It was an exciting moment at the Bettinghouse residence today when the loud sound of a diesel engine stopped in front of my home and UPS delivered our door hanger flyers for the 2012 season. Although I have redirected most of my marketing efforts to different social media platforms (which is free) I have stuck with one form of traditional marketing for the past 3 years - door hangers. They have helped my business tremendously, but it has taken more than just running around all parts of the city and blanketing a large area with a generic message. This year, I used the base of an old design from Sara Millim and, with the professional help of Donald Zimmerman, came up with some new ideas that I believe will have a response rate in Reno, NV that is greater than the national average. For a lawn care business like mine the national response rate is somewhere around .4%-2%. In 2010 I had a response rate of about 4%, with 2.3% actually signing up. Although these numbers seem extremely low to the naked eye, this meant 19 new clients that I did business for over the course of 7 months in 2010, as well as in the following years.
The key is to not waste time blanketing all neighborhoods, but to seek out a few areas of the city that are looking for what your business has to offer. We design our door hangers to fit a specific region of the city. This way we are not driving all across town, but are staying clustered and doing business for one location.
Cory's Lawn Service was originally established by handing out Microsoft Word flyers in the right neighborhood in 2005. Before I knew it I had 30 customers and had not bought a piece of equipment yet! Although we have come a long way from Word documents and used equipment, I would still recommend using this traditional way of marketing if you are looking to start up or help grow a business.
If you are concerned about the amount of time spent walking around and hanging flyers, I understand completely. I realized after the first year that handing these out personally was not the best use of my time, so for the past two years I have hired Trevor Hallum, who tells me "you realize you are paying me to go on a run." I also realized it will get done even quicker when I am paying him per flyer, rather than per hour. Now Trevor gets paid to go on a faster run!
Please look for our new flyers in the NW Reno area. Also, if you got one of our flyers and read this blog contact me and I will give you a free mow!