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Answering Services Marketing Systems & Email Marketing for Lawn Care Companies

Jonathan Pototschnik: Hey Andrew,
Andrew Pototschnik: How’re you doing.
Jonathan: Good.
Andrew: How’s Texas treating you?

Jonathan: Good, it’s good. I’m doing my lawn care millionaire episode this months and I’ve asked Andrew Pototschnik who, if you know my last name is obviously my brother, to join me. He has a company in Miami, Florida and they basically make lawn care companies, landscape companies, design build companies, a whole lot of money by helping them grow through the web.

Basically he’s really figured out online marketing and I used to do all my own online marketing myself and turned it all over to his company, his agency. They handle all of it for me now, and so I thought I’d have him join me. And I’m going to answer some of the questions I’ve been receiving and I thought I’d just have him help me out on this call.

Special guest from Lawn Care Millionaire & Service Autopilot

Andrew: Thanks Jonathan. As he said I’m Andrew Pototschnik. We are related and I have a website called Lawn Care Marketing Expert. We are a lawn care agency and focus on online marketing for lawn care companies. We both have our own group of people who follow our respective websites. Jonathan has one called Lawn Care Millionaire, and he focuses on a lot of the business aspects of lawn care companies.

Staffing, marketing obviously that’s a huge part of your business and everything in between. So we thought we, because we do get a lot of common questions we thought that we would start doing some of our monthly calls together and just recording them. We’re doing face time here and just kind of give you guys a window on our thoughts, and out advice on some of these different topics. So why don’t we get started.

Jonathan: Yeah, well I gave you a list of questions so why don’t you run through some of those and let’s talk about them.

Andrew: Sure, well the first one I have here, I’m not sure who it’s from, but the question is “You may have answered this previously so I apologize in advance if it has been asked and answered. In one of your videos you said a major pet peeve was no one picking up the phone in the office. As a one man operation, in year one, this is keeping me up at night. For most of the year I can forward the calls to my cell and handle it. Customers can be called back in a timely manner. However, when my direct mail goes out, even being spaced on different dates I don’t see how I can avoid missed calls, because I am already on the phone with a potential customer. I realize I could use an answering service but most people seem to hate them. Even if I hire someone part time for the Spring rush I still worry about missing calls. Any suggestions? Thanks”. This is a good question.

Jonathan: It’s excellent.

Andrew: We’ve actually both had this conversation to each other before. We both bitch about it. I bitch about it a lot. My customers, I have an online marketing agency so my customers pay me good money every month for my team to get them found online, to get them new leads through their websites, and everywhere else. So it always bothers me when I’ll call a client or somebody on my team will call a client, their main office number and nobody answers the phone.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Andrew: The first thing that goes through my mind is, “You’re paying me good money every month to get you leads. And I’m calling your main office number and nobody’s answering the phone. So I can only imagine how many people are calling from your website, or from your pay per click ads, or any of the other marketing that we’ve done for you, that is being squandered. You’re basically throwing that money out the window because nobody’s there answering the phone live.” It might not sound like a huge deal, but the statistics are 70% of the people who call you who don’t get to a live person on that first call, they’re going to hang up, they’re going to call somebody else. They are not going to sit there and call you back. They are not going to call you back, they are going to call somebody else.

So if you look at it in that aspect, you are basically telling, when you’re not answering your phone consistently with a live person, you are basically telling seven out of ten people that call you, that you don’t want their business. I think that’s a big deal. This is a crucial thing that you need to implement, and make a point to really focus on. There’s a number of different ways to do it. Yes, some of them cost money, but especially when you are a small company like this guy. I can definitely relate to that. But it’s important, just remember that statistic. 70% of the people who call you and don’t speak to somebody right away, they are not calling you again. 70%. That’s big.

Jonathan: Yes, so let me interject and say that, I’ve surveyed my clients and we asked them, it was a really in depth survey, two pages which is generally not something you should do. But it worked out really well for us. We asked our clients all kinds of questions. Why did you choose us? What did you hate about your last lawn care company?

Just all these questions, and some of their answers fit right in with what I perceived when I used to do selling on the phone for my lawn care company. You’d ask, not necessarily ask, but you’d hear what clients were complaining about and why they’re switching to you and the one you hear all the time is, “Oh, they’d never call me back.” or, “I called them and it took them two days to get back to me”. They aren’t generally directly saying that they didn’t answer the phone when I called initially, to see if they would take my business. You know, nobody says that as a client. But you hear all the other little clues like, “They never called me back, they never answer the phone” all these others.

Well when they call you and they’re a prospect, you’ve just cemented in their mind or confirmed in their mind that you’re just like all the other lawn care companies in this. And this, if you, my theory on this for residential especially. If you take the top ten complaints about lawn care companies, not answering the phone and not returning calls is in the top ten.

Andrew: Exactly.

Jonathan: It’s probably pretty high up the list. So when you don’t answer the phone you are confirming in that person’s mind that you are just like all the other lawn care companies. Which is exactly what you are not trying to do. So, let me expand on a couple things Andrew said as well, that this is why this is so critical. There was a really good statement at the bottom of that question which I totally agree with and that is that most people hate answering services. I couldn’t agree more. I mean, that is a dead-on accurate statement, but,

Andrew: You got to do something, even if you are a four man crew. You got to do something. I agree.

Jonathan: So I completely agree, but I also say at the same time, who cares? Because at the end of the day when somebody answers the phone live, even if they’re an answering service, generally another human being isn’t just going to hang up on that person. People are generally not that rude and if they’re the kind of person that just immediately hangs up then you probably don’t want them as a client anyway. My point here, is that, really what you are going for in the answering service is to capture the name, address and phone number. That’s what’s most important. As Andrew said, you’ve spent all this money to drive leads to your business. Now you’re just going to let them… You can burn the money, as Andrew said. It was completely pointless. So you have to at least capture, even if you can’t take the call, you’ve got to capture it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jonathan: They are hanging up on voice mail, and you’ve confirmed in their mind that you don’t answer the phone. Well, what if you at least capture their name and address and you call them back in 15 minutes or 20 minutes or 30 minutes. You’ve at least now, got a shot. The alternative you have no chance. So, yes, they may hate it, but it also depends on how you set up the scenario. So let me expand a little further. Yes they hate answering services when they call the answering service and the people on the other line sound like complete schmucks, and don’t have the faintest idea what fertilization means and they are reading from some script. That sounds terrible, that’s embarrassing. But that’s not what you’re going to create here.

All you want them to do is you want them to answer the phone, and say, “Hi, this is Mary with whatever your company name is, and how can I help you?” That person will say “Hey I’m interested in service” and they’ll say “I’m so sorry, right now every body’s on the other line. I can have somebody call you back in just a few minutes. May I get your name, address and number.” Just ask a couple questions. They don’t have to say “This is Mary, I’m representing your lawn care company, I’m the answering service.” I mean the way you solve this problem is you restrict the answering service to only be able to say certain things.

You don’t let them try to be too helpful. And if pressed, you let them say “Yes, the phones just rolled over to our.” And if they are pressed that it’s an answering service don’t have them lie. Just say ‘Yes, yes they are all on the phone. They have a number of phone lines, it just rolled over to us, I catch all the overflow. They are right now, a lot of new clients are signing up.” I’m probably getting a little too long-winded there. Because what you really want to do is you want to keep the answering service saying as little as possible. Just being super-friendly, super-helpful, collecting the information and getting it to you.

Andrew: That’s right.

Jonathan: One more thing, so I don’t forget to say it later. The real challenge in answering service is like, for example I still have an answering service in my business to this day, and I have a full office team. But we still use it as roll-over and we do exactly what I said. We limit what they are allowed to say. They don’t try to be too helpful, where they end up sounding dumb.

So what I want to communicate here is that the reason I’m with the answering service I’m still with is not because I think they are great, or I’m very happy with them, they’ve actually deteriorated over time. I’m with them because they are one of the only answering services I can find that will record my phone calls. So if you are looking for an answering service, see if you can find them that will return, it because here’s what happens.

Andrew: They email you a transcript? Is that how you’re using your particular lead.

Jonathan: They email the MP3, we actually listen to the call.

Andrew: Okay, they email you an audio of it. Okay, very good.

Jonathan: So here’s what happens. Yes again, I agree, feel the same way. Answering services generally are not overly good. Let’s leave it at that. They are very disappointing.

Andrew: Well, the choice between that or nothing. Answering services win hands down.

Jonathan: Actually you will collect a ton of leads. You’ll still collect a ton of leads, versus the ones that you were going to collect when you weren’t answering the phone, which is exactly zero. So how do you solve the problem when you have an answering service that does something dumb. If you don’t record your calls you never they did something dumb. Even against what you had advised. So if you record the calls, when you listen to that call, excuse me. When you listen to that call you can then hear the inflection in the customer’s voice or prospect in the customer’s voice, the frustration, you can hear all that.

So the first thing you do when you call them back, maybe they didn’t know it was an answering service, they thought it was you. Your company and you call back and you say, “Hey, I am so sorry, we have a back-up answering service because we want to answer every call live, you were talking to an answering service. I heard how the call was handled, that is not the way we work. I just want to apologize up front, because that’s not the way we operate.”

Andrew: Very good approach.

Jonathan: How can I help you?’ That is, in my mind, the big savior in the whole using an answering service process. The thing that will save your company over and over again is, your answering service might be great 90% of the time. You want to hear the 10% of the time that they’re not, so you can get ahead of that problem. So that’s jumping a little ahead and talking about this but this is a big deal, so because I agree. I think the big fear is they’re not going to do a good job, so I shouldn’t have one and waste the money. I disagree. There’s ways to handle it and be creative about it.

Andrew: So let’s go a little bit further. If you are willing to pay bucks, you can get an answering service that you can provide them with a detailed script of your services, information about your businesses, your costs and they’ll even accept credit cards on your behalf. Plug them into your website, and process orders. I mean, what do you think about a service like that where, these are run a couple hundred a month, but they would really take advantage of a detailed script that you provide, and they would even accept credit cards. What do you think about relying on a phone service to process some of your orders?

Jonathan: I think if you find the right one, it works. We have a whole bunch of service autopilot clients that do that. What they do is inside service autopilot, they give limited, they can lock down what the users are allowed to see in service autopilot, so they give the answering service a log in, a multiple log in to service autopilot, and they do exactly that. They can even schedule work. But, I mean, at the end of the day, that does cost more money but it also keeps a person off payroll, which is huge. But it does cost more money but it’s the same thing. It’s just like hiring employees. It goes back to training and finding the right one. When you find the right answering service and you find the right people staffing it that you can work with. In those cases I recommend that if they have 60 people at the answering service, you have a group of five that handles your calls. That way they can be properly trained.

Andrew: They’ll be familiar with your business, your services, the script.

Jonathan: Yep.

Andrew: I think that’s a good point. And also you have to monitor it. So I think your point on recording the calls is very important because you really need a way to monitor it. You don’t just want a name and phone number an address. Obviously that’s the whole point of the call, but you need to make sure that every aspect of the business, of your business, and this includes your phone people since they are the first line of contact with new leads, that they are representing you, your company, the way that you want them to. And really, the only way to do that is through recording the calls. So I think that’s a really good key here. When it comes to using a phone service.

Jonathan: Yeah so I think two levels. Two ways you can approach it. One, just a basic service, that you are going to pay some number of cents per minute to answer the phone, that’s instructed to say very little. They’re essentially just capturing name and phone number and hopefully address that way, you can have a price, if it’s residential when you call them back.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jonathan: Or, take it a step further and let them log your phone calls and look at your calendar and do some of those advanced tasks. But expect to do a little more training and spend a little more money to do that. But both work, but you have to manage it, be creative about it.

Andrew: Yeah, and going along with that I would really stress that I think it’s important that they not only can capture their phone number, that’s a given, but I think you should also always capture their address as well, unless it’s an existing client that you already have a relationship with, calling you about they need something. They have a problem or they need an additional service, something like that.

With a new lead, I say always capture their address when you have them on the phone. So you can obviously give them an estimate based on their lot size, but also, especially when you are in a situation like this, when you are relying on a phone service. There’s going to be scenarios where you call somebody back, one or two times and they are just not answering the phone. So you captured the lead, you captured their phone number, but because you are relying on an answering service to collect their information, you couldn’t make that sale right there on the phone.

Jonathan: That’s exactly right.

Andrew: And so I think it’s really important that you collect the address as well then you can follow up with your multi-step mailers and then, if you can’t close them over the phone and you do reach them, at least you have something to follow up with. Which would be the multi-step mailers to their actual address. So I would say always get the phone number. If they are not an existing client, if they are a new lead, get the phone number and address. Always do it.

Jonathan: And that’s, and I’m glad you said that. A tip here from learning about this. In the early years of my lawn care company I used to work the phones and go out and meet the clients and do the estimates. I talked to everybody. That was what I did. I sold the work. And we had the answering service and, back when I used to listen to some of the voice mails I would hear our existing clients calling into the answering service and the answering service would be, so this was after we limited what the answering service was allowed to say.

So, what I would hear is I’d hear Miss Smith call into our company over a two day time period and each time she called, the answering service would say “May I please have your name and number, and what’s your address Miss Smith? May I have your phone number”. And you could just hear the client’s like, “Look, I mean, I’m a customer, and it’s frustrating to keep giving the address.” So one of the questions that you might have the answering service ask is, “Are you a new client” or better said, I can’t remember, it’s been years now. I don’t remember what we say, but it might be something like “Miss Smith, are you a client?” or something along. You don’t ask if they’re a new prospect.

Andrew: Right.

Jonathan: I’ll give you an example. At service autopilot our software company right now, as crazy as it sounds, we haven’t put the answering service in place yet here, yet. And so our order of priority is we always, and this sounds crazy but our business is different than a lawn care company. We always take care of existing clients before new clients. So it’s a little contradictory to what we’re talking about, but I think it’s a very important concept. At the end of the day our existing clients need to be way better cared for than a new prospective client, if we have to choose.

Andrew: Especially when you’re small. That’s a good point. As a small lawn care company you’ve got to focus on maintaining your existing customers, obviously. Jonathan: Right. What made me think to say that is I think the wording needs to be not ‘Are you a new client?’ or, sometimes I hate the language in marketing ads that say for new clients only. Because it always kind of degrades the existing clients. So I think the verbiage, the language here needs to be such that ‘Miss Smith, are you an existing client’ or something along the lines of acknowledging your clients first, not new clients. And then if they’re not, if they say “No, no. I’m looking for service” or whatever the case may be, then that’s when they ask for the address.

Andrew: Exactly.

Jonathan: So you want to keep the call script almost identical, except for once the identify new client or not client, the only thing that disappears from the script is they don’t ask for the address. That’s easy to train, but that one little annoyance taken out of the answering service is a really big deal.

Andrew: Yes. Yeah. And that’s an excellent point and something I just want to reinforce is don’t just set up a phone service. Don’t just set up an answering service and leave it. You need to monitor it and you need to record your calls. You need to monitor it, you need to monitor the people answering your phone. They are representing you, so, if they are representing you poorly or unprofessionally that is the first impression you are going to give any new lead. And if they get a bad feeling from your phone staff, if your answering service is rude, if they’re annoying, whatever. They are going to think that about your company as a whole. And I think that’s my last point. Did you have anything else?

