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picframer
01-01-2010, 08:54 AM
I had an idea back in early April, I was driving around an area that I wanted to do most of our business in, reason there is highway from where I live to this area, 4 lane, it's about a 20 to 25 min drive, homes range from new to 30 years, average is probably 20, it's middle to upper middle class, has three strip malls where staff could eat and a variety of choices, I know quite a few police officers in this area as it's the regional head quarters for the RCMP, our city has it's own force, in short it seemed ideal as I could leave equipment at one of their homes need be.

So as I am driving around I am looking at homes and what it is we could do for each of them, it struck me a flyer probably would not work, in my experience, even myself, I generally don't read them. Business cards are great and I have them but they don't say enough and people loose them, anyhow I made a list of what I saw and came home.

I was searching the Internet for ideas and came across a company called Vista Print, their rates were excellent and I saw something called Post Cards, I thought to myself what if I designed a post card for every service, that way I could probably get the owners attention and they would know I wasn't simply driving by and dropping a card, I saw a need I could fill.

With this in mind I had the following cards made, I have two others but I can't find my proof. I carry these in leather pouches on every machine, probably 12 of each, then in the trucks I have a plastic 4 X 6 holder with a much larger supply as we get a lot of walk by wanting a card, I know the cards are large but feedback is very positive as people do not loose them.

Some mowing and snow plowing is on call, so I had fridge magnets done up, one for snow and one for mowing, they are short and basically list my company and contact information.

I knew for snow plowing I would have to use my home office number as it's hard to hear the phone on the equipment and when it comes to snow plowing I keep my Blackberry tucked away.

I can also tell you being able to receive emails from my website and clients has brought us a lot of business simply because we are very quick to respond.

Anyhow have a look, some are a bit funny if you will but they work.

I also had a logo done for the trucks, the reason I went with this is kids love it, when a truck is parked, especially in a parking lot with lots of traffic it's amazing the people we get to talk to, something I learned a long time ago is a picture speaks a thousand words, people have told me many times over the year, they remembered the picture but not the company name but when they saw it, they stopped us for information.

Give it a try, this is very target marketing.

Some will no upload for whatever reason but on the back of each it lists our name, website and all of our services.

Andy

turfmaster
01-01-2010, 10:53 AM
Excellent idea using the post cards. That's something I may give a try this spring. I too have used Vista print for business cards and t-shirts. :)

picframer
01-01-2010, 11:30 AM
Excellent idea using the post cards. That's something I may give a try this spring. I too have used Vista print for business cards and t-shirts. :)

I think what makes this work is it's a personal touch, I am not just selling the company, I am seeing a service you need and I can help you out.

I started off with 100 of each but went through some too fast so now I have a really good supply of each.

Clients do sometimes ask why such a big card, two reasons I say, harder for you to loose and some of our clients are older so it's easier to read than a business card, they buy that:)

The fridge magnets were a big hit also and as you know we are in the fridge a few times a day, just keeps you in the eye of the client.

Steve
01-01-2010, 10:04 PM
When you are driving by a home and say for instance you see a property that needs a service you offer, how do you suggest going about getting the card to the homeowner?

Do you knock? Do you slide the card in the door and leave? Or what's the best way to go about that?

Some will no upload for whatever reason but on the back of each it lists our name, website and all of our services.

They might not have uploaded if the file size is too large.

picframer
01-02-2010, 07:38 AM
When you are driving by a home and say for instance you see a property that needs a service you offer, how do you suggest going about getting the card to the homeowner?

Do you knock? Do you slide the card in the door and leave? Or what's the best way to go about that?





Personally I prefer in person however if they are not home I will leave a card on their door.

Pretty beat this morning, headed out to plow snow at 8:30 last night, had to get three places done, got home at 2:15 this morning, people just kept stopping me, another 25 to 35 cm today (around 12") so I am heading back out shortly.

Steve
01-02-2010, 09:41 AM
Andy,

Had you ever seen any other lawn care company keep these postcards handy, so they could pass them out when needed? Or how did you come up with this idea?

I think you are the only person I have heard of that does this! Do you think it might be because other lawn care companies don't want to spend the money
on printing?

The fridge magnets were a big hit also and as you know we are in the fridge a few times a day, just keeps you in the eye of the client.

After experimenting with both, which do you feel you prefer using?

picframer
01-02-2010, 01:16 PM
Andy,

Had you ever seen any other lawn care company keep these postcards handy, so they could pass them out when needed? Or how did you come up with this idea?

I think you are the only person I have heard of that does this! Do you think it might be because other lawn care companies don't want to spend the money
on printing?



After experimenting with both, which do you feel you prefer using?

The bottom line is you have to spend money to make money, it doesn't really cost that much and my post cards have paid for themselves many times over, this was my idea and I do not know of anyone doing it.

I have fridge magnets, they are the size of a business card from various companies and the first place I look when I need to contact someone is the fridge so I thought, geeze I should do this also and once again it works.

To get on top, we have to do things others are not which is another reason I do not do flyers, it seems every tom, dick and harry is doing flyers, we have to be different to stand out and there are many ways to do this.

All of what I do comes from years of trial and error and watching our marketing department at another company I own a part of, this fellow really opened my eyes, and as I posted before I didn't always agree with what he wanted to do but the results were shocking so I had to change my way of thinking and have incorporated some of his methods for this company, and it's working.

Steve
01-04-2010, 12:04 PM
Every once in a while I will see a commercial service truck driving around with a bunch of business card magnets stuck to the rear of the truck. Do you think something like that would be helpful, so if you are parked, someone could walk up and take one?

I didn't always agree with what he wanted to do but the results were shocking so I had to change my way of thinking and have incorporated some of his methods for this company, and it's working.

What stands out to you as something you would never have done with your marketing but produced results that you wouldn't have thought it could. Could that marketing technique be applied to lawn care?

SuperiorPower
01-04-2010, 12:53 PM
This is a very interesting technique. I am really thinking about something down that line for this spring. I have never really done any marketing to speak of but I am thinking about doing a little this spring with my neighbors to see the response. Since I am only part time I don't want to drum up more business than I can handle. We will see when spring rolls around.

Either way, I have learned an awful lot from you and several others here.

Thanks,
Eli