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Social Media & Email Marketing for Lawn Care Businesses

Hi everybody, Andrew here. I am the founder of Lawn Care Marketing Expert. We are a lawn care marketing agency, for lawn care and landscaping companies. We help them grow their businesses from $40,000 a year on up past a million a year. We do that using online marketing techniques. Everything from search engine optimization to pay-per-click to e-mail marketing to social media. It’s those two last things that I kind of wanted to talk about a bit today.

Those are two topics that I don’t cover a lot, but they’re very important, and they’re two strategies that are very critical to some of our clients, some of our larger clients’ strategies. They are responsible for bringing in a lot of dollars that they would have been missing out previously, had they implemented social media and e-mail marketing campaigns. Something that I came across was a great survey. It’s a survey of 500 online marketing companies, similar to mine. They were asked what is their number one source for their clients leads. They’re agencies like mine, that service businesses that need customers.

Out of the 500 surveyed, they all responded that search engine optimization is still the number one source for leads. This survey was done last year, as well, and that was true then and it’s true this year as well. SEO’s are the number one source of new leads and it beats out both pay-per-click, which would be Google Ad words, and social media marketing. Within social media I kind of lump in some e-mail marketing in there as well. Both of those strategies are very similar, when it comes to the strategy behind lawn care and landscaping companies using those. 60% of the respondents said that they plan to increase their budget for social media marketing, beyond their search engine optimization and PPC budget this year.

So, people are going to start spending on their social media plans, on social media marketing, than they are on web site optimization. Which would include back linking and everything else that entails, as well as pay-per-click advertising. Both groups still agreed, the marketers, that search engine optimization still has the biggest impact on lead generation. 41% said search engine optimization has the biggest impact. 34% said pay c-per-lick, 25% said social. This survey got me thinking about a couple things, and it kind of also reminded me of a couple reoccurring conversations that I have had with a couple clients.

As I mentioned earlier lawn care marketing experts, we are a lawn care marketing agency. We get leads and customers for numerous lawn care and landscaping business’s in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Social media and e-mail marketing play a big role in our larger clients’ strategies. But something that comes up a lot when I’m having conversations with clients, is a lot of them really want to throw a lot of money behind social media, and some of these other strategies, that get a lot of hype but it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily right for your business. What I mean is social media gets a lot of press. Facebook is very popular. It has 900 million users at this point. Everybody’s on Facebook, but, social media the right strategy for your business.

How do you use social media, if you’re a lawn care business? Are you gonna get customers through social media? Do your customers care how about the particular way that you trim their lawn? Do you think they’re really interested in the details of lawn maintenance? What are you going to share with your customers on social media? I think there’s a common myth that social media is somehow going to get you a ton of new clients for your lawn care and landscaping business. I think that that’s only based on the fact that there’s so much hype surrounding it. Facebook’s so popular everybody is on a social network so people think, oh well it’s so popular there must be ton of business that I can be getting there. There is, but, not in the way that I think most people think. Social media is a completely different strategy than SEO.

I mean that because what SEO does, and what local search optimization, local search marketing which would be Google Places and Yelp and different things like that, what those strategies do you for is that they actually bring you an audience. When I mean audience I mean customers, they bring you leads, that either request an estimate or call you directly and then you convert them into customers. The thing about social media is that without an audience it doesn’t work. The same with e-mail marketing, e-mail marketing and social media strategies have a lot of similarities. They’re not identical but they have a lot of similarities and you do a lot of similar things in those two different strategies. If you don’t have an audience, meaning if you don’t have customers, if you don’t have people coming to your website and signing up for your services through SEO or local search, then you don’t have anybody to use the social media on. You don’t have anybody to send e-mails to. I think the common myth in the industry since social media has a lot of hype around it, it’s a buzzword, is that I’m gonna set up a Twitter feed about my lawn care business, I’m going to set up a Facebook page about my lawn care business and I’m going to get a bunch of new clients through that. It’s just not going to happen, that’s not going to happen. I’m sorry. But, social media is good for something as is e-mail marketing.

Again, with e-mail marketing I’ve had new clients come to me before and they said “well I’ve e-mail marketing in the past and it didn’t work or whatever.” I ask them “Okay well what did you do, how were you doing it?” They’re like “well I bought a list from some guy who e-mailed me from Africa or something.” That’s is definitely not the way you want to do an e-mail marketing campaign, because number one it’s illegal. Two, you’re basically pissing in the wind because to a list that you know nothing about, these people not even be interested in your services. The strategy behind social and e-mail marketing is to up sell. The people who are on your Facebook page, who have liked your Facebook page, who follow your Tweets, who are in your Google Plus circle, who found you on Four Square, whatever the case may be, or Yelp, whatever the case may be. They are current clients, they’re customers.

So, you market to your customers differently, than you do somebody who just stumbled across to you on a website or local search, or any number of different things. Your message should be different. They’re already customers. They already know you. They already like you, hopefully, if you’re doing a good job. They already trust you, again, if you’re doing a good job and you’re not ripping them off, they should. So, you’re marketing to a different group of people when you use social or e-mail marketing then you are SEO or paper click. With those services you’re kind of casting a wide and you’re trying to grab whoever you can and then you sell them on your web page. Then they call you or they request an estimate. With social and e-mail marketing, you’re marketing to your clients. This is where you can really sell those high profit margin surfaces, that are hard to sell through PPC or website optimization. Let me give you an example.

This is another pretty common thing that comes up with clients from time to time. Every lawn care or landscaping company has high profit margin services, that they really want to push, and really want to sell. That’s awesome, and you should sell them. But the problem comes into play is that often times, these services, aeration is a perfect example, over seeding, fertilization, mulching, these are often times high margin services. The problem is not a lot of people search for them, or, not a lot of people know that they need them. So, even though you want to sell them, and you sell them in same way that you do lawn care, because you’re getting a ton of lawn care leads, and it’s a pretty passive sales funnel if your SEO campaign is done well. You want to get fertilization leads, you want to get aeration leads, you want to get leads for these other high profit services. But, if people aren’t searching for it you’re not going to be able to get them in the same way that people search for pest control or lawn care or landscaping or those other services, your core services. Those are your core services.

The way that I describe aeration and the fertilization, mulching these are add-on or up-sell services. Whether you like it or not unless you’re in a huge market there’s probably not a ton of people searching for your up sell services. That means your strategy needs to be different. That’s really where we put into play the social media, the e-mail marketing, the up sell. You have got to up sell your existing clients to these high margin services, because tons of people aren’t just searching for them. That means your strategy needs to be different. That’s really where we put into play the social media, the e-mail marketing, the up sell. You got to up sell your existing clients to these high margin services because tons of people aren’t just searching for them. You’re not going to get a ton of calls from people wanting you to fertilize their lawn. These are services that you have to up sell to your clients. There’s a couple different ways to do that.

For our smaller clients they really have to rely on offline strategies and they can’t afford a full blown social media campaign yet, they can’t afford a full blown e-mail marketing campaign yet, so they have to rely on offline strategies. They need to try and send their e-mails themselves. They need to reach out to their customers themselves. They need to have fliers ready. They need to do these different things, that up sell these different services. That’s how we treat social media and e-mail marketing, we up sell, we sale, we try and squeeze as much profit out of each lawn care or landscaping customer that you have and sell them into a higher margin service. Whether it’s mulching, whether it’s aeration, but that’s the strategy that you take. It’s very effective, and when you take that strategy your social media campaigns, your e-mail marketing campaigns, if you have a big enough list, if you’ve reached that size in your business, they pay for themselves.

Like I always say any good marketing campaign done right by somebody who really knows your business and understands your industry, it should pay for itself. That’s just kind of something to touch on. Again this video has kind of covered a number of different topic but I thought I should address it, because social media and e-mail marketing is something that we do d a lot of. But, often times it’s really something that they’re some of our more expensive packages. So, it’s something that we typically do for larger clients but our small clients ask us about it. So I thought I should do a video and just kind of touch on the points and what our strategy is and just take it from there. Just to back up and kind of reiterate social media is important. E-mail marketing is in important. But, I always suggest focus on the highest profit margin marketing techniques first. Then as you get more experienced move into some of the secondary strategies. So, start with your local SEO, do you pay-per-click, start to get your feet wet in social media. Do some e-mail campaigns, send an e-mail once a month here, give your business some personality. Show your customers that you like and value them, and you care about them and you’re not just out there trying to take their money, and you don’t really give a shit if you give them a good quality lawn cut or landscaping services, whatever.

Focus on your customers and that’s all I wanted to so. I think that should be some valuable information. Thank you again and if you ever need help with your lawn care or landscaping marketing please give my company a call, Lawn Care Marketing Expert our phone number is 786-309-7898. Everybody have a great day, take care, see you next time. Bye.

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.

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