While most people consider Memorial Day Weekend to be the unofficial start to summer, in the pest control industry, it’s considered the official start of pest season.
For a pest control company, the summer is a busy time. I get it. It’s busy – who has time for marketing to get more customers?
But the truth of the matter is that you will always lose some customers to attrition and others for no really good reason at all. Many business owners don’t realize how much marketing momentum they lose when they stop marketing, even for a short while. Every pest control company needs a planful year-round effort that continuously reaches out to generate new leads. It’s as simple as that.
No business has an unlimited marketing budget. Yes, it would be nice to drop a 25,000 piece EDDM every month to keep your name front and forward in your area. But that costs big bucks.
Instead, you need to pick your shots and target your lead generation program to a few key market segments that return the most for your money.
- New Homeowners
- Homeowners with Children
- Environmentally Conscious Homeowners
- Homeowners with Dogs
- Homeowners with Swimming Pools
- Homeowner by the size of a lot
- Women age 21-45
Let’s start at the beginning. 70% of new homeowners will buy a pest control contract in their first year. New Homeowners need to be a focus of your marketing strategy. They will almost all buy a pest control contract in their first year. They might as well buy it from You!
You can obtain a list of New Homeowners through many sources, including the newspapers, local realtors, the country courthouse, or through a New Homeowner list provider. You can select your list by county or zip-code, dwelling type, and home value. You can also opt to receive data on either a weekly or monthly basis. Data is also available for mail or phone.
Weekly New Homeowner data gets you in the door about 21 days after a new homeowner closed on their home. That’s a good time to reach out to them. Most of the new homeowners don’t know about the pests endemic to their new area and this is a great time to educate them about local pests and impress them with your knowledge on how to handle them.
BTW – New Homeowners are also a great group for your Termite Service. Think lifetime value. I have been with the company that handles my Termite service for over 20 years.
A month before Flea & Tick Season, smart pest control companies will mail to Homeowners with Dogs in their area. Every dog owner wants to protect their pets. Send an oversized postcard to affluent dog owners featuring a dog being cuddled by children and you are pretty much guaranteed that they will look at your mailer. Offer a box of treats as a gift that you will bring when to come over to inspect & quote the job. In marketing, sometimes you need to give someone a little push to help set the appointment. It will help you close the sale.
If you offer products featuring an environmentally-friendly, organic approach, consider reaching out to known environmentally conscious households. The GreenAware overlay lets you target this very specific group, so you can provide them with a product especially for them. Homeowners with Children are also a strong market for organic pest control products
You can also select prospects by lot size. Summer in Florida. Talk about treating crabgrass or brown patch to a homeowner with 1+ acre lot and you will get their attention. Treating these is a heckuva lot cheaper than re-sodding.
Mosquitoes – These pests are the bane of summer. Homeowners enjoying their pool or patio need protection from these little buggers and are willing to have their lawns sprayed to rid them of mosquitos. You need to mail to women between 21-45 years old, for whom mosquito-borne viruses, like West Nile or Zika, are huge concerns.
Final comment. Summers are tough. If a homeowner is not happy with their current service they will switch to someone – anyone – they think will do the job better. If you’re not out there actively marketing, they will go to whoever is.