Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mow Money Lawn Care, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Mow Money Lawn Care

    Mow Money Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 764

    I am working on an advertising campaign. I plan to send out at least 20k postcards, and 20k flyers. I am considering advertising in local newspapers, and church bulletins, and asking for referrals from existing customers. I have about 65 lawns right now, I plan to get at least another 70 lawns by the start of April. My question is what do you think I should pay in advertising to achieve this goal???
  2. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 901

    Wow lots of advertising money.
  3. Mike Fronczak

    Mike Fronczak LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    Where are you getting 2500 postcards shipped for 700. Postage alone is .24 each, & 1000 cards is around $150.00. If that is true, I'd like to know where?
  4. Mow Money Lawn Care

    Mow Money Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 764

    I don't see where your question came from???
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I would expect about 1-2% on phone calls from number of flyers/postcards sent out for the first mailing. Perhaps the number goes up to around 3-5% after the second and third mailings. Wanting 70 new accounts from your phone calls and assuming you obtain 75% of the quotes/phone calls you receive that places you at about 5000 mailings...assuming two in 2500 increments.

    Making those assumptions I'd say you'll get 1% from the first mailing in early march and perhaps get 18 accounts from those. Then I'll assume another 2500 mailings in 2-3 weeks will generate about a 3% call back or another 55 accounts. that will get your number right around 75.

    ASSuming all my assumptions are correct that means 5000 mailings at 0.24 per mailing for postage which gives me 1200 in postage. I think you can get a bulk mailing stamper from the post office and maybe save something like 5 to seven cents or about 300 bucks.

    I'll assume you did your design 'in-house' and have no fee there. Then I'll assume you order on-line your flyers and have them shipped to you at $0.27 per copy. So that's an additional 1350 in copying fees.

    So my somewhat educated guess with holes all over it is about 2500 bucks.

    How'd I do?
  6. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Not bad deductions my friend. The first run will give you 1-2% return for 4 X 6" postcards mailed at .24 cents each (with a bulk mailing permit that costs $200). The second run will produce about the same return as the first because you have eliminated the "impulse buyer" with the first run. 2500 on 1 run will put your phone in a frenzy and you will be spending 8 hours a day doing estimates, so plan to hire someone who can either estimate or take your place at the site (which I wouldn't suggest). Because you are using 1 type of medium, you are only going to reach the audience that responds to print ads. That audience is 27% of the population and 8% of the affluent. I would not hang my hat on print media alone.

    There are many other variables to consider, but you can increase your response by 1-3% with over-sized cards, you can gain another audience by dividing your budget into multiple mediums, you can close at a high percentage with a good salesman and closing materials, among things like better targeting practices, graphics work, promotions, etc.

    Just be sure to track everything! You will not go wrong with direct mail, the question is how "right" can you be.
  7. Mow Money Lawn Care

    Mow Money Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 764

    Thanks guys, I have a budget for $3000 set to advertise this season. I never considered hiring someone to do my estimates, I was nervous thinking about all of the calls, and not being able to deliver on time. So, thanks for that info.
    Are church bulletins, and local newspaper ads doing good for anyone???
  8. C&K

    C&K LawnSite Senior Member
    from East TN
    Messages: 295

  9. Ed Ryder

    Ed Ryder LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 541

    :laugh: Maybe he has been drinking too much tonight?

    Smart comments from Team Green about direct mail.

    My strategy to get the extra 70 customers would to target certain tight geographic areas instead of carpet bombing a large area. I'd use a multi-step campaign and keep hitting them with smart material.
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I haven't done any newspaper adds or general bulletines. Reason? It doesn't give me a targeted area. I like to obtain 'blocks' of clients instead of one client here and another 5 miles down the road.

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