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Marketing to residential

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by BossPlow614, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. BossPlow614

    BossPlow614 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,870

    I have a few commercial properties, most small (under 1 acre) but a couple are medium sized (2.5-2.7 acres) and the bigger ones are not for me, at least not in this point in time unless I were to add another truck & plow.

    What has been your best way of marketing to residential properties? I did doorhangers last fall that had fall landscape services & snow services but they yielded nothing, literally nothing.

    I'm trying to develop an advertising plan to obtain more residential clients, some people can say what they want about residential but a tight route can be much more profitable than commercial properties (unless you have skids & loaders on the larger properties).
  2. beanz27

    beanz27 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    2 things I've tried that work, not extremely great but get some results.

    1. I read about it here, tried it, works. Put your card in a sandwich bag, put some sand or salt in the bag, and toss it on the end of the driveway.

    2. Next storm if your bored, plow out people for free, or at least the crap at the end the county leaves behind, and hand them a card.
  3. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    Old fashion flyer with the price on it dropped off at the mailbox.
  4. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    Subscribed. Always looking for a good idea.
  5. wva

    wva Member
    Messages: 78

    just don't put to many in the mailbox or you could get a unwanted bill from USPS.

    good luck
  6. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    Radio ad before winter starts, supporting local youth teams and getting a banner up at the fields. Theres so many ways but not all of them work. Mailers have been shown to be ineffective because people tend to push them aside or lose them in the mix. I think a good website helps and wword of mouth is the cheapest and most effective. Ive been doing alot of marketing research for a new business venture. Good luck!
  7. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    I put the lawn ones on the outside.
    All your advertising should lead them to your website.
  8. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill PlowSite.com Addict
    from MA
    Messages: 1,823

    Most all types of marketing will gain you residential customers, thats very easy to do.

    The hard part is asking the question "How do I get my current customer's neighbor to sign up? And then his neighbor too?"

    Thats when things become so incredibly direct, and geographically targeted, that your forced to throw most conventional forms of advertising out the window. And to make things slightly harder, you only have a few chances to target each neighbor. How many times can you put a door hanger on their property, or something on their mailbox, or a letter mailed to their home, etc before they start to resent you and all the junk mail you give them.

    I'd personally say, in the short signing season of residential snow, you have 3 opportunities for direct touch points in the marketing/sales process to your prospect before they become irritated.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  9. grandview

    grandview PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,609

    If you can get your customers ok,put signs like this up.Neighbors like to keep it in the "family"

  10. SnowClear

    SnowClear Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    For the last two years I've been using USPS Every Door Direct Mail routes to isolate very (emphasis on very) targeted areas for my mail advertising. Also, I switched to a professional design and printing service located in the Twin Cities. Was previously using web design tools and ordering online. The difference in quality was notable and my residential customer response rate went from 0.5% for every 1000 pieces to 7% and 5% for the past two years, respectively. To add perspective, a 1-2% response rate on mailings or door hangers is the most one should expect. Keep in mind a response rate is not a closing ratio. My closing ratio is approximately 40% of all responders. The vast majority of responders are just window shopping for price.

    I used to send my people door to door with hangers. My response rate was so poor it was like 1/700 pieces. Terrible. However, Grandview's suggestion of dropping something by/around the mailbox seems to work much better. Not sure why, but I guess mail-like items at the mailbox are more welcome than mail-like items (trash) on the door.

    To Terra's point, you can only market so much before people relegate your material (and your company's service offerings) to the garbage - every time. Frequency and timing are fickle subject matter. I'm still working on this myself.

    Review your budget and figure out what you have to work with. Create a marketing plan that is free of budget constraints. Then examine the plan and determine what your company can afford to implement. Track every cent you spend and every response, every close, demographic data... basically everything you can. This data will aid your decision making the next go around. I looked at your website EmJay, I'm sure you'll be maximizing your Marketing ROI in no time.:nod:
  11. BossPlow614

    BossPlow614 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,870

    Thanks for the kind words about my website, I worked very hard on it!! :D

    As I said, I did the doorhangers last fall with fall & winter services on them, they were very professional, done by Plan-ItGraphics.com (specializes in advertising for our industry). No response even though it was timed very well, early October.

    I did EDDM this spring also, ordered 8000 postcards. Very professional, I'll PM you an image of it, it was designed & printed by Plan-It also. In early April I sent out a test run of 545 pieces, had 1 response, which was repairing a retaining wall & steps, this particular prospect is cheap and hard to deal with but that's why it was priced accordingly, if I land it, the profit will cover the entire advertising costs incurred between all the design, printing, shipping, bundling, & postage for the 3100 postcards I've sent out so far.

    Which brings me to this week, I sent out another 2600 that hit mailboxes Tuesday. The only response so far was AuroraMSP (another regular to the MN Snow thread) as he rec'd one in the mail, oddly enough, his property is in my target market. Granted the weather did turn south yesterday, I'm hoping people are just waiting until early next week when things warm up.

    Or maybe Plan-It is a curse to my company, it seems when I've used his advertising I get next to nothing for response. If you don't mind sharing, who is the company you've had do your design & printing?
  12. SnowClear

    SnowClear Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Printz.com is the website. I work with Sheena.
  13. SnowClear

    SnowClear Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    Yes, there are other preferred methods of marketing where the ROI is far greater than that of mailers. A good website with evergreen content that is also constantly refreshed and relevant is far better than mailers. How have you been driving traffic to your site?
  14. DieselSlug

    DieselSlug PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,068

    I actually started of my residential drives on craigslist! Posted an add about my small business and gained about 5 drives. Which turned into 11 from referrals. State the areas you wish to serve, references and contact info.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013