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jon6336
10-15-2009, 03:52 PM
Hey everyone,

For those of you that do not know I am in the gutter maintenance business in Michigan. Tuesday I did what they call a "front page sticky note". It is pretty much a sticky note advertisement that goes on the front of the newspaper. I tried it for one area that has roughly 8,300 people that receive the paper on a daily basis. It was $95 per thousand, which I didn't think was terrible.

The only set back is that the leaves are not really off the trees here in Michigan yet. Some are off, but not all of them. I find that my customers like to wait until ALL the leaves are off the trees then call me.

Anyone else try this? I will let you know how it goes. So far 0 calls, but we haven't had any rain and I am thinking it might've been a touch early for the ad. Problem is that you have to give a date for production 3 weeks before they put it in.

Steve
10-15-2009, 09:07 PM
This is very interesting. We had talked a little about this in the past.

Do you have a picture of the sticky ad on the newspaper? I'd love to see it.

Also did you put any kind of offer like 'schedule today and save X%.' Or something like that to get the customer to jump on the offer?

What did the ad say?

Are you planning on doing another?

jon6336
10-16-2009, 08:40 AM
Let's see if this works...

<a href="http://s624.photobucket.com/albums/tt329/jon6336/?action=view&current=finalad.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i624.photobucket.com/albums/tt329/jon6336/finalad.jpg" border="0" alt="Gutter Cleaning,Gutter Protection,Gutters,Gutter Maintenance,Gutter Installation"></a>

Steve
10-16-2009, 09:16 PM
Oh that is very nice.

What is your thought on the ad so far? Would you have liked to try something different with it?

Will you run it again?

Also you mention monthly specials, what kind of monthly services can you offer with gutter cleaning? I would have figured, once they were clean, they were clean for the year or am I wrong?

jon6336
10-19-2009, 04:48 PM
I like the idea of the ad. I'm not sure if I will do something different. I am going to wait through the fall and see how this ad works- if I do it again, it will be first thing in the spring.

Monthly specials I run are something like 10% off gutter cleaning- that is my special this month. Sometimes I do a deal on our gutter protection and sometimes I do a deal on our DIY gutter protection. Just something small to try to drive business.

Gutters in Michigan are cleaned once a year all the way up to 3 or 4 times per year depending on whether and when things fall off trees. A lot of people wait to super late in the fall once all the leaves are off the trees and then have them cleaned and try to wait a year to do it again. I rather do it twice a year for those people because by the time I get there, they are super chucked full of debris.

Steve
10-20-2009, 12:01 AM
Monthly specials I run are something like 10% off gutter cleaning- that is my special this month.

How do you promote these specials?

jon6336
10-21-2009, 09:13 PM
How do you promote these specials?

Mostly through my website and through a BNI (networking) group I joined. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't...

I also do some trade shows. In the grand rapids, mi area, we have what's called the "Home and Garden" show. I am in that one and also the "Lakefront and Cottage Living Show". I also try to do a better deal here because I am in front of the people and trying to set up appointments. The only way they get the deal is if they sign up at the show to get a call from me in a week to schedule an appointment. I usually do 10-20% off, barely ever do 25% off because my margins are THAT big...

Steve
10-22-2009, 03:17 AM
I also do some trade shows. In the grand rapids, mi area, we have what's called the "Home and Garden" show.

That is neat! Do you enjoy doing the shows? What kinds of things do you do to get people to stop and talk with you at these shows? Do you give out any freebies? Do you have any videos playing?

I think a lot of times many business owners stay away from such shows because they feel like they have to do something to entertain.

jon6336
02-04-2010, 07:28 AM
Just wanted to let everyone know that I did the front page sticky note on the front of our local press. It went to roughly 8,300 people. The only thing I got out of it was a bill. I didn't get any calls, period. Not even one. I will not be doing any newspaper advertising anymore.

As far as the trade shows go, I kind of enjoy them. The first day is nice, but it's very tiring. I always ask people if they have dirty gutters to start. The gutter protection that I sell is so different than any other gutter protection at the trade shows, that people really stop to look at it. That is when I engage in conversation. The home and garden show in the Grand Rapids area goes Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so it is very tiring. BUT right now it is my best return on marketing. In the home and garden show, I only have a 10X10 booth, so I will probably not play a video. I also do a lakefront and cottage living show (higher income people that don't want to 'waste' their time working on their home) and in that show I have a 20X10. In that show I will run something on a monitor.

