Go Out & Steal All The Marketing Ideas You Can & Use Them. Not From Other Dry Cleaner’s—From Other Unrelated Businesses.

Mon, Apr 21, 2014


That's me!

That’s me!

And I don’t want you to go out and plagiarize someone’s marketing word-for-word. Take from it what you think will work for your dry cleaning business and then give it a try.

I’ve started 33 companies in my 35 years of business experience, 17 in the dry cleaning business. I know it’s a lot, but I’ve learned a ton about stealing from one industry and using it successfully in another. In fact, all that I use in my dry cleaning business came from other industries and my own past businesses. There is nothing new, just an old idea reworked, tested and used successfully.

The most successful marketing promotion that my members (my clients) use is the bag drop. It comes from three different industries. The dropping it off at the door part comes from the water purification industry, the bag drop letter comes from all the companies that sell products by mail using sales letters and the follow-up post-it notes come from a local pizza parlor.

There is NO knocking on doors used in my bag drop. We don’t use the bag drop to get interest and then knock on their door. We let the bag drop sales letter do all the selling. So this means that an eighteen or a 55 year old can handle the bag drop. We don’t need sales people. So there is no recruiting, training or motivating involved.

We drop off one of our garment bags at the front door of a home in our target area and attach a 5-page sales letter to it. Believe it or not, those that are interested read all five pages and fill out the order form, including their credit card info and leave it on their front porch in our bag full of dirty dry cleaning.

The ones that are not interested leave out the empty bag. We use post-it notes to follow up. I stole that idea from a pizza company leaving a post-it note at my door. Their post-it note had four different coupons to get me into their store. We used to follow up with letter sent through the US Post Office. It was a pain in the neck and it cost a ton. The follow-up post-it note works better and it’s a lot cheaper. We’ve even tested different versions of it to get more sales and more of our bags returned.pizza-post-it

So my most successful promotion came from 3 different companies. I keep my eyes open to all businesses marketing and sales ideas. If I like it, I always try to make it work in my company.

Another promotion that we use is the New Mover Program. My members use a 3-step letter program that I stole from a restaurant. Proietti’s Italian restaurant mails out three letters to all new movers in a five-mile radius around their business. Their goal is to get you in their restaurant and try it out with 2 FREE meals on Whitey the owner. I know Whitey from playing golf with him and this is how I got this promotion.

My goals with the 3 letters that I send out seven days apart is to get my prospect to try my dry cleaning delivery service with $10 of FREE dry cleaning. When I sent out just one letter, I only get half of the new customers I’d get with sending out 3 letters. Before talking to Whitey, I only sent out one letter. He told me that if I sent out 2 more, I’d get a bunch more customers and that’s exactly what happened.

It sounds easy, but it’s not. The only way you can make this work is to test different versions of the letters and be patient. I tested my bag drop program with 17 different letters over eighteen months. It took a while, but it was well worth it.

I’m a student of emotional direct response marketing, so I’ve got a head start on getting these programs to work. But even with that experience, it’s still very challenging. It’s not my opinion of what will work and what won’t, it’s my prospective customer’s opinion that is the deciding factor. Sometimes a couple of changed words can make all the difference in the world.

Keep your eyes open and wide eyed and always be on the lookout for marketing ideas that you like and think might work in your business. You never know what promotion you might come up with that might change your business forever.

As alway, I’d love your comments below.

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