Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Business > Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review!

Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! Lawn Care Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations Discussion.

Direct Mail Marketing


Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review!

Lawn Care Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations Discussion.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 09-30-2008, 03:43 PM
agrilawn agrilawn is offline
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: OKC
Posts: 24
Rep Power: 7
agrilawn
Question Direct Mail Marketing

I am the Marketing Manager for AgriLawn. We have been in business since 1991. Each Spring we usually send out a Direct Mail piece to all the Single Family Dwelling Households in the Metro area (printing around 300,000 pieces). In the past each household received up to 3 mail pieces from us in the Spring time. This past year we tried doing a little more targeted mailings. We narrowed some of the carrier routes to where we were targeting a specific income level and home value. Currently we are in the process of analyzing the information to see if the targeted mailing helped.

The reason I am bringing this up is to see what other companies do. This is my first year doing the marketing for AgriLawn. The founder has been working with me in the analyzing because this was her project in the past. After working with her on this for 2 days, she does not have a rhyme or reason to how she decides which zipcodes/carrier routes to mail or target. We have been looking at the history from the last 2 years to see how many customers we received from each carrier route, and what the average cost per customer is in that area. We are also looking at our saturation rate.

For example:
zip code 12345/c012
2006 we mailed 2x to 456 homes
we received 5 customers and have 60 in the area
Cost to obtain customer $40

2007 we mailed 3x to 456 homes
we received 2 customers
Cost to obtain customer $157

2008 we did targeted mailing 3x to 225 homes
we received 2 customers
Cost to obtain customer $84

From the example - 2006 we did pretty good mailing to the whole route. Saturation is pretty good in the area. But in 2007 we increased the mailing to 3x and the cost per customer shot way up. Since the saturation in that area is good we decided to try the targeted mailings 3x. The cost per customer went down but still not as good as we would like to see. (goal is around $60-70) Maybe if we had only mailed 2x the cost would be better?

We have come to the conclusion that the targeted mailing did good in some areas, but had no effect in others.

Now my question is, what kind of formula do you have to figure out what area you should mail to and how often?
__________________
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 09-30-2008, 05:43 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Welcome to our forum!

Very interesting question.

My first thought is to ask you are you sending out the same mailer each of the three times per year? Or do they differ?

Are you sending out the same one year after year?

Have you been experimenting with different elements to see which pull a better response?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-30-2008, 07:45 PM
cklandscapingorlando cklandscapingorlando is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 198
Rep Power: 7
cklandscapingorlando is on a distinguished road
Default

I would probley look at my routes.The more work in one area the less your over all cost are.Even if it cost you more per new client if you can stop needless driving your overall cost will go down.I would also use a diffrent mailer each time and explain why your diffrent.What do you do and more importantly how do I come out ahead.Identify the most common problems with your comp and point out how and why you dont have these problems.I know alot of people put out material in the spring and for good reason.But in the middle of summer we have chinch bug,fungus and drought trouble.All would seem to be a reason to put out your material.If a person is having a chinch problem and your mailer comes with imformation on how companies are having problems controling it.Then how your integrated aproach will control it and boost the asthetic quality of the grounds,you might get a call
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-30-2008, 11:52 PM
Plan-It Graphics's Avatar
Plan-It Graphics Plan-It Graphics is offline
Bob
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 130
Rep Power: 9
Plan-It Graphics is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

WOW!! Awesome post, lots of info, and something Im pretty familiar with. First... welcome to the site, and let me give you some info on my background. Not only do I own Plan-it Graphics, but own my own Lawn Care company also. Based on your website, your company and mine are very similar with a main focus on fertilizer and weed control services. I started the lawn care company in 1999.

First question I have is... You mention you mail out 300,000 pieces. What was your response rate from that many pieces? I have never done that amount in one year. The most i did was 25,000 in the spring and 10,000 in the fall.

On that amount, I can't see how you can be very saturated in one area. It seems your "territory" would be HUGE. But then again, Im not real familiar with the company or how many branches you have. Maybe you can shed some light on that matter?

Next question... You mention your mailings in previous years and they are nowhere near 300,000. Am I missing something?

Based on the amount you mailed i feel it is very difficult to accurately use those formulas as a "cost per sale." However, $40 is INSANELY low. I'll pay $40 all day long for a customer. I have not tracked my performance over the past few years as accurately as I used to. But about 5 years ago, my cost per sale for Direct Mail was about $79.00. I know that amount has gone up drastically over the past few. Direct mail just isn't what it used to be. I still feel it is one of the best, if not the best way to get customers. But the old days of a 2% response rate are over and it's more like .5%.

As far as a formula, i don't see anything your doing wrong. Mailing 2 or 3 times is perfect. I try to get at least 4 mailings out each year to my "bread and butter" areas. I'll make those mailings very targeted. Only about 1000 names on that list. My big mailer in the spring is less targeted with approx. 10,000 names I mail to twice.