Jonathan: No, I think we’ve covered that one. It’s worth the money. Oh, let me say one more thing. Because I understand younger companies are, everybody’s worried about money. Bigger companies too, but younger companies especially. You could be creative about this. You can set up a minimum number of minutes with an answering service and you can forward your lines to it. In our case, our phones automatically roll to the answering service after three rings. And so, because we have a whole office team that’s trying to grab the call, and generally, we answer the call, but if it happens to roll to the answering service it will do so after three rings. It’s not ideal but it’s there for a back up. My point is, you have some control with the phone company at what number of rings it’s picked up if the phones even forward to the answering service or not. And that made me think of one more thing.

I’d recommend you have a real true phone number that you control, and that number forwards to the answering service. That way, if something bad ever happens you still maintain control of of your main phone number. But where I was going with this is let’s say that you’re trying to be careful with money. You can always not forward to the answering service.

You could turn that off. So you could have it there and you could only forward during certain times of the day, or you could only forward when you have marketing going out over a time period. I’m not saying that’s perfect, but this is a way you can manage your budget. At least have something.

Andrew: I think some viewers might not know how this is generally billed. Usually there’s a monthly fee or there’s a per minute charge is pretty typical. So I’m not sure if they know how these answering services generally work. But generally you are charged per minute, for the most part you are charged per minute. So that, continue, I just wanted to interject that.

Jonathan: No, no. Yeah. So that’s all I’m saying. You’re charged per minute and oftentimes you agree to some 100 minutes a month or some minimum and the more minutes you agree to the higher or the lower the per minute charge you pay for minutes over that amount of time. You are buying down your rate.

And so all I’m communicating is that if you buy a small number of minutes and you want to manage them, you can turn off and on and off the forwarding of your phones to the answering service and predominately use it during just certain times of the day, or use it just during those weeks or months when you have a lot of marketing going out, or in the prime selling season.

That’s not my recommendation, it’s just a way to manage money. In the early days of our company, when we didn’t have a big office staff yet, I hit $1,000 a month sometimes for my answering bill. But I was also bringing in tons of new clients. So it was well worth it, and now it’s $100, $200 a month max for phones that rollover. So you can manage this and it’s not all or nothing. Let’s move onto the next question.

Andrew: I think that was good. You know, we should actually do a call just at some point we should go into depth. I mean, this is a very important topic. Like I said, I mean this is your first impression on new leads, and your office staff will be dealing directly with unsatisfied customers. So it’s something that we should think about doing. I know I’ve written a lot about it. We haven’t released anything yet but we should probably have an in depth conversation about just phone, the way you should handle your phone in your lawn care business, but we’ll do that down the road.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Andrew: This is a very important topic I think that was great, basically answer your phone people.

Jonathan: Yeah.

Andrew: Next question. “Jonathan, can you explain your marketing system, from purchasing, delivering, to email, and what companies do you recommend working with to make this easy. Also, do you have a marketing manager? If so, what are his or her daily tasks?” That’s a good question. If you want to start on your marketing process, I’ll chime in on online marketing stuff since we handle that for you as well.

Jonathan: Okay. So I’ve talked about this a little bit in prior videos. It just depends how advanced you want to get with your business in terms of what a marketing manager might do. A marketing manager might be somebody that actually, and this is going to be seldom seen in the lawn care industry. Somebody that’s actually writing copy and coming up with new pieces. Things of that sort. I think what probably the more common scenario for hiring a marketing manager would be somebody that just simply makes sure that your pieces get out the door.

When you get new clients they get their welcome packages, when you get new clients on the street, they put together the marketing pieces that go out to the people on that street. When it’s Spring, they make sure all the crews have all the door hangers they need in their trucks, and all these other scenarios that need to happen in the business. They are actually just there to make sure it actually happens. And at times they might be putting stamps on envelopes and licking envelopes, and so it’s not a very expensive person, but they can also go through a database of addresses and pull out the addresses you need to market to. They can do online reviews for you. They can do listings on the internet for you for internet marketing.

Not to replace an internet marketing company per se, but there’s things that any successful relationship with an agency like yours Andrew, you need the company to participate in a major way, so this person can help in that level of participation. So this person’s task would be to make sure things go out on time, according to the marketing calendar. They could do things like co-ordinate with the designer to get a post card and then get that to the printer and then co-ordinate with the printer when things are going to be done. So, that’s their role. This doesn’t have to be an overly expensive person. It’s a person just to make sure things are happening according to the marketing calendar, and that they are getting done.

Then, separate from that, because most lawn care companies don’t do enough marketing to justify it, you’d probably outsource the writing of your copy or you’d do some of your own, or you’d buy templates or you’d do something to get generally the marketing you’re going to produce, and then you tweak it. And that’s generally an outside person, outside activity. That’s not what the marketing manager does.

Andrew: Right. So they are not acting, they are definitely not acting as a designer or necessarily a copywriter, unless you just have those innate skills. But yeah, they are essentially that. They are somebody who gets it done. They get your marketing out, they get it out on time and they quality check everything.

Jonathan: We’re all too busy to actually get it done, so this is a person that is kind of your, this is their job. They are tasked with keeping you on task task. Because they are going to come to you at times and say “Hey I need this, I need approval for this. I need to go to the designer” And that’s their job.

Andrew: In my team, I mean there’s somebody on your staff, at Cityturf that we deal with that my team often needs stuff from you, new materials, whatever. We go to them, you and your partner are often too busy to reach, so we can go directly to them, they can get us what we need really quick and we can keep that marketing engine running.

Jonathan: And to that point, when you go to them and because I’m the one that writes the copy. I’m the one that does all the marketing, in terms of the higher level stuff. So they, if they don’t already have the piece then they come to me. But at least now I was able to stay out of the process and they came to me for just what they needed. And then they can bug me until I deliver it to them. And that’s their purpose.

Their purpose is to make sure, that’s what I tell them. Your purpose is to make sure I give it to you when you need it. It’s okay to ask me four times. That’s their job. that’s their job to go to the other people on the team and get what they need. Because marketing is the number one, or in the very top, of all priorities within your business and that person’s job is to make sure it happens.

Andrew: Very good, very good. Okay, so. The question was kind of explaining your system from purchasing, delivering to email. So we kind of went off on the last part was, do you have a marketing manager. But it was kind of a two question thing here. So can you go more in depth on your marketing system? I think what they are asking is how are you getting clients? Are you doing door hangers at a certain time of year? Are you doing mailers? Are you emailing newsletters? Are you doing online stuff? That’s what I think they are asking here. You answered the marketing manager part but there’s kind of a two part-er here.

Jonathan: So we’re doing a little bit of everything. So I gave you a little clue into earlier, actually it may have been another call we talked about that but, one of the things I mentioned was that we let the online marketing because our online marketing strategy is so successful, drive where we end up serving clients. Which streets, which cities. Because those leads, you can’t control where they are going to come from. So you get a lead through the web, you sell them, they live on a certain street in a certain part of town and then so that drives online marketing. The online marketing drives the areas we serve. But we still stay within a focused area.

Then print marketing drives building profitability and density in those areas that we now serve. And then to take it further, print marketing and email marketing and other activities, they then build the client into a more successful client, by educating and selling them more. So initially we sell them something, later we sell them more. That’s the relationship. And so it’s a combination of print and online. Online drives the market, print builds the market and it also builds more transactions, more sales with the client.

Andrew: And that’s a great strategy to have. Oftentimes I’ll get phone calls at Lawn Care Marketing Expert where potential customers want to be in a very specific area in their metropolitan region. Its homes are expensive or they think it’s their ideal client or whatever. And one of the things I have to explain to them is, you can’t control exactly where those customers are at, when you are doing online. You can nail it down to cities in geographic areas, but at the end of the day, anybody can pull you up on the web. So it’s not laser focused and I think your strategy, we’ve talked about it before, but your strategy for you is in the more expensive the print stuff, the offline marketing stuff, to really make your service areas dense, where you are doing less driving, less trucking around, is a very good strategy to have.

