If you run a dry cleaning business, you’ll already be well aware of the competition out there. Chances are, you’re dealing with lots of dry cleaning businesses in your local area and may be struggling to stand out from the crowd.
No matter how tough the competition is, effective marketing strategies can help you beat out the competitors and grow as a business. Marketing your dry cleaning business doesn’t just mean paying for radio ads or relying on word of mouth - there are far more exciting strategies you can deploy. Here are five of them:
Focus on search engines
Any local business should prioritize search engines in their marketing efforts. A recent survey found that 93% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses. No matter how well known your business is locally, search engines are the best way to attract new customers.
A search engine marketing strategy for a dry cleaning business might include the following:
Paid Google Ads and geotargeting
The high level of competition in organic searches for local dry cleaning businesses may mean that paid ads are your best way forward. Google Ads can help you achieve more visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) as you’ll appear at the top of the page as a paid ad.
Paid ads on Google are often cost-effective for local businesses as Google uses a pay-per-click (PPC) model. This means you only pay when a user clicks through to your website via the paid ad, and you can set a cap on this each month. Of course, clicks don’t always convert to customers, but if a user is on your website, you’re part of the way there.
An important aspect of using paid ads for local businesses such as dry cleaning businesses is geotargeting. Under campaign settings in your Google Ads dashboard, you can add targeted locations to your ads. This means you can target users in your local area, city, or state rather than users across the whole country.
Whether you opt for paid ads or stick with organic searches to direct users to your website, your website must be search engine optimized. That means ensuring your website:
- Loads quickly- Search engines take technical factors like loading times into account when ranking websites on SERPs. Make sure your website isn’t slow to load.
- Is optimized for mobile devices- Both users and search engines recognize the importance of having a website that is accessible and optimized for mobile users.
- Contains keywords- Using tools like Google Keywords Planner, you can find out how popular certain keywords relating to your business are. Ideally, you should include low-volume long-tail keywords in your website’s headings, page titles, URLs, and meta-descriptions. Long-tail keywords mean focusing on longer keyword phrases such as ‘dry cleaning New York’ (or wherever you’re based) or ‘commercial dry cleaning’ rather than a short-tail keyword like ‘dry cleaning’ alone, as you’ll have less competition for these.
- Is full of original content- Search engines hate duplicate content, so make sure your website is full of unique, original content. Avoid copying content across multiple pages or copying content from other websites if you want to rank highly on SERPs.
Content marketing is the process of creating unique, relevant content that directs users to your website. This might include setting up a blog on your website where you can post relevant articles, such as fabric cleaning tips and tricks. This will boost your SERP ranking and give your business authority in the eyes of users.
Content marketing is also a great way to boost your referral traffic - traffic that comes via links to your website from other websites. This involves writing guest posts for other websites or working with a content marketing agency to place links to your website in blogs and articles.
Design a great website
We’ve talked a lot about driving users to your website, but that’ll all be for nothing if you don’t have a good website.
Websites that are difficult to navigate and don’t clearly display the information your customers are looking for are off-putting and may result in customers opting for another business.
Your website should include:
- A navigation and search bar so users can easily find what they’re looking for.
- Address and contact details for your in-store team or your inbound call center.
- A call to action that encourages customers to visit your dry cleaning business today.
- A price list and any promotional offers.
- Positive customer reviews that showcase the best aspects of your business.
As mentioned above, your website should also be quick to load and optimized for mobile users if you want to convert website visitors to customers.
In addition to the elements above, there are aesthetic factors to consider. You don’t need a flashy website, but some website personalization that includes plenty of photos, appealing color palettes, and even some animation will entice potential customers.
Create an app
An exciting addition to your website and a way to run other marketing strategies such as referral programs (more on that below) is to create an app for your dry cleaning business. You can manage your pickup and delivery service via the app and it could be used by customers to book their dry cleaning in advance, pay, and even remind them when to collect. You could also include promotional offers in the app’s interface.
You’ll need to run production tests to ensure that your app is working smoothly before you launch and on a regular basis to keep an eye out for bugs and glitches. That said, an app could boost customer loyalty and simplify booking and payment procedures for you.
Run promotional campaigns
Promotional campaigns are a great way to attract new customers and encourage return customers too. Have a think about which channel you want to advertise your promotions through. If you want to try something other than radio, TV, and print, how about one of these strategies?
Email marketing requires building an email list. Dry cleaning businesses can collect emails when customers book a slot, you send email receipts, or simply by asking customers in-store if they’d like to sign up.
Once you’ve got an email list, you can prepare an email marketing campaign. That might mean communicating seasonal promotions and offers or emailing your customers with helpful content from your blog, such as dry cleaning aftercare or DIY stain removal tips. These emails are there to engage with customers, remind them about your business, and encourage them to make the most of promotions.
SMS marketing is also a popular way for local businesses to run promotional campaigns. Customers are often happy to receive promotions via text message, and with most of us checking our phones hundreds of times a day, you can be sure your promotions will be seen.
Dry cleaners considering whether to opt for VoIP vs. landline phones for their business should consider the benefit of VoIP (voice over IP), with many providers letting you program your business phone number to send automated texts to customers. This could include promotional offers as well as reminders to collect dry cleaning.
Market across multiple medias
Having a multi-media approach to your marketing strategy is essential in this day and age. From newspaper ads to social media video campaigns, there are plenty of mediums you can leverage for your marketing efforts.
Dry cleaning businesses can make the most of video marketing by creating fun, engaging, and informative videos about their business. Dry cleaners may already be marketing via TV adverts, but video marketing doesn’t end there.
Social media is an essential marketing channel for local businesses. Uploading videos to social media will boost your online presence and brand identity and attract new customers.
Digital marketing strategies are important, but for local businesses like dry cleaners, traditional print advertising will help you reach your target audience.
Creating flyers or postcards with promotions, price lists, and directions to your store is a simple yet effective way to market your dry cleaning business. This is especially important if you want to reach local customers who may not use the internet as much - such as retirees.
Rewarding your loyal customers is an essential part of the relationship funnel as it ensures customers keep coming back to your business. It can also benefit your marketing efforts.
Rewards for reviewers
Online reviews can make or break your business. When searching for local businesses, users are highly likely to look at reviews. Often, no reviews are as bad as bad reviews. Plus, online reviews can help you ensure you’re meeting your customer satisfaction metrics.
If you don’t have plenty of online reviews for your dry cleaning business, consider rewarding customers who write reviews. This could be a voucher or discount for their next visit - a surefire way to get a review and a return customer.
Referral programs are another popular marketing strategy for dry cleaning businesses. Word of mouth is an extremely effective way to get new customers, so why not reward your loyal customers for helping you out?
A referral program gives customers an incentive to refer their friends and family to your business. A typical referral program would offer a reward for both the referred customer and the referrer. If you decide to create an app for your business, you could also integrate your referral program into it. Customers could get a larger reward if they refer more customers.
Update your marketing strategies now
If you need to reinvigorate your dry cleaning business’s marketing strategies, these five exciting ideas could be the way to go. From referral programs to promotional videos, you can gain new customers, cement customer loyalty, and promote your brand with effective marketing.
Grace Lau - Director of Growth Content, Dialpad
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform offering UCaaS solutions and cloud-hosted contact centers for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content. Here is her LinkedIn.