RIPON, Wis. — Marketing your Laundromat doesn’t have to be hard. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. But it does need to be targeted to be effective.
Yet the vast number of Laundromats don’t do any marketing. In fact, a 2016 Coin Laundry Association survey showed that 36% did no advertising, which was up from 30% the prior before, and of those who did, 23% used social media and 22% had a website.
In Part 1 of this column, I addressed finding a starting point and introduced the idea of embracing technology. Allow me to continue.
EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY (CONTINUED)
Your marketing needs a clear call to action. For instance, what do you want people to do upon seeing your ads? Do you want them to start using a different machine? Or perhaps download an app or leave a Google review?
Key to a good marketing strategy is the ability to track and measure your success and track your ROI (return on investment). You need to know what marketing or advertising options are working.
It sounds time-consuming, especially for a lot of small-business owners, but it isn’t. By leveraging technology that is available, you have a good way to effectively market, while not making marketing a full-time job.
Several types of technology are tied to marketing, such as:
Consumer Apps — Customers can download consumer apps and use them to pay for their machines. But while they provide convenience for the customer, the apps also provide a store owner with a lot of customer data. You know how much customers are spending, when they are coming in to do their laundry and more. That allows you to talk to them directly through your marketing. So you could do a variety of rewards programs. Maybe offer a $10 sign-up bonus for downloading the app, or for every $20 a customer adds to their wallet, he or she would get $5 added for free.
Store Owner Portals — These allow you to review store performance KPI (key performance indicators) and see trends. For instance, which days are you busiest? Which are you the slowest? Thus, if you know that you are slow at 3-5 p.m. on Tuesdays, you can set up rewards for existing Sunday customers, for example, to come in during that time and save.
Customer Relationship Management — CRM allows you to filter your customers based on their behavior. Maybe you can get customers back in who haven’t visited your facility in the last month, or maybe you can get your self-service customers who spend a certain dollar amount to use a different machine. There are all sorts of different filter parameters, and based on your results, you can send targeted messages to individual customers. With CRM, you can send text, email or use in-app applications to offer promo codes for reward credits or points. CRM enables you to advertise to your existing customers and see how many actually receive, open, and come in to redeem your offering. The CRM shows you how effective your marketing tactics are.
For example, when a new Laundromat opens, it may advertise through Facebook, Google and a print mailer. Based on the promo code, you can track to see which form of advertising was most effective and brings in the most new customers. You can continue to tweak your offers — $10 or a percentage off, perhaps — to see which works most effectively.
With CRM marketing, you can also incentivize customers to change behaviors more easily. Since wash-dry-fold customers tend to be the most profitable customers, try converting your self-service customers to WDF by educating them that they can save time using the service and offering them 10% off for trying it.
It is also easier to get your customers to spend more money if they use a payment system like an app. Studies show that people will spend more if they use a credit card vs. cash since they tend to not notice price increases as much. In fact, people with mobile wallets tend to spend 7-9% more than if they pay by cash. That’s because they are further removed from physical cash.
Yes, the perception may be that marketing is difficult and that it takes too much time or that it doesn’t work. But technology makes it easier for store owners who have a lot to do besides marketing, allowing them to track results and their ROI, and continue to drive new and existing business.
Miss Part 1? You can read it HERE.
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected].