Need Help w/ Direct Mailing companies/info

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by NJemerald, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. NJemerald

    NJemerald LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 121

    My Father and I have a Lawn Care Company (fert. & weed) and would like to try our hand at doing some direct mailings this spring. Have never gone this route before, so I'm could use some assistance/advice.

    I have looked on the web at some companies that will sell mailing lists in Excel format. We do not have the $$$ to have some company do the whole 9 yards for us, So I thought this way would work out the better.
    I have the flier & the postage permit TCO.
    I'd like to focus on EXISTING streets where I already have customers AND new developments, also expanding into new areas as well.
    My thought is, that with an Excel format list, I can reprint labels for a second and third run through March, April & May. Getting our name out there now and again in the Fall with another round of mailings.

    Am I correct in my thinking?
    Does anyone have any additional ideas/thoughts I am missing?
    Has anyone else done something like this?
    Does anyone have a Company they would recommend?

    Thank you in advance,
  2. iclgs

    iclgs LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    My experiences with buying mailing lists from people is they cost a lot and half of the addresses ae wrong!

    A couple of ideas...put the flyer in the local paper...our local paper charges $35 per 1000.

    Send you brochure as a bulk mailing through the post office. Depending on the size of your area it could be expensize...but you can spend to everyone in your zip code and surrounding zip codes. From memory it is 21 cents for postcard and 34 cents for letter??

    Hope ths helps?

  3. Tim Canavan

    Tim Canavan LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 218

    I just checked into bulk mailing here at the local post office. There is a 150.00 one time fee and a 150.00 annual fee. After that it is 12.2 cents per letter or post card sent. Here you have to pick mail carrier routes and however many are on that route is how many you have to send. I think this will work out great.
  4. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Good lists can be expensive. However, there are resources out there that give you better information and are free. First and the best, your county auditor. The auditor's website here is fantastic. However, they are not oblivious to reality so these are not list downloadbale so you will have to create the list manually. The beauty of the auditor is that you are getting the actual owner. If mom owns it for the son, mom is listed as well as contact information. If it is corporate owned, again contact info. Another great resource is the local library. They typically subscribe to a service called the criscross directory. This is sorted by street and lists the last known person at this address. This is created yearly, so it may not be extremely current.

    Your ideas seem right on target. Target existing neighborhoods that you know are profitable and get you the customers you want. Best way to get them to open it is put the actual name on there. If it says "Neighbor" or "Current Resident" it tends to go into the trash. Might want to do some quick math to see if the neighborhoods that you want to hit meet the USPS standards (volume) of mail and factor that into consideration. I posted the USPS link on the tech requirements to meet bulk as well as the prices a while back so it is here somewhere. Without zip+4, without carrier route presort, and without barcoding there may be a problem meeting bulk but I am not sure.

    Get good at mail merges.. you will be fine.

    Just to get a gauge, at high quantities I was able to get in home at $.28 per home (this was at quantities of 40K+, total cost, and before the increase. ) Response rates are irrelevant because it was non-lco related.

    I would love to see the piece and the response rates.

    Good Luck!

  5. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    If you are concentrating only on the streets you already have the the aggravation and get Door Hangers printed....every week when done mowing....hang 20 door hangers around the house you just finished....It will add 5 minutes to each stop at the most....but you will be in their minds a lot more and for cheaper than the same amount of mailings....just my 2 cents.
  6. jamesday

    jamesday LawnSite Member
    from MS
    Messages: 47

    I created my flyer on Microsoft Publisher, Printed it on green paper from Office Depot, turned it over and printed the address information on the other side, Z-folded it, sealed it with "mailing seals" from Office Depot, stamped that sucker and mailed it.

    I drove through the neighborhoods that I most wanted to service and wrote all the street names and numbers down. I then got on this great Internet and did a reverse look-up on all the addresses. I used that information (making sure the phone book address and name was the same as the Internet) to mail the flyers.

    To be completely honest, I just started mailing and I can't tell you the results...but after many years of trying to find "good" advertising media I figured this would work just as well and is no doubt the "low cost" to mention it beats door to door!

    Just my 2 cents!
  7. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    How many were you intending to mail out?

  8. goose

    goose LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Tim , I think you have to mail out at least 200 every time you mail at that cheap rate. Check with the postal service.

Share This Page