Should I promote free lawn mowing to get more attention?

We’ve all heard it before. Keep it simple. This applies not only to business, but to life in general. When you start thinking about complex lawn care marketing concepts, try to find a way to easily explain them in a few sentences. If you can’t do it, there is a very good chance you will be running into problems in the future. Here is a great discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, on how some marketing ideas can quickly spin out of control.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am thinking about putting an ad in the paper that reads the following:

Free Lawn Mowing
contact: Name

Now here are the details I will tell the caller once we talk.

  • I’m offering 2 free lawn mowings with an annual agreement
  • 1 free mowing for each referral who signs an annual agreement
  • 10 referrals or more = free lawn mowing for the season!

I figure if someone can get me $10,000 worth of referral work, and perhaps more if the referral customer stays with me for more than 1 year, then they deserve 30 minutes of my time each week.

What do you think of this, Is it something worthwhile experimenting with? Once I put the ad in the paper, I’ll keep you posted as to how many calls I get from this. I would think a lot of people would call.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I love the idea but I would be afraid to actually try and implement it. Could you imagine $10K in work referred from 1 client! That would be a wow moment. But it is very difficult to motivate people to do anything. Think about how many employees you have to go through to get one that will show up to work on time when they are being paid! If you can’t get employees to show up to work on time, what chances do you have of harnessing customers to sell your services to their friends?”

A third said “personally if I saw that ad, I would not even call you. It’s misleading and nothing is worse than a misleading ad. If you can’t get business with hard work and honesty then I would not give you my money.”

A fourth shared “from my experience, giving out stuff to get referrals, just doesn’t work.

Keeping track of all of the incoming information is next to impossible and will hurt your brain. You have to be seriously organized to even attempt to experiment with this or you will get a lot of customers upset with you.

At the very least, if you try this,I’d make the free mowing(s) available at the end of the season. That way you’ll get a chance to get your money out of the customer before you give out the free work.”

A fifth added “good lawn care customers don’t like gimmicks. They want good work at a fair price. The customers that are drawn to ‘free mowing’ incentives will more than likely game the system and you will find yourself giving away more free mowing than you anticipated without the benefit of long-term customers.

There are too many ways this marketing campaign can fall apart. For instance, someone might sign with you, but for the last month of the season. Then when that happens, does the homeowner get a free mowing, or the person who referred him to you?

Keeping things simple is always a better path to take.”

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