Lawn Service Flyer - Help me Critique!

49 replies
I came to this forum last year for some advice from the marketing guru's here. I got some excellent and useful input and it turned out to be a great success when marketing my lawn service by using flyers. My first year I gained 60+ customers which put my foot in the door, allowed me to grow, network, gain experience, and make a living.

This year I'm looking to target a new set of audience and put out more flyers. I'm in the process of drawing up my next years flyer. Note I have awesome graphics, photo's, etc. that won't be view-able here. With that said, I'm looking for input on what or if anything that comes to mind that could be changed to improve my flyer for next year.

I'm planning to set myself apart from other companies by;

1. Giving quality work.
2. Having a convenient service. (Less of a hassle)
3. Being reliable.
4. Being trust-worthy.

Here's what I have as of right now (text) minus the graphic design, high quality photo's, contact information, etc. Within the head line, I tried to input two benefits of using my service. Note actual work photo's will be included, not stock photo's.
__________________________________________________ ________________________

Enjoy Your Weekend, Don't Sweat it Away!

Lawn Service made simple.

Local and Owner Operated (large space) 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
Reliable Service (large space) Professional and Friendly


Proven Results. Quality comes FIRST.
Old fashioned handshakes, No Contracts.
Punctual Scheduling.
Convenient Online Billing.
Personalized Lawn Schedules.

"We go above and beyond your expectations."





__________________________________________________ _______________________
#critique #flyer #lawn #service
  • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
    Banned
    Pretty good! Put it on a well-design postcard like this one

    and you are in business!
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    • Jason, that's the plan! I had a great success last year, I'm going after a different set of audience this year however! Last year I focused on selling the best price. Which was a big mistake. I gained experience this year and found my "niche" which is in the higher-end properties. So this year I'm changing my flyers and layout to what I can offer the "higher end" customers.

      I here you on using the well designed layout. Here is the one I'm using, obviously with my header, wording, text, and contact information! The header will be at the top, the four main points will be in the grass just below the house, the benefits will be under on the left, the actual photo's will be where the mower is in this flyer, and contact information and call to action at the bottom!

      http://www.djloademup.com/wp/wp-cont...wncare_WEB.jpg
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    • Here's a side by side, to kind of give you the idea what I'm doing. Minus the contact information and call to action will be at the bottom, and the actual photo's on the right where that mower is.

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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Here is the thing. the items you are using to separate yourself are what every other lawn guy would say about him / herself. that's not separating you.

      Adding a thatcher to your mowers... that would separate you.

      Offer free weed and seed in the spring

      use a line such as "Call for a Free Estimate"

      again like the example above list out your services.

      I know all the guys in this line of work I do work for they all push pre-season activities like mulching and rain gutter cleaning.
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      • Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Here is the thing. the items you are using to separate yourself are what every other lawn guy would say about him / herself. that's not separating you.

        Adding a thatcher to your mowers... that would separate you.

        Offer free weed and seed in the spring

        use a line such as "Call for a Free Estimate"

        again like the example above list out your services.

        I know all the guys in this line of work I do work for they all push pre-season activities like mulching and rain gutter cleaning.

        I understand where you are coming from. However, I thought that I did list some good points that made me stick out from the rest of the local companies. 90% of them require contracts, 75% of them don't offer online billing and usually require you leave a check out in the open under a mat, or send a check by mail. As far as offering "Aeration, Dethatching" etc. I usually up-sell them on a "as needed" basis. I either recommend it,or if a customer asks for it, I offer it. However, my bread and butter is mowing, trimming, edging, cleaning, and getting off of the property. I thought about considering "FREE YEARLY FERTILIZATION." This would benefit me in many ways. It would keep my lawns healthy and looking good. 2. It would keep the lawns growing during the slower growing summer and fall time when others are slowed down. However, the cost of fertilizer has went up over the years, which is keeping me from advertising that unless I come up with a better idea. I thought about offering free yearly fertilization, customer pays for the fertilizer, the labor is free. But I can't figure out a way to incorporate that into wording.
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
    Banned
    nice! like the design. should have no trouble getting a response with that!
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  • That's what I want to hear, I appreciate it!
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Why not split test multiple ads?

    Example, instead of printing 200 of the same ads, print 4 sets of 50 ads/flyers/cards each having a unique coupon code for tracking which ad performed the best.

    That way your not guessing If your ad could be better, you'll have real data feedback. If you have to ask for the coupon code while the potential customer is on the phone, do it.

    Use Google Images for ideas:
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Originally Posted by grassbusterdesigns View Post

    I came to this forum last year for some advice from the marketing guru's here. I got some excellent and useful input and it turned out to be a great success when marketing my lawn service by using flyers. My first year I gained 60+ customers which put my foot in the door, allowed me to grow, network, gain experience, and make a living.

    This year I'm looking to target a new set of audience and put out more flyers. I'm in the process of drawing up my next years flyer. Note I have awesome graphics, photo's, etc. that won't be view-able here. With that said, I'm looking for input on what or if anything that comes to mind that could be changed to improve my flyer for next year.

    I'm planning to set myself apart from other companies by;

    1. Giving quality work.
    2. Having a convenient service. (Less of a hassle)
    3. Being reliable.
    4. Being trust-worthy.

    Here's what I have as of right now (text) minus the graphic design, high quality photo's, contact information, etc. Within the head line, I tried to input two benefits of using my service. Note actual work photo's will be included, not stock photo's.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________

    Enjoy Your Weekend, Don't Sweat it Away!

    Lawn Service made simple.

    Local and Owner Operated (large space) 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
    Reliable Service (large space) Professional and Friendly


    Proven Results. Quality comes FIRST.
    Old fashioned handshakes, No Contracts.
    Punctual Scheduling.
    Convenient Online Billing.
    Personalized Lawn Schedules.

    "We go above and beyond your expectations."





    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    Didn't go above my expectations I'm afraid.

    Your ad certainly MATCHED my expectations, but didn't exceed
    them in a way that would have made me go 'WOW....Look
    what this guy is offering!!!'

    Make a flyer that waaaayyy exceeds my expectations and you
    can write it on cardboard with a marker pen and you'll get great
    results.

    Simply MATCH my expectations and all the layout/design/color choice
    will be a waste of time.

    Exceed my expectations and I'll be listening closely...

    Good luck.
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    Making Calls To Sell Something? What are you actually saying?
    Is there any room for improvement? Want to find out?

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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer.

      Not any buyer but the best buyer.

      She takes pride in how her home looks.

      She already has a person mowing her lawn.
      [Therefore don't tell her the benefits of having someone come in
      and take care of it]

      She's not happy with the guy's work.

      O.K., what won't she be happy with?

      Tell us what it is, because that's what she wants to hear most of all.

      Let's see if you REALLY know what the best buyer's hiring motivation is.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author XponentSYS
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Put yourself in the shoes of a buyer.

        Not any buyer but the best buyer.

        She takes pride in how her home looks.

        She already has a person mowing her lawn.
        [Therefore don't tell her the benefits of having someone come in
        and take care of it]

        She's not happy with the guy's work.

        O.K., what won't she be happy with?

        Tell us what it is, because that's what she wants to hear most of all.

        Let's see if you REALLY know what the best buyer's hiring motivation is.

        Best,
        Ewen
        I was wondering when Mr Mack was going to chime in. The answer to this question is.....

        Guys Doing What They Say They're Gonna Do. Showing up on time, etc.
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Originally Posted by XponentSYS View Post

          I was wondering when Mr Mack was going to chime in. The answer to this question is.....

          Guys Doing What They Say They're Gonna Do. Showing up on time, etc.
          Yes to the part about they've heard it before, broken promises and all that.

          And here's the thing, nobody fully recognizes this, then if they did,
          will come up with more fluff that has no teeth.

          It's like a see-saw...on one end is a 120 kg man sitting on one end
          and 20 kg girl on the other end.

          To change the balance, the weight force has to be more than the 120kg.
          Pure physics and gravity.

          And so with the weight of believability stacked against you,
          you have to have a greater force.to get a buyer to call.

          You do this by stating the glaring problems they are having and
          put in a penalty guarantee.

          Saying the rain causes delay and you can't do it,
          is closing the mind as how to work around it.
          We get plenty of rain in Auckland.

          So interesting to see where people's mind is around this...very interesting.

          Best,
          Ewen
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          • Profile picture of the author savidge4
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            Saying the rain causes delay and you can't do it,
            is closing the mind as how to work around it.
            We get plenty of rain in Auckland.

            So interesting to see where people's mind is around this...very interesting.

            Best,
            Ewen
            I can only speak for my environment and location. but when there are about 12 hours of daylight and it rains all day. that days work is not getting done. Do a job a day early.. and that customer as the video with robin suggests, might be on the phone or a tele conference or whatever.. they expect you on Wednesday and you show up Tuesday... guess what, you "may" be keeping your on time promise, ( technically your not ) but you just struck a negative cord.

            How to work around it.. write up a guarantee clause that closes in such situations and allows you to call the customer and determine a best schedule fit for them to get the job done. But considering the concept of the OP is to be contract less it seems a bit overboard to have to sign a act of God disclosure.
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            • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
              Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

              I can only speak for my environment and location. but when there are about 12 hours of daylight and it rains all day. that days work is not getting done. Do a job a day early.. and that customer as the video with robin suggests, might be on the phone or a tele conference or whatever.. they expect you on Wednesday and you show up Tuesday... guess what, you "may" be keeping your on time promise, ( technically your not ) but you just struck a negative cord.
              Had it figured out for the Robin Robin's of the world.

              Once again you are looking for reasons why it can't be done,
              not "how can I make it work".

              Best,
              Ewen
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              • Profile picture of the author savidge4
                Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

                Had it figured out for the Robin Robin's of the world.

                Once again you are looking for reasons why it can't be done,
                not "how can I make it work".

                Best,
                Ewen
                Who had it figured out? that was one of the pain points and the guy lost the contract. and I will bet that he was recovering from a day of rain and then got hit with another. so ended 2 days back and he didn't have the common sense to push through the jobs and get back onto schedule. The client had to remind them of it, and brought her candies or some non sense.

                As I am sure you know. I personally guarantee ROI on the websites I build. I extend that offer to a great many of the sites I build there has been about 2% rejection because I was not very confident in getting the numbers in a decent amount of time. But offering Guarantees for the sake of offering can only get you into trouble. I offer what I KNOW I #1 have control over #2 have the ability to perform.

                if there is any and or some variables out there floating around I might not have control over... I personally don't take the risk. I am not a gambler and looking at odds... I look at fact and consider plausible inabilities. Risk management if you like.
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          • Profile picture of the author XponentSYS
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            Yes to the part about they've heard it before, broken promises and all that.

            And here's the thing, nobody fully recognizes this, then if they did,
            will come up with more fluff that has no teeth.

            It's like a see-saw...on one end is a 120 kg man sitting on one end
            and 20 kg girl on the other end.

            To change the balance, the weight force has to be more than the 120kg.
            Pure physics and gravity.

            And so with the weight of believability stacked against you,
            you have to have a greater force.to get a buyer to call.

            You do this by stating the glaring problems they are having and
            put in a penalty guarantee.

            Saying the rain causes delay and you can't do it,
            is closing the mind as how to work around it.
            We get plenty of rain in Auckland.

            So interesting to see where people's mind is around this...very interesting.

            Best,
            Ewen
            As you know, my brother is a lawn guy

            Everyone in the business complained about "how hard" it aaas because there's so much competition.

            My brother thought that the answer to his problems was to compete on price. Huge mistake because the quality of his customer went down.

            I came in and discovered that the biggest gripe in his market was ls ask people being flaky - not showing up or leaving debris behind

            We answered that problem with a "penalty" guarantee like you've been talking about. It changed the face of his business.

            It rains a lot here too - and the trucks roll anyway. Rain is a part of life in the winter here, a lot of it.

            The answer to that problem is good rain gear. Even if they can't mow, they "put feet on the ground" and tend what they can.
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  • Profile picture of the author trendier
    I'll tell you the only reason I don't ever hire a lawn crew is because they do a terrible job of cleaning up after themselves. I hate seeing grass being blown by the wind all over my driveway. I'm not really sure how I would phrase it, but possibly expanding on the word "quality" will help. I'm no good at content, but hope that idea helps!
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Ok this has gotten even better. you are "Risktakerz" with a "Z" lawncare. to rich folks... you would be 2-3 lunatics with big expensive green mowers plowing through their yard with 10,000 RPM blades. AND you know what... that's not a bad thing.

      So you are NOT "Prim and Proper Lawncare" THIS is what separates you from the rest!

      Because you are looking to gain more affluent clients, you want to adjust your wording a bit. Cheap Folks get "quotes" More affluent folks "Inquire" Rich folks have a "Landscaper" You have "Additional Services"

      R i s k t a k e r z
      Residential and Commercial Lawn Care
      G
      We Take Lawn Care to a Whole New Level
      • Hassle Free Online Billing
      • Personalized and Punctual Cutting Schedule
      • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
      • No long Term Contract
      Instead of "Landscaping" use "Additional Services We Provide"
      List your service...
      R
      Locally Owned and Operated
      A
      "Your Lawn is our TradeMark"
      S
      Inquire About Our Service Today.
      (919) 904-2203
      S

      That is copy that will separate you from the competition, and gain those affluent clients you are looking for. And please oh please tell me you understand HOW to put the lines in the lawn... Ask the clients which direction they would like the lines ( In overall complaints from 1 to 10 this would be #3 ) for the record #2 is time frame, and number one.. is poor clean-up.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Still way off.

        It's still about you.

        Not about her.

        Not making the connection starting at her tipping point.

        The tipping point as to why she is getting on the phone to
        hire another lawn mowing guy.

        You still sound like all the rest who have no clue as to what
        the bad experiences she has had with others.

        If you want to hear what a real customer of a lawn care service
        has to say, and what she endured until she could not take it any more,
        reached her tipping point and called a lawnmowing guy...?

        Then scroll down a few episodes of ilovemarketing
        where Robin Robins is on stage talking this about this exact thing.

        Just an example of that long post I made about the Tipping Point in buyers.
        Would be good to go back and see it with fresh eyes.

        Then come back and tell us how you'd approach this differently so you'll
        connect to a real buyer.

        Best,
        Ewen


        Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        Ok this has gotten even better. you are "Risktakerz" with a "Z" lawncare. to rich folks... you would be 2-3 lunatics with big expensive green mowers plowing through their yard with 10,000 RPM blades. AND you know what... that's not a bad thing.

        So you are NOT "Prim and Proper Lawncare" THIS is what separates you from the rest!

        Because you are looking to gain more affluent clients, you want to adjust your wording a bit. Cheap Folks get "quotes" More affluent folks "Inquire" Rich folks have a "Landscaper" You have "Additional Services"

        R i s k t a k e r z
        Residential and Commercial Lawn Care
        G
        We Take Lawn Care to a Whole New Level
        • Hassle Free Online Billing
        • Personalized and Punctual Cutting Schedule
        • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
        • No long Term Contract
        Instead of "Landscaping" use "Additional Services We Provide"
        List your service...
        R
        Locally Owned and Operated
        A
        "Your Lawn is our TradeMark"
        S
        Inquire About Our Service Today.
        (919) 904-2203
        S

        That is copy that will separate you from the competition, and gain those affluent clients you are looking for. And please oh please tell me you understand HOW to put the lines in the lawn... Ask the clients they would like the lines ( In overall complaints from 1 to 10 this would be #3 ) for the record #2 is time frame, and number one.. is poor clean-up.
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Ahhh but there is a second side to every flyer... and I DID leave tipping point #1 #2 AND #3 Im not getting paid here! ha ha...

          ah what the hell #4 is coming to early in the morning. #5 is cutting when the grass is wet... because we all know you cant cut grass when its wet. #6 they trimmed my precious flowers. #7 is they didn't come last week... but they did. #8 im not paying for this week it didn't need cut. #9 They parked in my driveway and #10 they need to wear shirts when they cut my lawn.

          I am currently working with 6 lawn care guys now. I have actually been on the phone the last few weeks collecting this data to better write this crap so they can steal more clients from each other. So I would like to think that I am so far off I am on... like the dichotomy of Risktakerz with a Z cutting affluent lawns! ha ha


          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          Still way off.

          It's still about you.

          Not about her.

          Not making the connection starting at her tipping point.

          The tipping point as to why she is getting on the phone to
          hire another lawn mowing guy.

          You still sound like all the rest who have no clue as to what
          the bad experiences she has had with others.

          If you want to hear what a real customer of a lawn care service
          has to say, and what she endured until she could not take it any more,
          reached her tipping point and called a lawnmowing guy...?

          Then scroll down a few episodes of ilovemarketing
          where Robin Robins is on stage talking this about this exact thing.

          Just an example of that long post I made about the Tipping Point in buyers.
          Would be good to go back and see it with fresh eyes.

          Then come back and tell us how you'd approach this differently so you'll
          connect to a real buyer.

          Best,
          Ewen
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          • Profile picture of the author savidge4
            so at what point in a single market do you stop taking clients in a single industry for conflict of interest. better yet, how the hell am I going to write 6 pieces of copy that are going to be spread across the same freekin people and make them ALL different?

            I WISH I could use that copy for a client and call it a day... but that would be unfair!

            Some times it sucks being me!
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Hmmmm "RIsktakerz" might be a branding issue with this type of market.

    I've worked for affluent people for years while in college and I can tell you that they DON'T want to take risks with their stuff and their property.

    And homeowners in general don't want to take risks.

    Is it a catchy name?

    Yeah. But will it benefit you?

    Time will tell.

    Best of Luck,

    J. Barry
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Justin,

      I totally get what you are saying... Prim and Proper Lawncare is a better fit. HOWEVER.. there is a level of expectation here... these are lawn guys... We are talking less good looking and dumber than pool guys. ( In a figurative manor I might add here ) There is a inch or 6 here to play with. Rich folks do have a sense of humor. and playing on "Risktakerz" and blending that with the more "Refined" wording I think is a great play. It is actually border line comical I think.


      Originally Posted by Justin Mandel View Post

      Hmmmm "RIsktakerz" might be a branding issue with this type of market.

      I've worked for affluent people for years while in college and I can tell you that they DON'T want to take risks with their stuff and their property.

      And homeowners in general don't want to take risks.

      Is it a catchy name?

      Yeah. But will it benefit you?

      Time will tell.

      Best of Luck,

      J. Barry
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Look Mom No Hands!
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Fast forward to the 20 minute mark and listen and learn
          why a buyer picks up the phone
          and calls a lawn mowing guy.

          Best,
          Ewen

          Robin Robins at the I Love Marketing Conference - YouTube
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          • Profile picture of the author savidge4
            But point #1 and #2 are exactly that... Follow me along for a moment. One of the things that the OP stated MOST of his... let me look "90%" of his competition locks these folks into a contract. Pain point #1.. even if they wanted to get out, it would be hard to. ( No Long Term Contract ) Pain Point #2 being Robins #2 pain point "Personalized and Punctual Cutting Schedule" #1 on Robins list as well as mine... clean-up. The second side of the flier needs to hit on the personalized service. Cleanup being Very Important. I saw mention the OP "Moves" items as well.

            So with the printed piece you would want the front side to be about The "Services you Provide" and the back side needs to focus more on what personalized service and attention to detail you provide.

            But here is the interesting thing. we are talking lawn care.. what was Robins strategy to finding a replacement? what ever was in front of her. It didn't matter.

            I will assume the OP is going after "Pre Season" account lock ins. He is catching the clients "Out of Contract" so if there is a tipping point to be gained from then February is the time to do so. His no contract line hits that cord. The schedule thing hits a cord. The line "We Take Lawn Care to a Whole New Level" is a implied statement of excellence. SUGGESTING they are better than the last guy, without explicitly implying what they are better at.

            I don't know about the market that this guy/gal works, but where I live and my clients. ( 6 of them ).. they all work against each other, but help each other out at the same time. In the beginning of the season they swap work back and forth to fill in routes and of course they dump crap jobs on each other.

            So even after watching the video and reading and understanding what the client / OP is offering as fodder I think I hit it pretty solid actually!

            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            Fast forward to the 20 minute mark and listen and learn
            why a buyer picks up the phone
            and calls a lawn mowing guy.

            Best,
            Ewen

            Robin Robins at the I Love Marketing Conference - YouTube
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          • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
            Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

            Fast forward to the 20 minute mark and listen and learn
            why a buyer picks up the phone
            and calls a lawn mowing guy.

            Best,
            Ewen

            Robin Robins at the I Love Marketing Conference - YouTube
            Robin Robins that was the lady I was thinking about last week when someone mentioned a computer repair business. Thanks for that Ewen it's been bugging me for about a week. I haven't bought any of her courses as I'm no longer in the industry but I do like what I've seen out of her.
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            We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up ... discovering we have the strength to stare it down. - Eleanor Roosevelt

            Your opinion of yourself becomes your reality. If you have all these doubts, then no one will believe in you and everything will go wrong. If you think the opposite, the opposite will happen. It’s that simple.-Curtis Jackson- 50 Cent
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  • Whoa. I woke up to a hot topic and a lot of good information. I really appreciate you guy going into dept on this subject for me. Let me clear up some confusion real quick. First, "RiskTakerz" is NOT my business. Some of you may have missed home plate on what I mentioned earlier, but the "RiskTakerz" graphic layout is pretty much where I'm taking my graphic layout from and changing. While the name is catching, it doesn't match me, nor my company.


    Now to the marketing and wording on the flyer. I'm not a marketing guru. so please excuse me. What is confusing me is the term "tipping point." When you mention tipping point, what exactly are you referring to? If I had to take a guess, you are speaking on "What is the point the customer is leaving the previous company?" To the guy that mentioned ugly lawn care guys. I'm not illegal, I'm not ugly, and I speak English. I actually used a family picture on my flyers last year and I think that helped me have a great success. I think the main as you would say "tipping point" in my area (Texas) is the majority of the lawn guys are "Illegals" that jump out of their trucks 10-deep, speak no English, with bandanna's across their face, and get on and off a lawn in 10 minutes. I'm a southern gentleman, Caucasian, country raised fellow, that always knows how to use "Yes mam, Yes sir" with my customers. Most of my customers I gained over this previous year have became like friends. No surprise, I'm always in a cowboy hat, and the number one neighborhood where I work, I have 13 properties on one street is called "Southern Place." Kind of funny a country fellow that does lawn care, took over the whole lawn care for a street called "Southern Place", huh? To the guy who mentioned the lawn guys blowing grass and leaving it on the drive-way. That's a BIG NO NO. I always clean off the driveways, the front porch, back porch, back patio if there is one, brick underneath the air conditioners, and all hard surfaces are cleaned back off. My first year in business, I found my niche to be in the "Quality" business after watching the guys around me work and comparing how I work on a lawn compared to them. I may not be the best, but I take my time and make my properties look the best.

