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Be the Eyecatcher (In Your Ad Campaigns)

Artful and colorful — effective messages boost traffic to your dry cleaner

CHICAGO — For owners of independent drycleaning stores, staying top of mind with consumers has never been more important as competition in the space remains fierce.

As the industry shifts its focus on new tactics to drive sales, strategic advertising campaigns and marketing materials can be the key to winning new business and turning them into loyal customers.

A mix of digital and print assets will guarantee the greatest reach, but only if you’re pushing out the right message to resonate with your target audience. Whether you’re creating a direct mail piece or a mobile ad, the following tips should be taken into consideration.

KNOW YOUR COMPETITORS

Before diving into a fresh marketing strategy, you should understand who your competition is and how they operate. Know where they’re advertising and what offers are being presented in your market, as this will help you devise a game plan that will stand out.

Once you have a firm understanding of your local competitors, a unique, multi-level marketing and advertising strategy can give you the necessary edge to grow your customer base.

REACH AND FREQUENCY

If you choose to include a direct mail component in your overall strategy, you’ll need to evaluate the number of households you are seeking to touch. Dry cleaners typically need to target a larger number of “zones” to effectively penetrate the market and garner the best response.

You should consider reaching the neighborhoods within a three- to five-mile radius of your location for a greater return on investment (ROI). Make sure to evaluate the average income for the surrounding areas, and target neighborhoods that fit your customer demographic.

Because not every customer is in need of your services at any specific point in time, it is important to have your message consistently in front of them. Send out a direct mail piece at minimum once a month in order to remain top of mind for consumers in your area.

WHAT APPEALS

For both print and digital advertisements, the strongest offers are those that are broad-based or tiered for different services. You want to make sure you appeal to multiple types of budgets so you have a better chance for redemption. Here are some examples of attractive offers to consider:

• 30% Off All Dry Cleaning
• Laundered Shirts – Just 99 Cents Each
• Dry Cleaned Comforters - $20

Having the right reach and frequency is a must, however. If you don’t give consumers attractive offers that are designed to build trust and acquire new business, the result will be a small response rate and wasted advertising dollars.

SOCIALLY ENGAGE

Revamping your social media platforms is another way to appeal to new customers, especially younger millennial professionals who have an increased need for your services.

To successfully manage your social media presence, post some engaging and personalized messages relevant to the customers you want. This includes a mix of promotional and educational posts revolving around the services you offer, as well as interaction with your followers.

When planning your direct mail outreach, be sure to include your social media handles on the offer to drive traffic from younger customers.

ARTFUL

The final, and most important, element for an effective ad is the graphics. Consumers are exposed to so many messages today that clear and concise communication of your offer is important.

Recipients should be able to quickly determine what you do, what you are offering and how they can access your services. Your illustration should be easily identifiable — within one or two seconds of looking at the ad.

For drycleaning services, images of clothes on hangers or crisp, clean shirts and pants will allow consumers to instantly recognize what you do.

Blues and greens have been known to be the most effective colors to use in your advertising materials, with red and yellow tones for the secondary or “highlight” colors.

These insights can help set the foundation for a refreshed and effective marketing approach that can provide you with the boost you need to increase both sales and customer retention.