Seasonal franchise concepts present a unique set of challenges to franchisees. The recruitment period is tight and budgeting is vital in order for revenue earned during peak season to last year-round. But established franchisors like Mosquito Joe have mastered what it takes to successfully run a seasonal business, using creative marketing techniques to help their franchisees with new customer acquisition during the off-season.
While some believe that the marketing landscape has shifted to the web, the brand still relies on a number of conservative techniques to drive traffic, like direct mail. In fact, an average of 34 percent of Mosquito Joe’s new customers are linked back to the brand’s eye-catching mailers, and represents the number one source for new customer recruitment.
“Mosquito Joe's direct mail program is managed in-house, allowing us to have full control and provide premium support to our franchise owners,” said Julie Green, marketing manager at Mosquito Joe. “Above all else, direct mail is a highly targeted marketing strategy, so we are able to send pieces directly to homes that fit our target audience in the specific areas we want to market. It's also trackable, which allows us to monitor success and optimize the program year after year. Our bold and bright branding certainly helps as it's hard to miss our big yellow postcards when customers are sorting through the mail.”
Because the seasonality of each franchisee’s location is dependent on their market, the distribution period for mailers is flexible, allowing owners to decide when to target their potential customers with corporate approved branding and messaging.
“Our marketing materials are constantly available to our franchise owners through our intranet. The Mosquito Joe marketing team is always revising and refreshing these materials, so information is as up to date as possible and our branding is the best it can be,” said Green.
Aside from direct mail, Mosquito Joe markets its outdoor pest prevention services, where else, but on its customer’s lawns. Clever slogans and vibrant yellow and green hues show off the colorful personality of the brand and the people behind it.
“It all comes down to our branding and design,” according to Green. “The bold colors and logo draw initial attention to our yard sign as it stands out from its surroundings. Then the humor and messaging help to differentiate Mosquito Joe from competitors and encourage customers to call us for our services. And the simple design of the sign easily gives customers the information to do so.”
Recognizing that more than 54% of the world’s population uses email and more than one billion people are on Facebook, Mosquito Joe has also found social media and email marketing to be effective strategies for year-round outreach to existing customers, keeping them actively engaged and contributing to Mosquito Joe’s 79 percent recurring customer rate in 2017.
“Whether our franchise owners have an off-season or not, social media and email marketing give them a way to stay in touch with customers and leads all year round, providing service reminders, special offers, and educational material about the service. Being active on social media also helps establish a local presence in their communities, adding to their brand awareness and customer recruitment initiatives,” said Green.
Utilizing these tips has helped Mosquito Joe’s seasonal business owners grow their customer base all year, reaching nearly 94,000 customers in 2017 and creating an easy to replicate approach for the future.