The Home show puts through about 10,000 people in four days. The lakefront and cottage living show puts through probably 4,000 people in three days, but they are better clientele for me. I am going to try to do a community expo this year- they put through 10,000 people in a Saturday from 9-3:eek:.

My advice is stay away from newspaper advertising.

Steve
02-04-2010, 11:26 PM
Are there any marketing concepts you are thinking about that you would like to experiment with in the future?

jon6336
02-08-2010, 07:23 AM
Umm...I'm definitely not doing the newspaper again. I'll probably stick to my internet marketing, and do more pamphlets. I also do trade shows like home and gardens shows. That's what it is called in Grand Rapids at least. Maybe do some door to door marketing...I'm not totally sure yet.

picframer
02-08-2010, 12:01 PM
Sorry to hear that it didn't work, this is the first time I read your post or I would have offered some feedback for what it is worth.

I would have listed services you could offer rather than Groceries, Laundry etc.

I have been involved with marketing at many levels for 28 years from small to multi million dollar companies, I learned a lot from the marketing crew and it has really paid off for me, people tend to glance quickly so you only have one shot, I actually even personally overlooked the gutter cleaning at first glance.

We only advertise in one small community newspaper where we do most of our work and the results are simply stunning, ad is small but to the point, we received at least 80 inquiries over the summer, most ended up in us performing various services we offer.

Steve
02-09-2010, 03:46 AM
Sorry to hear that it didn't work, this is the first time I read your post or I would have offered some feedback for what it is worth.

What other thoughts did you have on this marketing method?

picframer
02-09-2010, 05:38 AM
I think it is better than most I have seen, but keep it short to what you are after, Gutter cleaning, Organic Lawn Sprays, Wood Chipping, Pressure Washing.

The key to marketing in my experience is you want to give just enough information to get the prospect to call, that opens the door for you.

Given the right time and the target ad, I think it would do well.

jon6336
02-10-2010, 07:50 AM
What other thoughts did you have on this marketing method?

I thought that this would work very well. I mean all I needed was less than 1% call back to make my money back. Didn't do that for me! I did it the second week of October, which in Grand Rapids was prime time for gutter cleaning. The people at the press are supposed to be the professionals, so I thought that their design would've worked. Here is my list of marketing for this year:

-Mail out letters (Right around 900 letters mailed on average once a month until the fall, then I send them every two weeks.)

- Google Adwords- has been pretty good for me.

- Mail out postcards

- Trade shows- I sell a gutter protection and the trade shows are the best marketing for it hands down.

- BNI- this is a networking group that has made me more than enough to pay for my time in the group this year.

Steve
02-10-2010, 04:26 PM
Are you tracking where your customers come from?

Google Adwords- has been pretty good for me. Do you know what % of your customers come from there?

If it is decent maybe you should be looking into more SEO to improve the ranking of your website? Would that help?

jon6336
02-11-2010, 03:20 PM
Are you tracking where your customers come from?

Do you know what % of your customers come from there?

If it is decent maybe you should be looking into more SEO to improve the ranking of your website? Would that help?

I get roughly 20% of my clients, 10% of total revenue from internet advertising. I ask every person how they found out about my company when they call me. So yes, I do track my customers. I would love to do more SEO, but I do not have enough money to invest in that right now. Winter is slow for me, and right now I look at Google Adwords as a better investment for me.

Steve
02-11-2010, 03:29 PM
That is very interesting! The other thing I think about with this is, do you find the people who find your internet site and contact you are easier to sell too and are not as problematic as customers that are found through other means? Say for instance like craigslist? Or no?

jon6336
02-12-2010, 07:13 AM
That is very interesting! The other thing I think about with this is, do you find the people who find your internet site and contact you are easier to sell too and are not as problematic as customers that are found through other means? Say for instance like craigslist? Or no?

