To market gutter leaf cleaning services, you have a lot of different methods to choose from. Which marketing method will work and which won’t? Well, you will never truly know for sure what works best in your area until you experiment with different techniques, but here is a great discussion from The Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum that will shed light on what your competitors may be doing.
One gutter leaf cleaning service owner wrote “I am in the gutter cleaning and maintenance business and have been experimenting with different marketing techniques. Tuesday I did what they call a ‘front page sticky note’ in my local newspaper. To describe what it is, it’s basically a sticky note advertisement that goes on the top front page of the newspaper. I tried it for one area that has roughly 8,300 people that receive the paper on a daily basis. It was $95 per thousand, which I didn’t think was terrible.
The only major draw back to this marketing experiment is that it’s not exactly prime gutter leaf cleaning time yet. Some leaves are off, but not all of them. From past years, I have found that my customers tend to wait until ALL the leaves are off the trees before they call me. So I may be too early but I really wanted to try it out. If you want to try this style of marketing yourself, you had better plan it out in advance. You have to give the newspaper a date for production 3 weeks before they put the ad in.
I liked the idea of the ad and waited through the fall to see how the ad would work. If it did well I would have ran it again the first thing in the spring.
In the ad, I included an inducement of a monthly special. These specials tend to be something like 10% off gutter cleaning. Sometimes I do a deal on the installation of gutter leaf blocker hoods but I have found those devices don’t work too well. I am not afraid to try different inducements. You never know which combination will really drive home business.
After my first attempt with the newspaper ad, I thought it would work very well. I mean all I needed was less than a 1% call back to make my money back. But it didn’t do that for me! The only thing I got out of it was a bill. I didn’t get any calls, period. Not even one. I will not be doing any newspaper advertising anymore.
My advice is stay away from newspaper advertising.
Gutters in my area are cleaned anywhere from once a year, all the way up to 3 or 4 times per year depending on the weather and when leaves fall off the trees. A majority of homeowners seem to wait until late in the fall, once all the leaves are off the trees and then have their gutters cleaned. Then they try to wait another full year to do it again. I would rather clean the leaves out of gutters twice a year for those people because by the time I get there, they are usually super chock full of debris and overflowing with water.
I also do some trade shows in my area. We call them ‘Home and Garden shows’. I also attend another called the ‘Lakefront and Cottage Living Show’. When I am at these shows, I ten to offer a better deal because I am in front of the people and am trying to set up appointments. The only way they get the deal is if they sign up at the show to get a call from me in a week to schedule an appointment. These shows specials are usually 10-20% off. Once in a blue moon I¬† will even go so far as to offer 25% off because my margins can still make it profitable.
I kind of enjoy the trade shows. The first day is usually nice, but if they go on longer than 1 day, I have found they get very tiring. To break the ice, I always ask people if they have dirty gutters. I have a booth display that shows off the gutter leaf protection device that I sell. Since I use a display with actual running water, it stands out from other booths. People really stop to look at it. That is when I engage the potential customer in conversation. The home and garden show gives me the best return on my marketing dollar. In the home and garden show, I go with a 10X10 booth. The lakefront and cottage living show tends to attract higher income families that don’t want to ‘waste’ their time working on their 2nd home.
The home show puts through about 10,000 people in four days. The lakefront and cottage living show puts through probably 4,000 people in three days, but they are better clientele for me. This year I am going to try to do a community expo as well. They put through 10,000 people in a Saturday from 9-3.
On craigslist, I only market my gutter cleaning services and not market my gutter protection products. The gutter protection is obviously a much higher expense than a gutter cleaning. Gutter cleaning is roughly $65-125, depending on the house, sometimes it can be more expensive. Gutter protection is $800-$1500 on an average per home. Most of my gutter protection ‘leads’ come from trade shows. I find that people who find me over the internet for gutter protection services are a little harder to close than people I find at the trade shows. This is because at the trade shows we have a roof display with water going down it to show the prospect why our product is better. When you meet someone at their home, it is a little harder to ’show’ them why the product we use is better because we dont use our display then.
I get roughly 20% of my clients, which accounts for 10% of total revenue from internet advertising. I track my every person who contacts me, to find out how where they had initially heard of my company.
Here is my list of different gutter cleaning marketing that I do per year:
- Mail out letters (right around 900 letters mailed on average once a month until the fall, then I send them every two weeks.)
- Google Adwords and craigslist has been pretty good for me.
- Mail out postcards
- Trade shows - I sell a gutter protection and the trade shows are the best marketing for it hands down.
Try these different techniques out when promoting your gutter cleaning services and see which work best for you.”