    Let's back track to marketing again. I love the new title listed above, "We Take Lawn Care to a Whole New Level." That fits myself, and sounds good to me. As far as the rain thing around here, that isn't a factor. We NEVER get rain. We've been in a major drought for 6+ years here in Central Texas, and when we do get a rain, I'm ready for a break, so I don't mow in the rain. One thing I do that separates me from a lot of guys around here is blades. Before going into lawn care, I always seen complaints about guys using "dull blades." My blades get sharpened or rotated with sharp blades every single day.

    So now that I have some more basic information about me, let's continue on with this excellent and helpful conversation!
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      (Rich) people call landscaping services when their city doesn't give them the occupancy permit on the new house they just built, unless they provide landscaping drawings, with name of plants and exact location.

      Find out who's gotten a permit, when they expect to move in, market to them.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Here's an ad that's $180,000 better than the previous one.

        Notice 3 main things at the beginning...

        ! Naming the problem which I keep harping on about

        2 Photo of the biz owner with his name and signature

        3 A penalty guarantee, meaning if those problems stated happen with you,
        you pay them money.

        This flat out works for lawnmowing and in different locations.

        A proven formula.

        Why mess with it?

        I built up and sold lawnmowing business on the strength of this formula.

        The prices I got were mostly higher than everyone else

        The customers stayed longer
        and paid on time

        This meant the businesses were valued more
        when it was time to sell.

        I didn't fool around with a $39 penalty guarantee,
        it was $1,000.

        It told those who read my ad, and yours
        you are serious as cancer.

        You don't spout out fancy words,
        you back up what you say with real money.

        Nobody in your market will have the guts to do this.

        And you know what...your customers will love you
        for it because they will say..."finally, someone is taking a stand
        against crappy service!"

        Are you prepared to do it without watering down
        the proven formula?

        You've seen the extra money made when following it.

        It's waiting for you.

        Best,
        Ewen

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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          The clean-up Guarantee I can see completely. The on time thing not so much. I know where I live it will rain for 3 days... you just missed 3 days of appointments and they work their butts off to get caught up, which in turn does tend to throw the rest of the schedule off.

          I have learned dealing with 6 guys in the industry not getting to big is a good thing. The guy with 3 crews and 500 lawns is screwed after a rain day. the Single crew guys with like 90 Lawns its not so bad. The single crew with 140 lawns.. again is screwed.

          You want to TRY and disperse your time specific appointments through the week. If you get these stacked in a single day and the day before is a rain day again you are struggling after a rain day.

          I will tell you that specifically with the clean-up it is the hard scape that customers complain about but more specifically it is the soft scape that gets more complaints. I know one of the guys actually uses a small mower with the discharge pointed to the yard and goes around 2 times to keep the discharge from the larger mowers out of the mulch and rocks etc. After trimming his guys blow the soft scape areas as well.
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            Ewen's ad was for a plumber.

            The problem you speak doesn't apply.

            The point was to look at what he does, use the formula, which is good.

            Adapt, to fit your industry.

            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            The clean-up Guarantee I can see completely. The on time thing not so much. I know where I live it will rain for 3 days... you just missed 3 days of appointments and they work their butts off to get caught up, which in turn does tend to throw the rest of the schedule off.

            I have learned dealing with 6 guys in the industry not getting to big is a good thing. The guy with 3 crews and 500 lawns is screwed after a rain day. the Single crew guys with like 90 Lawns its not so bad. The single crew with 140 lawns.. again is screwed.

            You want to TRY and disperse your time specific appointments through the week. If you get these stacked in a single day and the day before is a rain day again you are struggling after a rain day.

            I will tell you that specifically with the clean-up it is the hard scape that customers complain about but more specifically it is the soft scape that gets more complaints. I know one of the guys actually uses a small mower with the discharge pointed to the yard and goes around 2 times to keep the discharge from the larger mowers out of the mulch and rocks etc. After trimming his guys blow the soft scape areas as well.
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            • Profile picture of the author savidge4
              Originally Posted by DABK View Post

              Ewen's ad was for a plumber.
              The problem you speak doesn't apply.
              The point was to look at what he does, use the formula, which is good.
              Adapt, to fit your industry.
              Actually if you have followed Ewens writing for some amount of time you would know that he at a time in his life did do work for or own a grass cutting service and offered a $1000 Guarantee for on time cutting.


              Now that we have an exact understand of the OP's Market "Texas" I would change some of the strategy that I would use.

              You are in a very "Charged" market place, and you specifically work in a very "Charged" industry. Any separation you can make between yourself the wholesome Southern Gentleman and the 4 foot some things your competition hires is only a plus.

              Stop messing with pricing.. you will never win. Your labor cost on any given day for a added crew member is probably more than your competition pays for a crew.

              Aside from those now obvious points I would focus on the 2 other major points. that being the time factor which I think "Personalized and Punctual Cutting Schedule" covers well enough. then you need to add the "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" concept.



