Have you ever wondered, "Which marketing am I doing that's actually bringing in the most qualified leads, that close at the highest rate, that I actually enjoy working with?" Have you ever thought, "What marketing could I just stop doing to increase my profit while maintaining those quality leads coming in?"
Well, if you're doing the right measurement, you can. In today's video, I'm going to share with you some simple exercises you can do to increase the quality and profitability of the marketing at your landscaping company. I'm going to share with you a real case study of how one of my clients using this simple method, literally with a piece of paper, was able to figure out that he generated a million dollars worth of revenue through his website. And also a year later cut $20,000 from his marketing budget.
So check out today's video to see how to do that. My name's Jack Jostes, and welcome to The Landscaper's Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing. This podcast is all about helping you increase your lifestyle, increase your profitability, and work with better clients as a result of your sales and marketing.
And I'm super excited to share with you what I've learned about how to measure your marketing. And I promise that we're going to make this really easy. So let's get started.
As you grow your business, it's important that you stop along the way and look back at what I did last year? What did I do three years ago? And is what I want now the same thing that I wanted back then? A lot of times businesses grow and the quality of services that you're able to offer, the prices you're able to charge, is going to change.
But if you don't continually update your marketing you could waste money on things that don't work. And so today's show is all about how to keep what works, and then either improve, or sometimes just totally cut what doesn't work. And this can have an huge impact on your profit and your quality of life.
And I want to share with you the story of Matt Preuss. He's my client from the Cutting Edge Landscape Design down in Los Alamitos, California, and he added a million dollars in revenue in one year from his website. And then just this year, I've been working with him for a few years, we looked back at last year and he was able to cut an entire print advertising campaign that was costing him 20 grand a year.
How To Track Your Marketing On A Piece Of Paper
And it all comes down to being able to track your marketing. And I promise that we're going to do this in a way that's easy at. It's not math class. It's nothing crazy. In fact, I'm going to show you Matt's actual piece of paper. It's like back of the napkin math. But you've got to collect the data in the right place in order to do that.
When Matt came to me, he was pretty stressed a few years ago. He was spending a lot of time driving around all over California, and man, that takes a long time with all the traffic, meeting with people who didn't have the budget for what he was able to sell, and overall getting low quality leads. And one of them even posted a photo of one of his old brochures saying, "Hey, this guy told me he doesn't want to do this job that he advertised to me for."
And look at that. So he was doing marketing that was out of date. He hadn't updated it in years, but his skill had grown. He became a general B licensed contractor. He does incredible work. So we worked with him on an audit, and we found that his branding, website, and SEO were out of date. We worked with him on those things, and as part of this process he realized that his marketing was attracting pain in the ass customers, and meanwhile, scaring away the type of quality leads that he wanted.
So we helped him design his new logo and branding. We hired a photographer to take a professional headshot. We designed and developed a new website. We changed his business name and he started ranking online and attracting really great leads. And one of the really cool things is that within that first year, he literally added a million dollars of revenue, and was interviewed in Lawn & Landscape Magazine about what we did on his website and how he did it.
But one of the things that I really like about Matt is that he actually tracks his marketing. And he gave me permission to share this analysis that he did. And you'll notice it's in his handwriting. So he took a look at the year, and he was able to measure how many leads he got from each type of marketing.
Okay. He looked at Home Advisor, he was doing Houzz, he got leads from Google, which was mainly what I was helping with, with organic search. He was paying for something called Home Concepts. He also got referrals. And you see here that he also analyzed: How many leads did I get? How much did I spend on my marketing? So how much was my cost per lead? And then how many of those leads actually became a client? And that's his close rate.
And if you check this out, his referrals closed at the highest rate at 30%, and the leads from the internet, from Google, closed at 27%, pretty high. And he generated $1.1 million from Google, but only $132,000 from referral.
So had he just waited for referrals, and not invested in his website and SEO, he would've missed out on $1.1 million of revenue that closes at a very high rate. And he was able to realize through doing this, that is Houzz leads only closed at 7%, and Home Advisor was 8%.
How Matt Cut $20K From His Advertising Budget
So having this information helped him make decisions about what to do the next year. And one of the great things is that when I met with Matt... So that was 2019, right now it's winter 2021, and when we looked at 2020s numbers, he realized that a print advertising campaign was bringing in a lot of leads. It was in a high-end magazine, but they were unqualified. They were nowhere near as educated as the people who had done the internet research, and really vetted him, and read his website, and picked him.
And so he was able to just cut that $20,000 in ad spend because it wasn't bringing in enjoyable leads that were profitable, that closed at a high rate. So how does he know that? Well, he tracks it, and this is the most important thing, this is the whole point of the video, is you've got to track your marketing. Because think about this, and I just told him, "Dude, keep the 20 grand, put it in your pocket."
You could invest it in other marketing and advertising, and maybe we will, or you could just keep it. You could just keep it and you're still going to get those other leads and go to sleep at night knowing, "Okay, I have these other multiple channels of new customers coming to me and I know what they are."
So there are a few key things that you need to do when you're tracking your sales and marketing. And the first one is to track the marketing source of each and every lead. So marketing source is simply, how did you hear of us? And you, or your office, this needs to become part of the organization. Meaning if somebody calls in, whoever answers the phone needs to track this.
And at my company, we don't pay sales commissions if we don't track the marketing source, and we analyze this, and make a lot of decisions. I track this myself and I'm hoping that you'll start doing it too, because it can really save you money, increase your profit. It's amazing.
And so there are three ways to do this and I'm going to share a good, better, and best. And I hope that this isn't intimidating, because you can literally just get started with good, which is a piece of paper.
I worked with a tree care company once, and when I went to their office to do some training with them, they literally had a clipboard with a piece of paper that had a column for, at this time... Man, this was like eight years ago, Yellow Pages, and then the internet, and then signage, and these other different things that they had.
And they weren't able to go as specific as Matt is to see, "Well, which leads came from which? And what was the quality?" But they were at least able to see, "Well, how many leads did I get? And how much did I pay to get them from each of those marketing sources?"
Better would be to use a spreadsheet. And if you're using a WordPress website, using Zapier, you can have the leads that come through the form on your website, automatically go into a spreadsheet, and we use Google Sheets, and then part of the process is, "Hey, by the way, how did you hear of us? Oh," and you mark that in your spreadsheet.
And then the best way, of course, is to actually use a CRM. And we recently did an interview with somebody who's using LMN. LMN is a great CRM. There's Jobber, there's ServiceTitan, there's Service Autopilot. I can't think of them all right now, but the point is, if you're using a CRM, you absolutely should be setting a contact property from a marketing source.
What Details Should You Track?
Again, part of the process is each and every client gets asked this question. Now I recommend that you keep it simple with your tracking, start with big categories. In general, I recommend that you track things like search. How many people found me on Google? Print. If you're doing print marketing of any kind. Referral from customers. I would track that differently from referral from professionals. Signage. If you're doing something like Houzz advertising. You get the idea.
You'll probably have maybe five to 10 things. I don't think you need all 100. One of the things I do is then add another column for secondary marketing source. So if I'm doing multiple types of print campaigns, if I learn which one I'll track those and do some more analysis. But basically tracking this high level category will give you some really valuable information.
And then the key thing is at the end of the quarter, at the end of the year, you've got to analyze it. And so some of the things that you need to track are your cost per lead, which is simply how much did I spend divided by how many leads did I get? Well, that's my cost per lead.
Then my cost per acquisition. How much did I spend divided by how many new customers did I get? And then how many leads did I get divided by how many customers? And that'll give you your actual close rate. And if you're able to do this by category, you'll start seeing some of the information that I showed you from Matt's analysis, like what is the close rate and cost per lead per marketing source?
Then another thing you can do is the lead quality. So giving a score, it could be one, two or three, or it could be something like that, giving a qualitative score to these leads. It could be based on job size. It could be based on, do you like these leads?
It really could be qualitative, but doing this, Matt was able to determine that a particular print advertising campaign was bringing in low quality leads. They had a low close rate and they were kind of just shopping him around and there were other landscapers in the magazine and they were kind of just comparing quotes. They didn't see him differently.
So once you have this information, you can decide, and most decisions are made primarily emotionally, and this will still be an emotional decision of what to do, but now at least you have some data to reason with yourself and make those decisions. And Hey, maybe you're realizing, "Wow, sponsoring the kids' soccer league doesn't bring in any leads."
Well, you might still want to support that for emotional reasons, but cool, maybe put that in your charity section of your QuickBooks, and don't consider it marketing. That's totally fine to sponsor, and donate to brand awareness type things that don't actually produce a business result as long as you are aware of that. And then you can still invest in other marketing that does produce leads.
I hope this was helpful to you. My name's Jack Jostes and thanks for checking out The Landscapers Guide to Modern Sales and Marketing podcast. I have a whole chapter in my book, Get FOUND Online, called Measuring Results, and I'd love to mail you a print copy of it for free. I just ask that you pay for shipping, check it out at landscapersguide.com/book. And I wish you very profitable, enjoyable marketing, and have an awesome spring time. Look forward to seeing you in the next episode.