There is a famous story about one of the early branches of Weed Man in Canada – the franchisee owner hired a bunch of college grads to measure every yard in the city. With tens of thousands of lawns measured, he sent out personalized mailers that contained pricing information and grew to be the biggest Weed Man franchise at the time.
Weed Man and Spring Green are some of the biggest lawn care businesses in North America. It is not a coincidence that both these businesses are big and they have pre-measured every house in priority neighborhoods – the communities they want to grow their presence in.
The reason is simple – personalization is the most powerful way to increase conversion of direct marketing methods.
Direct marketing is one of the most important ways to generate new business for lawn care – send direct mailers to homeowners educating them about offers.
Typically, the mailers sent are generic – all homeowners get the same information.
This is a sub-optimal strategy.
Consider a different approach:
Ask yourself this question: what is the most difficult step in acquiring a customer through direct marketing?
Creating a mailer and sending it to prospects’ mailboxes is easy enough.
The difficult part is building intrigue so that they give you a call.
Personalization is a good way of building intrigue.
What if the mailer contains information specific to that homeowner?
Here’s what we mean by that: you measure a set of certain properties in advance, print out mailers with the pictures of those properties with turf measurements and send them out to the respective homeowners.
When people see the picture of their house on your mailer, they’re already seeing you working on their property in a way.
It tells them that you’ve done your homework and you’re ready to start.
Your mailer stands out compared to the competition in the mailbox.
If they are going to respond to any mailer, they would definitely respond to yours.
They would also think you are a high-tech company with an eye to the future – which is awesome.
Sold yet? Let’s get started!
No? Well, keep scrolling.
Winning with Personalization
Conversions can improve drastically if the mailers contain property measurements because the interaction moves out of the realm of possibility and enters into the space of decision-making.
Here are some stats prove this point:
- About 42% of people read or scan the mail they receive. 
- 4.9% of people respond to the mails they receive. 
- Personalization increases the reply rate by 135%. 
- 62% of folks who responded to direct mailers ended up purchasing. 
Based on these stats, if you send out 1,000 mailers with the aim to close $1,000/customer, the difference between conversion rates would look something like this:
These calculations are done using direct marketing performance metrics averaged across industries. But a universal point is underlined here – a point that applies to lawn care – you close more business with personalization.
Cool strategy. Wouldn’t it cost a lot though?
Wouldn’t measuring so many properties in advance increase your CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) significantly? After all, measurements come at the expense of resources.
If your sales reps have to sit down and map out all the neighborhoods manually, they won’t be able to spend their time actually doing sales – not to mention that they will be driven to the brink of madness while doing so. What you can do instead is automate your measurements – there’s a tool in the market that does that – SiteRecon. You plug an Excel spreadsheet of addresses and it spits out maps with square feet numbers per site. Automated measurements are faster, extremely accurate, and significantly cheaper. Here’s how the cost breakdown would look like if you tried different approaches:
|Source of measurement||Cost of measurement||Degree of accuracy|
|Automated measurements||Less than $1,000 (scales with volume)||Extremely high|
If you want to see how we arrived at these figures, keep reading. If you trust our math skills, you can skip the section below:
Here we go: Let’s see what it would cost you if you asked one of your sales reps to measure a thousand properties.
Assuming that your sales rep measures one property in 5 minutes and they’re supposed to measure one thousand properties, they’d take approximately 80 hours to do so.
If they’re measuring without taking any breaks, that would amount to 10 days.
Considering that you’re paying them $40/hour, it would translate to $3,200 for 10 days, not to mention the fact that while doing so, they won’t be selling anything. If they’re selling over $500,000 per year, you would have lost about $16,500 in 10 days.
Let’s say you take a different route and hire interns to do the same job. Assuming that you pay them $15/hour, it would still cost you upwards of $1,200 to get the job done.
However, if you automate your measurement process, you can get the same job done in under $1,000 – not to mention the fact that the measurements will be super accurate, which means the estimates will be accurate, which means you’ll be more likely to close deals and increase your profit margins as well.
Sold yet? Heck yeah!
No? Well, keep going.
Imagine the story of the prospect who sees a direct mailer in their mailbox –
John, the homeowner checks his mailbox and finds 3 or 4 mailers from different lawn care companies including you.
Among those mailers, yours stands out because it contains a picture of his property with accurate measurements.
If John needs his lawn serviced, he’ll give your company a call and let’s say your receptionist picks up and transfers him to one of your sales reps.
Since you’ve already measured John’s property, your sales rep can give him an estimate right then and there. If John likes the price, your rep can close the deal.
If John says someone else is offering a better price, your sales rep can inform him that a price lower than yours would mean subpar service at best, because you have those accurate measurements and you know the exact minimum price that can be charged for the service John is asking for.
Accurate measurements make negotiations easier – and that’s a fact.
Also, there is a chance that John doesn’t call back immediately but he remembers the name of the business that sent a personalized offering.
When he calls sometime in the future, a measurement for his yard would be sitting in the database. Your sales rep would immediately give him the price and he would get a better service – increasing the chances of conversion.
You can build a virtuous loop with this strategy – you take all your happy customers and send personalized mailers with pricing information to their neighbors. Since they would have seen your crew working in their neighbor’s yard, they would have seen that you do a good freakin’ job there. Therefore, they would be intrigued to open the letter – and voila – they get a price to make their yard look awesome.
Do you think that it’s a smarter approach to acquiring customers in the short term and long term?
If you liked the idea but you’re thinking of putting it on the back burner, here’s a little FOMO for you (FOMO – Fear of Missing Out). In the course of just 1 day, we have sent quotes to 3 companies to measure lawns in tens of thousands of homes for – wait for it – personalized mailers they’d be sending out from March.
How do you do it?
Step 1 – Select Your Area of Interest
Narrow down the neighborhoods you want to target. Perhaps you can pick up neighborhoods along your service route.
Step 2 – Measure Properties
Outline those neighborhoods and send them over to SiteRecon to get measured. We find all the properties present inside the boundary and measure them.
You get an Excel sheet with a list of addresses and turf measurements.
Check out SiteRecon – Click here
Book a call to get a price.
Step 3 – Print Flyers
Reach out to a direct mailing company that can insert prospect-specific personalization in the mailers – it’s called variable printing. Select your mail design, get them to insert prospect-specific pricing in the mailers and start firing.
At Siterecon, we help you find partners for variable printing also. Learn more.
Step 4 – Let’s Go!!
Get ready to handle a high volume of calls and droves of new customers to service in the spring.