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Simpkins
03-01-2011, 07:26 AM
I have put together a small "e-book" outlining some marketing tips and advice. I hate calling it an e-book because this medium has been so abused by affiliate marketers. There is some good information in this one though I promise. You can get your free copy here (http://www.jdsimpkins.com/marketing-your-lawn-care-business.html).

You don't even need to enter your email address for access. Simply visit the link and right click on the image to save. I hope you all enjoy. Let me know what you think.

JD

Hedgemaster
03-01-2011, 11:28 AM
I just reviewed it. Thanks.

arthur712
03-01-2011, 03:21 PM
Looks great! Thank you so much!

Artie

Simpkins
03-01-2011, 03:53 PM
Thanks guys.

Hedgemaster, What did you think of the book? Was there any ideas you plan on implementing?

I have more things to write about. I am no author by any means and it is hard to keep my ideas formed and well focused so I kept it short. ;)

Once I get some feedback on this, part 2?

Hedgemaster
03-01-2011, 05:21 PM
Thanks guys.

Hedgemaster, What did you think of the book? Was there any ideas you plan on implementing?

I have more things to write about. I am no author by any means and it is hard to keep my ideas formed and well focused so I kept it short. ;)

Once I get some feedback on this, part 2?


I hadn't considered the impact of not wearing a shirt. I probably should consider wearing pants too.


:D



Overall, much of it seems to be "common sense", but as the saying sort of goes, "common sense isn't all that common".
I'm sure everyone can pick up an idea or two even if they already understand most of what you put out there.

The "marketing idea" that I hadn't considered was the placement of "visit www.mywebsite.com/specialoffer.html for a
$10.00 coupon" on flyers.
Good idea.

If I get stuck (or am about to jump off a bridge) I may contact you regarding a web page. I really want to do this on my own, but every time I mess around with it, my head wants to explode.
If I do decide to have someone else create a site for me, my requirement for a website is that I can alter the content on my own, without needing to ask the person who built it to make changes.

Simpkins
03-01-2011, 05:36 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I understand wanting to do things yourself. I am the same way with a lot of stuff. I'm not always about making a buck so if you do decide to jump in and build your own site and get stuck or have some questions, I'd be happy to help free of charge.

Steve
03-01-2011, 07:05 PM
Very nice job on all of it.

Simpkins
03-02-2011, 03:33 AM
Thanks Steve! I have received several emails and I'm optimistic that I will have some lawn care sites to build really soon. Of course everyone will see them as soon as possible.

For those of you that read the "book", I hope you found the information helpful. I'm open to all feedback.

For those that have emailed and posted here. Thanks!

Steve
03-02-2011, 06:49 PM
The "marketing idea" that I hadn't considered was the placement of "visit www.mywebsite.com/specialoffer.html for a
$10.00 coupon" on flyers.

Can you tell us a little about how doing it that way is better than putting the coupon on the flyer itself?

Organic
03-02-2011, 07:12 PM
Good book, you can never get enough marketing info
Also liked the visit the website for $10 cupon . May also
need some help on my site too.

Simpkins
03-02-2011, 11:22 PM
Can you tell us a little about how doing it that way is better than putting the coupon on the flyer itself?


There are a couple "schools of thought" on this. I think this helps you track your efforts better and is pretty simple to do. You have a page on your site that isn't linked to from any other part of your site and isn't indexed by the search engines. The only way to get to this page is by typing the full address in your browser.

OK, Let's make some numbers up that makes math easy on me ;) Let's say you passed out 1,000 flyers or door hangers or however you advertised this. You see that you have had 100 visits to that page on your site (any simple analytics program will show this) and you had 2 phone calls. This tells me that your offer wasn't that enticing. 100 people were interested enough to see what you were offering but only two called. Change the offer.

Otherwise you pass out 1,000 flyers and receive two calls, was it the offer itself, the layout of the flyer, or any other variable that could be thrown in there....?

I think this helps you track your response rate better. Any other thoughts on this idea? It seems to make sense to me and I've used it with success, but I'm not always right ;)

Simpkins
03-02-2011, 11:23 PM
Good book, you can never get enough marketing info
Also liked the visit the website for $10 cupon . May also
need some help on my site too.

Thanks organic.

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback I've been getting. Keep it coming.

