Clean For Their Health, Darn It!

Clean For Their Health

It’s that time of year again. Seems like everyone is getting sick. All kinds of bugs being passed around. And, since my life revolves around Chem-Dry, I got to thinking about what our franchises could do to capitalize on the plight of their ailing consumers. Here we go!

Look for Sick-O’s

No, not in the traditional meaning of the term. Target specific words that would indicate a customer’s need to avoid illness. Often, those searches are made out of an immediate need. So, when Mrs. Jones types “cleaning vomit from carpet”, “cleaning after the flu” or “keeping my family healthy during the winter” (or something along those lines), you show up waving a banner telling them that you can remove 89% of airborne bacteria from their home, offering a healthier cold & flu season!

Go Tell It On the Mountain

Okay, maybe I’ve been listening to too much Christmas music already, but every single one of your past customers should know what you’re offering this winter. Mail them. E-mail them. Text them. Call them. Do whatever, but they need to hear from you. Not only that, think about this: would you throw in half-priced (or even free!) sanitizer for a long-time customer in order to fill your schedule in January? I would!
Your messaging to your customers should be so prolific that it’s as if you’re shouting from the rooftops!

Your Best Advertisers

Along the same lines, why not turn your customers into the best advertising you can do? Ask them to share with their neighbors! Their neighbors can get the same great prices and you get the benefit of a new customer. Again, would you sacrifice some margin in order to fill your schedule while there’s snow on the ground?
Maybe consider a postcard with a tear-away section that Mrs. Jones can pass to Mrs. Smith to get her to call when her little Jimmy gets sick (because we know how those bugs go from house to house).
Big Takeaway:
You’re part of a brand that totes “Drier. Cleaner. Healthier.” as its tagline. You should stand out against the competition during the cold & flu season as the healthier option.
  1. In search advertising, focus on the healthy message. Find people who are searching for very specific help.
  2. Shout your message from the rooftops to anyone who will listen – especially your past customers.
  3. Get your best customers to share your specialty when their friends and family get sick. Everyone wins!
If you’d like help putting together a campaign for this cold/flu season, or just want to show me what you’ve done, click here to schedule a 30-minute coaching call with me. Otherwise, you can simply reply to this e-mail or call me directly at 435-890-1055.

Hunting for Customers

Adobe Spark (20)It’s that time of year again. Here at headquarters, we see people all around preparing for whatever hunting season it is right now (I’m not one of them). I also see social media posts about getting ready for their annual deer/hog/duck/jackalope hunts. Even if you don’t hunt, let me explain why this is on my mind.

Like Picking Apples

Envision with me, if you will, that you’re wanting to hunt ducks. You happen to live on a large plot that’s right next to a marshland FULL of mallards, teals, and wood ducks. You could literally walk out 100 yards with your dogs and your shotgun and bring in your limit within an hour or two. It would be as easy as picking apples from a low-hanging tree.

Would you rather do that or drive into the city and try your luck at the local park pond?

Now, ignoring the obvious infringement of city limit hunting ordinances, which one makes more sense? Of course, the first one! It’s obvious!

Your past customers are like these ducks sitting in the marsh behind your house. You know they’re there. They’re “expecting” to hear from you at some point. They’ve worked with you before and know you. Why would you ignore them?

Rule #1 for owning a Chem-Dry during the pre-holiday season: MARKET TO YOUR DATABASE. Use what you have available:

– Postcards from Postcard Guru or Franchise Print Shop.

– E-mail with ConstantContact.

– Voice/Text Messages w/ Specials with CallFire.

Whatever you choose (hopefully a combination of ALL of them), just DO IT!

Going for New Game

Think for a moment about hunting for new customers. Say you’d never hunted deer before and you asked a seasoned expert where you should go. He told you to get up into the mountains where they’ll be looking for available food. Would you go to the foothills and then wait for one to walk down out of their way and right past you? NO!

If you want to land new customers, you go where the new customers are. Yes, I’m speaking again of Pay-Per-Click. PPC has proven to be far and away the most reliable source for new customers for virtually every Chem-Dry franchise I talk to. Very rarely do I come across anyone that it hasn’t worked for.

