- THE MAGAZINE
Listen to “The Hitman Advertising Show.” Episode 4, which focuses on Internet marketing, is now available. Be sure to check out Episodes 1-3, which focus on building your brand, developing a marketing plan and neighborhood marketing, respectively.
There are five key marketing strategies you should strongly consider doing in your cleaning business. If you’re actively
building your sales, I recommend you do all of them. But if your business is established and you are only looking to maintain revenue, pick two or three of these strategies to work on. The key is to have your hand in more than one strategy and not put all your marketing “eggs” in one basket.
These are truly five of the latest and most profitable marketing strategies being used today. In the process of writing this article, I interviewed several of my coaching clients and got them to tell me what has worked best for them. So let’s explore each of these five strategies so you can decide which are the best to use in your cleaning business.
No.1: Client Newsletters and Postcards
This is always at the top of my list. If you have more than a few dozen past clients, you should be regularly sending them postcards and newsletters in the mail every month or two. This is the No. 1 key to building your company brand. When you do this regularly, you’ll get more referrals, more frequent cleaning from clients and you can charge higher prices than your competitor. This is the only way to assure your beloved clients don’t forget you. Nurture the relationship.
Brian Flaherty, of Allaire Chem Dry in Wall, NJ, told me, “We consistently mail to our database. And our postcards have a tracking number on them. We sent out 10,000 postcards last month and generated 165 calls with a job average of $380. We keep mailing to our past clients unless someone specifically asks to be taken off the list.
We’ve tested mailing both postcards and newsletters. We feel postcards get a better response. The postcards include an educational feature about a cleaning-related subject along with a special offer for cleaning.”
No. 2: Referral Program
Most cleaning companies will get referrals. But when you create a systemized referral program, your referrals will double or even triple. Your referral program should be explained to every client and mentioned in your company mailers. Additionally, the program should be explained on Facebook and e-mail newsletters. What would a great referral program include? My good friend Howard Partridge outlines a program where you give a referral reward of 10% of the total ticket to the referring client. That 10% is given in the form of a certificate that is redeemable for cleaning or cash at the client’s discretion. It works very well for stimulating more referrals.
Pedro Rojo, of California Steam Clean in Santa Rosa, CA said, “Referral marketing with realtors works great. It’s our biggest return for our marketing. We have doubled the amount of work we get from realtors. The realtors are getting my e-mail marketing and we do a lot of presentations where we also give them a high quality brochure. We give them a 10% referral reward fee.”
No. 3: Every Door Direct Mail
The United States Postal Service has recently made direct mail a little easier and less costly for small businesses. With the launch of Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), you can send large postcards for as little as 16 cents per home. What’s also great is that you don’t have to purchase a mailing list or label the postcards. You don’t even pay a yearly fee. You just choose the mail route you want to target, stack up your postcards and take it down to your local post office. It’s really that easy.
“We send out around 1,500-2,500 Every Door Direct Mail pieces per month to really nice neighborhoods,” says Pedro Rojo. “We love it because the jobs we get are from some of the best clients around.”
No. 4: Ranking in Google
When done properly, the Internet can often yield your highest return on investment. If your prospect doesn’t have a referral from a friend, there’s a good chance she will turn to the Internet searches. And even if she was referred to you, she may still search for you on Google. Having a great, educational website is only the start. Make sure you are being found easily online.
Jim Francis, of A Clean Pro in Victorville, CA said, “About a year ago, we rebuilt our website and it tripled our amount of completed jobs. We had an old, antique site that wasn’t industry specific. But once we changed it to educate our clients, things changed. The web is our greatest return. People compliment us on the professionalism of the website. Our company image is now seen as professional. The website update and the search engine optimization being done has greatly improved our return. We used to get three or four jobs per month (and that’s now) up to 17 jobs per month.”
No. 5: Facebook
Connecting your website with Facebook is one of the smartest things you can do. When you have an active Facebook page, this connects you with your clients and it can often mean a higher Google ranking. It can take as little as 10 minutes a week to maintain your page after it’s built. Regular posts to seek connections are important. You’ll also want to run contests and ask questions to involve your Facebook fans. Additionally, consider testing Facebook’s new pay per click advertising.
David Randolph, of Care Rite Cleaning Specialist in Rapid City, SD, said, “I used to not have a listing online. Now I have two or three listings on the first page. The website is producing really well with the light amount of SEO we’re doing. I can get 15-20 jobs per month. Another thing I like is when people call me, I feel as if they are pre-educated to purchase my service.”
These five strategies have built many million-dollar cleaning companies. If you put these to work in your cleaning business, you’re destined for success. Be diligent. Take action on each strategy and keep at it until it works for you. If you’re actively building up your business, don’t do just one strategy. Do them all. Take massive action today.