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Hello All,

What is your opinion on advertising a 2" wide x 3" tall placement ad in the Sports section of a major newpaper or a smaller region paper. To that end, is the Sports page the best place to be? And, should I go dailey, 3 times per week, or once per week?

Thank You!
 

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depends completely on what you are selling
 

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I haven't had any luck with display ads. They say response gets better over time with consistent placement. Problem is running a display week after week is big $$$$$.
 

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We also sell re-roofing projects and have found very little to no response with display adds.

I would suggest possibly a direct mail campaign, possibly a lead generation campaign. Something you can verify the cost per lead and cost per job.

For direct mail I would look at your previous client list try to find the common denominator ( age, location, income, type of home, etc) and rent a mailing list to mail to this group. You will need some copywriting skills (either hire or read a book on copywriting) and mail out a test batch of 500 or so pieces. NOW the most important part is to not stop with one mailing, you need to create 3 letters, and mail them out 10-20 days apart. Each time changing your letter, focusing on a different "feature/benefit". Create in each a common "irressitable offer", and each consecutive letter refer to the previous. "We sent you one notice already..." Possibly you could use a post card as one of your mailings to reduce the cost.

once you have completed your campaign record how many leads you generated with each letter. Add up the total cost of the campaign, and you can determine your cost per lead and your cost per sale. We have found this to be a good means of attracting new customers.

The other is lead generation. We put an add in the newspaper with this exact text.

(10) Secrets you need to know before hiring a roofing contractor.

Learn what questions to ask, learn about the warning signs. Know more about the products they are selling than they do. Call now for your FREE guide, Roofing contractor, secrets exposed. Dial 1-800-448-0335. Leave address with our recorded message. Not having this information could cost you thousands.

This gets people to respond to a voice mail system, to respond they give their name and address, and the voice mail records their caller id. When they respond i send them a 20 page report (information i assembled from the internet) and mail it to them. Two things i know about this person already - they are going to hire (or know someone who is going to hire) a contractor. they also are concerned about hireing the RIGHT contractor and not getting hosed. Now that you have their info you can start them in your three letter campaign from above. These leads are more likely to respond to your letter campaign because they have already "raised their hand"

Once again these leads can be measured. You can calculate how much each person who called cost you, and you can calculate how much job as a result cost for advertising.

this works for me (along with other means)

:Thumbs: :Thumbs: :Thumbs:
 

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DBS01 said:
(10) Secrets you need to know before hiring a roofing contractor.

Learn what questions to ask, learn about the warning signs. Know more about the products they are selling than they do. Call now for your FREE guide, Roofing contractor, secrets exposed. Dial 1-800-448-0335. Leave address with our recorded message. Not having this information could cost you thousands.
Is this a classified Add? Is this placed in major newspapers or local newspapers?
 

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Was the original question a major paper vs a small regional one? If it was I vote the service directory in the small regional one over the display ad in the major one. My ads in small service directories just keep pumping the phone calls for next to nothing in costs. However, the jobs will be smaller, for me it isn't common for somebody to want to spend $10,000 on a bathroom remodel to call someone out of the service directory. The jobs I get out of them are usually 1-3 days and are $1500 and lower.
 

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Mike Finley said:
Was the original question a major paper vs a small regional one? If it was I vote the service directory in the small regional one over the display ad in the major one. My ads in small service directories just keep pumping the phone calls for next to nothing in costs. However, the jobs will be smaller, for me it isn't common for somebody to want to spend $10,000 on a bathroom remodel to call someone out of the service directory. The jobs I get out of them are usually 1-3 days and are $1500 and lower.
Same here...I run a service directory in my regional paper. Large circulation $140 per month. I just keep it in there.

For direct mail I would look at your previous client list try to find the common denominator ( age, location, income, type of home, etc) and rent a mailing list to mail to this group.
Mailing list are expensive. I could get demographics by age,new home owner, income, occupation, etc... To get the list and the postcards was an extremly expensive campaign.
 

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Mike Finley said:
Was the original question a major paper vs a small regional one? If it was I vote the service directory in the small regional one over the display ad in the major one. My ads in small service directories just keep pumping the phone calls for next to nothing in costs. However, the jobs will be smaller, for me it isn't common for somebody to want to spend $10,000 on a bathroom remodel to call someone out of the service directory. The jobs I get out of them are usually 1-3 days and are $1500 and lower.

Mike,
Be careful. You are doing exactly the right thing to generate steady work, but it's easy to end up becoming the "village handyman". Even if you are competent to handle jobs in the $200,000 and up range, your own loyal regular customers won't even consider you for them, because YOU HAVE TRAINED THEM to think of you as a handyman. You will show up to install a new lavatory faucet for $100.00, only to find that they just spent $35,000 with another contractor on their new kitchen. You ask them, "why didn't you call ME for your kitchen?" They'll tell you, "Oh my goodness, I didn't even THINK of you, I didn't realize that you DID jobs like that". Even though you did tell them, they didn't HEAR WHAT YOU SAID. They only SAW WHAT YOU DID (handyman). So out of frustration you ask "Then why didn't you call THAT contractor to put in your lavatory faucet?" They'll tell you "Oh, I don't think that he has time to do small jobs like THAT". Don't expect people to remember what they heard, they will remember what they SAW. Be careful.

Best regards,
 

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Mike,
Be careful. You are doing exactly the right thing to generate steady work, but it's easy to end up becoming the "village handyman". Even if you are competent to handle jobs in the $200,000 and up range, your own loyal regular customers won't even consider you for them, because YOU HAVE TRAINED THEM to think of you as a handyman. You will show up to install a new lavatory faucet for $100.00, only to find that they just spent $35,000 with another contractor on their new kitchen. You ask them, "why didn't you call ME for your kitchen?" They'll tell you, "Oh my goodness, I didn't even THINK of you, I didn't realize that you DID jobs like that". Even though you did tell them, they didn't HEAR WHAT YOU SAID. They only SAW WHAT YOU DID (handyman). So out of frustration you ask "Then why didn't you call THAT contractor to put in your lavatory faucet?" They'll tell you "Oh, I don't think that he has time to do small jobs like THAT". Don't expect people to remember what they heard, they will remember what they SAW. Be careful.

wow, never thought of that, interesting aspect. thanks
 

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mikesewell, I resembled that remark when I first started.....anything for a buck.
I made a few mistakes early on. First I called the company 'smalljobs, LTD.' and quickly found out that my concept of small jobs and the publics concept were completely different. Second, I was too vague on my business cards and truck signage, then my main advertising tools. Residential*Commercial*Marine is pretty vague.
Still, I did OK for a one man band, everybody needs a handyman. It was just not where I wanted to go.
Shortly thereafter the company name was changed and 'Remodeling' was prominantly displayed everywhere. I've been growing ever since. Now I think that I've gone too far. I spend way too much time in the office or with customers and not nearly enough time doing what I like to do, tearing old stuff up and putting pretty stuff back in it's place.
 

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Teetorbilt said:
...quickly found out that my concept of small jobs and the publics concept were completely different...
Teetor,
Amen brother. Did the same thing. Little old ladies would call me up and ask me to fix their screen doors for $5.00 (If I charged them $6.00 they would have a fit, but they would happily pay their plumber $175.00 for a service call).


...I spend way too much time in the office or with customers..
70% in office, w/customers, w/building inspectors, w/engineers, w/architects, @planning board meetings, etc, etc, etc...

30% in ditch covered w/$#!t with smile on face.


...Shortly thereafter the company name was changed and 'Remodeling' was prominantly displayed everywhere...
Like fly-fishing, it's all about presentation, but you better be ready to handle an 8 pounder BEFORE you set the hook.

In other words, "Don't let your mouth whistle a song that your a$$ can't dance".
 

