Direct Mail For Lawn & Landscaping
The success of a direct mail campaign is determined by a number of factors, starting with having a clear objective for the campaign. Once you have defined the goal of the campaign, the postcard must be designed to motivate the prospect to respond to your call to action, for example, call on the phone, go to a website, go to your nursery, etc. We call this motivating offer “A Magnet”.
Here are a few Ideas and Magnets that have been used successfully by our clients. Use one or a combination, but don’t over crowd the postcard with too much information. The postcard must pass “The Glance Test”, which means the reader will know what the card is about with just a passing glance. This can make the difference between getting noticed or being tossed out as junk mail.
- Concentrate Your Customers – Save Time, Save Gas, Cut More Lawns!
Use USPS mail carrier routes to create a mailing list where you have the highest concentration of customers. Get Mail Carrier Route Maps for the Zip Codes you cover. Then select the routes that have the highest concentration. Mail postcards to these routes every 4 – 5 weeks.
- Are You Happy?
If you are looking for new customers they fall into two categories: 1- Those that cut their own lawns and 2- Those that already have a lawn service. Go after group 2 with this message on your postcard: “ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR LAWN SERVICE? OUR CUSTOMERS ARE! READ WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY: ” Written testimonials (a sentence or two) work great. If you can include photos of some of your customers and their lawns, even better.
- FREE Lawn Service!
You are probably thinking “…that’s easy for you to say”. Try this offer: FREE LAWN SERVICE (Headline) and then a disclaimer – For new customers. Get 2 cuts at our regular low price and your 3rd cut is Free! That works out to a 33% discount. Plus, after 3 cuts in a row, it is probably safe to say you’ve got a new regular customer.
- Need A Tune-Up?
We thought this was a unique idea. Offer an on site lawn mower tune up service. In the process you will identify prospects that do their own lawn. This group can be targeted for additional services like landscaping, fertilization, spring and fall clean-ups, etc. And remember, just because they have a lawn mower does not mean they love doing the lawn. Tempt them with a special offer.
- Be Flexible On Pricing
Offer one time pricing as well as contracts. By the way, if you are selling contracts, don’t call it a contract, call it a “Savings Package”.
- It’s All About You!
Do you have a small operation? Try this headline to emphasize your personal service: “I Own The Company, I Cut The Lawns, I Guarantee Your Satisfaction!” Include your photo and you will have a very powerful message on your postcard.
- Promote Your Website With Direct Mail
Don’t have one? You should. And it should contain more than just a laundry list of your services. Photographs of your work, testimonials, gardening tips, monthly specials on seasonal flowers and services and more. The website should have plenty of good content that can be used to sell new clients and keep the ones you have.
Spring is almost here and many of our regular lawn service customers are getting ready to send postcards to their local neighborhoods. Direct Mail is a great method to use for growing your lawn care business. If you are new to direct mail advertising here are a few things you should consider.
1- Divide Your Market Into Groups
Group A: Homes in the neighborhood that already have a lawn service. Within this group are:
- Customers that are happy with their lawn service
- Customers that are unhappy with their lawn service
- Customers that consider their lawn service “just ok”, or nothing special
Group B: Homes that do not have a lawn service. Within this group are:
- Potential customers that think they can’t afford a lawn service
- Potential customers that no longer want to mow their own lawn due to age or health
- Potential customers that might need work done occasionally
2 – Create A Special Offer For Each Group
When creating a special offer, be aggressive. It’s hard to get potential customers to change their habits. Whether you are trying to get them to fire their current lawn company and hire yours, or to stop doing the work themselves, you’ve got to give them a strong enough incentive to get them out of their “comfort zone”.
Here is an example of a strong offer that has been used successfully by lawn services. Headline – “NEW CUSTOMER INVITATION: FREE LAWN SERVICE! Details in smaller type – Pay For 2 Cuts At Our Regular Low Price and Your 3rd Cut Is FREE!”
That works out to be a 33% discount on the first three cuts. After 3 cuts, if they like your work, you’ve probably got a regular customer.
Don’t make the mistake of evaluating the success of your direct mail advertising campaign by considering only the first purchase a customer makes. Look at the lifetime value of a customer. Here is a link to an easy to use calculator that can help you determine the lifetime value of a customer.
Remember that the purpose of your direct mail postcard is to generate a lead. You’ve still got to make the sale. So be prepared. Answer the phone live if you can and if you must use a recorded message, let the caller know that you will return the call quickly (the quicker the better).
Don’t worry about having the lowest prices and don’t get annoyed if the prospect seems to focus on price. The reason most callers start off with price questions is because they don’t know enough about the lawn service business to ask other questions. So, be prepared to defend your prices by describing the differences between you and your competitors.
When you give a price, look for a reaction from the prospect. Some potential clients may be embarrassed to question your prices. This is a “hidden objection” that you can dispose of by addressing it head on. For example you might say, “if you are shopping for price, you will find that the rates of most of the qualified lawn service companies in town are within a few dollars of each other. We not the highest or the lowest, however our service is way above average. Here’s why…..”
Keep close track of which offers are working best and then fine tune your postcard before mailing again. Direct mail is a process. You’ve got to mail, track response, fine tune and then mail again. After awhile your response rates will become predictable and your business will be growing along the way.