Take one or two of these ideas and put them to use in your dry cleaning business and see what happens.
Last month we covered #1 – #8 and this month we’ll cover the rest.
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 nine more ways to make your phone ring:
#9 – Newsletter: How many dry cleaners send out a newsletter to their customers? I bet it’s only 1 in 500 at most. Why don’t they? Because 499 of them don’t know what the benefits are. If they did, they’d be getting one out every month. What does a newsletter do for your dry cleaning business besides building loyalty?
The most important thing it does is get you referred customers. My newsletters are built to get referrals from your existing customer base. You have a monthly contest, which is explained in your newsletter every month. You reward your customers with FREE dry cleaning when they refer and you give away a big gift for that person who refers the most new customers that month.
#10 – Testimonials: Testimonials itself is not a method of getting customers but it’s part of most of the ways you do. So I thought it deserved some face time because it’s that important.
When you are considering trying out a new restaurant, you want to know how good it is, right? So you might get on the phone and call a few friends and find out. That’s a referred testimonial.
There are a few ways to get testimonials. When you get an e-mail or one of your customers tells you how great you are, you record that. You ask them if they mind if you use their recommendation. Most will say yes. Get them to write out something short saying nice things about your dry cleaning business.
You can also solicit testimonials. Put together a letter to a portion of your customer base and ask them for a testimonial. Explain why you are doing it and that you’ll give them $5 in FREE dry cleaning if they do. One in four letters you send out will end up giving you a testimonial.
And then you use all these testimonials in your advertisements.
#11 – Mailers: Direct mail is very powerful if done right. I want to warn you that it’s not easy and it takes lots of testing to get it to work profitably. In my consulting business I use my dry cleaning route business as a marketing laboratory. I am constantly testing new mailers to add new customers to my route.
There is not enough room in this article to get into all nuances of creating a direct mail piece that works. My members have used direct mail to get customers out of gated communities, office and condo buildings and in their residential routes.
Just as an example, getting 2 or 3 new customers out of a 100-piece mailing is considered a success. You don’t look at the percentage of new customers; you look at what it cost you to get those customers. In some mailings, getting one percent is a success.
#12 – New Mover Mailers: In most markets, yours included, hundreds of people are moving in. And when they move, they’re leaving their dry cleaner behind. They are going to be on the lookout for a new dry cleaner. They’re going to be scouring the Internet, talking with neighbors and doing whatever they can to find a new dry cleaner. In their mailbox shows up this mailing piece that talks about the benefits of having their dirty dry cleaning picked up and delivered. Included in this mailing piece are testimonials from some of their neighbors. You offer them $10 in FREE dry cleaning to give your delivery service a try.
#13 – Bag Drops: This is where you leave one of your garment bags with some advertising on their front door and then you follow up in a few days. There are two kinds of bag drops: There is the bag drop where you follow up with a knock on their door and there is the one that they fill out an order form and leave their dirty dry cleaning out on their designated day.
The first one is not really a bag drop; it’s a method of door knocking. If you don’t want or don’t care to knock on doors, this one is not for you. The advertisement attached to this kind of bag drop does not have to be tested because you are following up with a knock.
The bag drop that I recommend is the one with a sales letter attached to your garment bag. This letter will get your prospect to fill out an order form and leave it on their front porch in your garment bag. If done correctly you’ll get 3-8 new route customers for every 100 bags you drop. This depends on several factors that I don’t have enough space to talk about right now.
My bag drop letter was tested over an 18-month period to get it work profitably.
#14 – Flyer Attached To Delivery Orders: Once a month I attach an envelope to my deliveries. In this envelope is a letter asking for referrals. I offer my referring customer $10 in FREE dry cleaning and I give the new customer $10 in FREE dry cleaning to try out my delivery service. There is nothing better than a referred customer. They are presold by your existing customer.
#15 – Google Local: I’m sure you’ve done this, but if you haven’t, please go to your Google Local account and fill it out all the way through. It asks for 10 photos, give them 10 photos. It asks for 5 videos, give them five videos. After you’ve filled it out, ask your customers through an e-mail to give you a review. Ethically bribe them with $5 in FREE dry cleaning to leave a positive review. The more reviews you get the better chance you have to being listed on page one of Google and the other search engines.
#16 – Adopt A Highway: Get your dry cleaner’s name up on the highway. This one is pretty lame, but it might work (hey, I’m running low on ways to get your phone to ring. I gotta stretch a little bit). You’re cleaning up the highway and you’re cleaning clothes—seems to be a good fit. And it’s a good way to get your employees together for a good cause. You might team these days up with giving out awards and food. Food always makes people happy.
#17 – Get Out In Your Community: Join a lead group. Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings. Get out and sponsor a softball or soccer team in your community. Carry your business cards with you and when you hand one out, write $10 in FREE dry cleaning on the back.
This is it! I’m sure there’s more. I’d love to hear about something that’s not on this list that is working for you.
Call (888) 661-1992 to set up a FREE 30-minute consult with me about your routes, your counter business and/or how to get into the dry cleaning locker business or anything you’d like to talk about in your dry cleaning business. Or go to: DryCleaningMarketing.com to find out more.