Take one or two of these ideas and put them to use in your dry cleaning business and see what happens
The more ways you can get route customers, the better. Having only one marketing method is dangerous. If you have 4 or 5 ways to get customers and have them on autopilot, you’re on your way.
Here are the 17 ways to make your phone ring:
#1 – Your Delivery Van: If your van just has your dry cleaner’s name and phone number on it, you’re wasting some valuable real estate on the rest of your van. Your van should have your USP (Unique Selling Point) and a call to action—a reason for your prospect to call you. This is what someone sees when they’re following one of my member’s vans:
Try Our FREE Pick-Up & Next Day Delivery Service. Why Waste Your Time & Gas! Use Ours—It’s Easy & It’s FREE!
Call 234-4400 To Find Out More—FREE Recorded Message Reveals Details.
Why waste this opportunity. Once you’re in a neighborhood, it gets easier to get other customers. And having your FREE recorded message does all the selling for you. If your van is not wrapped, consider getting this done. Next time you purchase a van, please use your van as a marketing method to get more route customers.
#2 – Past Customers: Do you really know why a past customer stopped using you? If they didn’t tell you or you didn’t get on phone to find out why, you have no idea. People’s lives change. Jobs change. Situations change. It wasn’t your fault that they all left as you might think so. If you put together a cleverly crafted I Want You Back letter, you’ll get upwards of 25% of your customers back. Give them some incentive like $10 in FREE dry cleaning to come back to your route or your store.
#3 – Referrals: Do you ask for referrals? Most dry cleaners don’t. I don’t. I don’t ask personally, but I ask a number of other ways. Once every month, you should put together a letter asking for referrals and attach it to your deliveries for that week. Put together a certificate on your computer (or have someone do it for you), write a letter to go with it and you’ve got your referral letter. Change it up every month depending on what’s going on. In February you could have a Valentine’s theme. Once you’ve put together 12 of these, they’re done for years to come. Offer $10 in FREE dry cleaning if they refer and $10 to the one they referred.
When you first sign up a new route customer, send them a letter asking for referrals and send out an email once every month to match up with the theme of the letter you’ve written and are attaching to the deliveries.
#4 – Past Customers: PPC or Pay-Per-Click. Every browser has their version of PPC. Let’s talk about Google’s Adwords. Most people—75% of them search using Google, so lets concentrate on this. If you’re only going to place PPC ads, you’ll be seen by 75% of the market by just using Google’s Adwords.
It’s not difficult. Go get Google Adwords for Dummies and/or Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide to Google Adwords. I read Perry’s book and easily set up my dry cleaner’s PPC ads. He saved me a ton of money by following his simple ideas. Most of your competitors are not into PPC. You should be.
Don’t sloff this off. If this Internet stuff scares you, the more reason to dig in. It’s not as difficult as you think it might be. And placing an ad with Google is Kindergarden stuff. So, go do it now!
#5 – Your Website: If placing your PPC ad is a little tough for you, you might need a teenager’s help with your website. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is how you get your website seen by your prospects. I do this through my blog that’s on my website. When I write a blog post, I use the top keywords that your prospects use to find dry cleaners. They are in these, in this order: dry cleaner [your town] [your state], dry cleaners [your town] [your state], and dry cleaning [your town] [your state]. Perry Marshall’s Definitive Guide will help you with finding keywords for your dry cleaner.
#6 – Become Your Town’s Dry Cleaning Expert: Ask your local paper if you can write a monthly article on dry cleaning. Explain what you know about the dry cleaning business. I’m sure you can come up with dozens of ideas. The article could be as short as 200 words. Ask the paper to post a picture of you, your dry cleaner, address and phone number. You could even set up an “Ask a Dry Cleaner” column. I’m sure there are lots of questions out there that people would love to see answered.
#7 – Press Releases: This is a great way to keep your dry cleaner in the press. Every time you hire someone, write a press release. When you introduce new service new like, “Ugg Cleaning,” write a press release. If you keep this idea in your mind, you’ll come up with lots of reasons to write press releases.
#8 – Complimentary Parnerships: You advertise for them and they’ll advertise for you. Approach clothing stores, gyms, hair and nail salons, house cleaning companies or any business close by yours that you think might be a good fit. If you have a newsletter (we’ll talk about that later), you can place their advertisments in your newsletter and in turn they can place your advertisments on their counter or bulletin board.
This is all I have room for this month. Look for #9 thru #17 in March!