For example, since we offer kind od the same services... My 1000 piece maiiing list... I'll send one out in late February & late March advertising spring services. One in early june for Grub control, then one in late august for Core Aeration/seeding.

So hopefully this helps, and once you answer the above questions, maybe I can offer more. So let me know.

Bob
__________________
Lawn Care Designs and Printing. Postcards, Door Hangers, Brochures, Business Cards, and Logos. Or anything else you might need!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-01-2008, 08:01 AM
agrilawn agrilawn is offline
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: OKC
Posts: 24
Rep Power: 7
agrilawn
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Welcome to our forum!

Very interesting question.

My first thought is to ask you are you sending out the same mailer each of the three times per year? Or do they differ?

Are you sending out the same one year after year?

Have you been experimenting with different elements to see which pull a better response?
The last couple of years each piece was similar, with small changes. This year I will be designing a different piece because to me there was too much information and it was too busy. We send it out 2-3 times to the same househould within 6-8 weeks during the spring time.

As far as I can tell they have not tried experiementing to see which pulls the better response. Next year I have planned for 3 different campaigns. The first one is the Spring Mailing that they do every year. The next one will be late spring early summer to just the targeted mailings for our pest control side. And then the final mailing will be in the fall to the targeted mailings again to gain customers for the following year. I plan on having a different piece each time to see measure the response and see which type is best.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-01-2008, 08:26 AM
agrilawn agrilawn is offline
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: OKC
Posts: 24
Rep Power: 7
agrilawn
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-It Graphics View Post
WOW!! Awesome post, lots of info, and something Im pretty familiar with. First... welcome to the site, and let me give you some info on my background. Not only do I own Plan-it Graphics, but own my own Lawn Care company also. Based on your website, your company and mine are very similar with a main focus on fertilizer and weed control services. I started the lawn care company in 1999.

First question I have is... You mention you mail out 300,000 pieces. What was your response rate from that many pieces? I have never done that amount in one year. The most i did was 25,000 in the spring and 10,000 in the fall.

On that amount, I can't see how you can be very saturated in one area. It seems your "territory" would be HUGE. But then again, Im not real familiar with the company or how many branches you have. Maybe you can shed some light on that matter?

Next question... You mention your mailings in previous years and they are nowhere near 300,000. Am I missing something?

Based on the amount you mailed i feel it is very difficult to accurately use those formulas as a "cost per sale." However, $40 is INSANELY low. I'll pay $40 all day long for a customer. I have not tracked my performance over the past few years as accurately as I used to. But about 5 years ago, my cost per sale for Direct Mail was about $79.00. I know that amount has gone up drastically over the past few. Direct mail just isn't what it used to be. I still feel it is one of the best, if not the best way to get customers. But the old days of a 2% response rate are over and it's more like .5%.

As far as a formula, i don't see anything your doing wrong. Mailing 2 or 3 times is perfect. I try to get at least 4 mailings out each year to my "bread and butter" areas. I'll make those mailings very targeted. Only about 1000 names on that list. My big mailer in the spring is less targeted with approx. 10,000 names I mail to twice.

For example, since we offer kind od the same services... My 1000 piece maiiing list... I'll send one out in late February & late March advertising spring services. One in early june for Grub control, then one in late august for Core Aeration/seeding.

So hopefully this helps, and once you answer the above questions, maybe I can offer more. So let me know.

Bob
We do cover a HUGE area, it is approximately a radius of 20-30 miles. We currently have over 8000 customers that we service (weed control & fertilization, Plant health care, and Pest Control). The saturation in some areas is better than others, but overall our average is about 10-12 homes in a carrier route (approx 600 carrier routes). We have a fleet of 18 lawn technicians.

The amount that was mailed each year was around 300,000. Last year it actually dropped to closer to 200,000 because of the targeted mailings. Our response rate past 2 years have been around 1.3%. Last year our response dropped to .8%

I think several years ago they may have done 2 different campaigns through-out the year, but since then it has always only been the spring direct mail piece. Since I started with the company I have brought in several different advertising campaigns. I advertise on google & several other search engines & websites, craigslist, phone directories. I began putting out a monthly newsletter through email. There are many other forms of advertising, but I can't think of them right now. I am trying to increase the new customers through-out the year, not just focusing on them during the spring season. I am trying to focus on referrals since that is one of our largest sources other than the direct mailing.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-01-2008, 09:22 AM
Plan-It Graphics's Avatar
Plan-It Graphics Plan-It Graphics is offline
Bob
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 130
Rep Power: 9
Plan-It Graphics is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by agrilawn View Post
I am trying to focus on referrals since that is one of our largest sources other than the direct mailing.
For referrals, I use this for my company. The postcard tears off and is postage paid so it simple for the customer. Every time we do a service this is left with the bill/invoice.