On craigslist, I only market my gutter cleaning. I do not market my gutter protection product. When your talking about a $65-$125 typical gutter cleaning, most people just go with me because it's not a high ticket item. I find that people that find me over the internet for our gutter protection are a little harder to close than people I find at the trade shows. This is because at the trade shows we have a roof display with water going down it to show the prospect why our product is better. When you meet someone in a home, it is a little harder to "show" them why it is better because of no roof with water. What I do to combat this is go to their sink and show the water goes through our gutter protection product just fine. We sell a very high quality foam gutter protection product.

Steve
02-13-2010, 06:15 AM
This is because at the trade shows we have a roof display with water going down it to show the prospect why our product is better. When you meet someone in a home, it is a little harder to "show" them why it is better because of no roof with water.

It would be fascinating if you had a display you could bring into a home that had a small pump to show the water flowing down!

This is because at the trade shows we have a roof display with water going down it to show the prospect why our product is better.

Is this a video or a model? I'd love to see it!

I get roughly 20% of my clients, 10% of total revenue from internet advertising.

When you study the % it is quite interesting to see how this customer group can make up 20% of the clients but only 10% of the revenue! That would make me wonder if they are on average 50% cheaper than your other clients when it comes to the services they purchase through you. Very interesting!

jon6336
02-13-2010, 11:49 PM
It would be fascinating if you had a display you could bring into a home that had a small pump to show the water flowing down!



Is this a video or a model? I'd love to see it!



When you study the % it is quite interesting to see how this customer group can make up 20% of the clients but only 10% of the revenue! That would make me wonder if they are on average 50% cheaper than your other clients when it comes to the services they purchase through you. Very interesting!

I will take a picture of the display when I have it set up- it is a model. The tough part about a pump is it is so much to bring into a house...In my opinion too much and too complex for a house. As far the the 10% goes, that is mostly because that is of total revenue. Most of the internet "leads" are for gutter cleaning, not gutter protection. The gutter protection is obviously a much higher expense than a gutter cleaning. Gutter cleaning is roughly $65-125, depending on the house, sometimes more expensive. Gutter protection is $800-$1500 on an average home. Most of my gutter protection "leads" come from trade shows.

Steve
02-14-2010, 06:45 AM
Come to think of it, I have seen different contractors show off different services at a mall once a year. One I remember had some kind of roof and gutter display to show how the gutter products work.

As I looked around at the different contractors, I realized none of them were interacting at all with anyone passing by. They had all these great looking displays but none of them were engaging anyone.

Then I got to thinking, what if they did something where they could put on a show for the public. Like what if they built something there onsite that they could raffle off? Maybe they could build a wooden shed? or some window flower pots or things like that?

They could have a little form the people could fill out to win. They could be asked if they were home owners and if they were looking for gutter cleaning services or lawn services etc. The contractor could then pick a winner from the entries.

This could become a marketing list for them to send further information too.

Also while building what ever it is they were building, customers could come up and ask them questions and it would give them a better chance to interact with the public.

chrisadam12
08-23-2010, 01:13 AM
Free gift teaser. Offering a free gift is certainly not a new marketing idea, but it hasn't been done much in internet article "resource boxes." My click-throughs from articles increased as soon as I started putting in the author's resource box, "For more information and a free gift, visit..." The gift is usually a short course, or an e-book. Even if you don't want to write an e-book, you can find one with free distribution rights.

One hour coupons. This idea is for offline businesses that want to increase the traffic to their web sites. Announce in any other advertising that you'll have an "internet coupon" good for a free drink (or whatever) up for an hour on Friday. It takes about two minutes to change a web page, so it is easy to have it up for just an hour. Meanwhile, visitors will be returning again and again to try to be there at the right time to get the freebie. If you collect pay-per-click advertising fees, this repeat traffic might be especially profitable.

Sell word links. You may have heard about the entrepreneur that sold a million pixels on one web page for a dollar each. You could buy a minimum of 100, and the image would link to your site. There have been many copycats so far, but I haven't yet seen anyone selling words. This would be even better for the advertiser, because they could buy the words that are relevant to their product. Of course, a page full of random words isn't pretty, but these things get publicity and traffic for their novelty.

Advertise on cereal boxes. People spend a lot of time staring at cereal boxes. You might get a good rate on advertising on them. There has been some advertising there, of course, but not a box covered in ads yet. Brokering ad space on cereal boxes might be a good business to get into.