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Income-scaping for Landscapers

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by PostcardMania, May 19, 2011.

  1. PostcardMania

    PostcardMania LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Hello there my lawn-cutting and landscaping friends! We’ve worked with many of your peers and we’ve collected a premium base of knowledge on what marketing works for your industry and I'd like share some of this valuable information... let's get to it!

    When analyzing the direct mail campaigns of our successful landscaping clients, we were able to identify three elements that were consistently great performers. These are what we call “successful actions”. We were also able to confirm two successful mailing lists and multiple successful offers for both lawn-cutting and upscale landscaping services.

    Successful Actions:

    1. Promote Lawn-Cutting Services First
    We’ve found that the best way to market your services (even if they are upscale landscaping services), is to offer FREE lawn cutting first. Then, once you’re in the door, upsell your landscaping services!

    2. Images of Actual Work (and You!)
    You get a better response if you show images of actual work you’ve done, rather than stock photos. Believe it or not, most people can tell the difference. We’ve also found it helpful for landscapers to have pictures of themselves and their staff on the card.

    3. Fall Clean-Up Campaigns
    Some of the most successful campaigns we see are fall “leaf clearing” campaigns. If you’re in a climate that allows for it, promoting this service with your postcards is a fantastic way to get some extra autumn work. Not only that, but your clients will remember you when spring rolls around again!

    When it comes to mailing lists, we found two successful options:

    1. List of a specific neighborhood - Pick a specific neighborhood with high home values and target all of the homes in that neighborhood.

    2. Mail to many different neighborhoods - Target single family homeowners whose home value is $300k+ or $500k+ if you specialize in upscale landscaping

    Here is a list of the most successful landscaping offers we’ve tracked. Pick one that fits your business and watch your response increase. Nothing not to like about that!

    Lawn Cutting Services
    • First Two Cuts Free
    • Lawn Service: $24.95 per visit + 50% off Fertilizer Applications for 2010
    • Free Lawn Aeration! (ask for details)
    • 50% off First Month’s Service

    Upscale Landscaping
    • 20–50% Off Installation
    • Free Consultation
    • 5% off if over $2500, 10% off over $5000

    I hope you enjoyed reading this post and if you'd like to see some of our real-life landscaping campaigns, you can download the free report here: http://bit.ly/gWWSSO
  2. rockymtnmf

    rockymtnmf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    I see your posts CONSTANTLY I know you are an advertiser, so I assume you can post as many times as you like. So I guess I can't complain about that. But when i read this post I had to reply to it.

    First off your printing prices are VERY expensive, but more importantly I don't think you understand the lawn care industry. I appreciate that you are offering your opinions about offers to increase the success rates of postcards. However these offers you suggest are unreasonable. Maybe some will agree, but knowing the lawn/landscape industry for 20+ years I think most will agree with me.

    FREE Aeration is impossible for most companies, and besides impossible, it EXTREMELY profitable so i don't think any smart LCO would give it away free.

    First two cuts free... People pay on a monthly basis, and can cancel at any time. If you give away 2 free cuts off the bat what is stopping them from calling an canceling week 2?

    Free consultation... nice to have on a card, but not making people pick up the phone. EVERY company on the world would and does give a free consultation if it may lead to a sale.

    50% OFF upscale landscaping... What is the disclaimer for this?? It's not unheard of for "upscale" landscape jobs to reach the 6 figure mark? Are you suggesting we give away 50K??

    50% off fertilizer applications. A bag of fertilizer (WITHOUT weed control) can cost some small companies in excess of $20 a bag, when you add the weed control, insurance, payroll, etc, if you give away 50% of your revenue, you will LOSE money.

    I'm sorry to be so harsh, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but I have seen SOOOOO many posts from you. I don't want to suggest that you really didn't see results from those offers you posted, but I can't see many people using them. So it's hard to believe.

    I also downloaded your landscaping success PDF, and you state the success of 8 different postcards, and what each company mailed and the response they received. However, only 3 of the 8 examples are real companies.

    In your defense, on the examples TD gave away free aeration, but I don't know the "call for details" and Green Lawns gave away first 2 cuts free. I can't see how or why the did that. HERE IS THE MOST IRONIC thing i noticed. You listed all the good special offers, but the postcard that generated the most revenue was the postcard for Diamond and they DID NOT have a special offer.

    PLEASE don't take any of this as me being an a$$hole, I'm just pointing out what I feel.
  3. Joe Shooner

    Joe Shooner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    It seems like it really varies from one company to the next. I've seen some dramatic offers, like 50% off the first application, and I've seen some landscapers be very successful with "Free Consultation" offers.

    Personally I'd never suggest giving away aeration; it makes a ton of money and is a lot of work to do.

    I'm not an advertiser, so if I write anything more they'll ban me or something, but I suggest that any lawn or landscape client try to get creative with their offer. Make it unusual, but useful.
  4. PostcardMania

    PostcardMania LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Hey Rocky - I appreciate your feedback, you're free to voice your opinion and I don't think you're an "a$$hole" at all.

    The information I provided in this article is based off of 100% real landscaping clients' campaigns. In the analysis, these offers were the ones that were used the most within the top successful campaigns. As Joe mentioned - every business is different, what works for one may not work for another. This was just hard evidence we found within the campaigns we analyzed.

    The purpose of my posts are mainly to educate and give business owners ideas on what they can do for their marketing. You're right, personally I don't know the in's and out's of the landscaping industry, but I do know what works and doesn't work when it comes to using direct mail to promote your landscaping business. The offers I mentioned are just suggestions and ideas, they can be changed and altered as you see fit.

    As for our costs, no we're not the cheapest and the reason for this is we're NEVER going to just sell you postcards and wish you luck. We provide full marketing campaigns that will get you results. We have a full-time results team who tracks and analyzes campaign results for hundreds of industries as there's many variables that come in to play in making a campaign successful or not. We're not interested in business owners wasting their hard-earned money on marketing that won't get them the results they need to grow and expand!

    This is the motto of PostcardMania and this comes straight down from our CEO, Joy Gendusa who grew her company to $19 million a year using only direct mail the first 2 years of business and we still use direct mail as our largest form of marketing.

    As for the report, those are real customers of ours, but I will look into what you mentioned.

    Thanks again for your input, I really do appreciate it. You guys are the landscaping professionals and I value your opinions!
  5. PostcardMania

    PostcardMania LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Hey rockymtnmf - I spoke with our results department and found out that the reason the last few case studies on the report have generic info is because those clients felt more comfortable keeping their company info anonymous, but they still wanted to share their direct mail successes with other landscaping professionals.

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