Finding creative and cost-effective ways to promote your laundromat is always top of mind for business owners. However, it's easy to put marketing on the back burner or get stuck in a marketing rut as day-to-day tasks of running a business take priority. If you’re looking for some new and creative ways to promote your laundromat, or just starting to get the word out, here are a few marketing strategies you should consider.
1. Invest in your exterior signage and appearance.
You may not realize it, but your building itself is an important marketing tool. Much like a job candidate will dress to make a good first impression at an interview, the exterior of your laundromat should serve to impress and attract potential customers. Nearly 60% of customers believe that a business' signage reflects the quality of its products or service, so you want to make sure your exterior reflects the top-notch laundry equipment and services you provide. A few best practices for signage and exterior presentation include:
- Keeping your building and parking lot clean and free of debris.
- Making sure your building and sign are well-lit to attract customers during peak evening hours.
- Utilizing bold fonts and contrasting colors on your signage to increase readability.
- Ensuring that your building’s architecture and signage are complimentary.
2. Get involved in the community.
Being active in community activities are usually fun and cost-effective opportunities to increase name recognition and get to know the customers you serve. A few ways you could get active in the community include:
- Sponsoring a sports team.
- Having a float in a local parade.
- Have a booth at a local fair or festival.
- Participate or sponsor local runs/walks.
- And many more!
In addition to creating a positive rapport in the community, you can also use these types of events to gather contact information for future marketing efforts, and even pass out coupons and freebies that may help drive traffic to your laundromat down the road.
3. Try out local marketing.
There’s no doubt the use of mobile and smartphones is rising. In fact, almost 29% of the low income households that laundromats cater to are exclusively using their phones for internet, according to Time. If you haven't already been putting a focus on local marketing, it's time to start. Local marketing is your way of capturing potential customers in the surrounding area online and capitalizing on all those "near me" mobile searches. Claiming your listing with Google My Business is a good first step for laundromats wanting to improve their local marketing. It will help your business stand out in a variety of search results, allow customers to find you easily, and give people a chance to view more information about your business. More than 50% of people go to a store or business they searched for within a day of their search, so local and online marketing is a powerful tool for driving people to your laundry facility.
4. Get creative with your advertising efforts.
Advertising isn't limited to TV, radio, newspapers and the internet. If you haven't already, you may want to try out some less common forms of advertising. The following are just a few of the creative spaces you may see paid or sponsored content:
- Bus seats
- Shopping carts
- Restaurant menus
- Pizza boxes
- And more!
Placing information about your laundry business in these types of places could be great way to attract people who are already near your laundromat, and these ads may be more cost-effective than some of the more traditional outlets.
5. Partner with other local businesses.
Good things can happen when businesses team up. Mutually beneficial marketing strategies can be a great way to connect with other businesses owners and tap into a new audience. For example, you could work with a local property manager to include information about your laundromat in the welcome materials for new residents in exchange for placing brochures about available properties at your laundromat. A restaurant could include coupons for your laundromat with delivery orders in exchange for you letting them washing employee uniforms for free. When looking for potential partners, look for small businesses like yours in the surrounding area that service the same type of audience you want to reach.
As you try new marketing strategies, be sure you’re tracking results so you have a good idea whether or not your time and money was well spent. Things like online analytics, call tracking, forms and surveys all good tools to help you determine where your customers are coming from. Remember, getting more people in the door is just the beginning. The next step is to turn those new customers into loyal, frequent patrons. Read how to encourage customer loyalty at your laundromat on our blog or contact our specialists to learn more.