What am I doing wrong with my lawn care marketing?

It’s real easy to get frustrated with your lawn care marketing if this is your first season. Sometimes an entrepreneur will be a little too early with their marketing and spend a little too much money. Then they get little to no response and they throw their hands up in the air to quit. Before you give in to frustration consider these lawn care marketing tips from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I have distributed almost 2,000 lawn care flyers I had made by mid-march of this year. With all this work so far I haven’t received a single phone call. The flyers were placed on the doors of homes. Compared to other flyers I have seen in my area, I feel mine look very professional. Mine are full color and are printed on glossy heavy paper.

I must be missing something. Maybe there is a best time of the day or week to hand out flyers door to door? I don’t know. I had been thinking that maybe I should hand them out on weekends when I can hopefully catch people at home. I was also thinking about maybe experimenting with those coupon packs you get in the mail. But I don’t know if anybody actually looks at them either.

Near the end of my initial run of handing out flyers, a homeowner told me I couldn’t go door to door without a license. So I called the township I live in and asked if their was any sort of handbill license. Sure enough, they want $250.00 to apply and it has to go in front of the board to be approved along with a background checks of any person that will be passing out the flyers! Jeeze! After hearing that I guess I won’t be doing any more door to door marketing this year. This really frustrates me.

I started my business mid summer of last year. At first I was working for H.U.D. doing cleanouts, and landscaping for them but the work was tough to come by. It all but tapered off by the end of the year. Then as this new year rolled around, I knew I had to do all the advertising for myself and find customers in a different way.

What's wrong with my lawn care marketing?

What's wrong with my lawn care marketing?

So I have been talking to everyone I know and meet about my services. I also am in the process of going to every small business in the area. I’m definitely networking but still only have gotten a couple calls so far.

Should I mail out flyers? Should I risk going out door to door again? Or should I wait until the grass starts to grow before I do any more marketing. I really thought being early with my marketing would be helpful.”

Lawn care postcard

Lawn care postcard

A second lawn care business owner said “I live up north in Michigan and I haven’t handed out any marketing material yet. It’s still too early. Yes being early can be a good thing but only if you keep following up and hit the potential customer again when the grass is starting to grow. I usually wait for a few more weeks until it’s April to start my flyer distributing. The snow just melted earlier this week and while the last few days have been warm I don’t think the majority of homeowners are thinking about their lawns yet.

Your flyer/postcard looks nice. The colors are good and you have a nice list of services. From your flyer, it looks like you are licensed and insured. I wouldn’t be concerned with the graphic design of your lawn care flyer as they look more professional than 99% of the flyers that get left on my door. even though there is no mention of Free Estimates on your lawn care flyer which is something I look for if I have to hire someone. I would say to be patient, the phone will start to ring, it’s just a little too early. So far this year, I have a had a few calls for spring clean ups and sod jobs, but no lawn cutting yet. Lastly I highly recommend you get a website too as there is no web address on your flyer.

If you are considering any other lawn care marketing methods, I’d suggest you look into advertising in the local city newspaper. That has always provided me with a good string of leads.

It seems most cities require a handbill license to hand out marketing material door to door. Depending on which suburb you are in, they can get cranky if someone complains. In my town it’s $25 dollars and you fill out a form that takes 30 seconds.

If you have any more flyers, I’d keep handing them out. Get them into the hands of the home owners, so they have someone to call when they notice things have turned green all of a sudden.”

A third business owner said “I live down south in a southern state and the mowing season has not quite started yet. I did put out 100 flyers two weeks ago, and got 3 customers. Usually my response rate for flyers is about 1 to 2%. This month I could probably only mow twice the entire month, but because I want to stay visible in those neighborhoods I prefer to cut every week. Most of my calls come from the ad I have in the local newspaper.

I started my mowing business last year and had 20 customers. During the year I lost several due to their kids or grand kids wanting to mow, a couple who moved, and three that I would not renew this year because they were late payers. All the rest have returned, and I picked up 5 new ones already. I hope you do great this year, but the key to success with this is to not stop advertising! I’d also suggest you make your ads season specific, ie. spring clean up, give your wife a present with a new flower bed for mothers day, give your husband a year long present with great lawn care, etc. Remember residential customers care mostly about how you treat them and then how their lawn looks week to week. If you treat them right, they will return year after year after year.”

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