Direct mail... Successful Failure???

20 replies
I am just curious to see what others think of this flyer I put together for a lawn care service. The response was great. Most if not all found it quite amusing and I was told that all of the people it was given to would laugh and spark up conversation for the client passing them out. But here is the rub, not one single lead was produced from it.

I no longer work with the client and am in no immediate rush to try and come up with solutions, but I am very curious what some more experienced marketers would believe the issue was regarding the lack of follow up.

http://i61.tinypic.com/4ut0l4.png

Thanks in advance for your time
D

#direct #failed #failure #mail #success #successful
  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    We don't know who rec'd this, you say it was "given to"...whom? how? why?

    The response was great, if you intended a laugh fest.

    TOTAL fail for leads.

    Humor is hard to get right, 99% of the Direct Response solicitations should avoid it.

    Also, we don't know what the offer was.

    It appears to be a cute and clever effort without any salesmanship to it.

    gjabiz


    Originally Posted by DaveTheSinister View Post

    I am just curious to see what others think of this flyer I put together for a lawn care service. The response was great. Most if not all found it quite amusing and I was told that all of the people it was given to would laugh and spark up conversation for the client passing them out. But here is the rub, not one single lead was produced from it.

    I no longer work with the client and am in no immediate rush to try and come up with solutions, but I am very curious what some more experienced marketers would believe the issue was regarding the lack of follow up.

    http://i61.tinypic.com/4ut0l4.png

    Thanks in advance for your time
    D

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    • Profile picture of the author DaveTheSinister
      Originally Posted by gjabiz View Post

      We don't know who rec'd this, you say it was "given to"...whom? how? why?

      The response was great, if you intended a laugh fest.

      TOTAL fail for leads.

      Humor is hard to get right, 99% of the Direct Response solicitations should avoid it.

      Also, we don't know what the offer was.

      It appears to be a cute and clever effort without any salesmanship to it.

      gjabiz
      Forgive me, fairly new to exactly how the forum works, was meant to have a second picture.

      These were postcards and the other side is also contained at the bottom of the door hanger in this post. I wasnt involved with the passing out of the postcards and door hangers. So I cant be sure the specific groups targeted. Truth be told, I believe even with the postcards the client went door to door himself.

      On the otherside:


      I went with humor because of other local and small businesses. Figured if that was the approach others were using, it must be successful.

      Your last comment struck a cord though. You are right, there is nothing for the intended customer to want to call.

      Thanks for that!
      D
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      • Profile picture of the author DABK
        Now that you added the other side:
        the reasons given are not powerful: everybody does free estimates, competitive pricing is meaningless (I'll give you x at $50 less than whatever offer you got last week).
        Flexible scheduling? It's lawn care, I don't have to be home. You come in, you leave a little yellow flag on my front lawn every time you come. If my lawn looks good, I don't need to ever see you do your thing.

        Power washing too takes away from the rest.
        There were a couple of posts last year about flyers for lawn maintenance. Ewanmack posted images of a really good postcard. Look that up (it's psot 24 or 42 in this thread:http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...-critique.html).


        Originally Posted by DaveTheSinister View Post

        Forgive me, fairly new to exactly how the forum works, was meant to have a second picture.

        These were postcards and the other side is also contained at the bottom of the door hanger in this post. I wasnt involved with the passing out of the postcards and door hangers. So I cant be sure the specific groups targeted. Truth be told, I believe even with the postcards the client went door to door himself.

        On the otherside:


        I went with humor because of other local and small businesses. Figured if that was the approach others were using, it must be successful.

        Your last comment struck a cord though. You are right, there is nothing for the intended customer to want to call.

        Thanks for that!
        D
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by DaveTheSinister View Post

        I went with humor because of other local and small businesses. Figured if that was the approach others were using, it must be successful.
        Dave;

        You'll learn that most business owners have no idea how to advertise effectively. Humor is the default position.

        Nearly every intelligent person, creating an ad...makes this mistake. Humor feels like it should get results. But if it's taking the place of a good offer, it's a mistake.

        If you create an ad (or flyer) and show it around, and they say, "My, that's very clever"....you are not getting the right result. "Clever" doesn't translate into buying. You want people saying, "Can I really get this?".

        I can't tell you how many thousands of dollars, and years of wasted advertising, it took me to learn this.
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          if you use the words "I speak Spanish" in a piece... I believe it should be said in Spanish no?

          There is a "Rule" in visual design that helps in ensuring the message you want seen is in the correct place to see. Not so much the words of the message but the message as a whole. here is an article to explain that better: Proportion, Golden Ratio and Rule of Thirds

          when you use terms like "Gotcha" you want to make sure they are in context to what you are saying. would you really say "lawn I got you overheated"? or "lawn I understand you overheated"? The term really doesn't fit the need in this case. it sounds and feels forced.

          I really didn't find the piece humorous. well I did, but not in the manor you were hoping. An image of the Grim Reaper asking if doing the lawn is killing you may have been funny... Goes to show that often funny is not so universal. whats funny to you, may not be funny to others.

          The best part here is you tried, you got paid, and you lost the client probably for life... but you live and learn and move on.
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          • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
            Hi Dave,

            If you want to be successful in marketing, you have to adjust your criteria.

            The response was great.
            But here is the rub, not one single lead was produced from it.
            Actually, the response was abysmal! It literally couldn't have been worse.

            If you are doing stand-up comedy, laughs are the response you want.

            If you are doing marketing, the only response that counts is people taking action because of what you created - i.e. inquiries or sales.

            All best,
            Marcia Yudkin
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    Just because I hate taking care of the lawn doesn't mean I'm in a position to hire a landscaping company or that I want to.

    If I was in the position (and wanted) to hire a landscaper, why would I choose you? Your postcard doesn't give any reason.

    To the west of where I live, people don't hire landscapers because they're tired of cutting the grass themselves, they do it because they have better things to do with their time. If they work, they make more per hour than it costs to get the best landscaper to take care of it.

    To the east of where I live, not too far, there are people who could afford a landscaper now but could not have done so a year or two ago... Your ad, with proper copy, would work on some of them.

    And in my neighborhood, we have landscaped lawns because wives want more symmetry and more of the manicured look than most husbands can deliver by themselves.

    Originally Posted by DaveTheSinister View Post

    I am just curious to see what others think of this flyer I put together for a lawn care service. The response was great. Most if not all found it quite amusing and I was told that all of the people it was given to would laugh and spark up conversation for the client passing them out. But here is the rub, not one single lead was produced from it.

    I no longer work with the client and am in no immediate rush to try and come up with solutions, but I am very curious what some more experienced marketers would believe the issue was regarding the lack of follow up.

    http://i61.tinypic.com/4ut0l4.png

    Thanks in advance for your time
    D

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    • Profile picture of the author DaveTheSinister
      Originally Posted by DABK View Post

      Just because I hate taking care of the lawn doesn't mean I'm in a position to hire a landscaping company or that I want to.
      Truth! I guess it was my lack of selling the benefit on this one.

      Thanks for taking the time to reply and help give me some perspective!
      D
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    It depends.....I think there should have been a call to action

    a popular air conditioning ad where I live - south Florida
    where air con is important and imperative - has been the same for years...."Your wife is hot"....

    you see their ads everywhere...and some twists and copy cats..at one point they were in a big lawsuit with a rival company over this
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    • Profile picture of the author DaveTheSinister
      Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

      It depends.....I think there should have been a call to action

      a popular air conditioning ad where I live - south Florida
      where air con is important and imperative - has been the same for years...."Your wife is hot"....

      you see their ads everywhere...and some twists and copy cats..at one point they were in a big lawsuit with a rival company over this
      Lol, Air Around the Clock. I know a couple people who work for them. Amazing sales team in that company.

      You are totally correct. No call to action. I cant believe just how much it was staring me in the face! Well, it was a great learning experience.

      D
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    Dave,

    Here is another suggestion you might want for the future.

    If possible, produce at least two flyers with differing messages. Test and see which one gets the most response...

    You can split test flyers almost as easily as split testing online ads.

    Keep the best, replace the worst, keep testing..

    You just need to make sure your client understands that is what you are doing, and WHY it is a good idea.

    In your case, you could have tested your funny ad against a serious flyer listing benefits. You would have quickly known which one made the phone ring.
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  • Profile picture of the author clockface
    I can't understand why you think humour would swing the decision?

    I liike facts only. No B*S*, no hype, no humour needed. Just give me your offer, and if i want it i'll contact you. It's as simple as that really.
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    • Profile picture of the author DaveTheSinister
      Originally Posted by clockface View Post

      I can't understand why you think humour would swing the decision?

      I liike facts only. No B*S*, no hype, no humour needed. Just give me your offer, and if i want it i'll contact you. It's as simple as that really.
      Well, after competitive research I saw a lot of lawcare companies using humor. If it works for them why wouldnt it work for me? I see where you are coming from, but I have found humor to be very endearing and usually helps a prospect to be more willing to lend an ear. The issue was following up the humor with a USP that would separate the clients business and force action.

      As Les Brown says: You have to fail your way to success.

      One more "no" down, getting closer to that "yes!"

      Thanks for the input
      D
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      • Profile picture of the author misterme
        Originally Posted by DaveTheSinister View Post

        Well, after competitive research I saw a lot of lawcare companies using humor. If it works for them why wouldnt it work for me?
        D
        Because the humor's not the effective ingredient in the mix for them, if at all, as you found out.
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        • Profile picture of the author DaveTheSinister
          Originally Posted by misterme View Post

          Because the humor's not the effective ingredient in the mix for them, if at all, as you found out.
          Very true, guess it was one lesson I had to learn the hard way
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    • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
      Originally Posted by clockface View Post

      I can't understand why you think humour would swing the decision?

      I liike facts only. No B*S*, no hype, no humor needed. Just give me your offer, and if i want it i'll contact you. It's as simple as that really.
      Since he is in South Florida...so am I....humor might work

      One thing I have seen is ...a lot of the generic "lead sites" simply do not work here

      I "fixed" a local landscape company website because someone (elsewhere) made them a nice wordpress site with generic stock landscape pics...but...we do not have splitlevel brick houses here...pine trees....big apple trees...hills....the pictures looked like Pennsylvania LOL

      I have seen "generic" biz sites...but people here do NOT wear suits and ties, long sleeves, womens suits with white shirts ....they just don't. Maybe for a funeral, or a court hearing. You don't see brick, heavy old wood, the "law library" look....you just don't see it
      Stock photos often look "weird" for ads here.

      You have to know your market. I know of cafe that (closed) had a cool site - very Brooklyn Hipster - Seattle grunge....Parralax site - grey, grainy....dismal....hipster looking....except...we don't have gray days, old gray buildings....people like to sit in the sunshine under bright umbrellas or chill in the air conditioning inside
      '
      The site looked cool but I think the whole "image" ...and even the food was wrong for here. It was located near the cruiseports....convention area....people come down from the cold or gray days they don't want to choose gray cafe....LOL. As for locals...it was like ..what?

      Think Global...Act Local
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  • Profile picture of the author Freebiequeen1999
    LOL....se habla yes should insert a nice little graphic there complete with the accent mark

    very popular here - (no I don't speak Spanish)
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      And make sure it's 'se habla' not 'hablamos.' I don't speak Spanish, either.

      Originally Posted by Freebiequeen1999 View Post

      LOL....se habla yes should insert a nice little graphic there complete with the accent mark

      very popular here - (no I don't speak Spanish)
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  • Profile picture of the author PennyBurgess
    There is no true failure in direct response world, just buying more valuable data, there are people who just drop 5 figures to test the waters!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rickeydt
    I stress the use of craigslist considering the success I and others I know have had with it either selling something, testing a market or idea. I recommend creating a few small classifieds and post them in the free sections under services offered and see which one gets the best response... you could use a unique discount code on each to see track results. Take the highest converting ad try testing in a few more places online and if the conversions are good online it is likely to convert high offline. You can even use newspaper classifieds which can be really cost effective and highly profitable... just test online to minimize financial risk and you can tap into a pool of potential customers for free or at low cost, then take it offline.

    Note: A mix of on/offline is always a good idea
    Just as well as free and paid ads

    Hope that helps

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