You figure, if you give out one to every customer only once, and get 50 sales (which is a very realistic number) your "cost per sale" is less than $20.

__________________
Lawn Care Designs and Printing. Postcards, Door Hangers, Brochures, Business Cards, and Logos. Or anything else you might need!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-01-2008, 10:18 AM
agrilawn agrilawn is offline
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: OKC
Posts: 24
Rep Power: 7
agrilawn
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan-It Graphics View Post
For referrals, I use this for my company. The postcard tears off and is postage paid so it simple for the customer. Every time we do a service this is left with the bill/invoice.

You figure, if you give out one to every customer only once, and get 50 sales (which is a very realistic number) your "cost per sale" is less than $20.

We have something similar. We leave them at every stop. Each time someone calls in saying we were referred to them, I send the referrer a post card to thank you for sending "so and so" to us. That way the referrer is awknowledged and knows we care. Once the person actually signs up for a program the referrer will receive $15 off their next application and their name entered into a monthly drawing.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-01-2008, 01:20 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 37,122
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Are you also using the clover-leaf marketing concept?

__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-01-2008, 01:27 PM
agrilawn agrilawn is offline
Members
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: OKC
Posts: 24
Rep Power: 7
agrilawn
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Are you also using the clover-leaf marketing concept?
We have used it in the past with success. This year we have not been able to use it. We has some bad ice storms come through late december, the cities around us put a ban on door to door sales due to the unlicensed contractors coming around trying to get jobs. Which includes placing door hangers and/or knocking. Each area requires a license for each person placing the door hangers. It can get very expensive. Towards the end of this year we are going to look into getting the required licenses for our sales staff, but pick our most saturated areas.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Direct Mailing kc2006 Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 18 03-02-2010 10:43 AM
direct mailers and used mowers kneehigh Starting a lawn care business. 2 08-03-2008 12:05 PM
10 Key Elements to Rockiní Direct Mail Sales Lette Steve Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review! 0 03-02-2007 11:15 PM
direct mailings Lawn Butler General Business Discussions 2 07-10-2003 03:31 AM
flyers or direct mail? Clearview Lawns General Business Discussions 2 06-07-2003 12:58 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
Bid for large home...
lxarth
03-22-2015 11:06 AM
Today 01:08 AM
by lxarth
10 356
Dethatching attachments
jcurr33
Yesterday 08:56 PM
Yesterday 08:56 PM
by jcurr33
0 27
Billing methods
jcurr33
03-26-2015 01:33 PM
Yesterday 05:13 PM
by avetslawncare
8 217
Covering a landscape...
Dan Tanner
Yesterday 09:01 AM
Yesterday 05:06 PM
by avetslawncare
2 68
bidding a cemetery....
NPM_LLC
03-28-2015 10:56 AM
Yesterday 01:18 PM
by jrs.landscaping
5 127
Start LIKING FACEBOOK...
rlclawncare123
02-26-2015 12:06 AM
Yesterday 12:50 PM
by SC93
3 396
35,000 Eddm
greenscaper123
03-18-2015 12:51 PM
Yesterday 12:32 PM
by SC93
19 538
Weed and Feed
robkattankate
03-19-2015 09:00 PM
Yesterday 08:42 AM
by Dan Tanner
5 480
Ferris FW35 questions
Chilehead
03-10-2015 08:31 PM
03-28-2015 03:14 PM
by Dan Tanner
5 402
First big mower decision?
SGL1
03-28-2015 08:58 AM
03-28-2015 08:58 AM
by SGL1
0 79
Employee job training...
brookline
12-15-2014 07:15 PM
03-28-2015 08:43 AM
by biglee
28 2,415
Mower vs lot size advice
jcurr33
03-25-2015 09:29 PM
03-28-2015 08:37 AM
by Dan Tanner
5 205
Finally got a warehouse
avetslawncare
03-12-2015 07:52 PM
03-28-2015 08:25 AM
by SGL1
11 546
Trepidation about...
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 07:46 PM
03-28-2015 05:35 AM
by Dan Tanner
2 184
How do you get...
ESREVER
03-25-2015 01:30 PM
03-28-2015 12:18 AM
by lxarth
7 216
I lost a long term...
Sprinkler Buddy
09-04-2011 02:24 PM
