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LawnMedic
02-23-2010, 12:10 AM
Curious to see what demographics everyone has used in the past and what they have found to have worked. Was debating whether to add children in the household to my mailing list. Does everyone offer coupons or do some feel that too many people offer some dollar amount or percentage off too much?

I basically have my demographics set to household income and and home value.

picframer
02-23-2010, 07:02 AM
I tried one last year using color post cards offering Organic spray solutions to the prospect's lawn, I did street by street target marketing which we can do through Canada Post in the core of what we refer to as the South End, the rich area of the city that has lobbied for years to eliminate chemical sprays, we sent 5,000 cards and did not receive one response.

The highest return for us was and will be stopping and handing or leaving a card that is specific to a service we noticed the customer could use, the response rate is over 50% for at least a quote which is excellent IMHO.

If you go to my website, click on Business Cards for Service, the back of the post card encourages the reader to visit our site and lists other things we do.

www.oakridgeyardcare.ca

Steve
02-23-2010, 11:05 AM
Andy,

When shooting for a customer base, do you feel it's better to target the richer areas of town as a rule of thumb or no?

picframer
02-23-2010, 12:30 PM
Andy,

When shooting for a customer base, do you feel it's better to target the richer areas of town as a rule of thumb or no?

It depends, the area I went after is full of complainers, I thought it would be a slam dunk.

We all need a few clients on the upper end of the food train, they seems to be very connected and wanting to keep up with their neighbours, we ended up with quite a few later in the season but I acquired them in a way I hadn't considered.

As I posted I received a call from a long time client of the bank and friend although I hadn't told him what I was doing, anyhow he had a piece of art that needed framing, rush for a 55th birthday, anyhow when I arrived at his place, private gated community on the Ocean, the first thing I noticed was the grass in the common area. Anyhow long story short, we not only picked up his community, we now have three on that road and I want them all within three years. These are all multi million dollar places and the people that live there for the most part want nothing to do with lawn care, they just want everything to look like a golf course, we can do that if you want to spend the bucks as so far they do.

LawnMedic
02-23-2010, 03:59 PM
Thats pretty depressing. 5000 postcards and no response. Anyone else have problems like this? I am debating on including children in the demographics, and debating what I should keep the home values at. Do you think 350,000 plus home values is too high?

Another thing, do a lot of good demographics not include their home value. Is it better to keep to home value out of a mailing list?

tomcat172002
02-23-2010, 04:26 PM
Last year i put out 500 flyers and got one call and zero business. This year I am going to try door hangers with the actual price on them. I think if people know what they would pay if they went with you, it might give you a step over the competition. When I go out I try to put them out when no one else has come around. On weekends in March and April there are so many things out there people just throw them away. I try to take a day off durning the week and put out the door hangers. Direct marketing can reach more people but your like everyone elses flyers. This way they know how much you would charge and they can think about it can get back to you. I hope this works for me.

picframer
02-23-2010, 04:46 PM
Thats pretty depressing. 5000 postcards and no response. Anyone else have problems like this? I am debating on including children in the demographics, and debating what I should keep the home values at. Do you think 350,000 plus home values is too high?

Another thing, do a lot of good demographics not include their home value. Is it better to keep to home value out of a mailing list?

Depressing, espensive and shocking, there is not a house in the south end under $750,000.

We do some spraying and lawn care in this area however but I picked up the business because I had known the owners from my banking days, I only picked up one out of the blue and she found me using google search. I expected to receive at least 20 calls as the card was designed by a professional marketing company and was designed to address their lobby which the city ended up passing which is why I did what I did.

LawnMedic
02-23-2010, 05:12 PM
So I take it everyones best marketing is door to door flyers? Always including the price, or do some people get success without leaving the price?

Steve
02-24-2010, 12:01 PM
So I take it everyones best marketing is door to door flyers? Always including the price, or do some people get success without leaving the price?

You have to ask yourself, what would make for a better sales presentation, a flyer left at a door with a price, or you at the property walking the customer around their yard and showing them what they need then giving them a price.

It depends, the area I went after is full of complainers, I thought it would be a slam dunk.

