Direct Response Marketing Vs Brand Marketing
Brand marketing is the process of creating a unique name and identity for a product or service and then delivering the message using various advertising channels. Brand marketing is also about creating an emotional connection with the customer so that they feel compelled to buy the product or service.
This is the kind of marketing very large brands such as Coca-Cola will do. It will be effective but only if the ads are everywhere. Even then, most people will just see the ads and not really care about them or they'll just remember that there's a Coca-Cola ad and it became associated with "fun times" in their mind.
Direct response marketing is more focused on bringing in new customers and getting existing ones to buy more often. This method focuses on selling the product or service through advertisements that are likely to generate a direct response. This means that the marketing campaign is intended to get people to respond right away, rather than just remember the ad.
A well-known example of this type of marketing can be seen in infomercials. They may not be very artistic - they're definitely not something you'd see in an Oscar-winning movie - but the ads are very focused on getting people to call or go online and buy a product right away.
This marketing is built around a simple offer, which is why it's so effective. It turns out that you can't resist something bein shipping and handling costs.
Direct Response is much more effective for small to medium-sized budgets. I would recommend against "trying to get your name out there" as a Marketing Goal.
Carpet Cleaning Marketing Strategies vs Tactics
Tactics are the specific things you do as part of your marketing campaign, such as placing ads in newspapers or online or sending out direct mail.
Strategy is how you plan to achieve your goals, and includes things such as deciding which markets to target and what type of advertising to use.
So, for example, if your goal is to increase sales by 20%, your strategy might be to focus on a particular market that you know is more likely to buy from you. Your tactics might then involve placing ads in a particular magazine that caters to people in that market.
Select Your Target Market
The First step to marketing is considering your target market. This means identifying the type of customers you want to work with. It's best to identify a niche market that is not too broad or too narrow. You don't want your marketing campaign to be too specific, but it should also not be too general.
Targeting Everyone Doesn't Work
Now, this is the part where you say - I clean carpets. Everyone with a carpet is in my market.
People with carpets are not an ideal target market. They're too big, they encompass people of different ages, incomes, and lifestyles - it's just not a good idea to focus your marketing campaign on this group alone.
The problems with trying to market to everyone include diluting your marketing message and relevance. The more specific your message to a well understand the prospect, the more likely they are to say "that's exactly what I want".
So what can you do? You want to find sub-groups within the larger carpet-cleaning market.
For example, if you live in an area where there are a lot of condos - focus on them. You can have a portable that will fit in elevators and still perform well. This is your 'Target Market.'
Finding the Perfect Niche
To find the perfect niche you need to evaluate based on a scale. Write down the potential niches you will work with. Then assign a value to each niche in several categories. First with how much you are personally fulfilled working with that specific niche. The value to the marketplace for that niche. And finally the profitability for the particular niche.
Combing the score for each of these categories will give you a total. The highest total will indicate the target market that you should target.
Pricing is Irrelevant for your Carpet Cleaning Services
When you work with a specific niche, and a really strong specific message pricing becomes less relevant.
You will not be viewed as a commodity but as an expert.
Part of this is completed for you by being in a niche, but the other part is accomplished with your marketing message.
For example, if you are an expert at cleaning oriental rugs - your customers will expect to pay more than someone who cleans carpets. But it's not just about price point - it's about limiting your market so that you will be viewed as an expert.
Craft the message of your Carpet Cleaning Business
This is another key way that you can separate yourself from everyone else that is a "me too" business.
The next time you are talking with someone about your business, what do they say? Do they start with "you're just like every other carpet cleaning business I have ever seen or worked with?" or do they immediately begin to tell you how happy they are that they found a "________ expert."
This is the difference between being viewed as a commodity and as an expert.
This is the difference between being able to charge more, and being viewed as a commodity.
Unique Selling Proposition
You need a strong reason to exist. Your reason to exist from a customer's perspective is not so that you (the owner) can earn money and pay bills. You need to quickly answer two questions with your unique selling proposition.
Why should they buy?
Why Should they buy from me?
And this is not the place to provide wishy-washy statements such as "we're the top quality". This is where you need to consider what unique value you can bring. What can you do for customers that none of your competition can?
Clarity is Key
With all of your messaging, you need to ensure that your message is clear. Do not use marketing messages that will confuse the potential customer. It's better to say "we're different because we're certified experts, and we know how to clean your carpets well" - rather than using jargonistic messages such as "We use a correctly balanced Base pre-spray and acid rinse."
What are they really buying?
As with almost all products, what they are actually buying is not what you are selling. Consider someone purchasing a watch. There are many excellent watched for under $100. But at the same time, there are watches for over $100,000.
Do you think think the buyers are both really buying just a tool that tells time?
Consider what your clients are really buying. Maybe it's peace of mind for the health of their family. Maybe they're preparing for a holiday party and they want everything to be perfect.
Write and memorize your pitch
A good test of whether a unique selling proposition is really clear or not - is the elevator pitch test. Can you cover your pitch in 3 sentences or less? Is it clear? Is it not confusing to the listener? Does it get your point across without leaving too much room for interpretation?
Write down these 2-3 sentences before you begin promoting your business. Once you have thought this through and settled on one pitch. Use this to answer questions. Practice the pitch until you can easily recite it without consulting your notes.
This will make sure that all of your marketing efforts are focused on one message. If you are constantly shifting between messages, it will be difficult for customers to understand what you are selling.
Also, have everyone on your team memorize the pitch. This will make sure that everyone is speaking in a consistent voice about your business.
Invest in Marketing Assets
We advocate for investing in marketing assets - especially when you are just starting out. We consider marketing collateral an asset rather than an expense.
You can go a lot further in marketing with a good website and high-quality lead magnets than you will by going door to door. And without a doubt, your time is much more valuable than money.
A strong professional logo and color scheme will make it easy for your customers to remember your company. A decent email marketing service will allow you to send out automated newsletters about coupons, specials, new products, etc. A solid marketing website with content that educates potential customers about the services they need is worth more than any print advertisement or lead magnet.
Make sure you are building your business for success - not just for today - but for the future as well. If you are able to invest in marketing assets - do so, if not - focus on taking care of your most valuable assets: Your team and your customers.
The last thing that needs to be said about promoting a carpet cleaning business is that you should always remain focused on delivering value for your clients and prospects. In the beginning, you need to spend money to make money. You need to be able to get customers into your business quickly and easily.
Without investing in marketing, it is very difficult for a new carpet cleaning business to succeed. Think about other types of businesses that you interact with - they tend to do a lot of advertising.
Investing in marketing assets makes it easier for prospective customers to find you and connect with your business.
Reach Your Prospects and Clients
So you've developed your message. You have thought it through carefully and memorized your pitch. Marketing is like a megaphone. It is a way to broadcast your message to your target market.
Some people think that the more money you spend on advertising, the more people will see it. The truth is that there are millions of pieces of content being published every day - and only a tiny fraction of them are relevant to you or your business.
A good rule is to identify the publications/websites that your prospects would likely visit. You can gain access to their reader base by either purchasing an ad or offering them free content that is relevant to what they are already searching for.
What is a Marketing Channel
A marketing channel is a way to deliver your message to potential customers. There are many different channels that you can use, but it's important to choose the ones that will be most effective for your business.
Some of the most common channels include print advertising, online advertising, direct mail, and email marketing.
Make sure you choose the channels that will reach your target market and generate the most leads. Focus on delivering value for your clients and prospects, and you will see a positive return on investment from your marketing efforts.
Return on Investment
We will spend time and money on your business. But we want to make sure that you are getting a positive return on investment. It's hard work building the reputation of your company and we want to make sure that it pays off in the end.
That's why it's key with any marketing campaign to focus on Return on Investment. It's not always about the lowest cost of acquisition. You need to think of marketing as an investment that you will get back over and over again.
If we use a direct mail campaign as an example, we would want to track results and see how much it costs us per customer lead. We look for a positive ROI - meaning that the ROI is greater than zero.
We want to know that we are making money on our campaigns and that we can pay for the cost of producing the campaign with what we generate in leads and sales.
That's why you always need to look at your costs per lead, your total leads, and your total sales. You don't always have to be concerned about an immediate return on your investment, but you should always track your results so you know where you are making money and where the opportunities are.
Paid media is any channel that you need to pay for. Usually, metrics are pay-per-click or impressions. For example, we can pay to put an ad on television or we can buy online ads.
Paid media includes channels like print and online advertising, Facebook ads, and Google Ads. Because you are paying for these impressions or clicks - your return on investment is very important.
There are other sources of paid media, like direct mail marketing, billboards, and even the backs of bench seats.
Another source to attract customers is "free" marketing channels. This usually includes social media, online directories, and local community groups.
Social media marketing is free when you use social media platforms to create content that will generate interest in what you do.
For example, we can write a blog post about how to add value or add value by cleaning carpets. We'll then promote this through our social media channels like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
There is another channel, referred to as earned media. This includes word of mouth, publicity, and media mentions.
For example, if you get featured in a local newspaper or on the television news.
Earned media is about creating valuable content and getting people talking about it. It's not easy to generate earned media, but when you do - it pays off in spades.
SEO and Content Marketing
Search Engine Optimization and content marketing are extremely effective marketing tactics. But, is time-consuming and requires a significant amount of time to rank in search engines.
SEO is all about ranking for specific keywords so customers can find you when they are searching the internet.
The benefit of using SEO is that it's free. The drawback is that it takes time to build up your rankings, authority, and trust with the search engine algorithms.
But most carpet cleaners fail by ignoring their SEO. Search Engine Optimization is a good way to become more visible among local businesses.
Carpet cleaning businesses need to consider the ROI of building up a large and useful library of valuable content for their audience. It is often worth it in the long run, but results will not show for 6 months or more.
This is why we really recommend keeping return on investment in mind for your carpet cleaning marketing.
There is also local SEO, which is all about ranking for local keywords.
The main benefit of search marketing is that it's based on providing value to your customers and prospects. You can generate leads or sales through organic rankings and people finding you through their search engine results.
Local SEO is achieved by building local citations by getting your carpet cleaning business listed in places such as yelp. Another factor in carpet cleaning marketing for local SEO is gathering positive reviews.
Lead Capture is a very important aspect of any business.
The reason is that if we don't capture the lead - we will never be able to follow up and turn them into a customer.
CRM is the Core of Marketing and Conversion
A CRM or, customer relationship manager, is a database or list of all your potential and current customers.
As we mentioned earlier, carpet cleaners need to be constantly following up with their leads and prospects. A CRM allows you to keep track of what people have said and when they last contacted you. This includes any phone calls, emails, or text messages that the prospect has initiated.
This is a list of people who have shown some interest in your carpet cleaning business and gave you their contact details so you can follow up with them.
A CRM is a cornerstone to carpet cleaning marketing.
Forms, Landing Pages, and Calls
As mentioned above a CRM is a tool to hold and organize communications. One very important aspect of carpet cleaning marketing is to capture lead data. That means that whenever you receive a call or email it's important to log the information in your CRM.
A key to gathering more leads is to offer something enticing for potential clients. This is called a lead magnet.
A lead magnet can be any PDF, video, or info-graphic that is related to your carpet cleaning business. This will give the person receiving this information a taste of what you have to offer.
You should create landing pages for each of your marketing campaigns so potential customers know where they should go to receive more information about your carpet cleaning business.
Just as important as the landing page is your call-to-action. A CTA can be summed up as a "call now" or "get quote" button. This should appear on all forms, calls, and landing pages for your marketing campaigns.
Value Packed Lead Generation
It's been proven in studies that consumers prefer marketing that educates. This is the way to attract potential customers to your business.
Here's an example of value-packed lead generation that goes over how to choose the right shampoo for your carpet. This is just one of many ways you can generate leads by providing them with what they need rather than pushing your product or service on them.
Once you deliver the information promised you have already started nurturing the leads. Because you delivered what you promised you will have built a little trust already in your carpet cleaning service.
Converting Leads to Customers
The most important part of carpet cleaning marketing is following up with your prospects and turning them into customers.
You already have their information from the lead capture process, so you can send email follow-ups, call them, or even send a letter in the mail to continue to build trust.
In this phase of carpet cleaning marketing it's important to continue providing value but also get more personal with your customers.
Be sure to track the lead data in your CRM so you can keep up with all of these steps and follow-up consistently.
Creating a strong brand is another important aspect of carpet cleaning marketing because it builds trust. This is why branding matters even if you are strictly using digital marketing.
Offer Value on a regular basis (Remember Marketing Assets?)
As mentioned earlier it's important to create marketing assets. This will include content that is valuable to your prospects on their journey to becoming customers.
One way to consistently offer value is through blogging. You can create blog content related to things you know about carpet cleaning, spot removal, and/or other topics that are relevant to your potential customers.
Posting valuable information on your blog will not only help drive traffic to your site but will also show Google that you are a valuable resource to those looking for carpet cleaning help.
Another cool content piece is white papers. These are part informational, and part demonstration. Take an example of a really nasty carpet. And then show the process that you as a professional carpet cleaning service went through to bring the carpet back to life.
Or if you did a really deep cleaning on a high-end property while preserving an expensive rug. Show the process, and the effort you went to deliver results.
You can use email marketing to continue to alert your contacts when you publish new content or link to other valuable information.
Occasionally add an offer
You do need to ask for business. I do not believe in discounting your pricing. But in between adding lots of value, no one will object if you occasionally interject your USP and a call to action.
Position yourself correctly
What is always the case, salespeople are considered guilty until proven innocent?
It's important to position yourself as an expert, and that you are qualified. You need to establish yourself as a trusted advisor. And avoid at all costs looking like a "me too" business.
You can show your expertise by including the results of deep cleaning examples or customer testimonials. You can also include any awards or other peer recognition you have received for carpet cleaning expertise.
Offer a Huge Guarantee
Make a strong real guarantee. Spend the time considering what your clients are actually worried about. This guarantee needs to be real, and specific. And it also needs to let your potential customers know that if your carpet cleaning services are not up to par - you are on the hook.
For example, a common guarantee for a carpet cleaning business is a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This is something any business can slap on their branding. It's not specific and strong.
A stronger guarantee for your carpet cleaning services could be more like "Our Certified Technician will show up on time, and use cleaning chemicals and told that are safe for you and your family. If you are not absolutely satisfied with the cleaning I insist you call me, and we will refund you."
Offer at least one High Ticket Item
One really shocking tip for carpet cleaning businesses is to have at least one high-ticket item. This will not be your volume sales service. But a few people will pay for a high-end carpet cleaning service. This is a good way to really boost your margins.
The other effect of this high ticket item is the trust signal. Only really high quality and professional carpet cleaning services would offer a high ticket item.
This means you boost the credibility of your carpet cleaning company. And you have the option to now show the high ticket items pricing first. Then show your normal sales offers. And by comparison, your other carpet cleaning services will seem much more reasonably priced.
Make it easy to Purchase from you
You want to reduce any friction involved with someone purchasing from you. Don't make potential clients jump through hoops to buy from you.
This means accepting normal payment methods. Make a booking as smooth as possible. Don't put too many requirements on potential clients before they can purchase from you.
And make the purchasing process as easy as possible. Get a system in place where payments are processed quickly and seamlessly, and that each client has their own account to easily check on status or schedule follow-up appointments with you.
Deliver a World Class Experience
Delivering a world-class experience should be a part of your carpet cleaning marketing strategy. As a business owner, you must recognize the way to loyal customers and positive online reviews. Is to truly wow your customers.
Give them what they need, not what they buy
One of the main keys to providing the best carpet cleaning service is to give your customers what they want. Not just what they buy. You can have a great marketing plan in place. And you can even have the best sales technique in the world. But if your product isn't up to par - you won't get repeat business or recommendations from satisfied customers.
The secret is truly understanding what your customer needs are. Then figure out how your services can meet those needs. You need to understand what your customer is getting out of the service you're offering.
Many carpet cleaners have caught onto the idea that showing a little theater. Posting Before and after photos on social media pages is a good example of this.
But there are different ways to add an element of showmanship. You take carpet cleaning squares that are dirty to demonstrate the power of a spot remover.
Show the lengths you go to
Showing the lengths you will go to for your customers, is great marketing.
Some carpet cleaners have gotten into the habit of setting up a table to demonstrate upholstery cleaning.
Consider other ways that you can demonstrate the lengths you and your team go to. The number of certifications acquired, hours spent in training classes.
Become the voice of Value and Quality
Many carpet cleaning marketing ideas are centered around showing expertise. To really cement yourself among local businesses and to carpet cleaning customers. You should endeavor to become the voice of value and quality.
This usually involves becoming a prolific content creator. Your audience will need and want to know what you have to say on the topic. They'll be looking for interesting blog post topics from you.
This is how you get earned media. You become the go-to among carpet cleaning companies. People will reach out to you for comments, or advice.
Increase Life Time Value
Let's face it - gaining new customers is expensive. Part of any carpet cleaning marketing plan should include careful consideration of increasing the Life Time Value of every customer.
You want to retain as many customers as possible. And you have control over this through strong customer service, back-end upsells and retaining old referral sources.
Raising Prices steadily and gradually is a necessary part of the business.
But it can also be a great marketing tool. Most people won't complain about prices going up, as long as they're still getting the value they expected. There have been many studies done, and customers would much rather a small price increase more frequently than large increases less often.
Reactivate past clients
Turning past clients into recurring buyers is a great method of increasing LTV. For carpet cleaning companies, reactivating past clients should be high on your priority list from a marketing perspective.
