Newspaper ad is a great way to get PITA's

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by bigbone, Jun 19, 2007.

  1. bigbone

    bigbone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    There certainly are better ways to advertise than in the local newspaper IMO. It seems the only way to get good customers is word of mouth. I might start doing flyers or hit a particular neighborhood with bulk mail.
  2. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    I've actually gotten some decent customers from newspaper adds. Some are not all that great, but I just make sure that I don't underbid myself anymore. How do you get all your new customers? Do you advertise in a phone book or anything? I wish more people new about my company.
  3. bigbone

    bigbone LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Lawnut, do you have signs on your truck or trailer? The phone book is also a good way to advertise. Try to get to know other LCO's. Talk to them at the gas station or at the dump and ask them if they would throw some business your way. Just do good work and people will hear about you. Offer your current customers incentives to refer you.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    One thing I learned is stay AWAY from the classified section!
    Do NOT run an ad in the classifieds, pay for a small box someplace.

    But as far as pita's, I figure the good customers are only maybe 1 out of 10, so unless I am missing something here, I suspect most advertising methods require a constant pre-screening, that's just been my experience. I don't find flyers any better, all in all I think flyers are as bad if not worse, but to each their own, some folks swear by them, I want no argument.

    Then around here things are tough. The drought isn't bad here but we're a tad short on rain, a bit high on the temps, and overrun by competition. If I can feel it, I am sure a lot of newer Lco's are done, so you know who gets the calls, maybe this is a problem in your area?
  5. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    I've gotten some of my best customers from the classified section when I first started. I don't do it anymore becaues the column for our industry is FULL, and full of startup companys. "Bi-weekly mowing. $15! Any lawn!" ..ok buddy..

    anyways.. I tried direct mailing. That bombed.

    The past two years I've been in the yellow pages advertising strictly chemical work. I've gotten many calls, many of which are way to far for me to travel. I did snag a few that were local. Needless to say, the value is not worth the return.

    Next spring I'm going to try a newpaper flyer insert for about $900 total for 10,000 hits. That's a bargain.

    In addition, I'm going to offer an incentive referral program for my current chemical customers. "Free application for you and the referred." Word of mouth IS the best solution...but i'm just trying to GET them to open their mouth :)

    Sorry this went off on a tangent... what was this thread about again? heh
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    if you really want to target a hood. and if they have an HOA most likely they have an HOA newsletter. cheap ad space and someone else delivers it for you....
  7. Sandgropher

    Sandgropher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    The folks that read newspapers are the same people that read your flyers and bulk mail, word of mouth can get you bad customers to, if fact they are worse because it you get rid of the bad one you will lose the good one to in a lot of cases, but i will agree the papers are happy hunting grounds for P.I.T.A.S so you must screen them good to save wasteing to much time with them.
  8. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    I have actually had real good luck with the newspaper (no, I am NOT the guy advertizing "Lowest price in town" :laugh: ). Picked up like 3 weekly customers in the last week or two from it.
  9. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 539

    eww....HOAs.... all cheap bastards looking for low bidders.

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