What is your take on why this group was full of complainers? Was it a socio-economic reason? Or was it something else?

picframer
02-24-2010, 01:01 PM
This group has managed to get some pretty ridiculous rules passed, for example you can no longer burn brush of any kind in HRM, no exceptions, the reasoning was pollution, they are trying to get wood stoves banned now.

Chemicals however are dangerous and I don't have an issue with our city being the first Herbicide and Pesticide city in Canada.

LawnMedic
02-24-2010, 06:10 PM
Theres a lot of variables, it seems like everything has to be on target. You could have the greatest offer going and the prettiest brochure but if it goes to the wrong hands or is just not going to do anything. Its very saturated in jersey here, but a lot of brochures i see are really really basic. I look at that and say thats ugly, but sometimes the more basic and simple black and white says hey ill give ya a damn good price. WHo knows lol?

Im trying to analyze how to decipher a lot of the information that the demographic companies claim to have. I feel as if some people may not have their home value listed, but may be making 150,000 a year. Im currently looking at infousa.com and melissadata.com. I like the boating feature Melissa data has. Sending someone an ad to appeal to their boating senses might be a good idea. Has anyone done any campaigns outside the box like this?

Steve
02-25-2010, 11:24 AM
I like the boating feature Melissa data has. Sending someone an ad to appeal to their boating senses might be a good idea. Has anyone done any campaigns outside the box like this?

I haven't seen a discussion on this yet. Can you tell us more about what you intend to do with this?

LawnMedic
02-25-2010, 02:25 PM
Basically a brochure design that appeals to their boating senses. Like....."You need to be doing this" picture of some boating and then another side saying "Let us handle this" with a picture of lawn care. You can get the lists of people that own boats, so the appeal to them and direct "target marketing" as they call it would be very high.

Steve
02-26-2010, 11:28 AM
That is very creative.

It would be interesting to do a test. With half the people you send the mailer to, include the boat image concept and send it to boat owners. Then the other half, send a more generic one to home owners and see which one brings you in a better response. Then in the future, you can experiment with the best one and try to make it better.

tammiedodge
02-26-2010, 04:30 PM
We're pretty new to do this but we've had some good luck with our door hangers. They are glossy with a rip off business card at the bottom and the back side is one color that we can put a quote on if needed. There is a place to put the price and several features to circle that are included in that price.

This year we're adding a magnet to the business card rip off piece to see if they stick around longer. Our winter has been longer than usual in Tennessee so we have one day that's great and then snow 2 days later. We thought the magnets would probably make people more likely to keep it for longer.

We're crossing our fingers.

LawnMedic
02-26-2010, 04:35 PM
good luck. Thats sounds right that they would hold onto it. I really like the different phone number magnet idea steve mentioned in his video. How much were your door hangers?

tammiedodge
02-26-2010, 04:40 PM
good luck. Thats sounds right that they would hold onto it. I really like the different phone number magnet idea steve mentioned in his video. How much were your door hangers?

It was $249.00 for 1,000 4 color one side/b&w on the back with the rip business cared - from gotprint.com (I'm a graphic designer and this is the best price I've been able to find for the product) I ordered the magnets from a wholesale place called Magically Magnetic Inc.

mentordas
02-27-2010, 11:56 AM
It was $249.00 for 1,000 4 color one side/b&w on the back with the rip business cared - from gotprint.com (I'm a graphic designer and this is the best price I've been able to find for the product) I ordered the magnets from a wholesale place called Magically Magnetic Inc.

That sounds like a great price, I would Really like to see it.

Regards, Mentordas

Steve
02-27-2010, 12:09 PM
I'd love to see your design work too!

dandodge
03-02-2010, 09:09 PM
I've attached the door hangers that my wife did for our business. As she said they are gloss front with one color black on the back and the gray area down on the bottom is where I stuck magnet stickers so customers could rip off the business card and keep it as a magnet.

mentordas
03-03-2010, 01:02 PM
I've attached the door hangers that my wife did for our business. As she said they are gloss front with one color black on the back and the gray area down on the bottom is where I stuck magnet stickers so customers could rip off the business card and keep it as a magnet.

Have you figured how successful your campaign was?

