How focused on demographics should you get with your lawn care marketing?

There are a lot of factors you can worry about with your lawn care marketing, so in order not to overwhelm yourself, how focused on demographics should you get with your lawn care marketing direct mail campaign? That is an interesting question which was brought up on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and it really brought to light some fascinating insights.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am curious to see what demographics other lawn care business owners have used in the past and what they have found to have worked best. I was debating whether to add children in the household to my mailing list and possibly mess around with some other mailing options. When you do direct mailings, do you suggest offering coupons or do you feel that is offered too much?

I basically have my demographics set to household income and and home value but I am looking for better ways to focus my marketing dollars.”

A second lawn care business owner said “if anything, I’d suggest try to target wealthier areas, however I tried a direct mailing campaign last year using full color post cards offering organic spray solutions for the customer’s lawn. I did it using street by street target marketing which you can do through the post office. I specifically targeted the rich area of the city that has lobbied for years to eliminate chemical sprays. I sent out 5,000 organic lawn care post cards and did not receive a single response!

After seeing no response, it was really depressing, espensive and shocking for me! There is not a house in that area under $750,000! I expected to receive at least 20 calls as the lawn care post card was designed by a professional marketing company and was designed to address their lobby, which the city ended up passing and is why I began offering the organic services in the first place.

So far with all my lawn care marketing experimentation, the highest return I found was stopping and handing out or leaving a full color post card that is specific to a service I noticed the customer could use. The response rate for that marketing method is over 50% for at least a quote which is excellent in my opinion.”

A third lawn care business owner said “last year I mailed out 500+ flyers and got one call and zero business from it. This year I am going to try door hangers with the actual price on them. I think if people know what they would pay if they went with me, it might give me an advantage over the competition.

When I go out, I try to put them out when no other competitor has come around to do it. On weekends in March and April there are so many pieces of marketing material out there flying around that people just throw them away. So to stand out, I try to take a day off during the week and put out the door hangers.

Direct mail marketing can reach more people but your post card becomes just like everyone elses. When I go out door to door, the customer can then know how much I would charge because I can see the property and write down a price. Then they can think about it can get back to me.”

A fourth lawn care business owner said “it’s hard to determine why some lawn care flyers, post cards, or door hangers work and some don’t.. I personally think it has to do with two main factors. Hitting the right area at the right time. If you are at the right place at the right time, you will get the work. So don’t get too concerned with your demographics and choose homes whether or not they have children until you can nail down the right timing and right geographic area to be sending your marketing material.

Here is an example… Last year I mailed out 300 black and white simple flyers in my area and got $4,000 worth of work from it. This was done early in April but the timing may differ in your geographic area. Then later in the summer I sent out about another 100 and got another job for $2,000. However at different times in the past I sent out a ton of flyers and got nothing!

This year, to scale up my lawn care marketing even further, I ordered 5,000 full color front and back door hangers. They are scheduled to come in tomorrow. But all the yards here are still covered with at least 2 inches of snow so I’ll be experimenting with handing them out next week.

** One thing I put on my door hanger this year was a promotion aiming towards the customer’s sense of belonging and wanting to help out their community… I put the following:

Helping your lawn while helping your community!
(company name) will donate a percentage of it’s profits towards a scholarship for a 2011 graduating senior at the local high school!

I’m hoping I will get some additional responses due to this. and I put two coupons on the back along with the price range for an average lawn. That way they will have an idea of what it would cost but I wouldn’t have to write 5,000 different prices and have to look at every lawn to make the estimate.

I hope these ideas help you out a bit.”

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