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jklawncare
12-29-2010, 01:44 AM
I have had some postcards designed for me..decided..ill have someone else do the work for me..get myself out of my niche..

heres what he came up with
do you like them?
if you saw it stuck to your door..would you want to read it..

what dont you like, what would you change
what would a reader want to see..

jklawncare
12-29-2010, 01:45 AM
forgot the postcard..here you go..

Growing Green
12-29-2010, 03:03 AM
WOW! Those are nice! Do you mind if I ask you who are making those for you?

Matt

jklawncare
12-29-2010, 03:26 AM
WOW! Those are nice! Do you mind if I ask you who are making those for you?

Matt

Thanks is there anything you dislike? or would change?
typically i do my own designs but i have a design hump to get over..anything i come up with lately is bland and boring.

Im haveing plan it Graphics do it for me

i saw him on one of the posts on the forum so went over to his site.. i like one of his examples so much i asked him to almost mimmick it for me..he does amazing work..you can see it on his site..good prices too

hes specially for lawn care
he does have a seperate site for other printing though

wellbiz
12-29-2010, 10:00 AM
Thanks is there anything you dislike? or would change?


I want to start by saying they are very nice looking and very well designed. I do however have a few thoughts for you.

1, What is your goal for this postcard? By the look of the discount you want more lawn clients. If this is the case I would taylor the advertisement to that specific service and not have a complete listing of your services. You can mention a few, but I would not have a complete list. Send them to your website or have them call if they want to know your other services.

2, You list all your services but where are the benefits for the homeowner to choose you to take care of their yard. Think like a home owner and not a business owner. To be blunt I have never had a homeowner choose my company because my advertisement was nice looking. There has to be more! People buy on benefits.

3, A discount can work, but you dont want to compete on price if you dont have to. There will always be some lowballer who will do it for less. A discount can make your phone ring, but why should they choose you, what are you going to do for them that the lowballer down the street wont??

Some things you could maybe add (not all are benefits): Are you licensed and insured, do you offer a satisfaction guarantee, maybe mention you are a local family owned business if you are, are you going to save them time, will you provide them with a lawn the neighbors will envy, etc.

This really depends on who your market is. Are your clients primary rich homeowners who dont want to cut thier lawn, or are they busy professionals or the elderly who dont have the time or cant cut their lawns. You can then focus your message to the specific demographic.


Jay

jklawncare
12-29-2010, 05:00 PM
I want to start by saying they are very nice looking and very well designed. I do however have a few thoughts for you.

1, What is your goal for this postcard? By the look of the discount you want more lawn clients. If this is the case I would taylor the advertisement to that specific service and not have a complete listing of your services. You can mention a few, but I would not have a complete list. Send them to your website or have them call if they want to know your other services.

2, You list all your services but where are the benefits for the homeowner to choose you to take care of their yard. Think like a home owner and not a business owner. To be blunt I have never had a homeowner choose my company because my advertisement was nice looking. There has to be more! People buy on benefits.

3, A discount can work, but you dont want to compete on price if you dont have to. There will always be some lowballer who will do it for less. A discount can make your phone ring, but why should they choose you, what are you going to do for them that the lowballer down the street wont??

Some things you could maybe add (not all are benefits): Are you licensed and insured, do you offer a satisfaction guarantee, maybe mention you are a local family owned business if you are, are you going to save them time, will you provide them with a lawn the neighbors will envy, etc.

This really depends on who your market is. Are your clients primary rich homeowners who dont want to cut thier lawn, or are they busy professionals or the elderly who dont have the time or cant cut their lawns. You can then focus your message to the specific demographic.


Jay

thanks for the tough criticism i appreciate it ill put all those thoughts into modifying the design

im trying to pickup as many customers as possible while keeping my prices
i can let 10% go cause i have no virtual overhead
i could even raise my bid if i wanted

Steve
12-29-2010, 06:03 PM
Your postcard looks great!

