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Direct Mail Advice?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by BobG.PGH PA, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. BobG.PGH PA

    BobG.PGH PA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Hi, looking for advice on direct mailing targeted customers. I would like to direct mail potential new residential customers in neighborhoods that I have selected. We are a full service maintenance contractor. What type of mailing (brochure, letter, postcard or other) have you typically had the most success with? Thanks in advance.
  2. PlantscapeSolutions

    PlantscapeSolutions LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,006

    I use Printmailpro.com for direct mail. Expect no results the first time you send out mail. You've got to send out mail multiple times in the spring to start getting results.
  3. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I use gotprint.com for my printing and mailing. This spring's mailing campaign for me is two rounds of 5.5" x 8.5" post cards and then a third round of trifold brochures. All are on thick stock glossy on both sides. I would say this work is very comparable with the quality advertisements i have received national companies from all different types of industries. They use infousa.com to build the customer list, you pick your demegraphics such as income, propery value, pets, all different choices. I purchased my own list from infousa, it is cheaper for me to go this route because I am planning multiple mailings this year.
  4. BobG.PGH PA

    BobG.PGH PA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for your advice. What do u typically mail, with what frequency?
  5. BobG.PGH PA

    BobG.PGH PA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks Green Industry, do u typically target the same areas each year with the same frequency. Have you found direct mailing to be your most successful advertising method?
  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    This is my first year doing a big mailing like this. I'm hitting 10,000 houses 3x each this spring. Each mailing is hitting about a month apart. The mailing is also broken into two different geographical areas of about 5000 each.

    The way this is scheduled 5,000 mailings will go out every two weeks so that I am not bombareded with all the calls at once. Basically this is how I am doing it -
    week 1 - mailing 1 to group A
    week 3 - mailing 1 to group B
    week 5 - mailing 2 to group A
    week 7 - mailing 2 to group B
    week 9 - mailing 3 to group A
    week 11 -mailing 3 to group B

    originally I was going to only do 2 sets of mailings but decided to add on a hird because the vendor offered me a great deal. The 3rd mailing will go out once the fert season has already started, so it will be used to pick up some straglers. I got a real good discount for prepaying for a real large mailing. According to stats provided to me from multiple marketting companies I got quotes from I should expect a 3.5% return with this stratagy. At only 1.5% (which I am figuring as more realistically) that comes out to 150 calls. If I land only 2/3 of those that would be 100 new customers. When you figure in all of my cost and overhead these new guys wont be much profit this season but they will be next year.
  7. ryde307

    ryde307 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    Let us know how this goes. I am curious. I'm guessing this cost you 10,000-15,000 with printing and postage. Its a good size investment and I'm curious on your results.
    We have around 100 cutomers right now and have done almost 0 marketing most word of mouth and networking. We have been at that point for 3 years now and its time to grow. We are looking to double to 200 this year and have doing all sorts of marketing with only a smaller part being direct mail at this point. So long story short curious to hear your results.
  8. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    The reason I'm doing so much is that right now my accounts are in one area but all the irrigation work I do (for a couple of contractors ) are all in another area. I'm trying to build up all my accounts in this new area where I do irrigation and once I get enough ill start dropping ones i dont want in the other area
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. BobG.PGH PA

    BobG.PGH PA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Thanks for all your info Green Industry Assoc., it is much appreciated. I wish you all the best, please keep me posted with how it is going. We are trying to add full service residential customers that are along our travel routes to our commercial customers. That is why I am interested in direct mail. Regular advertising brings results just not always in the right location.
  10. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I'm not full service, I only do Fert, Irrigation, and Lighting. So my return may differ from what you may expect, and obviously the different markets were in will yield greatly different results as well. But i'm keeping very detailed records on rate of return on phone calls from the different mailing pieces, different locations, weather these new customers had lawn care previously or if they ad been a DIYer, property values and average incomes. I'm also tracking the same for all new customers to see how they are hearing about us, whether it's from seeing the trucks, website, mailing canpaign, door hangers, word of mouth, home show, contractor reference. I plan to put all of this together build some good spread sheets and graphs to track what works best and what is the best return for the money. I'll be posting that here once it is all compiled after the spring.

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