Late winter/early spring marketing budget, $2k. How should I spend it?

In my rural area (population 100,000, 3 cities of 10k-20k) I’ve found that newspaper is effective. I have yet to try eddm. Craigslist has generated a few jobs, but newspaper is still more effective.
I was considering spending the 2k on:
Google adwords
and newspaper ads.

What would you guys do?

I had a lot of luck with the newspaper when I advertised. When I started doing EDDM my business took off like a rocket.


I’d make some door hangers and go for a winter walk. It’s usually effective and you can keep most of your $2k.


Are there any guides to doing eddm here? I suppose I should just search for that. I thought it was super simple at first until I started reading about postage and whatnot.

I was never able to get alot of business through door hangars, they took too long o pass out especially when considering the houses where you have to stop and think about where to leave them. What I want to try is just a basic flyer with one of those residue-less sticky pads that you can just stick to the door. Officemax sells them in packs of like 1000 for just a few dollars. That way, all I have to do is walk up, stick, and move on.

Window Cleaner’s Marketing Blueprint.

As a disclaimer, I am not currently running any EDDM campaigns as the most effective marketing method for me has been door knocking and direct solicitation.

I am probably in the vast minority but the EDDM campaigns I have run have not paid for themselves. So I will preach caution. Maybe use $700-$900 for a small targeted EDDM campaign, and then another $100-$200 for door hangers to hit a couple different neighborhoods, and then just use your business cards and knock on doors somewhere else and see which method brings you the most bang for your advertising buck.

To some entrepreneurs 2k for marketing is pocket change. But for others starting out that can be a month worth of bills. Spend it wisely and hold some in reserve until you get a feel for what works best.

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I feel ya. Thanks for the input. I planned on maybe hitting the same 500-600 houses via eddm, but hitting them twice. That should only cost $300-$500, from what I have seen, anyway.

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I have not used EDDM since 2010. Sorry I can’t give you any advice on it. A lot has changed since I used EDDM. I know I didn’t mail out more than 500 at a time. I was on a limited advertising budget. Once you get established word of mouth will work really well for you. That is how I get business now.




Yeah, I think the 500 at a time is how I’ll do it to, to see if it works.

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Did this just now. Very fast. Thanks :+1:

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  1. Is your vehicle nicely and clearly lettered? If not I would use some money on eye popping graphics.

  2. Yard signs.

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Oh, good one. I hadn’t thought about yard signs.

I want to get my vehicle signed, there’s just one problem that keeps me back. It’s a bit beat up 1994 Nissan Hardbody. I was just thinking a nicer vehicle might make my services seem more appealing. Now, my truck isn’t rusty at all, it’s actually in great shape aside from a dented up bed. Should I:

  1. Ignore the dents and get it signed up anyway,
  2. Fix the dents and then get it signed up.
  3. Try to find a nicer vehicle in my price range, then get that one signed up?

Kinda depends on how bad it looks. If the body is nice and your plan to keep the truck for a while then a full wrap can bring a lot of life to an older vehicle, like this:

If it’s really beat up you should consider a newer or at least better looking work vehicle. It matters what you show up in, I promise. You could also just consider vinyl lettering like this:

Or a 1/2 wrap sometimes called a partial wrap like this:


Yeah, those are all great. I feel like my truck would look a lot better with the dents fixed and with slightly bigger tires, as to me trucks look more professional when sitting off the ground a bit. A full wrap would definitiely be the best option, I think, though a partial wrap could work as well.

I would love to find a newer, bigger truck… the only thing that keeps me back is how darn reliable mine is. This thing will last for a looong time. Guess I’ll check out the local craigslist listings to see if there are any I can fix up for cheap. Thanks!

Option 4: Keep it as is, and keep it running as long as you can.

Vehicle signage isn’t marketing as much as it is branding, IMO. And branding this early on will not make or break your business.

Most of your paying jobs are going to come from YOU and your hard work, not your pretty truck.


In the early days a lot of my jobs came from people seeing my van. In fact sometimes I used to just leave it parked at Lowes while the wife and I went to lunch and got calls every time from homeowners who saw it in the parking lot. It’s an easy way for a business without much credibility to instantly gain some.

As far are your marketing versus branding comment, I don’t even know what you mean by that. Vehicle signage isn’t strictly “branding.” If you have a call to action and a way for a person to respond like a phone number, that is in essence marketing your services.

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I state my option as such since I personally would not rely on vehicle signage to generate revenue. It may or may not, on any given day.

What it DOES do, consistently, is lend a “presence” to the operation, making it recognizable in the community where you are working.

So I believe it works best to reinforce previous marketing methods, rather than generate new jobs on its own.

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Your potential customer won’t see it the same way.

Go to, look for houses that sell for $300,000+, door hanger those neighborhoods.
I know you said you don’t like door hangers, but stickers on a door a poor decision in my opinion. Door hangers have worked quite well for me.
Make two door hanger designs, 1,000 each. Note which of the two give you results and repeat.
Some times folks will call the same day, other times it may be a month or more. It is an ongoing numbers game.
$2k to spend? Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Spread it out so your “marketing budget” is funded, but not all spent at once. :wink: