August is Cleaning Services Month here on the Signpost Local Marketing Blog! We’ll be surfacing insights and strategies specifically for marketing your cleaning service and driving more new and repeat business.
Not a cleaning professional? Don’t worry, we’ll still be sharing insights that will help you to promote your local business, acquire new customers, and encourage loyalty. Want your industry to be the next featured month? Drop us a line, and let us know!
As we head reluctantly into the last month of summer, there is no more timely specialization than pool maintenance and cleaning! Depending on your geographic location, there are varying degrees of seasonality associated with this type of business, which present its own host of challenges. It’s vital to keep customers engaged, even in the off-season, to make sure you make a splash (and that they remember you) when the thaw comes. Check out these email campaigns that will help you improve customer retention, and also help you bridge the online-to-offline gap to convert more new customers!
As we learned in last week’s post, promoting your pool cleaning business starts with a strong website, which is your hub for all marketing activities. You need a home base to direct current and prospective customers to introduce them to your company, services, pricing and reputation in the community. Your site should not only make the statement that you take your business very seriously, but is also a great way to collect leads and opportunities for new business. Every great email campaign, starts with a quality list!
Find your niche. First, determine whether your focus will be on residential homes and neighborhoods, condominiums, apartment complexes, hotels, or any combination of these. Tailor everything towards this market, from your branding to the tone of your emails. If it’s residential, it should sound professional but perhaps more friendly than those you’d send to an apartment complex owner or property manager. This will dictate your communications with your clients. From there, you can also specialize in different areas, such as green or sustainable treatments, or your custom packages. Be sure to focus on these differentiators, both on your site, in your branding and in your customer communications.
Next, once you’re able to grow your email list, make sure to start segmenting these customers, based on their current services, types of pools, etc. This will ensure that you’re sending the most relevant messages to each member of these various groups. You wouldn’t want to send an exclusive offer for spa treatment to the customers who have only pools and no spas, it’s a waste of their time to receive and read it. Segmenting ensures that you stay in your clients’ good graces by only communicating the most pertinent offers and tips. If this seems like a daunting task, Signpost’s Mia can do this automatically, while keeping a perfect customer record.
Use an email campaign to gauge interest in upsells or other revenue streams for your business. Whether it’s a companion service, that pairs well with their property and current maintenance regimen, or trying to get them to switch to eco-friendly and natural chemicals, send out an email blast that offers a discount to current customers for a trial. Based on how many redeem the offer (and adjusted to your current conversion/success rates), you can gain a better understanding of the interest your customers have in this area, and make the decision whether or not you should make the investment to stock these lines of chemicals, equipment, etc. Just don’t throw too many of these “test” offers at them at once, or they may get overwhelmed and cease to be a good indicator.
Make sure your employees are held accountable, and maintain your high standards at all times by sending out automated feedback requests. This gives you a great way to keep your finger to the pulse of your customer satisfaction. It helps you get in front of any frustrations or issues they’re facing, and make the necessary changes before they reach their breaking point and defect to a competitor. This gives them a platform to air any grievances, and for you to find a resolution, and make any necessary changes.
Similarly, if you aren’t usually on-site, make a point to make an appearance at least the first time, and periodically thereafter. Check in with customers, in between via email, and let them know the next time you’re planning on joining a maintenance visit, in case they have any questions, concerns, or new items they want to talk about or get an estimate for. As the owner, you’re the face of the business, and these routine visits, though they might seem like a waste of your time, can do wonders for your offline relationship-building with your customers, and reassure them of your involvement and dedication to excellent service.
Send out automated reminders to schedule maintenance, openings, closing, and more. This will help you cut down on cancelled appointments, and keep your business on your customers’ minds. Consider including photos and a brief bio about the employees who will be performing the maintenance, including their experience, areas of expertise and don’t forget to include some of their hobbies, so customers can connect with them, and have topics for conversation. This process can be automated ahead of time, so you don’t have to rush to send them out constantly. Again, Signpost’s Mia helps you send the most relevant messages to the right customers automatically, so you don’t have to worry about it!
Use QR codes and link shorteners (like bit.ly) to help bridge the offline-to-online gap, and allow you to better track print efforts. Include these on flyers, door hangers, mailers, and so on to make it easy for any interested prospects to find your site and get more information. Don’t forget to enable “Push to call” features, to streamline those who are searching for your business, or come across it on their mobile device. Anything you can do to make the mobile or online experience as frictionless as possible, the better. Less people will abandon the effort, and you’ll see higher conversion rates. You can also consider enabling purchase tracking to help with segmentation and buying patterns, which Mia can help with, as well as call forwarding. Both of which, allow Mia to record every call someone makes to your business, and adds it to their customer record, to keep you informed on all their activity.
Start a blog, or if you don’t have the time to devote to consistent posts (a requirement for any real traction here), then have a FAQ or Pool Maintenance Tips page that you can continue to add to over time. This can help dispel any myths customers might have and set the record straight. It also allows you to educate customers on the amount of work required to keep a pristine pool, and help them troubleshoot any specific issues they might be having. Include a tip in each of your newsletters, or spin them out to a visual tip of the week, with a short how-to video of your experts demonstrating how it’s done.
If you or your employees notice neighbors with pools in the area, ask for their emails or info so you can send them exclusive deals. Or, introduce “Neighborhood Rates” that give a discount to neighbors who all use your services. Makes it easier for you to get them on the same schedules and be able to do a bunch of jobs at the same time or on the same day. Even if you don’t want to offer for maintenance jobs due to the complexity of logistics, consider running promotions for pool openings and closings. And you can always give out vouchers or door hangers with your email address and QR code to site with short links.
Create an ebook of top tips that you send subscribers free (even better, with an exclusive offer code!) or put together and send a checklist for all maintenance steps when they subscribe to your email list. This ensure that only people with a pool would have interest in the topic, and can therefore be a good lead for your business. They are a good prospective customer you can continue to send email offers to, and keep engaged until they convert into a customer!
Network with complementary businesses in your community to partner on referrals. HVAC businesses, landscapers, and many more have an overlap with pool cleaners for the types of customers they’re targeting. Set up an affiliate program and keep a list of services or companies your clients use, then contact them and keep your business (and by extension, referring your business) on the top of their mind by curating special tips, or sending out special affiliate or “Partner” emails to this audience.
If you have an off-season, continue to craft emails that will get them excited for sunny days and prompt them to start prepping early for summer. Try sending a countdown, but don’t do it too far in advance. Something that says, “60 days left until summer, are you ready?”, with an easy link to book a pool opening, or for more thorough annual cleaning and maintenance. Be sure to make it as visually engaging as possible with images of summer and sunshine that will make them daydream of warmer days ahead.
Take a page out of Australian telecom company, Optum’s book, and capitalize on the current hype of the Olympics and especially with swimming, by launching an Olympic-themed contest or promotion. Check out theirs, here: