Window Cleaning Marketing
Marketing is one of the hardest parts of business. You’re spending money on something that may never come back around and has no intrinsic value. Even when marketing seems high or low it doesn't really mean it is or isn't working. Consider spending 15% on marketing. If you spend $15 and you're making $100 that's great. The problem is when a business runs a bunch of different marketing campaigns on different media. One could be bringing in $100 at 3% and the other is bringing in $100 at 13%. You now have a large marketing expense and you’re not sure what’s working. Do you see the problem? If you were tracking which campaign is working, you could cut back marketing significantly and still bring in more money. You should do two things when tracking your marketing.
1. Whenever a new customer contacts your company, ask where they heard about your company. This information should also go into your CRM database to track which customers are from which marketing piece. This will tell you the price point per job you’re getting from a piece of marketing. For example you got 100 calls from a postcard with an average price point per job of $300 vs a 100 calls from a magazine with an average price point of $120 per job. They could both be great returns per percentage (depending on cost) but the $300 might be a better price point client for you. In window cleaning repetition or recurring service is a huge part of income so focusing on building $300 clients might be a better goal to focus on. Those types of jobs will also recommend similar jobs.
2. Track your coupons. The above is great because not everyone uses them but you still get to figure out where they found you. Coupons will tell you which offers are working. Add coupons to your CRM so you can track your discounts. This will help you see which offers are working. You might have a marketing piece that is bringing in calls but the offer isn't enticing. Maybe you can change the offer to get a better return on a piece that's already working. This can also be helpful for upsells. I would offer large discount on two or more services. If you’re tracking individual coupons you might realize your coupon works great but the upsell isn’t working. What can you do to make the upsell more enticing than the other coupon?
The window cleaning business really has its ups and downs. Our company was slammed about nine months out of the year, and slow for three months depending on the weather. January to March can be the worst months. A lot of businesses, not just window cleaners are slow then though, so don’t panic. Your marketing can really help this time of year. Two things to do. One, get all your maintenance stuff done that’s been getting put off all year. Two, focus some efforts on some more route work. Most route work is covered from the rain so it’s a great opportunity to try to get some new clients then. Don’t bid your jobs low now because you need work. Once spring hits and you’re busy you still want that account to be worth going to.
There are two types of marketing we’re going to focus on. Inbound and outbound marketing. In simplest terms inbound marketing is when a customer comes to you and outbound marketing is going out to grab your customer.
Inbound Vs. Outbound Marketing
Outbound marketing is getting out there and putting your business in front of consumers. This could be direct mail, door hangers, other print, cold-calling, commercials, trade shows, etc. Outbound marketing should be done year round. I prefer the shotgun approach which is just constantly get your name out there to a lot of people. You’re trying to build an association of your name to window cleaning so you become a consumers first thought when the service is needed. Even if they don’t use you they’ll recommend you to their friend. Doing this repetitively is important because consumers take time to trust your company. Like I mentioned above, I didn’t get a great return in the winter but it’s important because it takes consumer time to trust your brand, which pays off in the spring.
Keep in mind your target market when considering outbound marketing. If you're not in front of the people you want to be hired by, you most likely will get no return. Let me explain in more depth. I found a direct mailer that really worked. It went straight to homeowners, and the cost was split with other home service businesses in an envelope. This was a breakthrough for my mailing costs to returns. It was my golden ticket to expanding my company, and easy to scale. So I expanded, went into a larger city, and got a negative return. The reason for this was because almost all the homes in this area were rented to college students. My mailers were going to people who would never hire me. The point is do what you can to get in front of people who will hire you. Marketing without precise direction will get no return.
The consumer marketing process, widely known as a marketing funnel.
The first step is awareness. It could take a customer six attempts for them to even become aware of you. This is why being consistent is so important. You’re building a brand and you want people to know it. The process takes months if not years to get o