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Newspapers Ads vs. Flyers

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Birddog Lawncare, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Birddog Lawncare

    Birddog Lawncare LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 73

    This will be my first year and I was planning on running a classified ad. I'm only looking for 8-10 account sthis year. I was waiting another week or so for the weather to warm up a bit. I opened the paper up today and there are five other LCO's already advertising. Do you think the ad is a waste of time? Do you think I would have better luck distributing flyers and going door to door.
  2. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    Don't go door to door! Just distribute flyers and if and when you land some accounts hope for good word of mouth. Say things like do you have any friends or family that might benefit from my services? or something to that effect...
  3. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi Birddog Lawncare,

    Another thing to consider is if you want a potentially larger area to service you can go with the newspapers ads. If you want to keep you service area smaller, you could distribute your flyers.
  4. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,116

    Only 5 !!!! There are 19 in todays paper along with mine.
  5. snippy

    snippy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 130

    So why do people call you and not one of the eighteen others? theres about a dozen in mine and I'm wondering how a person decides which one or ones to call?
  6. jseamster

    jseamster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    I found moderate success with flyers in my first and second year. I work in a rural/suburban area. Keeping contracts and your route tight is very important. Don't waste 'windshield' time by driving long distances between cheap properties. Many of my colleagues have found that newspaper ads (unless in a very small town) result in scattered clients throughout the newspapers wide circulation area.

    A concentrated flyer mailing could limit this from happening. Pick a few neighborhoods that look appealing to you and drive through, while copying down every address.

    This allows you to be selective in what address you choose. For instance, omit the house with the 60% slope in the front yard and the viscious dog eyeing your every move. etc.

    Send a flyer to each. Consider offering a special discount to these folks to entice them and get your foot in the door of that neighborhood. i.e. 10% discount your first year of contract.

    Best wishes for your success.
  7. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Messages: 1,878

    We have a section in our paper for lawn and landscape companies. Must be 20+ ads in that one section. When my ad runs, they (the paper) know NOT to put my ad anywhere close to the others, the others being in one large section. Mine runs by itself usually behind the front page, or somewhere in the front section. Has worked pretty well. I also have an ad in the business review, where it's all business cards, about 20, and two are featured at the top, about every 7 to 8 weeks in a 3"x5" ad. This is $15.00 a week.

    I would ask that your ad be located by itself somewhere, if not the back of front page, somewhere else, possibly top right.....top right people tend to see more. When turning pages, your eyes always scan over to the right before continuing to read.

    So far, all of my calls for yard maintenance have been from flyers, and calls from the newspaper ad want gardens or garden work. Odd.
  8. twins_lawn_care

    twins_lawn_care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 932

    You have to make your advertising stand out, no if's and's or but's. Whether it be by putting it somewhere else, or a bright color, or having it play music, you have to stand out.
    What I did this year was printed up my own business cards. I work at a print shop P/T so this is a luxury, but what I did was designed them to be a little bit bigger than the standard business card, and they are made of polyvinyl (plastic). seems kind of pointless, but if you make a stack of 30 LCO business cards, mine stands out in a heartbeat, and people look at it. Heck, this is just the tip of the iceberg!
    You have to be creative, it's that little bit that will get your foot in the door.
    Just yesterday I was at a local UPS shipping store, and asked the owner if I could leave some of my cards on the counter. He said sure, so I pulled them out. He checked one out, and asked where I got them. I said I made them up, he was impressed, and wants to know how much for me to make some for him now!
    Not that I am going to do it, but the point of that story is people are going to notice that my cards are different, and get their attention, and that's the whole reason for me handing them out.
    If a customer looks at my advertisement 3 seconds longer than your's, there's a good chance your's won't even get looked at.
    Wow, long winded today, sorry:eek:
  9. indmowing

    indmowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    There is generally a reason why there are a lot of companies advertising in local papers for example, or yellow pages and that is they think it is the most effective form of advertising. We ran a quarter page ad, $17,000 I think it was and the response rate was nothing to that of the local papers. Competition wise, there were onyl 3 other large ads in the yellow pages yet in the papers there are anywhere upto 30 running at the same size!

    Don't fear competition, figure out how to beat them. Make yourself stand out, offer customers an answer to their needs. If you want local work mention which areas you do, just a mention of a suburb for example will get a good percentage of anyone looking that reside in that suburb.

    It's not your competition you have to worry about it's the customers! Where do they look, what do they want.

    Problem I see everyday with flyers is people puting them out, geting a low response then giving up. Advertising works through repetition and that generally why the papers work so well! Those who repeat their flyer drops do very well also!

  10. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,116

    I run a newspaper ad for about 10 weeks every spring. Total cost is under $1000. I am about 1/2 way through the ad period this season and these are the stats.

    Total Calls 56
    Estimates 48
    New lawn mowing accounts (so far) 22
    New Fert. accounts (so far) 17
    Aerate jobs 14
    misc other work 3
    calls refered to other companies 5

    I guess I am averaging about 80% success rate on my estimates. To me it is worth the money, since I don't have time to do fliers ect. I still think I get a decent ammount of calls considering that there are now 27 other lcos advertising now. just my 2 cents....

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