Jonathan: Yeah and to answer what you were saying, that’s the only way you can deeply build out an ideal market. A very wealthy gated neighborhood, or a very specific part of town. You can only build that through print, offline marketing.

Andrew: Okay. And why don’t…. How are you using….I know how you’re using, but why don’t you tell them kind of how you are using email marketing currently?

Jonathan: So, we will do several things. We don’t only use email marketing. So let’s talk about email marketing from the standpoint of a prospect, so they are not a client. The goal is to capture an email address. If they don’t buy from you, you want to always have a reason to stay in front of them and be the one lawn care company that stays top of mind.

So you need to create an email marketing system where it doesn’t feel like marketing, like you are trying to sell, sell, sell. But a system where it’s something they’d actually care to pay attention to where you stay in front of them on a monthly basis. Couple times a month.

That way, the next time their lawn care company screws up, or something happens, you’re the only other name that comes to mind. So it’s kind of a drip marketing system, where you just slowly stay in front of them through email marketing. It’s marketing but not a hard sell, sales pitchy type marketing. So that’s one step is something that you orchestrate where you just stay in front of them.

Andrew: Yeah. I like to say it’s stay, not in front of their face but in the back of their mind.

Jonathan: Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s exactly what it is, okay.

Andrew: That’s the way I see it. Because they’ll remember you when they, if they have a current lawn care company and they screw up, the first thing they are going to think of is “Who else do I know?” and if you’re in their inbox every couple of weeks then you are going to be who they think of.

Jonathan: Yeah. So you’re going to be top of mind and again, so that’s an example of email marketing for a prospect, or a prospect that never bought. And then you have your email marketing for existing clients. And what that is, that is they are now a client, you have their email address, and you’re going to them with something of benefit. Sometimes that means segmenting your list. It means that, let’s say you have a 1,000 clients and you want to sell them on pest control. Well you don’t go to all 1,000 clients, you go to the 900 who don’t buy pest control.

Andrew: Right.

Jonathan: So one of the biggest keys to successful email marketing is how you communicate to your clients, what you say to them when you say it because we are all fed up with email, we’re fed up with spam, and you don’t want to get turned off.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jonathan: So it’s absolutely critical that what you go to them with is of value to them, not too often, and the right message. So we would use email marketing internally, to go out to our clients to make an offer to the right clients, of something that they might want. And then, of all those clients that don’t buy, within x number of days, then we’ll mail them something.

Andrew: Yeah.

Jonathan: Then of all those clients that don’t buy from the mailer within x number of days, we’ll email them again but it’ll be a different email than the original. So it’s a multi-step combination of print and email. But we always go out with email first, because if you have 1,000 clients and you offer them something, it’s must cheaper to find the 100 that are going to buy right of the top through email marketing, so you only have to mail 900 instead of 1,000. Then of those that… and usually people respond faster to email than they will to print. So then it’s good to follow up with a multi-sequence, multi-step campaign. You print mail them. Or, you mail them print material, and then you follow up and you email them afterward. So that’s an example of how you’d follow up with an email marketing system to existing clients to sell more work.

Andrew: Very good. Sounds good.

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Andrew Pototschnik is the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert, the largest online marketing agency in North America specializing in marketing strategies for the lawn care and landscaping industries.

2 comments on “Answering Services Marketing Systems & Email Marketing for Lawn Care Companies
  1. vtrevino says:

    Thanks for the info guys! I’ve got a good email database of customers but am struggling with time along with everything else I have to manage with my business to actually put something out.

  2. You got to do it. Just start out sending two “personal” emails to your customer list each month. Staying “top of mind” and communicating with your customers decreases attrition and is key to upselling them additional services.

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