If your carwash is the only one in the area, chances are it attracts a fair amount of business on its own. The glow of the bay lights serve as a beacon for drivers, and the building itself draws people in.
Most owners aren’t lucky enough to be without competition; and as the number of franchise locations grows, it is tougher for independent washes to succeed.
This article will provide a quick look at seven different marketing strategies you can execute right now to start increasing revenue at your carwash.
Create a website
Many carwashes don’t even have a website, which is a huge mistake in today’s market. Dozens of free or inexpensive hosting and design services are available, making it easy to put together a professional site in minutes.
Always opt for a responsive design, or a mobile website. A great deal of customer traffic to your website will be searching for you using smartphones, even when they are already on the road; however, what is more important to note is changes to Google’s algorithms last year which now dock websites that do not adhere to a mobile-friendly design.
Start a blog
The content on your website serves two focuses. First, it will help boost your rank in search engines like Google. Secondly, it keeps your customers close and enables them to refer people to your business when they share your website’s information.
You will need to post regularly, but stick to material of a general nature. Teach your clients how to care for their vehicles, give auto product reviews and provide interesting tidbits about vehicles and recalls. A great example of how an effective blog can be utilized to expand your content can be seen on a website for an auto body shop in Tempe, Arizona.
Get active on social media
To get the most out of your efforts, focus on social media platforms with a general audience, such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Share your blogs and also general posts. You will need to give people a good reason to follow you, and let them know what that reason is in a clear manner to encourage sign-ups. One suggestion that I can offer is to promote flash sales.
If you are having a slow day, put the word out that you are discounting the price of your carwashes for an hour or two. This will most likely bring people in, and some of these sales will be the result of the message being shared, especially on a popular social platform like Twitter.
Monitor customer review profiles
For whatever reason, customer review websites such as Yelp tend to takeover Google listings when people search for a local business; and Yahoo/Bing local searches automatically populate their listings with Yelp reviews.
Be sure to monitor your social media and customer review profiles, and respond to people who comment. Correct issues immediately after they come up, and thank loyal customers for their comments.
Get listed in local directories
Getting listed in many directories is free, so take advantage of this. Yellow Pages, for example, is a big directory, but you will also find some specific to the communities you serve.
Likewise, Google will list you as a local business at no charge, but other online local search listings, such as Yahoo’s and Bing’s, have monthly or annual fees. If you only focus on one to start with, make it Google. This search engine has dominated the market for over 15 years now; in fact, Google has 89 percent of the market share, according to Statista Inc.
Craft a loyalty program
Punch cards are one of the best options for carwash promotions, simply because they enable businesses to give new customers a head start on the path to their free wash. Studies have shown when you throw a couple of extra punches on the card right away, people are more motivated to get the rest of their cards filled.
If paper cards are not your thing but you are interested in this general idea, many loyalty apps are available that can help, or you can just have customers save their receipts. Additionally, you can take other approaches with your loyalty programs, such as establishing unlimited monthly passes or VIP perks and rewards.
Be active in your community
Many big carwash chains work with charitable organizations, allowing them to use a bay or even the entire carwash for a set period of time. While it may seem like an expensive venture, you’re basically paying for goodwill.
Positive feelings about your business become ingrained in the minds of consumers, and they are likely to return to your carwash long after the charity event comes to an end.
Moreover, charitable groups will likely do their own marketing for the event, so you may reach untapped markets. If no organizations are approaching you for this, reach out to parent teacher associations (PTA) at public schools in your area.
Marketing does not have to be difficult or expensive. You can grab a bigger share of your market by putting some, or all, of these cost-effective tips to use. Try a few to start, and then track the results. After a little trial and error, run with what works best for your carwash.
Jason Bekiaris is the marketing manager for Dilawri’s Crown Auto Group.