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  • #16
    How often do you send out mailings to them and how effective have you found it to be versus dropping off flyer's after each mowing?
    It costs me more to hand out flyer's as that usually requires my helpers to walk neighborhoods. I find that sending postcards is far better than handing out flyer's door to door. Paper seems to get trashed quicker than a post card. I try to send out some sort of advertisement once a month to streets I already service. Its not uncommon for us to have at least two homes on a street we service. Once I get one, then the rest will get something from me. When I am looking for new streets, I will take notice of something that needs to be done in the area and gear the advertisement towards that.

    Spring time I will advertise mulch Installs, lawn care, landscaping
    As the season goes on, My focus will include basic trimming for those that need trimming only, hedge trimming, driveway & Walkway edging, bed weeding, flower planting etc etc

    The biggest thing is strike up conversation with people out in their yard when you are servicing a neighbor, that works wonders.
    http://www.lunchesruslawncare.com

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    • #17
      When I am looking for new streets, I will take notice of something that needs to be done in the area and gear the advertisement towards that.
      Do you try and have different marketing material to be sent out each month or do you use the same template?

      Also, how wide of an area do you recommend to reach with postcards.
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      • #18
        Criss-Cross Directory

        When I used to assemble my own mailing and telemarketing lists, I used something called the "Criss-Cross Directory" located in my local public library.
        It is updated annually and contains information organized by phone number as well as by street address.

        So, I look up the street address of a good customer, and the directory shows me all the other addresses on the street and near streets with phone numbers, names, number of years in residence, sometimes purchase price of property,renter or owner, all kinds of good info. I just photocopied the pages I needed to use for the week.

        Much cheaper than a paid service, and you can control exactly who you mail to (or call- if you use telemarketing which was VERY successful for me.)

        Nowadays the method posted above by jymie about whitepages is also good but I have found that the names and phone numbers are not always as accurate as the Criss-cross directory was.

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        • #19
          Thanks, I will ask at my local library next time I am in.

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          • #20
            or call- if you use telemarketing which was VERY successful for me.
            When you did this, how did you go about it? Did you personally call people or did you hire a service?

            Also what did you find was the best way to do your marketing with those addresses? How often did you send mailers out?
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            • #21
              Steve- Sorry for the late reply. I have been very sick this week.

              At first I called them personally. Eventually I hired a person to call in the early evenings and paid for each appointment that he set up.
              The point of the call was not to sell our services - it was to get me in front of them. I did the selling in person. That's how you close deals. People do business with people - not postcards or telemarketers.

              This was before the Do Not Call Registry was started by our "babysitter" congressmen. However, from what I have read on the http://www.telemarketing.donotcall.gov website it appears that you only need to register on the gov's website and get access the list of numbers that you should not call.
              If you access less than 5 area codes there are no fees. That should cover most of us. The list of numbers is downloaded in a variety of file formats. Just run it against your own list in a spreadsheet to clean it up.

              As for mailing, I only wish I knew then what I know now. I wasted a lot of money on pre-printed material from lawncare supply companies. I should have made my own mailings and used a more "benefits-driven" approach.

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              • #22
                As for mailing, I only wish I knew then what I know now. I wasted a lot of money on pre-printed material from lawncare supply companies. I should have made my own mailings and used a more "benefits-driven" approach.
                Can you tell us more about what a benefits driven approach is? Also what did you not like about the pre-printed material?
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                • #23
                  Yeah, a benefits-driven approach just means you should advertise things that are important to your customer - not you. A list of services you offer is not a benefit. Its just a feature. The benefit is all in how it affects the customer.

                  So mow,blow, and trim is not a benefit. The benefit is that your customer gets the perfectly striped, green lawn that everyone else on the block is going to be envious of. Or that they get an extra few hours of free time each week because you are taking care of their worries.

                  The standard generic mailers that the landscape suppliers sold didn't target my customers' desires as well as I could've . And they didn't have a real strong call to action either.

                  But like I said earlier, the only purpose of the marketing should be to get your face in front of them so you can sell them in person. A postcard is a poor substitute for a knowledgeable, friendly business owner. Just my opinion.

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                  • #24
                    And they didn't have a real strong call to action either.
                    We don't talk about this too often. What is your view of a weak call to action and what makes a call to action strong?

                    Where do you see most lawn care business owners messing up when it comes to this? How can they resolve this issue?
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                    • #25
                      sorry i meant this one http://www.directmail.com/directory/hplinks/6/

                      <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ahh1BQzjD5Q&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ahh1BQzjD5Q&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

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                      • #26
                        Thanks for the link, this may help!!!

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                        • #27
                          That is pretty cool!

                          How have you liked or disliked that so far compared to other ways you may have gotten your mailing lists in the past?
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