17 Ways To Make Your Phone Ring With Route Customers

Wed, Mar 18, 2015

Advertising, Dry Cleaning Marketing

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 cleaners 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:

It say’s:van_mckenzie_pics 005

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 one. 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 – 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 dozen’s of ideas. The article could be as short a 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 Partnerships: 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 advertisements in your newsletter and in turn they can place your advertisements on their counter or bulletin board.

#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 email 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 your 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 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 don’t 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 pre-sold 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 then 10 photos. It asks for 5 videos, give them five videos. After you’ve filled it out, ask your customers through an email 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 cleaners name up on the highway. This one is pretty lame, but it might work (hey, I’m running out 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.

And finally…

#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.

, , , , ,

Leave a Reply

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.