New customers are searching daily for your services. Why wouldn’t you want to be one of the results they see?!

One of the great things is that we’ve done some of the hard work for you. We’ve found vendors that are not only reputable, but that are reasonably priced as well. Check out vendors like Net Search DigitalLocal Search MastersWeb Marketing Services, or Centermark. They know their stuff. If you EVER have any questions about whether or not their services will work for you, call me!

Big Takeaway:

Fall is an INCREDIBLE time of year to be a Chem-Dry franchise owner. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be working full days every day. But make sure you have your bases covered.

  1. Market to your database. Use postcards, e-mail, and phone or text messages.
  2. Find new customers through Pay-Per-Click marketing.

3 Cardinal Rules of E-Mail Marketing

With summer winding down soon, it’s time to start thinking about inexpensive ways to market to your database. While you should definitely not dial back your marketing for new customers, it’s important to show your database some love.
Allow me to share my 3 Cardinal Rules of E-mail Marketing:
  1. Keep it SHORT – The less text, the better.
  2. SHOW, Don’t Tell – Use engaging images to catch and keep their attention. Show them what you’re going to do.
  3. Drive ACTION – Use buttons, links, and phone numbers to get them to act.
Here’s an example that I put together.
Scott's Labor Day Sale Example

Keep it SHORT

Subject Lines: Subject lines are your customer’s first look into the content of your e-mail. Give them a clear reason to open your e-mail. Keep it short and concise (ideally, 6 words or less) and enticing.
Content: I’ll talk more about this in the next section, but remember that the majority of people are far more stimulated by images than by text. Keep your content short and don’t combine too much into one e-mail. You’re probably only e-mailing your customers at most every 4-6 weeks, so you’ll feel tempted to cram as much information in there as you can. DON’T! Give them a maximum of 3 key pieces of information.

SHOW, Don’t Tell

With so many of your customers reading e-mails on mobile devices (probably in excess of 85%!), you’re probably best served to use pictures to deliver your message. There are TONS of resources available to you, like:
  • Pictures on the Gateway
  • Printing Vendors
  • Before/After pictures from the Facebook Group
With so many resources, it should be able to throw something together without a lot of effort.


Much like your website, I don’t really care about how many people read your e-mail. I want to know what action people took from your e-mail.
Here are a few things to do:
  1. Inject a tracking number in your e-mail. Since so many of your customers will read from a mobile device. They won’t go looking for your phone number. They’ll just touch the number in your e-mail to call.
  2. Link a picture to a specials page on your website.
  3. Create a “Book Now” button that links directly to a form-fill page on your website.
  4. At very least, offer a (shareable!) coupon code in your e-mail so you know exactly how many jobs or customers you got from it.

Big Takeaway:

E-mail marketing is incredibly cost effective and can make a HUGE difference in your profitability this fall, but you have to do it right.
  1. Be short. Get people the information they need quickly.
  2. Show them why they should call. Use images to tell the story.
  3. Get customers to take action by providing actionable things in your e-mail.
If you’d like help putting together an e-mail campaign for this fall, or just want to show me what you’ve done, click here to schedule a 30-minute coaching call with me. Otherwise, you can simply reply to this e-mail or call me directly at 435-890-1055.

Connecting With “The One” Customer – Part I

We have a pretty good idea of what our core customer is. You know them, you can probably picture them in your mind. But sometimes you have to do more than target the group as a whole. People feel important when you address them directly. They also will surprise you with the unique ways the find you. Here’s one thing you can do this week to make your customers feel more special.

Make E-mail About THEM

Consumers are automatically more interested in a message you have to share with them when they feel like it’s personalized. Luckily, that’s an easy fix.
Without getting too complicated, you can address your customers individually using a technology called “dynamic content” in e-mail.
What it does is create a salutation at the beginning of the e-mail that either defaults to something like “Hello, Valued Customer” and inserts a name into it if you provide the “input” resulting in something like “Hello, Chris.”
If you want to get really fancy, you can try putting their name in the subject line to say something like “A Deal Just for Dan”.
I wrote about this last year and showed you how to do it in Constant Contact. Take a look here.
Big Takeaway:
Make your marketing about your customer. They’ll respond. I promise.
  1. Try having an e-mail speak directly to your customer.
  2. If you can, get their name in the subject line!
The service industry is a very personal one. It’s a loyalty business. Encourage a personal relationship with your customer by using their name and what they’re looking for.

Do You Know Where Your Customers Are?

Remember 20-30 years ago when they used to broadcast on TV and say “It’s 10:00 pm. Do you know where your kids are?”
My parents were talking about that a few days ago and it got me thinking – in the most important time of the year, do my franchisees know where their customers are? Are they able to confidently market to them?

Your Database

I’ve said many times that a business’s most valuable asset is their customer database. For some owners, it’s THOUSANDS of names, addresses, and phone numbers for past customers. How much is that information worth to you as a business?
Let’s put it this way – if you have 1,500 customers in your database, and you an get 80% of them to do business with you annually, that’s 1,200 customers in a year. At 100 customers a month. 4 -5 customers per day (if you’re cleaning the usual 22 days a month).
At a job average of $250 per job, that’s $1,000 per day. $22,000 – 25,000 per month. $264,000 – 300,000 per year!
BUT… Your database needs some love. If you think that you’ll get 80% of them to book a job with you annually without any effort on your part, you’re nuts.
Have It All Together
I love hearing that people are marketing to their past customer databases regularly. It makes my heart sing, actually. But one of the differences between those that do and those that don’t is having their customer list collected together. It’s all in one place.
Your life as a business owner becomes infinitely easier when you have your customers all collected in one place. Personally, I would love for you to be using onTrack because it’s custom-built for Chem-Dry. However, if you decide on another software, I’m just happy you’re moving in that direction.
Most of these software programs will offer marketing integration options to mail, e-mail, or otherwise contact your customers to make additional offers to them. USE THEM!

Don’t Have Time?

I totally understand. You’re busy. You’ve got a lot going on. You probably feel like that rabbit from Alice in Wonderland at times.
Here’s what you should do:
Mail it to HRI and we’ll digitize the customer list for you and e-mail you the file.
We see enough value in it that we’ll take the invoices you mail us and put them all into a nice, neat file so you can upload it to a Database Management System like onTrack. This can make a HUGE difference in your business and make it far easier to market to past customers that need to hear from you.

Big Takeaway:

Your database is full of great customers. But if you can’t easily access their information, it’s unlikely that they’ll ever hear from you.
  1. Market to your database. Whether it’s postcards, e-mail, whatever. I don’t really care. Just do it.
  2. Collect your customer invoices for the past few years.
  3. Get the list digitized to upload to a management system.
Repeat customers should be the lifeblood of your business. Get yourself ready to communicate with them by collecting them together in a database.

Don’t Try So Hard (But Try a Little)!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a business coach, it’s that trying to get people to make changes is hard and that I usually try TOO hard. Whether you realize it or not, you’re probably treating your customers the same way.
Here’s what I mean.

They Have to WANT to Change

I can write e-mails, blogs, and make phone calls until the day I die that plead with people to change the way they’re doing things and only influence so many changes.

BUT if I change my tactic to help them want to change first, then they come to me ready to act because they know how I can help them.

Your customers are the same way. Often, when we’re trying to get a customer to buy an additional service or product, we try too hard to get coerce them into buying when just the opposite is needed. We end up selling out of our own pocket just to get them to buy when we could more easily communicate the need for the service if we would just shut up and let them come to us. We plant the seed of desire and let them nurture it.

