What’s better, a direct mailer pack or newspaper marketing.

If you haven’t gotten the phone call yet, you will. Soon your phone will ring and on the other end will be a salesman telling you about the wonderful marketing opportunities to be had with their mail-pak style mailers. You will hear these grand figures, reach 10,000 families in your area. It will only cost you $X amount of dollars. That’s only pennies per household!

After hearing this, oh boy, you may find your heart racing as you calculate how many lawn care customers you could land from such a mailing. Then you will start crunching the numbers to figure out how much it would cost you to do a mailing yourself and when you come to your conclusion, you will figure this will save you money.

There are some thing to consider before you jump in. First off, how many of these mailers are being sent to qualified potential customers? Meaning do they own a home or are they living in an apartment? How many other lawn care businesses will be stuff in these packs with offers of dirt cheap lawn care? And there are more issues. This is a topic we discussed on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One member wrote “I looked into direct mail marketing and decided against it. The average response rate for direct marketing is about 1-2% if you are lucky. If I send out 100 in a mailing that I do myself, my postage alone would be hundreds of dollars, not counting the envelope and flyer printing costs. If I get only 1 response I would be in the hole until I took in about $1,000.00 (my marketing costs + labor costs + overhead).

I feel a more direct - talk to the people approach is much more economical. For $1,000.00 I can talk directly to a lot of potential customers.”

From discussions we have had in the past, if you want to experiment with direct mail you should consider a mailing list of 1,000 to 1,500 addresses to allow you the potential of getting some response without breaking the bank.

Direct mail may be more useful when you have more money than time. However when you have more time than money, you want to leverage your time instead.

But there are many options to go with depending on your situation. Did you consider things like the mailer pak style mailers? Or their equivalent?

“The mailer packs are more cost effective if you look strictly at costs, but how much of a return are you going to get on your marketing dollar? I still think I can put my business card directly in the hand of a prospect for much, much less. This way I meet the prospect eye to eye.

I get the mailer packs all the time and basically ignore them. My wife, on the other hand digests them. She however thinks it’s my job to take care of the yard and discards it. The mailer pack ads aren’t seen by the person it would benefit, the home owner cutting the lawn!

When I hand out a business card and flyer, they go to the person who would benefit most. How he handles his ’significant other’ is another story. In person, I can start a dialog, a mailer doesn’t!”

Another lawn care business owner said “there are too many of what I call trunk slammers starting lawn care businesses in my area. They offer to mow lawns for nothing. They have no knowledge of what they are doing and what happens is customers will see in a few months the quality of the work and then look elsewhere.

To prove my point, the other day I was informed there are 5 landscaping companies in one of my local communities. Out of that 5, four do poor quality work, one is too expensive and too busy. The guys that I compete with in the city don’t bother with this area for some reason, probably transportation costs.

So I ran a small ad in a local community newspaper that cost around $17.00. From that I received over 160 emails or calls. I am tracking everything and I am landing the business. A lot of it is fixing mistakes other landscapers did. Some is digging rocks out but mainly drainage pipe that either wasn’t installed or it wasn’t installed right. People are seeing my name on the equipment and word sure travels fast in a small area.”

What great information. Knowing this, you might want to consider placing an ad in your local paper with a catchy header like ‘We Fix $10 mowing Jobs.’ There might be a lot of readers who hired cheap and now wish they didn’t. The low costs of these newspaper ads allow you to experiment more and quickly change them based on the responses you get. So keep experimenting with your lawn care marketing.

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success