Help! It's Raining Topsoil Everywhere!

Well, it's not actually raining topsoil, but it might seem that way when you get done reading this. Landscape supply companies all over the country have teamed up together to create a network of over fifty landscape supply companies all operating with the number 1-800-TOPSOIL, and the website 1800TOPSOIL.com. I had the privilege to sit down with 1800TOPSOIL.com part owner and co-founder Steve Buchan earlier this week to try to find out just what the secret is. Turns out, it's not really much of a secret at all. Steve explained to me exactly how it works.

1800TOPSOIL.com, or 1-800-TOPSOIL is simply a network of landscape supply companies throughout the United States all of whom are members of 1800TOPSOIL.com. Suppose you need a landscape supply company to replant your garden. You can search for a landscape supply company on the Internet and then try to make sense of the 11,000,000,000 matches and decide which landscape supply company is right for you. You can also check the yellow pages where you'll see a whole bunch of practically identical ads for landscape supply companies, which, if you're honest with yourself, you know will be impossible, tell the difference between all of them. One might be a huge landscape supply company serving mostly big businesses and wholesale, while another might be in your neighbor's basement serving mostly his neighbors who want to help him out. The trouble is that they are right next to each other in the phonebook, and you really have no idea until you call them or visit them. That's where 1800TOPSOIL.com can come in handy to anybody needing a topsoil supply company.

All you need to do is call 1-800-TOPSOIL from anywhere in the country, and, if there is a member serving the metro area from which you are calling, you will be connected to that member. Sounds confusing, right? It almost sounds like each landscape supply company constantly gets calls from the wrong calling area, right? Not at all, explains Buchan. Each call gets routed based on where the call is being placed, to the 1800TOPSOIL.com member that serves that metro area.

If there is no member in that particular area, or if the call is being placed from outside that metro area, the call gets routed to 1800TOPSOIL.com's corporate headquarters in Detroit where an operator has available the direct phone number to the landscape supply company which the caller was trying to reach. Why would a landscape supply company want to join such a system, as opposed to the more conventional methods of advertising which most companies generally use? Well, for starters, it's a number that the target market will be able to remember quite easily. How do you know? "Well, who can't remember the association between 1-800-TOPSOIL and the landscape supply industry," questions Buchan. In addition to a catchy, easily remembered number, 1800TOPSOIL.com boasts the fact that they are at the top of the list when you Google, "topsoil." Clicking on this link connects the customer to 1800TOPSOIL.com's corporate website. In that website, there is a map of the United States. You click on the state in which you're looking for a landscape supply company, and whoa la!

You get a list of the 1800TOPSOIL.com's members in that particular state. You then pick your metro area, and sitting in front of you will be a direct link to 1800TOPSOIL.com's landscape supply company servicing that metro area. To sum it all up in a nutshell, each 1800TOPSOIL.com member gets a great vanity number that their target market will be able to remember very easily; each 1800TOPSOIL.com member gets to be the first company anybody searching Google will see; and each 1800TOPSOIL.com member gets to be a member of the nation's largest landscape supply company. 18--TOPSOIL.com also has large truck signs available for each of their members which turn trucks into moving billboards.

It all sounds really cool, but is it actually proven to work out to each member's benefit? Well, one of the more recent landscape supply companies to join 1800TOPSOIL.com has more than tripled their total incoming calls in their first month, and they certainly do not seem to be slowing down any time soon. "Think about it," says Buchan, "Anybody who sees the number on a truck, billboard, website, or anywhere, will remember the number it, and when a landscape supply company is needed, the yellow pages will not be." So just what are the cons of this system? Answers Buchan, "If I figure one out, I'll let you know."