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Old 4th January 2007, 11:55 AM   #1
dwthomas
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Default Welcoming Service (A Unique Twist)

Hello,
I own a landscaping company in central Ohio.We are in the process of figuring out our advertising budget for 2007, and we came up with the following idea. In certain zip codes there are roughly 500 new home sales per month. There are already "welcoming services" established in our city but they do not offer the following unique idea.

We will deliver a black Roldex card book containing 96 business cards from local businesses to each new address. Each card book is very profesional looking and is something I believe a new home owner would look through and keep around. (As compared to most of the junk you get in the mail.)

We would deliver these books every month and charge the participating businesses .20 cents for a spot in the book. That is .20 cents per address delivered. Our business card would be placed in the front cover of course.
The book would also be accompanied by a letter which has all of the names and numbers of the participating businesses. What do you think? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 5th January 2007, 09:31 AM   #2
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I think the idea is great!

96 businesses seems like a lot. Do you really think you'll get that many advertisers? If you can pull it off it should be a nice money maker for you!

You may need to address some questions for potential participants:
How many businesses of one type will be included?
Are there any restrictions on the design of the cards?
Do you provide a list of the homes that were given rolodexes each month to the vendors?

Good luck

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Old 5th January 2007, 09:51 AM   #3
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sounds like a good plan to me. I don't think you have to wait to get a full 96 businesses on board, that can be effective with as little as 15-20.

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Old 5th January 2007, 10:37 AM   #4
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I think it is a good idea as well. A couple thoughts

1) How and what are the costs of how you will be handling delivery. Stuffing binders, etc.

2) You may want to compliment with a simple website also providing info (incentive for advertiser)

3) You may want to provide database/list also to advertisers so they have a source for new residents, who their advertising has been distributed to and for their own future marketing/promotions. I would provide this online also.

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Old 5th January 2007, 12:52 PM   #5
dwthomas
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Thank you for the replys, I greatly appreciate them. The challenging aspect of this idea is getting 96 advertisers on board. With a lower number of advertisers the idea is almost not really worth the effort, I will show you why.

Here are some numbers:

96 advertisers x .20 = $19.20 gross per book
Rolodex Book Cost = 6.93
Each new address cost = .15
Envelope cost = .20
Mailing cost = 2.75
Total cost, not including labor = 10.03 per book

Profit per book = $9.17 x 500 = $4525 per month

The real cost and therefore the need for a higher volume is the book itself. Prices on the book do not go down much with a lower card count.
The 72 card book is roughly the same price.

I am also trying to figure out a way to lower my costs, such as a less expensive book, or other tool for advertising other than the book. Possibly a 8 x 11 printed sheet with 25-30 advertisers on them?

Does anyone have other ideas. Thanks again

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Old 5th January 2007, 01:48 PM   #6
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I have had luck using promotional magnets. You can use a 3.7" x 5.7" magnet that fits about 20 numbers on it for about $.80 each for 500. They weigh less than 1 oz in an envelope so it would cost $.39 to mail first class or less via bulk mail.

MagnetStreet has them - check them out.

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Old 5th January 2007, 02:13 PM   #7
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Great idea Matt, I will check them out. Thanks again

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Old 5th January 2007, 04:22 PM   #8
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Seems to me part of the difficulty is not just getting 96 businesses to participate, but also that needs to occur within a very short time span. Convertising 96 businesses is one thing over the span of a year, but getting those conversions all 'at the same time' would be difficult based on my experiences.

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Old 5th January 2007, 09:53 PM   #9
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I loved the idea "at first". But then I was thinking about it and wondered, "How will you prove to those that sign up that you ever sent out a book with their business card in it?" Worse than that....what will your proof be every time you send out an exact book to an new address? I agree with Logan also....you may start with or at times have 96....but other times it will be less. Advertisers will come and go. I'd make sure I have the billing end completely under control and documented or you might be fighting a nightmare to prove your charges. Collecting from your advertisers could really become a hassle. Good luck though....I hate being a cynic...I hope you have some great ideas for these thoughts!

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Old 6th January 2007, 12:30 PM   #10
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Default A different approach?

I agree with the concerns expressed by others totally and suggest looking at this from a different direction.

Sell your captured info on new home sales to local businesses on a semi-annual or annual basis. Provide the information in a timely fashion and do so with some exclusivity. In other words, don't sign up 3 lawn care services. This increases the value to the business. Given the amount of data you are capturing, if that figure is fairly consistent throughout the year , the annual subscription price should be $800-$1000 per year.
This allows additional profit possibilities. In addition to selling the data you could for an additional charge design and print what ever mail piece they wish to send out. ( all of this at their expense not yours)

This is a model that does in fact work.
It eliminates some of the concerns from previous posters.
1. you get paid up front for the subscription
2. You provide the captured data directly to the business so there's no question about that issue.
3. because you have little or no expenses other than the collection of the data it doesn't matter that you are starting out from scratch.

Finally , put yourself in the place of the business that you hope to sell to for just a minute. Would you rather pay to have your business card in a booklet with 96 other businesses OR would you want those new homeowners to get a
mail piece with just your offer?
I once participated in a valpac mailing that went out to 140,000 businesses nationwide and had my card professionally designed. I got ZERO inquiries!


Hope this helps.

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