03-27-2015 11:42 PM
by lxarth
15 3,455
hoa bid need help
bigdaveha12
03-24-2015 08:29 PM
03-27-2015 11:17 PM
by lxarth
6 264
introducing myself
chris2500hd
03-24-2015 11:16 AM
03-27-2015 02:02 PM
by Steve
8 242
Commercial Jobs
CurbAppeal1
03-25-2015 04:22 PM
03-27-2015 12:29 PM
by biglee
5 210
Flag or no flag
Matther777
03-24-2015 02:41 PM
03-27-2015 12:25 PM
by biglee
10 353
Office Administration...
Girlfriend
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
03-26-2015 05:40 PM
by Girlfriend
0 475
Is this tree beyond help?
SGL1
03-22-2015 05:35 PM
03-25-2015 08:55 PM
by SGL1
14 892
Opinions on truck wrap
Trupro
02-28-2015 03:21 PM
03-25-2015 07:54 PM
by Trupro
33 1,600
The New Wave!!!! Read...
Jamesw86
03-22-2015 08:33 PM
03-25-2015 02:50 PM
by Steve
10 331
grass in the gas tank
robkattankate
03-23-2015 04:37 PM
03-25-2015 02:36 PM
by Steve
5 213
Helping others
hansenslawncare
09-15-2011 08:50 PM
03-25-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
11 2,677
DOT Number
acrajchel
03-20-2015 05:56 PM
03-25-2015 02:28 PM
by Steve
7 458
Michelin x tweel.
apmAkron
03-23-2015 04:22 PM
03-24-2015 12:40 PM
by Steve
3 150
spike aerator???
Bradcook21
03-21-2015 01:55 PM
03-24-2015 10:32 AM
by acrajchel
4 234
Hello from Maryland
michellemarvin
03-23-2015 12:44 PM
03-23-2015 07:33 PM
by michellemarvin
2 155
hello from south GA.
CCandALawnCare
03-23-2015 03:46 AM
03-23-2015 07:06 PM
by CCandALawnCare
2 141
Say Hello !!!
Steve
03-19-2007 11:18 AM
03-23-2015 06:14 PM
by jethro
1,218 380,290
Is anyone doing mosquito...
BWild
01-27-2015 11:30 AM
03-23-2015 12:28 PM
by Steve
9 864
Should i take on this...
christw
03-17-2013 01:23 PM
03-22-2015 09:02 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
36 7,594
mower stalls when...
boog
03-19-2015 08:20 AM
03-21-2015 08:13 PM
by Wolf4dk
7 283
These are the days on...
ExtremeLawncareServices
01-11-2015 10:41 AM
03-20-2015 10:00 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
32 3,864
Hello Emily Reyes from...
Webster14829
03-20-2015 11:23 AM
03-20-2015 03:36 PM
by Steve
2 192
Finally going to give it...
jcurr33
03-12-2015 08:09 PM
03-20-2015 03:31 PM
by Steve
10 576
Weed id?
SGL1
03-17-2015 08:20 PM
03-20-2015 02:37 PM
by Steve
6 296
Mobile small engine...
luckylogger
03-15-2015 02:05 PM
03-20-2015 06:17 AM
by jrs.landscaping
15 506
Brad Cook 21
SC93
03-16-2015 10:40 PM
03-19-2015 09:04 PM
by Bradcook21
4 426
honest opinion please
uppercut
02-17-2015 01:30 AM
03-18-2015 02:55 PM
by Steve
15 1,342
Repair or replace the...
lxarth
12-17-2014 04:07 PM
03-18-2015 02:49 PM
by Just for Cuts
21 2,041
new to the site
bigdaveha12
03-17-2015 09:13 PM
03-18-2015 02:33 PM
by Steve
1 220
Small dovetail truck...
ExtremeLawncareServices
03-04-2015 06:47 PM
03-17-2015 10:14 PM
by ExtremeLawncareServices
17 880
New Site Hows it look
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 10:32 AM
03-17-2015 08:15 PM
by SGL1
3 298
mulch questions
Bradcook21
03-08-2015 08:37 AM
03-17-2015 07:00 PM
by Bradcook21
23 1,018
Scag hydro w/b frame...
Just for Cuts
03-11-2015 03:32 PM
03-17-2015 06:37 PM
by lxarth
11 595
Buy new or used?
lxarth
12-26-2014 09:50 PM
03-17-2015 06:11 PM
by lxarth
14 1,746
New to 2015
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 08:29 AM
03-17-2015 11:47 AM
by Steve
4 308
» Popular Tags
ad landscaping aerocore apartment bid apartment lawn care estimate applying auger billy goat brushcutter bush contract help curb appeal services deliquentaccounts design ditches door hangers employee problems equipment rental estimate facebook ferris foreman google gravely growing a lawn care business how to husqvarna introduction jobs john deere quik trac landscape services lawn lawn care lawn care busines plan lawn care business seo lawn care business website lawn care business website seo lawn care seo lawn care website lawn care website seo lawn mowing managing a lawn care business marketing marketing secrets mulch new mower per hour service pricing pto secrets to landscaping seo shell shreaded snow plowing sq ft square foot starting a lawn care business steep lawns theft toro toro grand stand tractor auger trailer trailer mate pro tree up sell employee web design website website design winterization wood wright stander rh
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:11 AM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:11 AM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy