My Graveyard Of Marketing & Advertising Ideas

Fri, Jul 23, 2010

Advertising, Dry Cleaning Marketing

I’d like to hear from you.

What are the advertising and marketing ideas that you’ve tried over the years that have NOT worked?

Before I give you some of mine, I must let you know that I was very successful in most of my previous 32 businesses (I know that’s a lot of businesses to start and I was 40 when I started my dry cleaning delivery biz, but I would change businesses when I wasn’t happy, kind of like I did with my 3 wife’s) with marketing. I learned in the mid eighties how to use “Emotional Direct Response Marketing” (EDRM) to get a constant flow of customers for my businesses.

And I used to consult with local businesses and get them lots of customers with EDRM. So I’m pretty good at this stuff. My starting point was probably up a couple of notches from yours; maybe not.  So with that in mind, here are my graveyard marketing stories:

Graveyard Idea #1: Flyers. I tried all kinds of flyers with my logo big and bold covering most of the flyer. I know now that flyers DON’T work. They never did. Just like brochures; they never work. They are confusing. I always use sales letter now. They sometimes work if you get the headline and offer right.

Graveyard Idea #2: Door Hangers. They’re kinda like flyers. I put out 1,000 of them and didn’t get one call. How about you–have you every put out a doorh anger? I know some of these dry cleaning supply companies stock door hangers. I wonder if they ever tested them to see if they work or they just had their advertising company make something pretty.

Graveyard Idea #3: Yellow Pages. Wow–was this a bomb! If you’ve got drop stores all over the place or your route covers the city you’re in, this might work. But the kind of ad that you should put in is frowned upon in the yellow page industry.  I was able to get yellow page ads for a plumbing client of mine to work very successfully. And we even got the yellow page company to ONLY charge us when someone called in.

Graveyard Idea #4: TV & Radio. I’ve tried everything in this business. You can get these to work if you have a large dry cleaning business and get the TV and radio stations to agree to only charge you per call. I have taught many non-dry cleaning businesses this technique.

Graveyard Idea #5: Newspaper. This is a tough one. Couldn’t get this to work in my little suburb in the local rag. I guess not enough people read it or don’t care about dry cleaning.

That’s enough graveyard blunders for this post. But I want you to understand that some of these might work for you and your market. These advertising mediums are only delivery systems. What you put together will determine if your campaign is successful or not.

With time and testing I could get all of these to work in our dry cleaning businesses.

I use my dry cleaning pick-up and delivery business as a marketing laboratory and I’m constantly testing new things for my 200+ members.

We have successfully conquered:

  • Bag Drops (WITHOUT door knocking as the final step. Others say they have bag drops, but they are just the warm up for someone knocking on doors.)
  • Postcards Mailings
  • Referrals
  • Day Care Center Marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Website Optimization (I show up 5 times on page 1 of Goggle for the top 3 search terms: dry cleaner yourtown, dry cleaners yourtown, dry cleaning yourtown
  • Google Places (Google Local) Kris Anderson, one of my members gets 5-10 new customers from this alone.
  • New Movers
  • Business Offices

And all of this is done WITHOUT a salesman. This all comes in automatically.

I’d like to tell me your Graveyard Marketing & Advertising stories below. Will you do that?

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12 Responses to “My Graveyard Of Marketing & Advertising Ideas”

  1. NOEL AKWE Says:

    in fact your wonderful lectures has helped to ignite some dormant ideas in me that my marketing prowess have really been challenged. thanks a lot. i really need more of your ideas.


  2. alfie Says:

    Hi Greg
    I am in Ireland and I find your emails and ideas very interesting. I tried Radio advertising which didn’t work at all, I have to disagree about yellow pages I find it works well I get a lot of wedding dress & preservation box business from it and one office client that spends €500 a month with me so this paid for the ad. I did try your sales letter approach and they worked much better than a flier.

    Keep up the good work!!


  3. Grady Golden Says:

    What is the best way to get started with you and your system if I don’t have any more time to take on a new project. i’m afraid I know what your answer is but go ahead and shoot!

  4. vaji Says:

    The ideas you discussed with me are basically normal approaches in the marketing industry. However,if any marketing advertisement there is human encounter with the customer, that is more that 75 % determining factor in attracting the customer. I. Knowledge of your business 2. Why an established customer of another cleaner who is fairly happy to switch to you and give you a chance 3. Pricing and quality,which a couple of testimony from some reputable people might pull the weight to your side.

    I believe the strongest advertising would be through your existing customer. Give them extraordinary service so that when they leave your store that visit remains part of their best encounter of the day.

  5. Greg Says:

    Noel–thanks for your kind words. We are starting the Dry Cleaning Marketing Association that will be able to pass along lots of more marketing ideas. Look for it in the very near future. Greg

  6. Bob Leiteritz Says:

    Just a quick question. When selling your service, what do you tell people when they ask “Who does the dry cleaning for you”? Do you tell them the dry cleaners name or say you have your own plant, when you really don’t.


  7. Greg Says:

    Bob–tell ‘um the truth. I do and it’s never got me in trouble. Your route customers want convenience first, reliability second and then they want quality. If you give them all of these, who cares who does the cleaning.

  8. mike Says:

    Hey Greg, how come everything you post is over 2 years old. Are you just starting this up again? I have yet to notice a recent post especially after you have said encouraged customers for referrals!!

  9. Greg Says:

    It’s not Mike. Here’s my last post: which is only 10 days old. Move around in the website and you’ll see.

  10. mike Says:

    I charge almost double any dry cleaner in town, do you think that a post card would work?

  11. Greg Says:

    It depends who you mail it to. You must get a list of all the highest income people that are most likely to use dry cleaning. And they you’d have to start a mailing program to them that included postcards, letters and some lumpy mail. These customers would probably spend upwards of $1500/yr with you, so you could spend $300 or so to get them. This is how the big boys do it. Let me know if you’d like any more details.

  12. tips and tricks professional cleaners use Says:

    As a business cleaning professional myself I found this quite useful information.
    Thanks for putting the effort into collating this information.

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