Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Three easy steps to Internet marketing

January 14, 2009

I’m about to give you a simple, effective strategy that will help lower your advertising costs and get you more business this year. After I mention it, it should become painfully obvious to you.I say painfully because you may want to kick yourself because you haven’t implemented it already.

I’m talking about building an e-mail list. (If you already have such a list, congratulations! You’re one of the few.)

I’m not just talking about asking your clients for their e-mail; no, I’m talking about having a system that drives your clients to a site, where they can enter their name and e-mail.

It’s a relatively simple system that’s been used in internet marketing circles for years, but is still slow in trickling down to offline businesses. In meeting with business owners on a regular basis, I still find that most have websites with no way of opting into an e-mail list. I ask, “What’s the point of having a website?”

The purpose of your website is not just to tell people who you are and what you do; the purpose is to get people to sign up for a weekly newsletter so that you can build a long term relationship. How can your website really be effective if you have hundreds of people coming and leaving every day?

The reality is most small business owners don’t really understand the purpose of a website. They often neglect it. They think, “We don’t sell products online; why do we need a web presence?” A website is important no matter what business you have.

Your three easy steps to controlling an internet marketing campaign:

Step 1. Create a website

Let me break it down for you. As a car detailer, you need a website! You need a place to send your clients after they’ve done business with you the first time.

Your website doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be a one page site, or even a simple blog site. You can get Wordpress blog software installed for free.

All you need is a domain and hosting which you can get for under $10 a month these days. Hire someone to put it up for you if you don’t know how. You can find web developers at www.elance.comthat will put up a simple site for you for under $100.

Step 2. Choose an e-mail marketing service

Once you have your website online, sign up with an e-mail marketing service. There are a lot of good services available, so I won’t go through a whole list. One that is very popular these days, which I use for my e-mail marketing is www.aweber.com.

You can host as many e-mail lists as you want for under $20 per month. Once you sign up, they have tutorials that will teach you how to run their system. You can create an opt-in box for sign ups. They will give you the html code to then put on your site.

Step 3. Make a compelling offer to your clients

After you get the e-mail sign-up box on your site, you’ll want to make a compelling offer that will drive people to your site. I recommend sending out a notice to all of your clients that they can get access to weekly coupons and specials if they go to your site and sign up.

Print a message on your business card that says, “For special savings off your next detailing, go to www. My site .com and sign up for my weekly newsletter!” Make this offer only available to e-mail subscribers so that people will want to take advantage of it.

As you build your list, you’ll notice that your customers will do business more often with you because you are staying in touch more often. This builds trust and puts you at the top of their mind when it comes time to get their vehicle detailed. Not only that, you’ll find that when you send out e-mail coupons and promotions twice a month, people will tend to take action right away.

Jonathan Taylor is the owner of Strategic Marketing Solutions. You can reach Taylor at www.JonathanTaylorBlog.com.