND signs. I just tell customers mow your grass at the height shown on the gauge and you will have a much nicer lawn. I am going to try the pen idea. It is relatively inexpensive and it does get you name out there a little bit. If I could find something that I could use to stick my leave behind paperwork in the plastic on the garage door I would use that in a minute.

I leave a pen behind every other app to my customers also. I don't just use them when looking for customers.

When you give a customer something for FREE it makes them feel good. Something like that goes a long way!
what kind of discount do you give for referalls?

i have done direct mail in the past. it is my most successful way to pick up business, but don't get near the 1-2% close that people hear talk about. maybe people in my area don't want the extra services or maybe the fact that there is a lot of competition in a smaller town. i don't know. it kills me because there are only 1 or 2 guys here that do apps on a regular basis!!
I give the person referring and the new customer $15 each off an application.
Works really well!

I had great luck with post cards in the past...but I don't like all the work for the closings. I know we were better then the norm as far as closings...but a lot of phone calls and work in a 2-3 week period!

We are growing just as fast now with referrals and getting a much better and more sound customer.

If a person is calling you on a post card...they probably don't know anything about ya.
If a person is calling you on a referral they already know about you and your work and probably even pricing!
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