2, You list all your services but where are the benefits for the homeowner to choose you to take care of their yard. Think like a home owner and not a business owner. To be blunt I have never had a homeowner choose my company because my advertisement was nice looking. There has to be more! People buy on benefits.

In the past, have you found the marketing of certain benefits worked better over others?

Would you have a top 3 or a top 5 list of benefits to point out that he could choose from?

A lot of times it can be very difficult to come up with benefits to offer.

jklawncare
12-29-2010, 06:19 PM
Custom Packages is my main selling point
no one aruond here does it but me..so alot of ppl come to me for that.

also because i can offer more competetive prices however i dont low ball

i take the top 3 competitors around the area and i find out what they charge and how they do there work and i go a little cheaper than the middle one.

i dont want to lose my customer base when i grow and need more money because of the drastic increase in cost


I told him to include that on the post card so hopefully it will turn out better the second time then the fantastic job the first time ahaha..

I decided to get profesisonal printed ads because everyone around here uses a copier and runs off cheaper flyers like ive done..

im also wanting to open my services up to the richer neighborhoods so i think this will get some attraction..theyll remember my postcard over a piece of paper..thats why i was wanting it to look good


i limited my services to lawn maintenance weed removal seasonal cleanups and fertilization as these are all spring services and what most will be needing..

so to sum it up
i put the moeny out for advertising to get into the rich neighbor hoods

i slimmed my services down to the above

and i told him to include custom packages
no contracts and senior discounts as well as a satisfation guarantee

any other thoughts or ideas/

wellbiz
12-30-2010, 10:16 AM
Your postcard looks great!



In the past, have you found the marketing of certain benefits worked better over others?

Would you have a top 3 or a top 5 list of benefits to point out that he could choose from?

A lot of times it can be very difficult to come up with benefits to offer.

Good question Steve! I think this really depends on who his client base is. My main client base is elderly homeowners and busy younger professionals so I try to stress what benefits that I think are important to them. I have a pretty bold satisfaction guarantee, I stress value and of course a lawn they can be proud of and the neighbors will envy. Most of my clients like to have the nicest lawn on the block and I try to sell to that. Things like I am licensed and insured and that I grew up in the neighborhood and have a vested interest in doing a top quality job to keep the neighborhood looking top notch. While all of these things are not directly benefits to the customer, they are things I use in my marketing.

My message will change depending on the marketing material, the offer and of course the media. I do something completely different in my PPC or newspaper adverts compared to a flyer or postcard.

As far as what seems to work best, well the satisfaction guarantee.


Jay

wellbiz
12-30-2010, 10:42 AM
Custom Packages is my main selling point
no one aruond here does it but me..so alot of ppl come to me for that.

also because i can offer more competetive prices however i dont low ball

i take the top 3 competitors around the area and i find out what they charge and how they do there work and i go a little cheaper than the middle one.

i dont want to lose my customer base when i grow and need more money because of the drastic increase in cost


I told him to include that on the post card so hopefully it will turn out better the second time then the fantastic job the first time ahaha..

I decided to get profesisonal printed ads because everyone around here uses a copier and runs off cheaper flyers like ive done..

im also wanting to open my services up to the richer neighborhoods so i think this will get some attraction..theyll remember my postcard over a piece of paper..thats why i was wanting it to look good


i limited my services to lawn maintenance weed removal seasonal cleanups and fertilization as these are all spring services and what most will be needing..

so to sum it up
i put the moeny out for advertising to get into the rich neighbor hoods

i slimmed my services down to the above

and i told him to include custom packages
no contracts and senior discounts as well as a satisfation guarantee

any other thoughts or ideas/

I like your ideas, I think you have a pretty strong looking postcard and it is sure to stand out from the poorly designed material most companies hand out. I can wait to see the reworded one.

