And How To Get Someone Else To Pay For It!
Do you have a newsletter? Chances are pretty good that you don’t. How do I know that? I had my assistant, Tucker, call 103 dry cleaners all over the USA and NOT one of them had a newsletter.
I know dry cleaners that have newsletters because I got them started with these referral generating machines.
The PRIMARY purpose of a dry cleaning newsletter is to get your customers to refer their friends, family and neighbors to you. Secondary, is to sell more of your dry cleaning and your other services, like wedding gown restoration, area rug cleaning, house cleaning (which I do), renting Rug Doctors (which I do too), alterations, leather cleaning, whole house carpet cleaning, duct cleaning or whatever else you’re selling. And third is to build loyalty.
Your customers love you. Your customers trust you. Why aren’t you selling them other things? In today’s business climate you’ve got to grab all the profits you can. And a newsletter can help you do that. It’s not an expense it’s an investment.
If you get two referrals per month—which is really, really low and I’m low balling because I want to prove a point at how ridiculously easy it is to justify—because you now have a newsletter, that’s twenty-four new customers over a year.
An average route customer will generate $50/month in revenue or $600 per year. At a 50% gross profit (because your rent and most of your expenses will stay the same), that’s $25/month. Twenty-four customers is $600 per month in gross profits.
If you’ve got five hundred route customers, that easily pays for your newsletter and then some.
So IF you ONLY get two referrals per month, it easily pays for your newsletter.
Does that make sense?
Maybe the cost (or the investment) is not holding you back (which it probably isn’t), maybe it’s the thought of the time you’ll have to spend putting it together?
Let’s go on the assumption that it’s not the cost…it’s the time and not knowing how to put it together that’s got you stumped.
I’m going to tell you how to structure your newsletter for MAXIMUM referrals. And then I’m going to give you the opportunity to get one of mine later on—so keep reading.
You want to make your customers feel good and make them laugh when they read your newsletters. So this newsletter in NOT going to be about your dry cleaning business. We are subtlety going to talk about your business, but not directly in the newsletter (I’m going to talk to about an insert in a few).
Here is the masthead of my newsletter:
It’s very clean and simple and in black and white. Color does not increase the number of referrals you get, so stick with black ink, it cost less to print.
Page #1: This is a personal article you write or someone else writes about you and your family and what’s going on.
You gotta get personal. You want your customers to know you like a friend or a neighbor would know you. So this first page article accomplishes that.
Page #2: You wanna loosen them up for the kill (asking for referrals on Page #3). This is where you tell some jokes to get them laughing. And I also include a few short articles that I title, “Did You Know Where This Saying Came From…” They laugh and are saying, “I like that. I didn’t know that. That’s interesting” to themselves.
You got ‘um right where you want them now. They’ve never gotten a newsletter from a dry cleaner before and it’s funny and it’s pretty interesting. So they’re loving you more than they normally do.
Page #3: This is the page that it’s all about—The REFFERAL Generator!
As you can see, I’m giving a $20 Gift Card (Starbucks, Home Depot, Etc) for every referral that my customer passes my way. And on top of that I have a drawing for a dinner invite at my house.
I do this because I love to entertain and love to cook. You can do something else. I have members that do a Dinner and Limo drawing every three months. I’ve got some that give a big $100 Gift Certificate in a drawing every three months. Use your imagination and come up with something if you don’t want to use any of these.
And the next thing I do—which is very important—I recognize those customers that gave me referrals the previous month.
This is what is primarily on Page #3. When you open up this 4-page newsletter, the first thing you see to the right is the referral contest.
You haven’t talked about your dry cleaning business yet and we only have one more page to go.
Page #4: The top half of this page is for mailing purposes. You have to leave most of it blank so that it can be addressed. But on the left side we list all the stuff that we clean that is not normal. And we list all the services that we do in addition to dry cleaning. And on the bottom are some more jokes and a section we call, “Time To Do This…” — things like change your smoke detector batteries, etc.
That’s the structure of the newsletter, BUT there’s more.
The Sell-Sheet Insert: This is a freestanding inserted 8½ x 11 sheet of paper printed on both sides.
This is what it looks like:
On the front of my Sell-Sheet I sell advertising and on the back I sell my other services like renting my Rug Doctor.
Keep the advertising simple. This way you don’t have to create fancy ads. And sell a year’s worth. You can ask your customer base if anyone would like to advertise. Most of the advertisers I have do work at my house.
Would you like to get a copy of my newsletter and a (more) in-depth explanation on how it works?
Go here and get it: Link
You’ve always gotta be looking for ways to get and keep your customers. This is a great way to do that.