NEW ORLEANS — Print and word-of-mouth advertising are go-to tactics for many coin laundry store owners in promoting their business, but as usage of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter has become the norm for many consumers, how can store owners create a stronger presence online?
As part of its educational session lineup during the recent Clean Show, the Coin Laundry Association (CLA) hosted a panel discussion regarding Internet marketing, and how several laundry store owners have mastered a plan for making their business’ presence known not only locally but in the online community.
The panel featured Tyler Blair, owner of The WashBoard Laundry in San Diego; Deborah Dower, owner of Paradise Laundry in Northern California; and Duane King, owner of LMARIES Laundromat in Bowling Green, Ohio. CLA Digital Marketing Manager Jamie Sewell acted as moderator.
PRINT TO WEB
While Blair and King have an online-heavy marketing approach, Dower initially had a print-based marketing plan for Paradise Laundries’ three locations. She later realized, however, that more and more of her customers discover her stores online.
“Every time people come into the store, I ask them, ‘How did you find out about us?’, and I was finding that 70% of them are saying the Internet,” says Dower.
She now manages a main website for her stores and utilizes Google Adwords Express to promote Paradise Laundries to its local and neighboring communities.
After creating an account and setting up a budget, all owners have to do is write three lines about their business, “give [Google] what you want [the ad] to say, and then they make four different versions of it,” according to Dower.
Through utilizing Google Adwords Express, Dower spends only $150 a month, as her website receives an average of 120 clicks and roughly 4,400 views per month.
One other online marketing resource that Dower uses is the Yellow Pages’ website, YP.com.
“They’re doing an amazing job, and what I love about [them] is … YP.com has an alliance with Bing and Yahoo!, so when I advertise with YP.com, they’re running my exact same ad on Yahoo! [and] Bing’s search engines,” says Dower.
She only spends $50 a month using YP.com, as her website receives roughly 3,100 views and 108 clicks per month through the service.
One business initiative that Dower promoted through these online advertising efforts is the conversion of one of her stores in Roseville, Calif., into a 24-hour location.
Between the location’s new extended business hours of midnight and 5 a.m., the store made an additional $1,995 in the first six months, she says. Since advertising the new hours, she was able to see a 66% return on investment.
Overall, there are many ways that coin laundry owners can beef up their stores’ online presence. In addition to the various social media and advertising websites available, store owners who join the CLA are able to set up a free website with their membership.
No matter the tactic, King advises, “The more [online presence] you have out there … Google will rank you higher when someone does a search for Laundromats in your area.”
“If you’re on the second page or below, forget it. No one is going to see you,” he adds. “You have to be on that first page, if not at the top.”