Why the Green Industry Should Cut Back on Print Advertising

Well, that's a bold thing to say! But, hear me out.

Print advertisements can be great when they are designed for a niche area that you service. It’s an opportunity to develop name recognition for your brand while promoting seasonal services and/or events. 

However, if we’re looking at a limited marketing budget to spend, print advertisements would be one of the first that I cross off the list. The main reason is simply shelf life. Anything that you send out in print will eventually get thrown into the recycling bin.

On the flip side, digital marketing footprint lasts forever and allows for more precise, specific, and measurable campaigns. This leads to better, more quantifiable results. 

Here are a few ways you can assess your online presence, cut back on what’s not working, and double down on what is. 

Take a look at your leading and lagging indicators.

Return on investment (ROI) is a huge metric but it is a lagging indicator, meaning it will show you the results but only at the end. To improve your ROI do some research to improve leading indicators such as increasing the number of visitors to your website. 

Google Analytics is a great tool to dive deep into how your website is performing and how your visitors are finding you. Use this tool to figure out what is working best for you and eliminate what is not. 

A few of my favorite Google Analytics reports that I look at on a regular basis for my clients are:

  • All Traffic Channels Report - This will tell you what channels (social media, email, direct, pay per click, etc) your traffic is coming from. Select a specific date range and compare this to data from the last year or season. 
  • Landing Pages Bounce Rate Report - Analyze which pages are causing people to bounce or leave your website without converting. Focus on fixing those pages to keep viewers more engaged such as adding more targeted content, images and a stronger call to action.
  • Conversion Goals Overview Report - Here you can track specific interactions you set up such as form submissions or phone calls. We monitor this monthly, weekly and sometimes daily for many of our clients running campaigns. 

Website Changes to Make Now

While you’re on your website, some small changes are necessary now. First add a message that shows you’re still open for business (if you are) and listing the steps your team is taking to slow the spread of Coronavirus. 

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This was built on a Wordpress site for my client Dream Greener. The plugin is called Apex Notification Bar Lite and it’s free. You can place the banner at the top or at the bottom of your website and change the colors, link and text to fit your style and branding. 

Have a blog article prepared for your clients to read that tells them how you are addressing the Stay Home mandate for your area. The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) created a great state-by-state list of who has shut down and who is allowing lawn and landscape contractors to continue as essential services. You can view it here.

If you need help drafting an email to your clients and employees about the steps you're taking to stay safe while working please send me a message. I have a few templates I'd love to share with you that you can plop your logo on and use as your own.

Now may also be a good time to consider adding a chat feature to your website. Live chat software enables you to have real-time conversations with site visitors. It’s quick, convenient and customers love it because it’s a fast way to get the answers they’re seeking while they're at home in quarantine. 

Best of luck out there!

PS: Print advertising isn't dead. 🙂

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