I laid out 100 Door Hangers and got 2 customers, the next time I laid out 1000 in the same area and got no takers.

I have been told that it takes about 1000 Door Hangers to get 1 customer. If that's the case, I would be cutting grass for a year to break even.

Hopefully your $249 investment produced a satisfactory Return On Investment.

I would love to hear how you made out.

Regards, Mentordas

Steve
03-03-2010, 01:25 PM
Those look fantastic!

the bottom is where I stuck magnet stickers so customers could rip off the business card and keep it as a magnet.

Do you do this manually? What kind of magnets do you use? And where do you advise getting them from?

I laid out 100 Door Hangers and got 2 customers, the next time I laid out 1000 in the same area and got no takers.

How far apart were these handed out? There must have been some element that caused a difference in response.

mentordas
03-04-2010, 05:01 PM
We laid out 100 door hangers in one area and then continued on in the same area with 1000 more.

I feel that two things may have made the difference.

In the first 100, we used the "Man walking behind mower" template with a very simple text. and the name was "Sheppard's Landscaping"

With the next 1000, We changed the name to Grassmasters Property Maintenance, LLC." and gave them the first cut free. I find it difficult to understand how we got no response.

Perhaps they were intimidated by the name and the free cut.

What do you think?

JP Landscaping
03-04-2010, 06:55 PM
it's hard to determine why some fliers or door hangers work and some don't.. I personally think it has to do with the area and timing. You just have to be at the right place at the right time.

Example... last year i passed out 300 black and white simple fliers and got $4000 worth of work. This was in early April. Then later in the summer i passed out about 100 and got another job for 2000. Some say they pass out a ton and get nothing.

This year I ordered 5000 full color front and back door hangers for less than $300 (uprinting.com) I think it's a good price. They are scheduled to come in tomorrow. But all the yards here are still covered with at least 2 inches of snow so I'll probably pass them out next week. meanwhile i'm going to go to all the gas stations i can and leave my business cards.

** One thing I put on my door hanger this year was a promotion aiming towards the customer's sense of belonging and wanting to help out their community... i put the following:

Helping your lawn while helping your community!
(company name) will donate a percentage of its profits towards a scholarship for a 2011 graduating senior at a local high school of your choice!

I'm hoping I will get some responses due to this. and I put two coupons on the back along with the price range for an average lawn. That way they will have an idea of what it would cost but I wouldn't have to write 5000 different prices and have to look at every lawn to make the estimate.

Maybe you could do something like that.

Steve
03-05-2010, 01:09 PM
Helping your lawn while helping your community!
(company name) will donate a percentage of its profits towards a scholarship for a 2011 graduating senior at a local high school of your choice!

That is very interesting! You gotta keep us posted on how it is all going. I bet you are going to hear a lot of feedback because of this.

With such money collected, how will you put it into a scholarship? Do you set it up on your own or do you give it to the school?

dandodge
03-06-2010, 10:07 AM
Those look fantastic!



Do you do this manually? What kind of magnets do you use? And where do you advise getting them from?

How far apart were these handed out? There must have been some element that caused a difference in response.

Yes we put these on manually. Bought the magnets from a wholesaler http://www.lyt.com/servlet/StoreFront (Magically Magnetic, we shopped around a lot and these are the best price!) It took my teenagers an hour or so to put the magnets on!

We are hanging 100 ea in 2 different neighborhoods that we have a few jobs but would like to have more in the same area. This is the first weekend here in Tennessee that we have had decent weather so we're just hanging them now! Let you know how it turns out.

We did hang about 200 last year in our neighborhood and got about a 10% return. Since our business is "Good Neighbor Lawn Care" we use the neighborhood marketing a lot. We always hang something or drop business cards on a block when we do jobs and that has helped us build the business more than anything.

The thing to remember with any direct marketing is 3-10% return is normal so don't expect too much!

Let you know how the magnets work! We're crossing our fingers!

Tammie and Danny Dodge
Good Neighbor Lawn Care

Steve
03-06-2010, 12:46 PM
We did hang about 200 last year in our neighborhood and got about a 10% return.

What do you think contributed to such a great return?