Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tnt-g, May 9, 2003.

  1. tnt-g

    tnt-g LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    Just wanted to know who is advertising out there and what is working for you. Word of mouth obviously is one of the best ways to get jobs but is anybody doing direct mail, door to door flyers, supermarket bulletin boards? What gives you biggest return in customer calls?
  2. Face to face is the best for me. I don’t know if you’re just starting out, but at some point you’ll become selective (area, size, gate-size, amount of trees, etc.). There are lots of things I will avoid, but spotting a potential customer is becoming an art form.

    Anyway, if I can find someone at home, in the right frame of mind, I’ll get about one out of seven of the lawns I target. Flyers on the door without personal contact, depending on the time of year, about one out of 25 (sometimes one in ten) will call.

    For whatever reason, customers come and go, so I’m always looking (targeting). At least half of the money you’ll spend in the yellow pages, newspapers, mass-mailing, will be wasted. But you can’t ever tell which half.
  3. sniggly

    sniggly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    I just bought a 3 month direct mailer with a local magazine called Mint Magazine. They have a pretty good name here and people hang on to it. My exposure will be about 48,000 homes and I think it's a good ad........meaning it concentrates on the coupon and not some stupid picture of a mower or tree or something like that.

    I am just starting, and therefore believe I cannot start my business on word of mouth....hence the ad.....which cost me 1600.00 for the 3 months. I can only HOPE that I would get something close to a 1% rate of return although I suspect I will not.

    This is a **** shoot for me. I am prepared however to track the responses. I wrote a custom relational database for my business using Access 2000. I should be able to determine whatever metric I want with the proper Query.

    Here's to good luck!
  4. michigangrass

    michigangrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    This year we did flyers, newspaper inserts, yellow page listings and ADVO/ShopWise direct mail.

    Flyers and inserts were hands down the best response.

    ADVO ran $2200 for 63,000 mailings and the response was a little disappointing to say the least. Two weeks since the mailing and approximately 25-30 calls. Our rep states that it takes time to create brand awareness which we all do understand, but at 2200 bucks it too expensive when you don't have a huge budget to work with.

    From now on we'll stick with flyers, newspaper inserts, yellow page listings and listings in the business sections of local classifieds.

    The cost of ADVO could have gone much further in the other areas.
  5. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 833

    Were the 25-30 calls quality prospects or price shoppers?
  6. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621

    If you did get only 1% of 48K that would be 480 responses. That would be worthwhile. Every lead I get I track. The one of the first questions I ask is " how'd you here about us". I write it down on their contact sheet. Then, usually about twice a year, I breakout where all the leads came from. And, what the value of those leads were. Also know as potential. Then I figure the actual dollars generated from those sources. If I am getting little 2K jobs and not much more then I'll take my advertising dollars somewhere else. If I see my vendors aren't referring me as much as they should I get on them.

    No matter where or how much you spend on marketing and advertising the key is you have to keep track of it. And, then take the unproductive or under producing mediums and put those into something that has been working.


  7. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Messages: 8,745

    so far this year these are the top three

    1. Referral from the Local Nursery
    2. Referral from our employees
    3. Yellow Pages Ad
  8. michigangrass

    michigangrass LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    B]MichiganGrass,Were the 25-30 calls quality prospects or price shoppers?[/B]

    4 new accounts, 2 wanting landscape bids, the rest price shoppers.

    My local area currently has a number of cutters offering $15 cuts on $30 jobs. I just tell them to keep our number handy and give us a call in a couple of weeks.
  9. tnt-g

    tnt-g LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

    We also have to nurseries in town refering us and an arborist. The nurseries send us alot of work. Networking and doing a good job is the most important.

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