Steve
03-04-2011, 01:14 AM
Ok, the thing I wonder is this. How should you track your advertising with your incoming phone calls?

If you are tracking that information, how does it help you or not to know that say 100 people visited that specific page?

Does it matter the number of visitors to the page or is the real important number, the amount of calls that came in?

Simpkins
03-04-2011, 05:01 AM
Ok, the thing I wonder is this. How should you track your advertising with your incoming phone calls?
One of the first questions out of my mouth is "How did you hear about us?" They will always let you know.

If you are tracking that information, how does it help you or not to know that say 100 people visited that specific page?
The thing that helps is the number of calls/emails/other form of contact, you get vs the number of visits to the page. So if 100 people "responded" to the flyer (visited the page) and you received 1 phone call/email/other form of contact (either they contact you and say they heard about you via the flyer or they present the coupon they printed off) you would know that you need to change your offer/word it differently/otherwise play with it.

Does it matter the number of visitors to the page or is the real important number, the amount of calls that came in?
Same as above... They "numbers" themselves aren't important, it's the percentage of people that follow through.

The Cleaning Doctor
03-04-2011, 02:35 PM
So the basic idea is

1. You get no or very few visits the problem is the flyer you passed out or it could be the target neighborhood

or

2. You get a lot of visits to the site but the conversion rate is way off. Then the problem is the sales page.

This kind of thing helps to target specifics.

But on the other hand, if your way you only get 2 responses and just putting the coupon on the flyer and you only get 2 responses the result is the same with one step removed.

Is the problem still the flyer and those extra visits were the curious cat types?

The whole problem with marketing is that there is no surefire way to know what will work from one house to the next.

What I mean is were the visitors really interested from the flyer or just curious? There is no way to tell. I visit sites all the time that I have absolutely no intention of purchasing from.

Simpkins
03-04-2011, 04:29 PM
Good point doctor. That is one of the things about tracking results. Nothing can be 100% accurate. The best we can do is make educated guesses. The "education" part comes in by seeing the visits and comparing to the calls, otherwise it's just a guess. We most definitely would have to account for curious folks like yourself but if 100 people visited and 2 people called, I think it would be safe to say that the offer wasn't that enticing. While some of the visits no doubt came from curious individuals, I doubt 98 people didn't have something better to do with their time than to satisfy their curiosity.

The Cleaning Doctor
03-04-2011, 04:31 PM
Good points.

Steve
03-05-2011, 05:44 PM
Is the problem still the flyer and those extra visits were the curious cat types?

Is it possible these potential customers would be converted if they had called? Would there be a better chance of that if they talked to someone on the phone.

Or would they simply not call because they wouldn't want to talk to someone on the phone yet. They were merely investigating a little more?

Simpkins
03-05-2011, 09:52 PM
Is it possible these potential customers would be converted if they had called? Would there be a better chance of that if they talked to someone on the phone.

Or would they simply not call because they wouldn't want to talk to someone on the phone yet. They were merely investigating a little more?

It is hard to say with any accuracy on this as well. As we've been discussing, their are so many variables to take into consideration. For example, is the person they called experienced in dealing with people? If not and words are stumbled all over etc. this would have an impact.

Second question. Some may not have called because they aren't "ready" to talk to someone, that's true. People hate being in a high pressure situation. This is why the copy of your sales page (and all other areas on your site) should help put them at ease. They don't want to call and ask a simple question because they don't want to deal with Joe.

________________________________________________

Meet Joe, a 32 year old used car salesman that is still using selling techniques from the 80's.


________________________________________________

There is SOOO many things that can go wrong in the sales process. This is why it is important to narrow it down as much as possible, as to exactly where you "lost" them. For instance, taking the advice given above, staying that printing the coupon on the door hanger, you've eliminated an extra step.

Sure, you have one less thing to take into consideration. But you aren't eliminating anything at all. The variable is still there, you're just choosing to ignore it.

Simpkins
03-05-2011, 10:41 PM
I've given this some thought and since I've received several inquiries as to prices and what to expect etc. I threw together a little sample page. Please note that no links work and this isn't what your site would look like. I'll create a unique look for each site I build. This is just a quickly thrown together sample. I can build you something like this, integrate paypal, create a contact form, optimize it for search engines, submit to the free major search engines, and list your business with several free business directories for $150.00. I am wanting to build my portfolio up and I promised you guys a special deal in my book so this is my offer.

I require 50% payment to get started with the balance due upon completion. This price also includes the price of your domain name and the first month of hosting. After that, you can expect to pay about $11-$12 per year for domain name and roughly $5 per month for hosting.

If you have any question email or pm me.

Oh yeah, I about forgot. :rolleyes: You can see the sample here (http://www.jdsimpkins.com/lc/lcsample.html).

nnyparts
03-21-2011, 03:44 AM
Just be careful when asking for any monies on-line that you are PCI Compliance. I too can remember first starting out and basically doing websites for free to build up a portfolio.

One thing to keep it mind is uniqueness of each site...don't go with that template and plug in each persons logo, name, contact info.... Think outside the box a bit and be creative. Also don't limit yourself to just godaddy. If your going to be a aka web developer you really need to understand DNS structure, different forms of hosting and the best ways to upload and make changes when needed.

Good luck!

Simpkins
03-21-2011, 04:08 AM
Just be careful when asking for any monies on-line that you are PCI Compliance. I too can remember first starting out and basically doing websites for free to build up a portfolio.

One thing to keep it mind is uniqueness of each site...don't go with that template and plug in each persons logo, name, contact info.... Think outside the box a bit and be creative. Also don't limit yourself to just godaddy. If your going to be a aka web developer you really need to understand DNS structure, different forms of hosting and the best ways to upload and make changes when needed.

Good luck!

PCI Compliance isn't an issue as I use PayPal to process all transactions on their secure servers.

All sites that I build will be unique as I don't use templates. I write the code of each site by hand in notepad. I am not running a large organization so this isn't a problem. Dreamweaver holds me back. ;)

I understand different hosting but for this promotion (almost free) and other (totally free) promotions, I choose to use GoDaddy as this is what I am most familiar with. They are inexpensive. They support PHP.

Thanks for the luck. :)

cleancutlawncare5382
03-21-2011, 08:14 PM
Wow, great read. Thanks for sharing.

I just finished and love the creativity you have used in the past. I plan to try some of the ideas (coupons) scanning the paper personal letters. I saved your book and plan to print and highlight ideas I think I can use.

Offering a pay online (PayPal) is something I have thought about adding to my site but Im just not sure people are looking at it. If you would like take a look at it and see if you could improve.

Thanks again for the book, look forward to part 2

Simpkins
03-21-2011, 09:24 PM
Wow, great read. Thanks for sharing.

I just finished and love the creativity you have used in the past. I plan to try some of the ideas (coupons) scanning the paper personal letters. I saved your book and plan to print and highlight ideas I think I can use.

Offering a pay online (PayPal) is something I have thought about adding to my site but Im just not sure people are looking at it. If you would like take a look at it and see if you could improve.

Thanks again for the book, look forward to part 2

Thanks a lot for the feedback! I really hope a lot of people get something out of this. I've always been a poor guy so I had to be creative ;)

As far as the PayPal, I think it shouldn't be a question of "Are they looking for it?" If they aren't, they just scan by it. If you don't offer the option though and someone is looking for the convenience of using a credit card, you loose a potential customer. Just my two cents.

jymie
03-21-2011, 11:23 PM
With paypal, there are two ways to go about using them. You can send a money request to your customers email address, it like sending them the button by email, but you will have the total they owe you. Or they can go to your website and press the button to pay a bill. When you make the button for your website, just put a zero in for the amount then they have to input the amount they want to pay.

Simpkins
03-23-2011, 03:39 AM
With paypal, there are two ways to go about using them. You can send a money request to your customers email address, it like sending them the button by email, but you will have the total they owe you. Or they can go to your website and press the button to pay a bill. When you make the button for your website, just put a zero in for the amount then they have to input the amount they want to pay.


Absolutely correct. I'm a lazy kind of guy so I never sent them the button in the email. The furthest I would go is including the URL on their invoices so they could visit my site and enter their number in.

In my opinion, this is the best solution for someone wanting to accept credit cards and just starting out. There is no upfront cost. The only charge associated is when someone does use this service, there is a few cents you pay per transaction and a small percentage of the total. I believe Google Checkout is similar although I think PayPal is more widely recognized.