If your clients are rich having a cheap price may not be the way to go. I would stress value, and professionalism. Wealthy clients in my area like a professional who does a top quality job and provides an excellent value for their services. In other words you may be able to charge a little more if you can sell your professionalism and customer service. In your case it seems you have a niche selling packages or services no one else offers. Usually in a niche you can charge a little extra because you specialize. I also found that competing on price doesn't build good customer relationships. As soon as the next guy who has a cheaper price comes along you are out of a job.

To add something about pricing and I am guilty of this also. When I started I figured I could charge less, not lowball but build a nice business because I had lower overhead then the bigger guys with their multiple crews and fancy new trucks. What I soon learned reading the message boards, books and internet guru sites was that if I ever want to grow bigger then the one man operation with a used truck, I need to charge pretty much what the other guys were. Having a cheaper price allows for you to get work faster, but when you need to expand, hire employees or buy new equipment you cant afford it because your pricing is out of sync with what would be needed to support the larger business. It really depends on your goals. I personally dont intent to stay a one-man operation.

I hope this helps.
Jay

jklawncare
12-30-2010, 02:09 PM
I like your ideas, I think you have a pretty strong looking postcard and it is sure to stand out from the poorly designed material most companies hand out. I can wait to see the reworded one.

If your clients are rich having a cheap price may not be the way to go. I would stress value, and professionalism. Wealthy clients in my area like a professional who does a top quality job and provides an excellent value for their services. In other words you may be able to charge a little more if you can sell your professionalism and customer service. In your case it seems you have a niche selling packages or services no one else offers. Usually in a niche you can charge a little extra because you specialize. I also found that competing on price doesn't build good customer relationships. As soon as the next guy who has a cheaper price comes along you are out of a job.

To add something about pricing and I am guilty of this also. When I started I figured I could charge less, not lowball but build a nice business because I had lower overhead then the bigger guys with their multiple crews and fancy new trucks. What I soon learned reading the message boards, books and internet guru sites was that if I ever want to grow bigger then the one man operation with a used truck, I need to charge pretty much what the other guys were. Having a cheaper price allows for you to get work faster, but when you need to expand, hire employees or buy new equipment you cant afford it because your pricing is out of sync with what would be needed to support the larger business. It really depends on your goals. I personally dont intent to stay a one-man operation.

I hope this helps.
Jay

I get what your saying and i thought about it but i dont have the money to make 2 sets of postcards

also one of the main reasons i didnt do that was because im only 17..
i drive an old 93 blazer
and i mow with a push mower and box store equpment (this year i plan on upgrading to a stihl trimmer first thing and a walk behind some time.)

so if i start charging the upper costs of what competitors are charging im afraid theyll be turned away when they meet me or my set up and they might expect more out of me. and if i cant keep my customers happy im not happy.

so my postcard really is to be around the whole town (upper class to lower class from young to old) but i just wanted something to look better than the rest to appeal to the wider range of people.

wellbiz
12-30-2010, 03:17 PM
I get what your saying and i thought about it but i dont have the money to make 2 sets of postcards

also one of the main reasons i didnt do that was because im only 17..
i drive an old 93 blazer
and i mow with a push mower and box store equpment (this year i plan on upgrading to a stihl trimmer first thing and a walk behind some time.)

so if i start charging the upper costs of what competitors are charging im afraid theyll be turned away when they meet me or my set up and they might expect more out of me. and if i cant keep my customers happy im not happy.

so my postcard really is to be around the whole town (upper class to lower class from young to old) but i just wanted something to look better than the rest to appeal to the wider range of people.

Dont let the fact that you are younger with starter equipment stop you from competing with the big boys. They probably started the same way. You are a professional as am I, and everyone else on this forum and we should be paid like one.
Do you do a worse job then the big guys, I doubt it. You might not be able to take on the bigger projects that require a larger mower or tractor, but I bet when you finish a lawn it looks as good as if the highest priced guy in town were to cut it. Plus you dont know unless you try. You could try to quote a few on the higher side. Worse case senario is you dont get the account. Then you know that your pricing is on track or not. You might be suprised. On the plus side if you can make a few extra bucks, the faster you can purchase that new mower and trimmer.

If you are act in a professional manner, present a professional image (the postcards are a good example, I am sure you have business cards and dress professionally) and show up and do what you say you will, you will be suprised how little interest anyone will pay to your age or the equipment you run. My only advice is keep your truck and equipment clean and make sure your truck isn't loud.

Keep us posted.
Jay

jklawncare
12-31-2010, 03:29 PM
heres the new back
what do you think..
somehow i thinkk it looks more crowded..

jklawncare
12-31-2010, 05:05 PM
somehowi always forget to post the new one..heres the new one

the second one is one i came up with and i think ill have him change it to something more like that..just including the custom packages..

the 3rd one is a craigslist ad i through together real fast as a general idea tell me what you think

wellbiz
12-31-2010, 05:40 PM
somehowi always forget to post the new one..heres the new one

the second one is one i came up with and i think ill have him change it to something more like that..just including the custom packages..

the 3rd one is a craigslist ad i through together real fast as a general idea tell me what you think

I like the second one and your craigslist ad is nice also.

jklawncare
12-31-2010, 05:44 PM
I like the second one and your craigslist ad is nice also.

Thanks is there anything else you would change,add,or remove from the ad otherwise i will send him mine and have him copy it how he does it and it will be my final.

wellbiz
12-31-2010, 06:07 PM
Thanks is there anything else you would change,add,or remove from the ad otherwise i will send him mine and have him copy it how he does it and it will be my final.

I always like to add my website URL and an email address, but you may not have one.

You have a headline with the discount, mention some benefits along with your services. The only question is will the customers respond.

How many are you planning on mailing and do you have a list? A great mailer sent to a bad list is no good.

jklawncare
12-31-2010, 06:15 PM
I always like to add my website URL and an email address, but you may not have one.

You have a headline with the discount, mention some benefits along with your services. The only question is will the customers respond.

How many are you planning on mailing and do you have a list? A great mailer sent to a bad list is no good.

dont currently have a website.. ihave it layed out..just need to find a host..but dont want to put it up until i have some income.

your right about the email ill include that.

i dont think theres enough room to list a bunch of benefits to be honest
i want it to be as clean and simple as possible and if i crowd it up they will spend less time reading it..

i wont be mailing them either

ill be doing somehting that i got from adeas printing
its called stickit

its basically a double stick tape on the back and you just stick it to the door or mailbox etc.

i dont have the money for all that postage
ill be getting 2500

Hedgemaster
12-31-2010, 06:50 PM
Looking good.

I just saw this. I was busy yesterday working up a design for my own post card! I was trying to get it finished in time to take advantage of a pretty decent "December" sale for postcards.
I'll have to start a thread to show what I came up with.

Don't sweat all the "what ifs", and "you shoulds"... you can make yourself crazy trying to get things "perfect". What you have there is already going to be more impressive than 90% of what your competitors are using.

jklawncare
12-31-2010, 06:53 PM
Looking good.

I just saw this. I was busy yesterday working up a design for my own post card! I was trying to get it finished in time to take advantage of a pretty decent "December" sale for postcards.
I'll have to start a thread to show what I came up with.

Don't sweat all the "what ifs", and "you shoulds"... you can make yourself crazy trying to get things "perfect". What you have there is already going to be more impressive than 90% of what your competitors are using.

Thanks for the advice your absoultely right
id love to see what youve been working on..

and also which do you prefer
the first or second back..

Hedgemaster
12-31-2010, 07:03 PM
I like the design in post #14 above better.

I tend to prefer to keep the "wordy" stuff to flyers/brochures. Smaller advertisements are best kept uncluttered, else the reader won't even bother looking at it.

jklawncare
12-31-2010, 07:08 PM
I like the design in post #14 above better.

