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Ok....hate even thinking about this one. This past spring I had some fairly professional looking flyers made up and read "3 Free Mowings" across the top. Glossy and full color both sides. In short, $3K and 30,000 flyers later I picked up (and kept) two mowing accounts. Had them inserted into neighborhood assoociations newsletters, never again. Actually, one of those accounts was from the same flyer, but delivered. Next spring, it will either be postage paid postcards or hand delivered flyers/doorhangers. I might send out a small run of 5,000 postcards. I still have about 600 flyers, 1500 nice doorhangers and another 1000 one colored doorhangers, so I will try and get all those used up. I am planning of getting me an electric scooter to get all those delivered.
Clippers Magazine. Total flop. Paid $400. Got two calls from it. A one time cut and a guy with a lawn way too big for us to mow.
This season, I have started getting about three cold-calls per week from people selling advertising. I always tell them this when they call:
I've already got proven methods of advertising that make money for me. I would love to have more advertising sources. But what I can't do is pay you to find out if your advertising method will work for my business. Its a gamble on my part and I don't gamble now that I have a proven method. Most advertisements, especially the ones that are represented by sales people, are too expensive to work. I mean, most of them will probably generate calls, but then when I look at what they are costing me, it isn't a money maker. So here's the deal that I offer everybody that calls me selling advertising. If you want to give me the ad for free, if it works, and if its a money maker, I will renew it over and over. But I'm not gonna pay you to find out if it works or not. I've just had too many bad gambles that didn't pay off to keep doing that.
I did display advertising in the news paper. Had them put a nice 2x2 display ad in the paper, run it on 2 Sundays in a row (even had one on the front page their treat!, and 4 times on Wednesdays paper (our two bigest days papers with most circulation). I got 1 residental account. Spent $600 on advertising to get a $25 lawn job. All years work never even made $600 off the account.
Following season... Spend $55 a month, and had them run the same ad in classified without graphics, just the text from the ad... averaged 5 new customers calling wanting estimates a day!
NEVER AGAIN WILL I USE DISPLAY ADVERTISING. Classifieds worked just fine!
A free lawn aeration if you signed up for a full season of services and signed our contract.
That went over real well, Had no takers what so ever. it was a complete waste on money and time and taught me a valuable lesson about Val-Pak coupons. The only things that work in val paks are restuarants, carpet cleaning, and auto repair.
A reloaction guide, all realtors give them to you when you move into a new house, or when you are looking for a new house. Didn't get one single phone call from the #### thing, full page color ad, $4500 for the year, and not one single phone call. Biggest waste of money ever.
I have had very good luck with my phone book ad, it $7380, for the year, and I have gotten about $425,000 in business this year from the ad.
FREE LAWN CARE FOR A YEAR - NO STRINGS ATTATCHED. We offered a basic fert & weed program to new owners of homes from our existing customers. When our customer sold their house and moved we offered the free lawn care to the new owners. We figured they would like our service and then renew in the following years to come. Believe it or not we only had one taker out of about 15 that we offered it to, and they sold the house and moved after the first year.
I thought I had it bad when I spent $1200 for the val paks, and another $1000 for two phone books that were a bust. It taught me avaluable lesson, stick to the cheap old basic plan that I always had great luck with for years..... Simple little ads in the newspapers service directories. I generally get a $40 return on every $1 dollar i invested, some years as much as $52 return.
1 year i did all the val pac type coupons we have 4 in my area and a few coupon mags i spent about 16 grand that year
after all the bs tire kickers and thats to much crap i lost about 8 k on the whole deal
word of mouth is my best seller and i make sure others spread the word$$$$
two things flopped big time for me
1. All of the newspaper ads that I have ever done. Not a single result. Approx $1,500 down the drains
2. ABout 5 years ago I did a postcard campaign. Approx 2,000 postcards sent out to people with cottages on lakes. Not a single response. About $1,000 down the drains.