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

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Lawn Care Marketing & Post your marketing material for review!

Lawn Care Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations Discussion.
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  #21  
Old 10-03-2008, 10:49 PM
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I could go on and on, but I'll save all the explanation and reasoning for this for another post. If anyone's interested, let me know and I'll start a new post that talks about why it is everything most people think they know about marketing is wrong.
Chestin, you should go on here. This is a fantastic post lets keep the momentum rolling. I am sure he will find the information very useful in his future marketing plans.
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  #22  
Old 10-05-2008, 12:10 AM
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Default How Targeted Is Your List?

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
What kind of list are you mailing from?
Do you maintain a list inhouse or did you purchase?
We do alot of direct mail (no where near 300,000) but our inhouse list of 8500 is highly targeted to homeowners that already use a lawn care company (not ours) We live off other company's cancels. The cost of acquistions is small. (about $38.00).

We mail out 5 times a year to keep top awareness. 5 separate, personalized pieces.

Sounds like you are mailing bulk rather than targeted. Are you using any demographics when purchasing a list other than Zipcode?
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  #23  
Old 10-05-2008, 12:24 AM
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We mail out 5 times a year to keep top awareness. 5 separate, personalized pieces.
Could you give us some advice when you send out 5 times a year, are they the same? Or is each one different? Any suggestions on when mailings should be sent out and should they have certain specific topics at different times at different times of the year?
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  #24  
Old 10-07-2008, 12:58 PM
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So here you are, new in a larger lawn care business and find yourself trying to shake things up. What do you think is the best way to go about doing that? How do you plan on getting the owner to go along with your ideas on your marketing concepts?

It seems so difficult at times for businesses to shake off the old and continue pushing forwards. What is your view on all this?
I tried running my plan by the founder yesterday. Don't think she will go along with it. Her concern is that the purchased lists are not accurate.

For example: "We send out to only the targeted homeowners with our qualifications, what happens to the neighbor that didn't get one? The larger companies are going to send to everyone so they WILL receive a piece from them and not us." My reply was "if the homeowner that received our mail piece becomes a customer, the neighbor will see our trucks & techs working on their neighbors yard. They will also see our yard signs. If our customer is happy they may even refer the neighbor to us."

I don't know what else to do to try to convince her that we should go more targeted. She's done it her way for 10 years. She knows what her response rate should be if she mails so many pieces. I am continuing to draw up my plans to show her the possibilities, but I have a feeling it will go in one ear and out the other. They brought me on because I have the experience and all of the new ideas and plans but she is very hesitant about letting go.

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Originally Posted by quality green View Post
What kind of list are you mailing from?
Do you maintain a list inhouse or did you purchase?
We do alot of direct mail (no where near 300,000) but our inhouse list of 8500 is highly targeted to homeowners that already use a lawn care company (not ours) We live off other company's cancels. The cost of acquistions is small. (about $38.00).

We mail out 5 times a year to keep top awareness. 5 separate, personalized pieces.

Sounds like you are mailing bulk rather than targeted. Are you using any demographics when purchasing a list other than Zipcode?
We do have an inhouse list that we work every year. We also purchase a list, it is targeted towards only Single Family Dwellings. Last Spring they tried doing a "tiny bit" of targeted mailing. They targeted 2 different groups. Homeowners with income of $50,000. And Homeowners with income of $70,000 & home value of $100,000. But like I said before it was maybe 20% targeted. Some of those that were targeted may have only received the piece once.
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  #25  
Old 10-07-2008, 03:59 PM
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I don't know what else to do to try to convince her that we should go more targeted. She's done it her way for 10 years. She knows what her response rate should be if she mails so many pieces. I am continuing to draw up my plans to show her the possibilities, but I have a feeling it will go in one ear and out the other. They brought me on because I have the experience and all of the new ideas and plans but she is very hesitant about letting go.
I think if it were me, I would say, give me a certain geographic area and let me do it my way in this area and then let us compare the results of my area vs all the other areas using your way. To me this would be the best way to do it. Hell, why not tell her that if you don't improve your results with your test area, she can fire you because she obviously isn't harnessing your talents!

If you could put together your dream marketing campaign concept what would you do differently?
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  #26  
Old 10-07-2008, 05:05 PM
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I think if it were me, I would say, give me a certain geographic area and let me do it my way in this area and then let us compare the results of my area vs all the other areas using your way. To me this would be the best way to do it.
I had actually thought about doing that this morning. After I layout my entire plan, I will pick out a couple areas and present that to her also.

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If you could put together your dream marketing campaign concept what would you do differently?
As far as Direct Mail: I would Target in on a specific area every week to 2 weeks. Not concentrate on the WHOLE metro area. I would take it one zipcode at a time. Analyze the needs in each area and focus my mail pieces on them. I would concentrate my efforts on tightening the routes to help make the techs more effecient. Currently we cover about 70 zipcodes. Out of that, 20 of them have a good to decent penetration rate. We could make it even better by focus on it. I would rotate focusing on each area about 3 - 4 times a year.
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  #27  
Old 10-07-2008, 05:44 PM
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As far as Direct Mail: I would Target in on a specific area every week to 2 weeks. Not concentrate on the WHOLE metro area. I would take it one zipcode at a time. Analyze the needs in each area and focus my mail pieces on them.
Very interesting. What kinds of things are you thinking about that could differ from area to area? How much could one zip code area's needs differ from another? What kinds of things are you thinking about?
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  #28  
Old 10-08-2008, 07:56 AM
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Very interesting. What kinds of things are you thinking about that could differ from area to area? How much could one zip code area's needs differ from another? What kinds of things are you thinking about?
For example: In the NE part of the city the ground is mosty a Sandy Loam. In the SW part it is Clay. Just like in any city there are areas where the homes are more high class. Those areas normally have more to their landscaping. We could offer a special on Plant Health Care. Each area has something distinctive about them, so I would focus on that quality. On the east side the homes are older and smaller. On the North side they are expanding and new subdivisions are popping up all the time. Each area has more of one type of grass than the other. We could put a focus in the spring on Bermuda Hydroseeding for the area where bermuda grass is most popular. In the fall we could focus on the Fescue Hydroseeding for the area where fescue is most popular.
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  #29  
Old 10-08-2008, 02:23 PM
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I think those are fantastic ideas! I applaud you for your creativity!

Have you also been thinking of ways to promote your business outside of the mailings? Any community projects at all or do you want to focus mostly on your mailings?
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  #30  
Old 10-08-2008, 03:45 PM
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Have you also been thinking of ways to promote your business outside of the mailings? Any community projects at all or do you want to focus mostly on your mailings?
I have optimized our website for the search engines, so we are starting to get a steady stream of customers finding us on-line.

I am in the process of hiring a sales manager to where I will be able to work with them on contacting homeowners associations. I also want them to go to other businesses that could be connected to us, like lawn mower repair shops, real estate agents, builders, mortgage companies, etc. to work with them on sending us referrals.

Next year I would love to have an "open house/family day" to where we invite our current customers to the shop for a day of fun and information (to help them learn more about their lawns). Have BBQ, drinks, games, bouncy castles, etc.

Starting in January I will be creating a hardcopy newsletter for our techs to pass out to their customers. It will go out with each round. In the newsletter it will promote a new supplemental for the round, like flea & tick, aerations, seeding, soil testing, etc. This will help the techs sell more supplementals and keep our current customers informed of any changes.

2 months ago I started sending out a "Welcome Kit" It is in a nice green folder with our logo on it, saying "Welcome to AgriLawn". In the kit on one side is a letter welcoming them to the company, our mission statement, a list of FAQ's. On the other side is information on all the services we offer, along with a brochure on each major program we offer like plant health care and bug barricade. Also included is information on the supplementals that we are currently promoting, a referral card to pass on to friends or family, and our newsletter. I started these welcome kits to help the new customers understand who we are and what we have to offer. When researching our cancellation history I found that most of the cancelled accounts had been cancelled within the first 3-4 months. If they had been more informed from the beginning, maybe we could have saved the sale.
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