I tend to prefer to keep the "wordy" stuff to flyers/brochures. Smaller advertisements are best kept uncluttered, else the reader won't even bother looking at it.

theres 2

i think ill go with the one that says i offer custom packages as well
because i am hte only one in my area to do that

racerdude711
12-31-2010, 07:59 PM
JK,

I think the postcards look great. I think you need to just pick the one you like. The biggest lawn care company in my town, (Omaha, NE) didn't have a postcard as nice as that. I can almost guarantee yours will be the best. Also, I know we talked about using Adeas Printing, and I'll be using them as well, but I saw you said you were gunna get 2,500. That seems like a pretty good number, but then when I saw you say your gunna hand them all out, I kinda laughed. Not that it isn't possible, but if you go on Google Maps, or somewhere that you could find out how many houses that really is, I think you would attempt to pay for the postage. Also, did you take into consideration that the Stick-It postcards take up room on the postcard for the stiky part? You may have to design your postcard around that...

jklawncare
12-31-2010, 08:21 PM
JK,

I think the postcards look great. I think you need to just pick the one you like. The biggest lawn care company in my town, (Omaha, NE) didn't have a postcard as nice as that. I can almost guarantee yours will be the best. Also, I know we talked about using Adeas Printing, and I'll be using them as well, but I saw you said you were gunna get 2,500. That seems like a pretty good number, but then when I saw you say your gunna hand them all out, I kinda laughed. Not that it isn't possible, but if you go on Google Maps, or somewhere that you could find out how many houses that really is, I think you would attempt to pay for the postage. Also, did you take into consideration that the Stick-It postcards take up room on the postcard for the stiky part? You may have to design your postcard around that...

I do know how many that is haah im having 2 maybe 3 people help me pass them out

i decided not to go with adeas
im having a guy at plan-it graphics print them for me
1000 of them is 99
and 2500 is 154 so i figured..1500 for an extra 55 isnt a bad deal..i can always hand them back out in may or june to get rid of some extras i may have..

im just going to be getting some double stick tape and putting it on the back

MAK told me thats what he did and it worked out i guess

and even if that fails i can figure out a way to get them to each house wether it be buying door bags or something..but im sure the tape will work just fine..i dont see why it wouldnt..

ill be passing my postcards out in different areas around town
probably do it 3 days in a row
with 2-4 people each day..

so i have confidence that we can get a fairly good amount passed out..

im aiming to get 25 new customers..and i get a really high return rating around here so im sure i could over exceed that limit.

thanks for the advice though

wellbiz
01-01-2011, 08:19 AM
Don't sweat all the "what ifs", and "you shoulds"... you can make yourself crazy trying to get things "perfect". What you have there is already going to be more impressive than 90% of what your competitors are using.

This is great advice. I am guilty of this myself.

TheGoat
01-01-2011, 10:15 AM
Custom Packages is my main selling point
no one aruond here does it but me..so alot of ppl come to me for that.



what does that mean exactly? As a home owner looking at your ad, custom service is not an impression I would take away after viewing your ad.

Include something like this "We can tailor your lawn service (http://www.hungrygoatlawns.com) to fit your specific needs."

then give some examples of what some of those customizable options are.

also something to note, if you are mailing these, the backside will need a redesign to accommodate address' and postage.

If they are for handing out, nothing to worry about.

jklawncare
01-01-2011, 04:23 PM
what does that mean exactly? As a home owner looking at your ad, custom service is not an impression I would take away after viewing your ad.

Include something like this "We can tailor your lawn service (http://www.hungrygoatlawns.com) to fit your specific needs."

then give some examples of what some of those customizable options are.

also something to note, if you are mailing these, the backside will need a redesign to accommodate address' and postage.

If they are for handing out, nothing to worry about.

