Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    Anyone send out like quarterly newsletters to your previous (and current) clients?

    And I'm talking install / hardscape clients, not maintenance clients.

    I'm thinking this is a great way to stay infront of people's faces, to remind them you exist, and to keep them informed of who you are and what you're about.

    In 2008 we did a small patio for a very nice couple. They told me they'd be calling us back to do a lead walk. 6 months later I did a follow up call, they told me they were not ready to do the walk. We got busy so I never bothered them again. Well 3 weeks ago I was in their neck of the woods so I drove by to see if they were ready for that walk. Low and behold someone had installed a paver walk. I'm pretty sure they had a contractor do it because it was radiused and I can't see these people creating a radiused walk. From the road, the design and workmanship did not look very impressive. The width of the walk was not proportional to the length, meaning it was too narrow.

    How come these people did not call us? They were so nice. When we were working they were outside much of the time chit chatting with us. They were very down to earth and I know they were very happy with the workmansip of the patio we did for them, no doubt about it.

    Did they misplace our name and phone number? These people are very well educated, down to earth, enthusiastic, etc. They said they'd call me when they were ready, so I kinda let my guard down and figured they haden't called because they weren't ready.

    I'm thinking that if I start sending out quarterly newsletters this will hopefully prevent this from happening again. 4 times a year they get to look at our logo, see pics of some of our projects, view a list of services we offer, AND get my Grandma Helen's world renowned desert recipes!

    Anyone here do newsletters for your install clients? Do they help you generate additional sales AND REFERALS?

  2. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    This is an idea that I have bounced around for a while, and I think it could be very effective with a pretty low investment.
    The closest thing to this that I do is to have a calendar printed each year of the previous year's projects that I send to past customers. Most seem to really enjoy seeing thier project in print, and it also helps to remind people of my existence. I usually end up with at least a few new jobs from this each year.
    I'm also interested in how others do this, and what results they get.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  3. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    maybe they didnt like you
  4. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    I haven't done anything like that but definitely wouldn't hurt. What would you put in the mailer/newsletter? Or even how big? Would an email version be better?

    There has been some projects where the neighbor comes over and raves, give them a card and cheerfully tell them give me a call but then you never hear back.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    Personally, I would definitely NOT do an e-mail version. An actual, physical newletter would have the potential to have "Shelf Life", meaning it may be put in the drawer, or in a file for future home improvements.

    I have a buddy whom has an established, residential home improvement business. He sends out newsletters (I'm on his mailing list). He does it through a 3rd party company. But in his newlestters he has energy saving tips, he has a section where he welcomes his new clients to his family of clients. He has a food recipe. Stuff like that.

    We could probably offer landscape maintenace tips, paver maintenance tips (opportunity to sell paver power washing, re-sanding joints, sealing).

  6. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Send a news letter quarterly and a short email message monthly. This way they have your hardcopy and an electronic reminder who you are.
  7. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Pretty soon it is just junk mail in both boxes and annoying.

    I have been looking into this for this year. Quotes for 4 pages color copies, 300 run, $1.72 each! I am mixed.

    I am more of the mind potential clients & existing clients are going to spend when they are ready. Not because they were reminded month after month or quarterly of your company. I am still on the fence though. Right now, I like the money in the bank.
  8. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    OK but how would you stay in the minds eye? The monthly email can get annoying, but you have to stay in the customers mind past and future clients. I ran into a past customer at wally world and he asked if I was still in the business. I said yes and it landed me a nice end of season healing in a bad economy. I should have kept a presence with them from the first job back in '03. I don't care if it goes to junk mail but all advertising good or bad is going to keep you in the minds eye. A personal note on letter head can also go a long way if you don't want to spend bigger money on printed material.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    They could very well be spending and they could very well NOT be including you.

    An example:

    We installed a lawn (sod) and did some hardscape work for some people back in 2000. They really liked us. They are friends of friends, yadda yadda yadda. About 3 years ago they decide to have a pool built. Backyard is sloped, so a wall was needed, along with landscaping. I never got a call from them. Wasn't even aware they were doing this. My bet is the pool contractor took care of the wall and the landscaping. Not much I can do about that. We have over 350 hardscape clients whom we have done work for over the years. I have no way of keeping tabs on all these people to know when they're about to build a pool, or build a garage, or move and build a new home.

    So yeah. They certainly spent when they were ready. And guess who they didn't spend anything with??

    But for my own piece of mind, what would make me feel better is I wish I had implemented a program (such as newsletters) to try to rescue potential jobs in such scenerios. Had I remained infront of their faces, when the pool contractor told them they need a wall - they possibly could have said "we know just the guy for that, he's done all the other work here already we'd like to provide him a fair opportunity to do the work...."

    Last edited: Feb 16, 2010
  10. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Sounds like you will be doing a news letter.

    You will still never really know the answer to how well your investment for this marketing item paid off. The little voice inside your head will drive you crazy as to why that one client hired someone else to do a job for your previous customer. It does for all of us!

    Whatever you do it has to be sincere and be consistent with you and your company. Good luck with it.

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