The Must Do’s of Vended Laundry Marketing
Let’s say you just developed or purchased a vended laundry. How do you get the word out, attract new customers, develop customer loyalty and continuously grow your business? If you had to pick seven must-have marketing tools, what would they be?
First, develop a logo for your business. This is really important because your logo — which conveys your brand image — will be incorporated into all communication and advertising moving forward. Most marketers believe a logo should be versatile so it works well on the web, as well as on signs, banners and business cards; simple so it’s quickly recognizable; distinct so it stands out among your competitors; appropriate so it communicates the right tone and style; timely so it stands the test of time; and targeted so it speaks to your customer base. If you don’t rely on a pro for anything else, at least do so for your logo development.
Too many times, businesses fail in the signage department. Good signage is critical both inside and outside your vended laundry. Exterior signs are often the public’s first impression of your business. Ensure they are professional, convey your business personality and work to entice customers. Similarly, interior signs have a variety of functions, including:
• advertising laundry services and specials
• directing customers to specific areas of the laundry
• conveying how to operate equipment
A website is how customers find you, explore your services and determine if they want to visit your laundry or someone else’s. So, make sure its developed correctly by a qualified web developer, and with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind! An effective website will dominate online searches — placing your laundry at the top of the results page. A few tips are listed below:
SPEED: Don’t leave site visitors hanging. If your site doesn’t load quickly because of any number of factors, including large file sizes for images and videos, visitors won’t bother waiting around and the site won’t get picked up in an online search.
Content: Content is critical. Well written and original content brings value to the site visitor and is essential to getting picked up on search engines. Generally, you need quality content that includes dense use of keywords.
Keywords: Search engines want to know if a section of content relates to a specific keyword. That’s why you must integrate keywords into content, titles and meta descriptions.
Multimedia: The presence of video, podcasts and images not only make your content more understandable to the site visitor, they are attractive to search engines.
Mobile responsive: Websites should work properly on desktop and mobile platforms alike, or they won’t get results via SEO.
Navigation: Ensure it’s simple to navigate and content is easy to find. Follow the “two clicks” rule of thumb.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA
Google My Business, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Yelp fit laundry marketing perfectly. They are free and allow laundry owners to engage “friends” and “followers” with specials, coupons, news, contests, images, video, and more.
Google My Business allows businesses to manage an online presence across Google Search and Maps. It’s simple to develop a free profile and helps potential customers find you and learn about your offerings. It lets you post updates and respond to customer reviews.
Twitter allows you to “tweet” short messages and multimedia to followers. Tweet news, contests, specials and factoids.
Facebook allows businesses to set up free profiles and use them to communicate just about anything. Keep “followers” up to date on news, coupons, specials, and more.
YouTube features all types of video stories. Upload videos highlighting customer testimonials, services or equipment. Use the YouTube links on your website and social media posts.
Yelp helps people find local businesses. It’s a solid marketing application for vended laundries and allows you to create a business profile, post updates and receive reviews.
5. PUBLIC RELATIONS
Anytime your laundry has real news to share, write and submit a press release and corresponding photo to area media outlets (television, radio, newspapers and magazines). A press release announces pertinent news about your laundry. Did your laundry participate in a fundraiser or offer free services? Did you add new equipment or water reclamation system to save water? Once the release is distributed, share it on your website and social media pages. Not sure how to compose a press release? Hire a public relations professional to help out.
6. DIRECT MAIL
Direct mail tends to work well because it can be directed to a specific recipient group through targeted mailing lists. Plus, it can be distributed through mail or email. Choose your recipient list, create your direct mail piece and get it out to prospective or current customers. For email communications, consider integrating customer contact information into your payment management system. If you need assistance with the design and distribution of your direct mail piece, hire an advertising or marketing expert to handle some or all of the elements for you.
• Select the right mailing list based on a demographic group/geographic area
• Include a call-to-action or offer
• Maintain a presence in your market by scheduling mailings consistently
7. DOOR HANGERS
Like direct mail, door hangers with tear-off coupons are a great way to reach and entice people to visit your laundry. Affordable and effective, door hangers advertise a laundry’s news, services and specials, and include a call-to-action or offer. Again, develop and distribute door hangers yourself or seek help from a marketing professional/agency.
While marketing a vended laundry takes thought and purpose, it can also be fun and rewarding. Start with logo and website development and move forward from there. When possible, try to track results to determine what works best for your store.