6 basic carwash marketing strategies - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

6 basic carwash marketing strategies

The best ideas to get your carwash marketing off to a roaring start.

Whether you’re just starting your carwash marketing strategy or you’re reviewing it for the upcoming year, it’s important to be constantly aware of the marketing industry, so that you can build a marketing campaign that will be successful and bring you new customers. To have an effective marketing campaign, you don’t need to pour in a lot of money, but you do need to come up with creative marketing ideas. That’s sometimes easier said than done. Here are the top ideas to start your successful carwash marketing strategy.

1. Develop a loyalty program

There are a lot of retail businesses out there who are now offering loyalty programs to their customers. These programs are a great way to create engagement with your customers and get them to return to your company time and again. When you build a loyalty program, you need to think of your goals to make it successful. What are you trying to accomplish? Don’t just create a loyalty program without doing research in advance.

Gather information about your customers: Who is your audience that’s already coming to your carwash, and why are they choosing your company? From that information, you can start to create a plan, brainstorm ideas with the rest of the team and develop the goals that match your desired outcome. Make sure these goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based). Look at other carwash companies and operators to find out what makes them successful and what their customers would prefer to see. Seek out feedback from current customers and employees.

2. Get on social media

Creating a page on different social media platforms is an excellent way to market your company without spending large amounts of money. Depending on your target audience, you may wish to think about the platform you’re using, because not all of them are the same. A Facebook or Instagram page is a really good way to not only promote your business, but also engage with your local community.

If you have a tight marketing budget, you can also have a Facebook page as a substitute for an actual website. Designing and setting up a full website takes time and money, so Facebook is a great alternative to put all the necessary information for your customers. Then, consider if your budget has enough wiggle room to pay for a targeted ad on social media. This is a really effective way to target ads to individuals that live in your region.

3. Send customers a free upgrade

Everyone loves freebies, and digital offers from carwash companies are not that common. This is a good opportunity for your company to leverage this gap in the industry to your benefit. Send a digital voucher to your customers for a free upgrade, and you’ve opened the door to connect with them, remind them of your business’ presence and build loyalty.

Your carwash digital coupon is an excellent opportunity to use your email list and make sure your contacts on it are up-to-date. You can email either a coupon for a free upgrade on an existing package or offer a free wash with the purchase of another wash. You’ll be surprised to find that you’ll definitely get some takers.

4. Update your company documents

Make sure all of your documents for your packages and signage are up-to-date. That signage is the best way to let your customers and potential clients know that you’re up and running, and you can showcase your brand identity. If you’re designing your signage for the first time, you need to figure out the best options for placement, color, features, etc., for maximum efficiency. The carwash menus need to be appealing, so make sure you review the prices and you have great offerings.

If you’ve had the same menus for a while, you can also consider adding a new offering to change things up. You don’t have to put too much time in testing a new option. Start by showing the new offering as a promotion or special from the manager. You can also remove an option from your menu. Studies show that four packages or fewer on a menu are more successful for your revenue results. If you offer more than four packages, you risk creating too many options which will confuse or stress out your clients.

According to the studies, the best option is three packages, beating out four packages by as much as 5%. If you’re not sure which to remove from your menu, you should go for the middle package, which is the least popular option. Finally, review your pricing for all your washes, if it’s been a while. Customers actually prefer washes that are evenly priced, so change your off-price points to even ones that are slightly higher and see how that affects your results.

5. Work with the community

A great way to boost your business while also contributing with the local community is by partnering up with a school or a charity. Consider implementing a program that would donate a portion of your revenue to the chosen school or charity. This will encourage clients to come to your wash and spend money while also showcasing you as a positive, contributing member of the community.

6. Be transparent about offerings

You should be upfront in your menu about the consumer brands you use at your carwash. This transparency creates trust from your customers. Be sure to share what products and brands you use, not only on your menu but also on the curb and gate signs. You can also upgrade your products and broadcast that to your client base.

Marketing can have a huge positive impact on the success of your carwash, and you want to be always keeping your marketing new and fresh. If you’re struggling with ideas, these six options should put you on the path to marketing success.


Aimee Laurence, an editor with Essayroo, shares her insights on digital and social media marketing and traditional marketing techniques. She enjoys helping small businesses and entrepreneurs grow their companies from the ground up with simple marketing ideas.

You May Also Like

Signs of improvement

Updating your signage can lead to a huge ROI.

Last month, you may recall I wrote about not biting off more than you can chew. The topic had to do with site improvements, specifically how it relates to customer experience. No surprise that the most popular question asked was “What’s the cost?” and a close second “If I do this — what will I get for it?” As in, what will my payback period be and how much more can I make? These are the most frequently asked questions I get at trade shows as well. Understandably so, we all want to know if the risk is worth the reward. 

6 factors impacting wash quality at a modern carwash

Wash quality is all about understanding the driving forces behind it.

Leveraging telematics to overcome obstacles

New vehicle technology is forcing carwashes to adapt with new wash technology.

SBA 504 loan program brings sweet success to carwashing

How this financing solution helped a small business owner reach his goals.

How can your carwash avoid slip and fall injuries?

If you run a carwashing or detailing business, you should do all you can to ensure employees and customers don’t slip.

Other Posts

El Car Wash donates $50,000 to Baptist Health Foundation

MIAMI — The funds were raised through the launch of the El Car Wash Baptist Health Membership.

Featured profile: Washville Car Wash

The story of a growing conveyor chain in the Northeast U.S.

Washville Car Wash
Bubble Bath Car Wash, Meals on Wheels partner for the holidays

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The carwash company and the organization delivered handwritten Christmas cards and meals to homebound seniors.

Washing fleet vehicles: meeting a new generation’s needs

The addition of taller vehicles to the market has been the impetus behind wash solutions.

truck wash, semi, fleet, carwash