What’s the average amount of time you can spend on one project during your day?
If you’re like most laundromat owners, I’m guessing “not much” is an understatement. You’ve got meetings, collecting cash and a million other things to do.
That’s why I’ve put together this short, no-frills guide to laundromat business marketing. I want to introduce the basics of digital marketing, and share how you can get started with your laundromat.
First up, let’s address one of the most important questions: do you really need digital marketing?
Do You Need Digital Marketing?
In short, yes. Here’s why:
A recent study shared that more than three-quarters of adults in the United States own a mobile device, and they use those devices on a daily basis to surf the web, find local businesses, and buy products.
If you don’t have a way to reach those people for your business, then you’re not growing the way you can and should. Digital marketing is the best way to reach these (and more!) people in your area.
But what about cost? Another study dove into the numbers for you, and guess what? It’s significantly cheaper to reach people through digital marketing:
The math here is simple: if you’re not marketing your laundromat online, you’re taking the expensive and less-successful route. You probably don’t do that with other aspects of your business, so why do it with your marketing?
With all this in mind, here’s the 5-phase digital marketing rundown that can help you build a successful online brand for your laundromat.
#1: Getting Started — Why Are You Online?
One of the biggest pain points we hear with laundromats and digital marketing is: “Where do I start?”
Getting started online is less about what you do and more about why you’re doing it. In other words, you have to sit down and develop a strategy before you dive in. This will allow you to target the right audiences with the right messages — and maximize your chances for success.
Briefly, here are the most important elements of constructing a laundromat marketing strategy:
- Personas — based on current customers, build an “ideal” profile of they type of customer you want
- Target audience — who do have to market to to find the ideal customers you want coming to your business?
- Goals — short, medium, and long term, what do you want to achieve?
- Channels — where do your potential customers live online? Can you meet them there?
- Budget — what can you afford to pay for your marketing efforts?
- Timing — success doesn’t happen overnight. How long will it take to build up successful marketing?
These areas will give you a basic understanding of the who, how, and what elements in your laundromat business marketing plan. Skipping this step is a bad idea, as you’ll essentially be driving bind otherwise. The homework is worth it!
#2: Infrastructure — Building Awareness of Your Brand
Once you know you’re why, then you can dive into the infrastructure of your online marketing. These are the vehicles that your laundromat will use to grow its brand and raise awareness of what you do for your customers.
Marketing is a process that helps people in your area learn about your business and make a buying decision — so you have to take a step back and break that down into its individual elements. Meaning, you have to start by making people aware of your laundromat, why you’re different, and why they should choose you.
This is usually called “top of the funnel” marketing:
We’ll get to the middle and bottom in a moment!
Based on your strategy, you’ll hopefully already know where online you have to go to find your customers. Like many other laundromat businesses, you’ll be aiming to spread awareness of your brand using five key tools:
- A Solid Website
- Social Media
- Paid Ads
- Local Search Engine Optimization
But awareness starts with the first element: having a solid website. That means it works on mobile, helps visitors understand your business, and gives clear direction on how a person can purchase your services. This can be achieved with something as simple as a four- or five-page website (or less!), so don’t feel like you have to dream big. Simple, effective, and sturdy are the orders of the day when you’re starting.
Once that’s in place, you can start branching out via social, paid ads, SEO, and blogging. Your goal initially is simple: build traffic to your site, and thus awareness of your brand.
#3: Prompting Action — Moving Visitors to A Decision
Once visitors know about your laundromat, the next step is to prompt them toward action.
But the action you want requires a small, yet very essential intermediate step. Before they buy, they have to (in many cases) decide that they need the service you’re offering. The distinction here is subtle, but understanding it can help you truly outshine your competition.
You see, when someone is considering using a laundromat, they’re likely also considering a few other options.
For instance, they may be weighing whether they should purchase an in-home washer and dryer, or if they should use a pick up and delivery service instead. Your job, in prompting a decision, is to convince them that a laundromat — your laundromat — is the best choice.
This is where your brand awareness can help, and where you need to be prepared to capitalize.
If a potential customer is weighing these decisions and comes to your website for advice, you can help guide them toward you with tools like landing pages, clear calls to action, helpful and valuable content, or a promotion/incentive to buy.
The right combination will tip your potential customer’s decision toward you, which is where step four comes into play.
#4: Cha-ching — From Decision to Customer
At this point, you’ve raised awareness and have a potential customer actively considering whether they should use your business. Now, how do you close the gap and prompt them to buy?
The issue here is that there’s no simple answer to that question — the path to purchase isn’t linear.
That is, there’s no one proven way to make a person finalize their decision to buy from you. There are many, and they don’t go in a straight line.
With that in mind, you have to consider all of the ways you can continue to follow up with a potential customer and remind them that you can solve their problem. That means taking the time to build out some of these marketing methods in addition to your website:
- Email Workflow
- Retargeting dAs
- Display Ads
- Social Media
- SMS Messaging
- Print or Traditional Media
Having multiple channels and a robust digital marketing plan is helpful in this stage. The more a potential customer sees you, how valuable you are, and your finely-crafted CTAs, the better your chances are of winning them over a making them an actual customer.
But get it right, and you’ve successfully found, educated, and won a customer — congrats!
#5: Spreading the Word — From Customer to Promoter
Digital marketing doesn’t end with winning a customer. In fact, this is where the fun begins!
Once you’ve successfully pushed a customer to enter your store and use your services, you have a chance to build on that relationship. You’ve spent a significant amount of time, energy, and money acquiring that customer, and you want to make sure the come back.
Retaining customers is by far one of the most lucrative types of digital marketing too, so don’t slouch once you’re close to the finish line.
A lot of retention focuses on keeping customers happy with you, and then incentiving them to return. This isn’t just about updating your facilities or having a smiling attendant though, it’s about making sure you’re fulfilling on your promises and truly connecting with your customers needs.
Some good ways to help ensure all of this is happening is to employ one (or more) of these tools:
- Social Tracking
- Loyalty Programs
- Referral Programs
- Community Outreach
This can help you take a long, hard look at whether you’re meeting the promises you’re making to customers, and will circle back into the goals you set in step #1. Marketing is all about iteration, data, and improvement, so don’t give up on your first try!
Putting it All Together
Digital marketing for laundromats is a different world, but it’s worth it. You may not have a ton of time to commit to it either — but with this guide, you’re much more prepared to find the right tools and tackle the issue.
And, of course, the Spynr team is always here to help!
Spynr has the experience and industry expertise to craft custom laundromat campaigns for you! We’ve been doing laundromat marketing for a long time, and want nothing more than to help you grow.
If you’re interested in learning more, click the button below to get in touch. We’re always excited to meet new people in the laundry industry!