What I DON’T Mean:

I’m not saying that you should do nothing and wait for your customers to come to you.You have to be communicating regularly. But too often, we’re communicating the wrong things – en mass. This goes for both in-home sales and marketing.
Don’t talk or write about the “what” they should buy from you or how it works. They don’t care. They know you’re the expert. That’s why they called you in the first place. Who does your customer care about? Themselves. Their family. Their home. Tell them “why” it helps them.
For example:

Mailing Your Database

I talked last week about the importance of mailing your database. You’ve probably spent a considerable amount of money purchasing postcards and mailing them out. Have you thought about sending that postcard as an e-mail?
Your postcard should be short, simple, and to the point. It talks about why someone should call you. Do the same thing in an e-mail. In fact, have your printer save the postcard as a simple picture and just put it in your e-mail.
If all your e-mail had was a good, short subject line (I talk about how here and here) that tells them why they should open it. Something like “Cleaner Carpet for a Healthier Family” or “We’re the Pet Odor Elimination Experts”.
Then include your name, phone number, and the picture of the postcard in the body of the e-mail, that would be sufficient to get people to call you.
Seriously. Try it. Don’t stress out about writing a ton for an e-mail. Just send them the card. Keep it simple, silly!

Big Takeaway:

Improved sales drive high revenues. You won’t sell what your customers don’t value. You create value when you keep things simple and let them sell themselves.
  1. Talk about them and why the sale helps them.
  2. Respect their time. Remind them that you’re there to help, but don’t waste you communications.
  3. Try a simple e-postcard for your next mailing. You might be amazed at how well it works and how easy it was for you!

Use Your Database!

When auditors assess the value of a business, they know that a company’s most valuable (and often most overlooked) asset is their customer database. These are people that (for the most part) have done business with you in the past and would be happy to do it again.
So why aren’t they hearing from you?

Digital or Analog – I Don’t Care

Yes, this is a digital marketing blog, but I’m going to make an exception here because I think it’s THAT important. Whether you choose to communicate with your past customers via e-mail or postcards, it matters very little to me. They key is that they need to hear from you. Often.
Whenever I hear a business owner say that they can’t remember the last time they’d communicated with their customer list, I die a little inside.
I mean, it costs 8 times more money to get a new customer than it does to do business with a past customer. Why, then, do we place so much emphasis on getting new buyers and dismiss our past as if we’re a “got your money and run” scheme? That’s not how you operate.
Think of it like this watch – the analog hands and the digital display are doing exactly the same thing – telling me what time it is. Just like this watch, you need to have a presence there – to remind your customer that it’s time to call you.

Still Writing Addresses?

One of the biggest reasons this may not be getting done is that you may not be working from a digitized customer list. That’s okay – for now.
HRI see’s enough value in getting this done that if you have wanted to get your customer list digitized so you can move to an electronic customer management system (like onTrack, Camelot, etc.), we’ll help you get it digitized – for free.
If you’re interested in doing that, contact me and we can work out some of the details.

Big Takeaway:

Your business has customers that are paid for and waiting to hear from you. Ask yourself why they haven’t heard from you and what you can do about it NOW.
  1. Review your list of past customers.
  2. Take a look at postcard and e-mail communication options available.
  3. Invest in print or digital advertising to the customers who love you most and watch your schedule fill up!

How to Get Customers to Unsubscribe

More is MORE

You can’t talk to your customer too much. Just like your mother-in-law, you should be in almost constant contact with your customer. Flooding their inbox is a great way to do that.
  • E-mail them at least weekly, or daily if you can.
  • Write long, extensive text full of superfluous words – like “superfluous.”
  • Focus only on selling your products and services.
  • Formatting your e-mails is secondary to getting them out.
  • Relevance doesn’t matter.
  • Only put out e-mails that are good for everybody. The individual customer isn’t worth your effort.

Your Customers Only Care About YOUR Business

Your customer is just sitting around waiting for your e-mail to come in. If they see it first on their mobile device but can’t really read it there, they’ll absolutely go to their computer to read it instead. You can count on them waiting with baited breath.
Most e-mail subscribers also LOVE seeing the same offer over and over again. They’re thrilled by the fact that your business is so busy that you don’t have time to think of, let alone write, anything new to send them.
And when they receive a postcard AND an e-mail in the same week, they never want to see an exclusive electronic offer because they would never subscribe to the idea that they are more special or meaningful to you than every other Jane Doe. They’re just the same as their neighbor, so they should be treated the same way.

