The best place to find customers who purchase mosquito control service is your current residential customer base. Customers already know and trust you to provide other pest control services, so you should be a natural choice to provide their mosquito control services.
POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS. You’ll likely find that many of your mosquito control service customers are middle-aged (45-65) own a single-family home, have a higher income, and have children and pets.
One of the best ways to determine if a current customer might be interested in purchasing mosquito control services is observing their lifestyle. Backyard hardscaping is an exceptional indicator. Look for decks, patios, swimming pools, hot tubs, water features or any kind of “outdoor living space.”
Yards with extensive landscaping, flower and vegetable beds, and dense foliage are all signs of potential customers. Many neighborhoods are wooded and may have marshes, ponds, lakes and other standing water mosquitoes need for breeding.
Have technicians identify conducive conditions for mosquitoes and lifestyle clues at current customers’ homes. Ask if the customer has had mosquito issues. The technician can provide a free assessment of what may be contributing to the problem and how mosquito control services may help.
No matter who you reach out to as potential customers, always manage their expectations as to how well you can control mosquitoes. It’s never a 100 percent knockdown service. Here’s a list of entities to consider reaching out to:
Partner with companies who work with similar customers, one-time events. In addition to residential customers, there are a number of potential customers with whom you can build profitable relationships. They may not need ongoing mosquito control, but single treatments can be profitable.
Landscapers, contractors, pool installers. Reach out to the trades that provide hardscaping services. A customer installing a pool, building outdoor areas complete with built-in seating and gas grill cooking stations and play areas, are most certainly interested in spending time outdoors. These are all indicators of a potential customer.
Consider providing a free consultation for their customers upon project completion. It’s an added benefit contractors can offer their customers and it gives you an opportunity to meet a potential new customer.
Reception halls, restaurants, outdoor venues. Reach out to event venues in your area that are either exclusively outdoors or offer an outdoor area as an option. Aside from a bride, nobody has a greater vested interest in ensuring an event goes off without a single incident or distraction than venue managers. They’ll likely be left holding the bag if anything distracts from a perfect event.
Tent rental companies. Tent rental companies are a natural partner. Their events are, essentially, always outdoors!
Event planners. Event planners are generally responsible for ensuring an event is seamless and perfect in every way. They’re generally “hyper aware” of everything that could go wrong, and ensuring it’s either addressed up front or there’s a Plan B. Help by checking mosquitoes off their list. Nobody wants wedding pictures of the bride, groom and guests swatting away mosquitoes.
Caterers. Caterers likely will be sensitive to safety issues, because food is involved. Highlight how your mosquito control services are performed and the safety precautions you take, not just this time, but every time you provide mosquito control services. It may be their reputation on the line if guests become the buffet.
Real estate agents. Build relationships with Realtors in your area, especially those who work with clients purchasing high-end homes with outdoor amenities. Some Realtors develop a preferred vendor list and offer it to clients. These are companies and tradespeople that the Realtor has vetted and is confident in referring.
Organizations with outdoor space for events. Churches and fraternal organizations come to mind in this category. Many churches have grounds on which they can hold events, such as picnics and family events, were it not for the invasion of mosquitoes. Fraternal organizations, such as the Rotary International, Shriners, as well as Moose, Elk, and Masonic Lodges, often have their own facilities and grounds on which they hold events. Annual local festivals may offer additional opportunities.
BEST APPROACHES. PMPs are using a full array of marketing and advertising methods to reach their audiences. But remember to keep your marketing message positive. People want to be comfortable in their backyard and not have to deal with the annoyance of mosquitoes. Be the solution to the problem. Consider messages that revolve around “taking back your yard” or “enjoying your yard again.”
Consumers are increasingly aware of the health risks mosquitoes pose, so there’s no need to reinforce it. Don’t use scare tactics or highlight “the diseases you’ll get” if you don’t purchase mosquito control services. Never promise something you have no control over, such as “disease reduction” or the elimination of mosquitoes. You’re opening yourself up to problems you never want.
Use your existing marketing channels to market your services and then consider branching out into one or more of the areas listed in the following section.
Technicians. Your technicians likely will be your best marketing channel for introducing and selling mosquito control services. Have them look for signs of a potentially good customer for the service: outdoor living spaces; play areas; well-landscaped yards; and abundant harborage sites.
Door hangers. Distribute door hangers throughout the neighborhoods in which you’re already providing pest control services. Also target prospective neighborhoods.
Email newsletters. Feature your new mosquito control service in your newsletter. Consider providing suggestions for how homeowners can help reduce mosquito populations.
Invoice stuffers. You already have their attention while they’re opening your invoice, add a mosquito control marketing message.
Email notifications and email signatures. If you send email or text message appointment reminders, add a message about your mosquito control services. You can also add a line about the service to the email signature of everyone in the company.
Blog. If you’re already writing a blog, post educational information on mosquito control — not a sales pitch. Help customers understand how mosquito control works, what level of control they might expect, how products work (e.g., a larvicide vs. an adulticide) and other information. Mention you now offer these services at the end of the post.
Facebook. Engage customers in a discussion on your Facebook page on mosquito-related topics. Keep it educational, but with a lighter tone.
Direct mail. Every community has some version of direct mail advertising, whether it’s an envelope of flyers or a guide to area services.
Customer referral program. It’s word-of-mouth with a reward. Incentivize current mosquito control customers by offering them a free or discounted service when they recommend a neighbor or friend. Thank your customer for the referral, whether the referral becomes a customer or not.
Newspaper advertising. If you have the budget, branch out and include newspaper advertising in your marketing mix. This may not be the best initial route if you’re just starting to offer services.
Online advertising. Consider investing in search engine advertising or a pay per click (PPC) advertising campaign, which is a way to “buy” visits to your site from other sites.
Search engine optimization (SEO). Add content to your website on mosquito control that’s SEO friendly. It helps to improve your ranking on search engines such as Google. There are a number of factors that contribute to SEO, but essentially the more relevant your site is, the higher up it will appear when someone does a search for “mosquito control.” Offer a free mosquito and tick environmental audit. Document what you see that may be contributing to harboring these pests. This can be your offer in all your marketing efforts.
The author is a frequent contributor to PCT magazine.