Reaching out to past customers that haven't used your services in a while can be an easy task. And if they are satisfied - you have the opportunity to turn them into customers that will continue to buy from you on a regular basis.
Offer package deals
Package deals are a great way of offering up multiple services, and increasing LTV. For instance; you could offer a carpet cleaning and carpet protection package deal.
There is also the option of offering recurring carpet cleaning services. If your clients have to have their carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year - consider offering an annual subscription plan.
You could do this with upholstery cleaning and carpet protection too.
Another way to do this is with commercial carpet cleaning packages. Consider other cleaning services a business would need at the same time. For example cleaning tile and grout, or strip and wax. You can bundle all of these services and increase the sales price.
Remind and Educate
Reminding customers and staying "Top of Mind" as the carpet cleaning solution. You can offer helpful tips through social media and on your business pages.
You can also send marketing emails directing customers to proper carpet care techniques they can perform at home. Consider all the ways that you can "add value" as a carpet cleaner with your expertise and experience.
Then in helpful ways stay in front of your customers through social media platforms, search engine optimized blog posts, and other content like video.
Fire difficult clients
The customer is always right, is the age old saying. But lets be honest, if you operate this way then you become a doormat for some customers. And that usually reduces the quality of your work for other customers. Rather than let these vampires suck the life out of your business take control of the situation.
I know it might be strange in an article about carpet cleaning marketing ideas to suggest getting rid of clients. But if you carefully examine your customer base you will likely find a few clients who waste too much of your time and resources to please. Now I'm not talking about clients with legitimate complaints.
Problem customers are that very small percent of the population that never seem pleased. And even if you do everything in your power to make them happy, even working for free they will still complain.
Give these customers the news they deserve. Business should be enjoyable. If there are customers causing you headache then for your own sanity let them go.
There is another added benefit. If you let these customers go they will go to your competitors. And inflect them.
Referrals are generally looked upon as ideal among carpet cleaning marketing ideas.
Create happy customers, and offer exceptional service. You can make connections on a social media platform with your current customers. You can send Cards to them, and provide value with email marketing and blogs.
But getting referrals is more than a passive technique.
Ask - Specifically
Most customers and - indeed most people are generally helpful. And they are willing to help if you ask. The problem with the way most people ask is they are not specific. If you ask something like "do you know anyone who needs their carpets cleaned". Of course, they won't.
Instead, ask something specific. For example " Mr. Customer, it's been such a pleasure working with you. If you know any other homeowners with carpets in their homes we would like to help them too. One of the reasons we are able to keep the cost of our service low is because we get a lot of our business through referrals. If you are aware of someone who can use our service I will offer them a 10% discount, and a discount on your next service."
This is specific enough and offers a benefit for the customer and anyone they refer. This is a major win-win.
Who has your clients before you?
One thing to consider is who has your customer before you. For example, a realtor representing a home seller may recommend the homeowner get their carpets cleaned. This is an example of a great referral partner.
Consider all the professions that interact with your clients before you. These complementary businesses are an incredible resource for finding new customers. Just consider how much time and effort those other businesses spent gaining a new customer.
Reach out to these complementary businesses and see if you can partner with them.
What you can offer them
Any deal you make should be built upon mutual benefit. So for the Marketing strategy of stimulating referrals you should consider what benefit you can offer. In our earlier example, we offered a discount to both a new referred customer and the current customer during their next service.
And while I recommend never discounting, the one exception I make is in the case of referrals. I have found that people are more likely to connect you with potential customers if it's in everyone's best interest.
One way to do that is by giving the referral partner the opportunity to offer a discount. This is a way that they can strengthen their relationship with their customer. And while it reduces your margin for the particular job, it should even out because the marketing cost is lower.
There are other ways of offering benefits aside from discounting. You can pay for referrals for example. Or offer your service as a carpet cleaner in exchange for referrals. It is also possible to set up a direct exchange. Exchange a referral, for the information of one of your clients.
The Ultimate Guide to Carpet Cleaning Marketing is a comprehensive article that will walk you through the entire marketing process for your carpet cleaning business. It starts with understanding how customers think about carpets and their need to be cleaned, then it provides tips on attracting prospects into your lead funnel, crafting messages that convert leads into sales opportunities, analyzing what content they like best (and least!), and more! We hope this guide has been helpful in showing you some of the most effective ways to market your own carpet cleaning company. If we missed anything or if there’s something else you want us to cover, please let us know!