When to start your spring lawn care advertising.

If you have been in the lawn care business for a few seasons, you probably have developed your own way to know when it is time to send out your spring marketing material. Time seems to be pretty crucial when it comes to sending this marketing material out. If you send it out too early, the potential customer just might throw it away. If you send it out too late, you may have missed your opportunity by losing it to another lawn care business owner. So exactly how in the heck are you supposed to know when to send out your lawn care marketing material? It’s a fantastic question that was posted on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum and there is a great answer to it you will probably be using every year from now on.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I live in New York state and we just got over a lot of snow storms this winter. The snow is probably about 2 feet high on the grass right now as I write this. My question is, when is the best time to advertise my spring clean ups and regular weekly lawn maintenance? Keep in mind there is still 2 feet of snow on the ground. So does it matter when I do it?”

The quick answer to that is it absolutely does matter when you send out your mailers. Timing is critical. One lawn care business owner responded “In Pennsylvania, I start mowing about the first week in April. My newspaper ad will start running middle of March. My local paper has a special if you run it for 13 weeks. My last year’s customers will be contacted in the first part of March to confirm services. Clean ups and other up sells will be offered then also.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I am around the Kansas City area and I start advertising in mid March. My secret to knowing when to advertise is to watch for the big box store spring sales ads. I noticed last year for me they came out the end of March. That is when I sent my mailers out. I was tilling gardens at that point and by mid April I was slammed with bids.”

A third business owner had a different view when he shared “the absolute best time to be advertising is ALWAYS. I never let my add expire. Sure it’s cold and the grass isn’t growing, but people are always reading the newspaper. Believe me when I tell you they always call with ‘I saw your ad, do you do_____?’ Then I tell myself I should have put that service in the ad because yes I do install gardens, or plants, or rake leaves, or trim trees, etc. Advertise every day, list all the services you offer. You never know what people will want. Do you have all of your services listed on you business card? Last year, I had just finished up a power washing job, gave the customer my card and he then asked me to do a hedge job, along with an annual  lawn contract.”

All these answers are great and they all help you understand the bigger picture of marketing, however, if you want a home run response that will work in any area, you might want to consider these steps.

A fourth lawn care business owner shared with us his secret when he wrote “I agree that the best time to advertise is all the time, but there are also times when it is beneficial to ’step it up’ for a period of time.

So the question becomes, how do I maximize my advertising impact with a short term spending increase. The goal is to fill up the space so that competitors are crowed out, and to temporarily raise your exposure.

To do this, I use google. It helps me to determine when to turn it up a little.

This link shows you google’s search volume for the term “lawn care” in for instance my home state of New York. You can change it for any state you live in. From the graph you can see that search traffic (people looking for service) spikes starting the last half of Feb through the end of April.

http://www.google.com/insights/searc…o=US-NY&cmpt=q

For my area I’d start Feb 17 and ramp ad spending to slightly lead the historical search performance. Give them the answer before they have to ask the question.

lawn care advertising chart

lawn care advertising chart

I pull the raw numbers for each year, copy them into a single spreadsheet and average all the years worth of data together to develop an average interest over time.

I try to lead the increase in interest by about a week.

As far as adwords, I think it is an effective tool for advertising and I increase spending there as well.

The goal for me is to ideally maintain that increased ad spend indefinitely, but shift the targeting of the ads as the seasons change. For now I will focus on acquiring new service, as we transition into fall I’ll shift the ad focus to selling landscape installs.

When I talk about space, generally, it’s about the amount of attention a person will give to advertising on a given day. My flyer on their door, or my ad on their computer screen. I have been advertising on facebook targeted to my area and demographics I developed based on my most desirable clients which gives me a target audience of about 25k. Over the past two months I have gotten over 500,000 ‘impressions’ for an average of 20 impressions per user at a cost of about $90. This is good for me because as part of my total advertising strategy, I can saturate the demographic I am targeting in the areas I want to get more work. So when they see my flyer on their door, they’ll say, ‘that’s familiar, what is it?’

I rank highly on google as well but I still advertise with adwords because that is one advertising space a competitor cannot occupy.

If you are looking for more advertising ideas throughout your year, try these steps.

Feb:
Update website, have brochure and door hangers printed. Make sure you have enough business cards, bid folders etc on hand for the rush of estimates that happen end of March through end of May.

Mid March:
Contact last years lawn clients with a welcome back letter. Send brochure and coupon book to last years one time and landscape clients.

End of March:
Start handing out door hangers, put ad back in local paper and ramp up my google adwords.

Pretty simple. Your goal should be to tighten your routes and add lawn clients peppered with some landscape projects.”

When to start your spring lawn care advertising Part 1 – GopherHaul 66 lawn care marketing plan show.

When to start your spring lawn care advertising Part 2 – GopherHaul 66 lawn care marketing show.

When to start your spring lawn care marketing - GopherHaul 66 Lawn Care Business Podcast

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