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mikesewell said:
Like fly-fishing, it's all about presentation, but you better be ready to handle an 8 pounder BEFORE you set the hook.
NOW we are talking about a good subject! Won't be too long and I will be trading the skis for my fly rod!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D
 

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mikesewell said:
Mike,
Be careful. You are doing exactly the right thing to generate steady work, but it's easy to end up becoming the "village handyman". Even if you are competent to handle jobs in the $200,000 and up range, your own loyal regular customers won't even consider you for them, because YOU HAVE TRAINED THEM to think of you as a handyman. You will show up to install a new lavatory faucet for $100.00, only to find that they just spent $35,000 with another contractor on their new kitchen. You ask them, "why didn't you call ME for your kitchen?" They'll tell you, "Oh my goodness, I didn't even THINK of you, I didn't realize that you DID jobs like that". Even though you did tell them, they didn't HEAR WHAT YOU SAID. They only SAW WHAT YOU DID (handyman). So out of frustration you ask "Then why didn't you call THAT contractor to put in your lavatory faucet?" They'll tell you "Oh, I don't think that he has time to do small jobs like THAT". Don't expect people to remember what they heard, they will remember what they SAW. Be careful.

Best regards,
Damn you said a mouthful and a very relevant mouthful at that!

There is a great danger to that and I do a lot of stuff to overcome it and so far it seems to be working because I am doing 2nd and 3rd jobs now for some customers already, and I have only been in biz since last August. I must be giving off that 'consultant' air because past customers are starting to call me for advice on projects even they can figure out I probably don't do, like redoing sewer lines and such. That's good because that is telling me I am creating enough trust with them where they are looking at me as thier goto guy. Unfortunately I have turned away a few choice projects already because I didn't have the resources to fullfil them properly, but thankfully now I have sources for those projects and I won't be doing that again!

Another thing I want to do to avoid what you are talking about is something I am borrowing from friends who are realtors. These guys send out a post card to everybody on thier mailing list everytime the list or sell another house with a picture of it on the front.

I want to send out a post card every few months to all my past customers with a picture on it of the latest really show off project I have done just to combat exactly what you are saying. If they keep seeing different projects showing up in their mail every few months, that ought to help them figure out who to call no matter what they are thinking of doing.

Good point though Mike, and definitly has been something I have thought about on a regular basis.

I still haven't figured out if I want to do just big projects or small projects or a mix of both at this point. They both have their pros and cons. I have been able to make some ridiculous profits off of these small 1-2 day projects.
 

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Mike F, (getting too many Mike's, LOL). I am also finding more profits in the smaller jobs. In my case that means the 30 day as opposed to the 6 mos. jobs.
About 3 yrs. ago I got my tail in a crack and had to sub out some bath stone, I have never subbed anything since (bad juju). It was a $600K job, the stone had to be done over, it cost me the deposit on the first guy, demo and replacement by my guys, 60 days overage on the job, the snowbirds went apecrap, interior designer also. So not worth the money.
 

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Grumpy said:
Is this a classified Add? Is this placed in major newspapers or local newspapers?
IT CAN BE RUN AS A CLASSIFIED, I HAVE RUN IT AS A BOX AD, YOU COULD USE THIS AS A YELLOW PAGES AD (MY FAVORITE) RIGHT IN THE SUBHEADING AS YOUR BUISINESS. ANY WHERE YOU WOULD PUT AN AD SELLING YOUR SERVICES, YOU CAN PUT THIS AD.

BY PUTTING THIS IN THE YELLOW PAGES, I MAY CAUSE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO CALL YOUR # AND NOT CALL ANY ROOFERS (IF THEY ARE NOT IN IMMEDIATE NEED) AND WAIT TO SEE WHAT THE INFO HAS TO SAY, WITH THE FREE INFO INCLUDE A BUSINESS CARD? BROCHURE? THEN THEY THINK YOU ARE ON THEIR SIDE, BECAUSE YOU TOOK THE TIME TO HELP THEM AND GIVE THEM SOMETHING FREE, AND YOU ARE INSTANTLY IN. (UNLESS THE INFO YOU GIVE THEM IS CRAP, TRY TO MAKE THE INFO WORTH WHILE) MOST PEOPLE LIVE BY THE RULE OF RECIPROCITY, THEY FEEL INDEBTED TO SOMEONE WHO GIVES THEM SOMETHING.


I RUN THIS IN NEWSPAPERS THAT HAVE COVERAGE IN THE AREAS I SERVICE (60 MILES). ACTUALLY SEVERAL SMALL PAPERS IN THE AREA. ALSO SOME OF OUR NEWSPAPERS HAVE "SHOPPERS" AND OFFER A BUNDLED PRICE TO ADVERTISE IN THEM AS WELL.

THIS WORDING HAS WORKED GOOD FOR ME, YOU COULD CHANGE THE FORMAT, MAYBE

(##) SECRETS TO AVOID COSTLY ROOF DAMAGE??

(##) DEADLY SINS THAT CAUSE YOU TO SPEND MEGA BUCKS ON ROOF REPAIRS IF YOU WAIT.

ANY ANGLE YOU WANT TO TAKE WOULD WORK -

YOU WANT TO APPEAL TO

- GREED (SPEND MORE MONEY THAN THEY SHOULD)
- EGO (PRIDE) (HAVE THE BEST OR NEWEST)
- EGO (DOING SOMETHING THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS/DOES)
- FEAR (OF LOSS) (GETTING TAKEN)
- FEAR (OF MISSING OUT) NOT KNOWING SOMETHING THAT SOMEONE ELSE DOES
-

APPLY THESE RULES

1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM (DEADLY SINS)
2. AGITATE THE PROBLEM (NOT HAVING THIS INFO COULD COST $)
3. SOLVE THE PROBLEM ( CALL MY TOLL FREE NUMBER AND I WILL RESCUE YOU!!!)

HOPE THIS HELPS

:Thumbs:
 

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DBS, this is called 'scare advertising'. I don't ascribe to it.
 

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Grumpy, there is a chair for every posterior. I enjoy physical work.
 

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Unfortunately I have turned away a few choice projects already because I didn't have the resources to fullfil them properly, but thankfully now I have sources for those projects and I won't be doing that again!
Mike,
For the jobs that are over your head, hire a qualified sub, and labor for them (or at least be on the job with them) while they do the work. Don't worry about making a profit on these jobs, it's the best education you can get, and profits will soon follow. You can get explosive growth using this tactic.

It sounds like you are already doing a good job of avoiding becoming the "village handyman". It's a good thing that you spotted that trap early.

I haven't fly-fished in Colorado for many years. I lived in Cortez when I was a kid, was stationed at Ft. Carson for 3 years, and I owned "Corkscrew Liquors" in Colorado Springs for a couple of years (just off of North Academy Blvd.).

In western New York, we catch chinook salmon up to 40 lbs with light fly rods in small streams during the spawn (Sept - Nov). It's a blast. Lots of big brown trout, and steelhead too.

Teetor,
Funny thing about big jobs vs small jobs. When you start off you're always trying to make the big-time, but once you get established you always seem to be looking back over your shoulder knowing that you could make 2 grand a week working all by yourself with nothing but a pick-up truck and a skill saw.

If I never touch a hammer again it will be my dream.
Grumpy,
Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high...
LOL.


CALLSPC,
Sorry that we got so far off topic on you.

The display ad will probably pay off in the long run, but I wouldn't expect my phone to ring off the hook from one ad. Sometimes your ad will be taped on refrigerator doors all over the county for months before anybody calls. Once in a while I'll get a call from an ad that I placed 5 years before.

Unless you know a lot about advertising, trial and error is all you have to go by. Errors are expensive.
 
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