Friday, April 29, 2005

Happy Arbor Day (in Connecticut, USA) and Greenery Day (in Japan)

When was the last time you got a card on Arbor Day?
Not very often, right? Now, how many cards did you get for Christmas?
Which type of card would stand out from the crowd?

In Japan, April 29th is "Greenery Day"and it marks the start of "Golden Week" which is a weeklong holiday. "Greenery Day" is a day that has been set aside for nature appreciation.

If you do a search on the internet for "Greenery Day" you will find a number of Greenery Day cards that you can send, but I can't remember ever receiving an Arbor Day card. Why do you think that is?

As I was thinking about the idea of an Arbor Day card, I started wondering why landscaping companies don't plan their marketing efforts around Arbor Day? It seems like the perfect time to write a handwritten note (along with a coupon for a free lawn analysis or such) to potential new customers. The fact that the note is handwritten will assure that that it is opened (versus a mass mailing that gets immediately discarded) while the free offer/coupon, along with some nice handwritten words, will get homeowners to call for an appointment !

What a perfect way to start the dialogue with potential customers !

The landscaper's handwritten words could be based on a curbside observation of the homeowner's property* ... like, "We are often in your area doing work for your neighbors and if you would like some help cleaning up the fallen branches* or ideas on greening up your lawn*, please give us a call."

Be sure to stay away from negative comments like "You need to get rid of the ugly weeds and garbage in your front yard. They are an eyesore and your neighbors are talking about you." This would be a sure way to turn off your potential customer (even if the observations are correct).

Be sure you try to stay "on the customer's side" so that they see you as someone who can help them, not someone attacking them. If you are "on their side", you will be seen as someone who can make their life easier and more enjoyable.

Handwritten notes certainly have a place in business ... you just have to look for the opportunity that fits your particular business.

Happy Arbor Day! (CT)
Happy Greenery Day (Japan)

Write On !

Dave Wheeler

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