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    • Profile picture of the author misterme
      Originally Posted by grassbusterdesigns View Post

      To the guy that mentioned ugly lawn care guys. I'm not illegal, I'm not ugly, and I speak English. I actually used a family picture on my flyers last year and I think that helped me have a great success. I think the main as you would say "tipping point" in my area (Texas) is the majority of the lawn guys are "Illegals" that jump out of their trucks 10-deep, speak no English, with bandanna's across their face, and get on and off a lawn in 10 minutes. I'm a southern gentleman, Caucasian, country raised fellow, that always knows how to use "Yes mam, Yes sir" with my customers. Most of my customers I gained over this previous year have became like friends. No surprise, I'm always in a cowboy hat, and the number one neighborhood where I work, I have 13 properties on one street is called "Southern Place." Kind of funny a country fellow that does lawn care, took over the whole lawn care for a street called "Southern Place", huh? To the guy who mentioned the lawn guys blowing grass and leaving it on the drive-way. That's a BIG NO NO. I always clean off the driveways, the front porch, back porch, back patio if there is one, brick underneath the air conditioners, and all hard surfaces are cleaned back off. My first year in business, I found my niche to be in the "Quality" business after watching the guys around me work and comparing how I work on a lawn compared to them. I may not be the best, but I take my time and make my properties look the best.
      In that paragraph are there some points of why you get hired by your market, then up goes a photo of you in your hat with testimonials from please customers from Southern Place, and be sure to get your Southern gent personality across in the test somewhere. That plus a great introductory offer. Maybe even something where you buy off contracts they're stuck in.

      By the way, it's not about hitting that one perfect flyer. The tipping point angle is one way to do it. This is another. You need maybe seven to ten ways to attack the market.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidmac00
    EwanMack,

    Great post, the ideas can be used for far more than plumbing/ gardening, very insightful. Just a very good way to advertise your business.

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author JessUBotNinja
    I would maybe focus on full service - do you prep the lawn in the spring and do aeration and things like that in the fall so the lawn is ready to make it through the winter? Do you have the greenest lawns in the neighborhood? Do you work any specific type of top name brands that your customers would relate to to help them with their lawn -- are you natural solutions versus chemicals? The things you mention are great, but you need to discover what it is your customers are really after. If it is higher end properties they may have great pride in their lawn and will want it to look better than their neighbors. They may prefer to have to do little as far as contact with you, just get it done without me seeing you type of attitude.

    Talk more about the benefits - Online payment so even when you are not around your lawn is getting taking care of (clearly stated better), etc.

    Looks great, will definitely grab attention, make sure you have a specific call to action. Call today to schedule your first mow. Call today for a free estimate. etc.

    BEST OF LUCK!
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  • So this looks more along the lines of what your suggesting Mack? Notice, I tried to attach another breaking point "Being Late" and spicing it up a bit.

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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      I think you have missed some of the discussion here. the 2 MAIN points you want to address is #1 Cleanliness and #2 On time.

      Weekends and enjoyment... just drop that. If you are going with the on time and cleanliness just copy Ewens plumber copy "On ime... every time... and we clean up GUARENTEED. Or we pay you $39.00."

      Keep in mind the #1 complaint with lawn care service is CLEANLINESS. "Grass in the pool" if you saw the video. Not just hardscape, but the softscape, or at least the non scientific research I have been doing would indicate.

      your bullet list:

      Proven results quality comes first
      Old fashioned hand shake No contracts
      Punctual scheduling
      Convenient online billing
      On time service everytime or we pay you.

      • you are looking to aquire customers so your service in their minds is not proven.
      • No contracts is cleaner shorter and more to the point. I get what you are saying, but shorter is better.
      • lines 3 and 5 need to be brought together "Guaranteed Personalized and Punctual Cutting Schedule"
      • Convenient is the corner store. "Hassle free is online billing" ( Look at bank ads this is the wording that they use )
      So if these are your main points and we are telling you cleanliness is a priority, were is it?

      So lets drop these in order...
      • We Clean Up Guaranteed
      • On time Every Time Guaranteed
      • No Long Term Contracts
      • Hassle Free Online Billing
      From the discussion we have had here. #1 Clean up. #2 On time every time #3 You have stated that 90% of your competition has the clients locked into a contract. #4 this is a simple value added.

      You no longer need the 100% guaranteed, because you are specifically guaranteeing 2 aspects of your service.

      You need to develop the penalty of the guarantee. You need to separate yourself from your competition with an image.

      Hope that Helps!
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      • Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

        I think you have missed some of the discussion here. the 2 MAIN points you want to address is #1 Cleanliness and #2 On time.

        Weekends and enjoyment... just drop that. If you are going with the on time and cleanliness just copy Ewens plumber copy "On ime... every time... and we clean up GUARENTEED. Or we pay you $39.00."

        Keep in mind the #1 complaint with lawn care service is CLEANLINESS. "Grass in the pool" if you saw the video. Not just hardscape, but the softscape, or at least the non scientific research I have been doing would indicate.

        your bullet list:

        Proven results quality comes first
        Old fashioned hand shake No contracts
        Punctual scheduling
        Convenient online billing
        On time service everytime or we pay you.

        • you are looking to aquire customers so your service in their minds is not proven.
        • No contracts is cleaner shorter and more to the point. I get what you are saying, but shorter is better.
        • lines 3 and 5 need to be brought together "Guaranteed Personalized and Punctual Cutting Schedule"
        • Convenient is the corner store. "Hassle free is online billing" ( Look at bank ads this is the wording that they use )
        So if these are your main points and we are telling you cleanliness is a priority, were is it?

        So lets drop these in order...
        • We Clean Up Guaranteed
        • On time Every Time Guaranteed
        • No Long Term Contracts
        • Hassle Free Online Billing
        From the discussion we have had here. #1 Clean up. #2 On time every time #3 You have stated that 90% of your competition has the clients locked into a contract. #4 this is a simple value added.

        You no longer need the 100% guaranteed, because you are specifically guaranteeing 2 aspects of your service.

        You need to develop the penalty of the guarantee. You need to separate yourself from your competition with an image.

        Hope that Helps!

        Wow, savidge, I really appreciate the marketing book you just wrote! hehe On a serious note, you made some valid points that touched home plate also there. I appreciate that feedback very much, you kind of drew it out in black and white for me and made it much easier. The only issue I've been having trouble for is addressing the cleanliness, but maybe it would be a good idea. I just don't see much of it around here. It seems like everyone I've seen around here knows to clean off all the grass and debris off of sidewalks, decks, front and back porches, and I would hope most know to keep it out of the pool! lol
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        • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
          One thing we did that worked really well is custom postcards. They are a little more expensive but WELL worth it.

          This is what you do, you canvas the high value neighborhoods you want to work in. You get on the back of your truck and you take a picture of your prospects yard. Something like this:



          And then you use Photoshop or Paint or something and label the problem areas in the yard with big neon numbers.

          Now you go to USPS or click2mail.com as long as you prebuy credits, you can get them done very cheaply. You can get a big 6x11 postcard printed up both sides, mailed and delivered for about a dollar. Stupid cheap, and super easy to do. USPS used to do it directly, I don't know if they do anymore. But their site links to Click2Mail.com

          On one side you have the picture of THEIR HOUSE. Do you think they are going to ignore that postcard? Everyone else is sending them the standard boring crap like you have above(sorry).

          On the back side you list the 4-5 problems that you found on their yard. You have a ton of space on a 6x11 postcard. So you put a guarantee, and then I fill the postcard with testimonial quotes(3-4). Picture of face of my client with a quote bubble. Give them a compelling offer. I personally like Perry Belcher's story he's told a few times about how he got his yard guy. I might put a really compelling offer like "Pay me some gas money and I'll mow your lawn for free the first time". This is called a tripwire. Charge them $7 for the first visit. And now you have the chance to edge out their current lawn guy. (To be clear when we did this(maybe 2004) I didnt know about tripwires so I only used a good coupon).

          No offense but I wouldn't even read your card if I was already happy with my lawn guy. What about your offer or post card in any way is compelling or different, you're just going to get the ones who were already thinking about switching but didn't know who to call. But if you send me a picture of MY house, you bet your ass I'm reading what you wrote. We've canvassed the people we send them to, over 90% saw the card and remembered it because no one does this. It's so cheap and so easy to do and you really stand out.

          So you've done a bunch of things with this model.
          1. You've completely grabbed their attention. They will see and most likely read your card.
          2. You've raised doubts about their lawn guy. You've put a wedge in their current relationship.
          3. You've elevated yourself from just a service provider to instead an authority. After all you're pointing out things that no one else has told them. Don't discount this, this is very important.
          3. You've built social proof. Having quotes from satisfied customers is big. Really big. I don't care that you can rake grass. That's irrelevant. But when Bob Thorpe from a few streets away tells me his yard has looked better than it ever has in 10 years. I do care about that. If you can use the Sean D'Souza method of testimonials. I had a problem with x(where X is one of the biggest issues like Ewen talks about above) and then Risktakers(or whoever you are) solved it by y.
          4. You've given them a really compelling offer. Where's your offer in your postcard? What that you can cut their grass, that you'll give them a free quote? So what I already have someone that cut my grass. I would bet that for most people that if you cut their grass once, they will stay with you for a while if you do what you say you're going to do. A free quote isn't compelling, when is the last time I paid for a quote.
          5. Follow up with knocking on their door if they don't call within a week.

          The engagement is very important. I can look at your postcard right now and in a split second I know what it is. I can make a decision about whether it's important to me or not almost immediately. But when you engage them with this almost every point above is designed to engage them. Why is someone sending me a picture of my house? What is wrong with my yard? Who are these people and what are they saying? What will he do for $7? He'll fix my yard for free? Etc, etc. The longer they stay engaged and interested in your postcard, the more likely they are to call you.

          I think we closed around 40% back in 2004. It was also before Do Not Call so I think we did do telemarketing as well. If I remember right I think we bought a list of new home sales above $400k which included phone numbers. And that was before we even understood the value of a tripwire. I'm sure I'd do it smarter today. Again it was 10 years ago, but hopefully that will give you a few ideas.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    OK ladies now can we just go ahead and make some flyers, get them out and THEN see what happens?
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by misterme View Post

      OK ladies now can we just go ahead and make some flyers, get them out and THEN see what happens?

      Jeese I am still in the research stage.. I don't have to produce a single flyer til Jan 31st! ha ha

      Actually I am looking for a different angle. I have four guys that every year I put together some flyers for which has turned to 6 this year, and they go around and steal each others lawns. There does not appear to be any market growth.

      I am after "New" lawns this year. Been looking at some JV options with chemical lawn treatment firms and the like. And putting a finger on the pain point that turns a DIY mower into a paying customer. I am thinking "Your To Old To Cut Grass Geezer!" is to straight forward and to the point? I may try it just fun... I can slip it into my neighbors mailbox as a test! ha ha

      Positioning yourself to take business from a competitor is totally different that developing new sources. Did I ever mention I love my job? oh wait.. Im the owner... its not a job its... yeah its a job.. still love it!
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    • Profile picture of the author XponentSYS
      These are what I call "would you rather" campaigns which DO NOT WORK in this space.

      It would be interesting to know if these were actually ran or if theyre just mockups from another "Johnny come lately" graphics guy turned into "overnight marketing guru"?

      Don't mean to sound harsh but those ads miss the basic pain point of the market

      What's that pain point?

      Ewen and I have already revealed it - and how to solve it (and get more clients).
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by XponentSYS View Post

        It would be interesting to know if these were actually ran or if theyre just mockups from another "Johnny come lately" graphics guy turned into "overnight marketing guru"?

        Don't mean to sound harsh but those ads miss the basic pain point of the market

        What's that pain point?

        Ewen and I have already revealed it - and how to solve it (and get more clients).
        Funny how people do everything else but go with what's brought in money.

        A client adapted the ad above for his electrician client
        and it became a new $30,000 per month income stream.

        In a totally different location.

        You just can't help people get out of their own way.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          I get the pain points but in my case in particular the pain is a bit different. Guys and Gals that mow their own lawns are not obviously upset with the lawn guy not being on time and they are not concerned with it being clean.

          THOSE pain points are how to extract existing clients from one firm to the next. The question I personally am exploring is HOW to get the guy to retire his mower and pay to get it done.

          and I will tell you exploiting more time with the family and such aint cutting it. ( no pun intended )
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          • Profile picture of the author DABK
            So, why did the guy get his own mower? Why does he still keep it?

            1. Is it because he thinks he can't afford a landscaper?
            2. Because he likes doing it (Odd to me, but I know a couple of people who do).

            3. Is it because they never thought of hiring a landscaper?

            4. Another reason?

            If 1, show him that he can (and the benefits of hiring a landscaper and the benefits of hiring you: with the free time, you can go to the races, the movies, etc.)

            If 2. Let him be (unless you can show him that hiring you frees up his time to do something he likes even more than shaving his yard).

            3. Pop up in front of him.

            4. Figure out what.

            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            I get the pain points but in my case in particular the pain is a bit different. Guys and Gals that mow their own lawns are not obviously upset with the lawn guy not being on time and they are not concerned with it being clean.

            THOSE pain points are how to extract existing clients from one firm to the next. The question I personally am exploring is HOW to get the guy to retire his mower and pay to get it done.

            and I will tell you exploiting more time with the family and such aint cutting it. ( no pun intended )
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            • Profile picture of the author savidge4
              DABK,

              Do appreciate the response. Like I said saving TIME does not appear to be a solid motivation.

              To give you an idea. If I send out a standard postcard, with the we are clean and we are prompt being the main focus, I absolutely get a response. BUT its from existing customers within the network of guys that I am working for. So basically for any number of reasons they are looking to switch services. Looking for a lower price seems to be the overall trend in that.

              So I waited for season to kick in, and I have tried "Don't have a lawn care service? Here is why you should" or "Mower causing you fits" "allergic to grass?" Not that I have used those but you get the idea. well I did try "Allergic to Grass" actually. but I was getting zero response. I then would send the standard mailer, ( as a control ) and get a response, but again from people that are already within the network of service providers I have.

              So basically the summer has passed I have spent some money and have determined I know how to separate the message enough that I feel I am targeting specifically the potential clients I am after, just have not figured out what the pain point is to get them to respond.

              I am almost thinking its a futile expectation on my part, and I should just focus more on the retention side, with my six clients.
              Originally Posted by DABK View Post

              So, why did the guy get his own mower? Why does he still keep it?

              1. Is it because he thinks he can't afford a landscaper?
              2. Because he likes doing it (Odd to me, but I know a couple of people who do).

              3. Is it because they never thought of hiring a landscaper?

              4. Another reason?

              If 1, show him that he can (and the benefits of hiring a landscaper and the benefits of hiring you: with the free time, you can go to the races, the movies, etc.)

              If 2. Let him be (unless you can show him that hiring you frees up his time to do something he likes even more than shaving his yard).

              3. Pop up in front of him.

              4. Figure out what.
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              • Profile picture of the author DABK
                Maybe, then, you do a survey, to find out what they think about grass and flowers. To make them answer, the 17th and the 143rd response you get get an X (where x is a toy people who do their own landscaping would like to have but doesn't cost you too much... I have no idea what it would be, just that it can't be a rake.)

                But, I think, most likely, you're wasting money... It's like people say, sell internet marketing to people who're already spending money on internet marketing... Sell landscaping to people who already...

                I get what you want. But it might not be doable.

                Maybe enlarging your client base / selling more involves another approach, like you increasing the area you cover or you offering another product.

                Do landscapers improve property pulchritude with anything but plants? (Like you sell lamps and koi ponds and installed 'integrated' pathways... or you build sheds that match the landscaping...)

                There's got to be a forum or two out there for people who do their own landscaping. Are you on it/them?


                Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

                DABK,

                Do appreciate the response. Like I said saving TIME does not appear to be a solid motivation.

                To give you an idea. If I send out a standard postcard, with the we are clean and we are prompt being the main focus, I absolutely get a response. BUT its from existing customers within the network of guys that I am working for. So basically for any number of reasons they are looking to switch services. Looking for a lower price seems to be the overall trend in that.

                So I waited for season to kick in, and I have tried "Don't have a lawn care service? Here is why you should" or "Mower causing you fits" "allergic to grass?" Not that I have used those but you get the idea. well I did try "Allergic to Grass" actually. but I was getting zero response. I then would send the standard mailer, ( as a control ) and get a response, but again from people that are already within the network of service providers I have.

                So basically the summer has passed I have spent some money and have determined I know how to separate the message enough that I feel I am targeting specifically the potential clients I am after, just have not figured out what the pain point is to get them to respond.

                I am almost thinking its a futile expectation on my part, and I should just focus more on the retention side, with my six clients.
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