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  • My new marketing idea

    Hey everyone,

    For those of you that do not know I am in the gutter maintenance business in Michigan. Tuesday I did what they call a "front page sticky note". It is pretty much a sticky note advertisement that goes on the front of the newspaper. I tried it for one area that has roughly 8,300 people that receive the paper on a daily basis. It was $95 per thousand, which I didn't think was terrible.

    The only set back is that the leaves are not really off the trees here in Michigan yet. Some are off, but not all of them. I find that my customers like to wait until ALL the leaves are off the trees then call me.

    Anyone else try this? I will let you know how it goes. So far 0 calls, but we haven't had any rain and I am thinking it might've been a touch early for the ad. Problem is that you have to give a date for production 3 weeks before they put it in.

  • #2
    This is very interesting. We had talked a little about this in the past.

    Do you have a picture of the sticky ad on the newspaper? I'd love to see it.

    Also did you put any kind of offer like 'schedule today and save X%.' Or something like that to get the customer to jump on the offer?

    What did the ad say?

    Are you planning on doing another?
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    • #3
      Let's see if this works...

      <a href="http://s624.photobucket.com/albums/tt329/jon6336/?action=view&current=finalad.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i624.photobucket.com/albums/tt329/jon6336/finalad.jpg" border="0" alt="Gutter Cleaning,Gutter Protection,Gutters,Gutter Maintenance,Gutter Installation"></a>
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Oh that is very nice.

        What is your thought on the ad so far? Would you have liked to try something different with it?

        Will you run it again?

        Also you mention monthly specials, what kind of monthly services can you offer with gutter cleaning? I would have figured, once they were clean, they were clean for the year or am I wrong?
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        • #5
          I like the idea of the ad. I'm not sure if I will do something different. I am going to wait through the fall and see how this ad works- if I do it again, it will be first thing in the spring.

          Monthly specials I run are something like 10% off gutter cleaning- that is my special this month. Sometimes I do a deal on our gutter protection and sometimes I do a deal on our DIY gutter protection. Just something small to try to drive business.

          Gutters in Michigan are cleaned once a year all the way up to 3 or 4 times per year depending on whether and when things fall off trees. A lot of people wait to super late in the fall once all the leaves are off the trees and then have them cleaned and try to wait a year to do it again. I rather do it twice a year for those people because by the time I get there, they are super chucked full of debris.
          Last edited by jon6336; 10-19-2009, 04:51 PM.

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          • #6
            Monthly specials I run are something like 10% off gutter cleaning- that is my special this month.
            How do you promote these specials?
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            • #7
              How do you promote these specials?
              Mostly through my website and through a BNI (networking) group I joined. Sometimes it works well, sometimes it doesn't...

              I also do some trade shows. In the grand rapids, mi area, we have what's called the "Home and Garden" show. I am in that one and also the "Lakefront and Cottage Living Show". I also try to do a better deal here because I am in front of the people and trying to set up appointments. The only way they get the deal is if they sign up at the show to get a call from me in a week to schedule an appointment. I usually do 10-20% off, barely ever do 25% off because my margins are THAT big...

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              • #8
                I also do some trade shows. In the grand rapids, mi area, we have what's called the "Home and Garden" show.
                That is neat! Do you enjoy doing the shows? What kinds of things do you do to get people to stop and talk with you at these shows? Do you give out any freebies? Do you have any videos playing?

                I think a lot of times many business owners stay away from such shows because they feel like they have to do something to entertain.
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                • #9
                  Just wanted to let everyone know that I did the front page sticky note on the front of our local press. It went to roughly 8,300 people. The only thing I got out of it was a bill. I didn't get any calls, period. Not even one. I will not be doing any newspaper advertising anymore.

                  As far as the trade shows go, I kind of enjoy them. The first day is nice, but it's very tiring. I always ask people if they have dirty gutters to start. The gutter protection that I sell is so different than any other gutter protection at the trade shows, that people really stop to look at it. That is when I engage in conversation. The home and garden show in the Grand Rapids area goes Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so it is very tiring. BUT right now it is my best return on marketing. In the home and garden show, I only have a 10X10 booth, so I will probably not play a video. I also do a lakefront and cottage living show (higher income people that don't want to 'waste' their time working on their home) and in that show I have a 20X10. In that show I will run something on a monitor.

                  The Home show puts through about 10,000 people in four days. The lakefront and cottage living show puts through probably 4,000 people in three days, but they are better clientele for me. I am going to try to do a community expo this year- they put through 10,000 people in a Saturday from 9-3.

                  My advice is stay away from newspaper advertising.

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                  • #10
                    Are there any marketing concepts you are thinking about that you would like to experiment with in the future?
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                    • #11
                      Umm...I'm definitely not doing the newspaper again. I'll probably stick to my internet marketing, and do more pamphlets. I also do trade shows like home and gardens shows. That's what it is called in Grand Rapids at least. Maybe do some door to door marketing...I'm not totally sure yet.

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                      • #12
                        Sorry to hear that it didn't work, this is the first time I read your post or I would have offered some feedback for what it is worth.

                        I would have listed services you could offer rather than Groceries, Laundry etc.

                        I have been involved with marketing at many levels for 28 years from small to multi million dollar companies, I learned a lot from the marketing crew and it has really paid off for me, people tend to glance quickly so you only have one shot, I actually even personally overlooked the gutter cleaning at first glance.

                        We only advertise in one small community newspaper where we do most of our work and the results are simply stunning, ad is small but to the point, we received at least 80 inquiries over the summer, most ended up in us performing various services we offer.
                        Andy
                        Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                        • #13
                          Sorry to hear that it didn't work, this is the first time I read your post or I would have offered some feedback for what it is worth.
                          What other thoughts did you have on this marketing method?
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                          • #14
                            I think it is better than most I have seen, but keep it short to what you are after, Gutter cleaning, Organic Lawn Sprays, Wood Chipping, Pressure Washing.

                            The key to marketing in my experience is you want to give just enough information to get the prospect to call, that opens the door for you.

                            Given the right time and the target ad, I think it would do well.
                            Andy
                            Halifax, Nova Scotia

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                            • #15
                              What other thoughts did you have on this marketing method?
                              I thought that this would work very well. I mean all I needed was less than 1% call back to make my money back. Didn't do that for me! I did it the second week of October, which in Grand Rapids was prime time for gutter cleaning. The people at the press are supposed to be the professionals, so I thought that their design would've worked. Here is my list of marketing for this year:

                              -Mail out letters (Right around 900 letters mailed on average once a month until the fall, then I send them every two weeks.)

                              - Google Adwords- has been pretty good for me.

                              - Mail out postcards

                              - Trade shows- I sell a gutter protection and the trade shows are the best marketing for it hands down.

                              - BNI- this is a networking group that has made me more than enough to pay for my time in the group this year.

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