Custom packages is where the customer can choose what and when they want there services to be done

say

you want a weekly mow but trim every other week
you want a biweekly mow but you want hedge triming every 4 weeks
you want a weekly mow plus a fertilization package

and i bill them all together as one..it saves the customer money and is less of a hassle for me to try and sell these things..

works out great..and all the customers i have said they love it.


also ill be handing them out not mailing

Hedgemaster
01-01-2011, 07:15 PM
Thanks for the advice your absoultely right
id love to see what youve been working on..

and also which do you prefer
the first or second back..


Here's mine BTW.
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13206

I left my card blank on the reverse. That way I can print labels and mail them, or write a note on the back. I only had 500 printed - I can always alter the design at a later date.
I'm looking into buying sheets of round, printable stickers that I could use to add info "as needed". Example: "Ask About Snowblowing Service!"
This would tend to be costly and time consuming if I were doing it large scale, but for where I'm at right now, it's a workable idea.

jklawncare
01-02-2011, 12:39 AM
Here's mine BTW.
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13206

I left my card blank on the reverse. That way I can print labels and mail them, or write a note on the back. I only had 500 printed - I can always alter the design at a later date.
I'm looking into buying sheets of round, printable stickers that I could use to add info "as needed". Example: "Ask About Snowblowing Service!"
This would tend to be costly and time consuming if I were doing it large scale, but for where I'm at right now, it's a workable idea.

sounds like a good idea
they look nice too
i need to get some more business cards..more personalized ones..i got 500 off vista print and i would like to have some more printed with my own design..it was a black friday deal so i took it while i could..got alot of free stuff..

let me know how those stickers work if you get them

TheGoat
01-03-2011, 11:04 AM
Here's mine BTW.
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=13206

I left my card blank on the reverse. That way I can print labels and mail them, or write a note on the back. I only had 500 printed - I can always alter the design at a later date.
I'm looking into buying sheets of round, printable stickers that I could use to add info "as needed". Example: "Ask About Snowblowing Service!"
This would tend to be costly and time consuming if I were doing it large scale, but for where I'm at right now, it's a workable idea.

you can get 1000 business card size stickers printed here (http://www.nextdayflyers.com/sticker-standard-printing/2x35-sticker.php) for $55 full color.

I used nextdayflyers.com for my postcards and was very impressed with their customer service. I had asked for full color front and grayscale back but I sent them the back I designed in color, they called me and straightened it out the same day and comped me the expedited printing even though they had done nothing wrong.

Steve
01-05-2011, 07:42 PM
How about the offer. What does everyone think of the 10% if you sign up by a certain date?

Would that be more effective or worse that something like "2 free mowings, if you sign up by......."

Should two different designs be made and tried in two distinct geographic areas?

Fine Gardens Landscaping
06-27-2011, 05:29 PM
I like that the front of the card indicates to turn the card over for the special offer (People will be curious to see what it is and will be likely to look at the back of the card).

I thought the services area on the left of the card was a little too busy. For example where you say "fertilizing", that's good but then to the right of it you have "removal of low tree branches". The two don't go together and it is kind of confusing.

I think it would be better to not mention every service you do. Mention the main one's or the main things you want to communicate to your customer.

Steve
06-28-2011, 09:15 PM
Mention the main one's or the main things you want to communicate to your customer.

How many services would you suggest be listed and do you have any thoughts on which would be the best ones to list?

Fine Gardens Landscaping
06-29-2011, 01:26 AM
Not to be too picky but since you asked. If it were me I'd just say Weed Abatement as opposed to "Weed Removal - Weed Control".

Then I wouldn't bother mentioning removal of low hanging branches. It doesn't really tie in that well with the theme of the other services he talks about. Once he meets with a potential customer he can simply offer that service to them if he sees a need for it.

Removing those two items should make the left side of his card look less cluttered and read a little better in my opinion.

Steve
06-30-2011, 12:17 PM
That does make sense. Focus your marketing on the big selling services and then once you are onsite, look to upsell the smaller services.

Very insightful.

Do you see other places where newer lawn care business owners go wrong with their marketing?