You Have WAY Less Time Than They Do

Today’s consumer has nothing but time. Don’t you dare think for a second that they’re anywhere near as busy as you are. When you’re preparing your e-mail messages to them, don’t even stop to consider how long it will take them to read it. They literally have nothing better going on in their lives.
They’re all just like The Doctor. They have a time machine in their backyard with nowhere they “have to be.” They can always stop everything and read whatever you grace them with that day.
Never put yourself in their shoes and ask, “Would I take the time to read this?” Your customers are nothing like you, so that’s just poppycock.

Are You Still Reading?

Hopefully, if you’re still reading this, you’ve realized by now that I’m being facetious. These are the cardinal sins of e-mail marketing. These are the biggest reasons people unsubscribe from one of your most valuable and lucrative methods of marketing to past customers – e-mail.
Yes, you should be e-mailing your customers and letting them hear from you. And you should do it regularly. But don’t e-mail for the sake of e-mailing.

Big Takeaway:

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you’re putting together e-mail campaigns. Here are the top 3 things you should do.
  1. Be Personal – Keep e-mails to customers focused on things that matter to them. Their family, their time, their health.
  2. Be Brief – If your e-mail can’t be read in full within 30 seconds, it’s probably too long. You only have their attention for a moment – make sure it’s worth their time.
  3. Be Respectful – You don’t like being bombarded with e-mails. Neither does your customer. Preserve your spot in their inbox by having meaningful interactions with your customers.
Whether you’re actively e-mailing your database or want to get started, assess what your goal is when writing e-mails.

Make Reviews a Priority this Year!

Quick Review-Getting Tips for Your Business
 Source_ www.kudobuzz.com
At our national convention this year, one of the big messages throughout many of our sessions was the importance of online reviews. Not only do they tell potential customers how awesome you are, but they’re now one of the #1 looked-at sources of information on a businesses’ trustworthiness and level of service. They’re also a HUGE player in how your business can get found online.

Getting Reviews Can Be Simple!

At convention, we introduced several vendors that all offer services to help you get reviews that will improve your online presence. Of the lot, one of my favorites was Podium, and I’ll explain why.
When it comes to getting online reviews, you need to either catch people in the emotional moment of satisfaction, or remind them of it. One of the best tactics I’ve seen to get reviews is doing it in the customer’s home directly after the cleaning is done and you’re performing the post-cleaning walk through
In a nutshell, Podium offers an app on your phone that allows you to send a text message or email link to the customer right away. When the customer opens the link, Podium’s software scans the phone to look for active logins like Google and Facebook, giving them a seamless way to promote reviews on the site you want most. You also get a dashboard that tracks reviews and flags any negative responses that may require your attention.
It’s really a neat system that coordinates some of the key activities at key moments. And, since Podium is a PAP, they’re offering Chem-Dry franchisees a special discount on their services. Contact them at www.podium.com and mention that you are with Chem-Dry and reap the benefits of this useful tool.
If you want to do a home-spun version, here’s a quick tip that you can use in your customers’ homes to get more reviews.

Create a Short URL

That’s right. A short URL allows you to share a specific webpage with a customer without taking a ton of space.
This makes it perfect for use in a text message, tweet, or even a Facebook message.

You can use any service you like whether it be Bit.ly, Ow.Ly, or Goo.gl to do it. But the principle is the same – it’s easy and it takes up less space.

I recommend Bit.ly because you can create a free account that allows you to make custom URL’s (that you can name), and also see tracking/analytics on the links as well.
Here’s what I mean:

Get Your Link

Do a quick Google search for your company by name. Go ahead. Open a new tab and do it now. Here’s one I did for one of my wife’s favorite restaurants: 
You might have to scroll down a bit, but you’ll see on the right hand side of your screen a “Write a Review” button.
When you click on that button, a new URL will appear in the address bar up at the top of your screen.
Highlight it, and copy it (Ctrl+C).
Now, open up a new tab in your browser and go to one of those URL shortening tools I mentioned earlier. I’ll show you Bit.ly.

Make it Short

Now that you’re on Bit.ly (I recommend creating a free account. It only takes a minute.), click the “Create Bitlink” button.
Now you’ll paste the long URL from your Google “Write a Review” button. It will look something like this:
The link will automatically shorten to something looking like this:
Now, you can be done here if you like. That link is yours and you can track it easily.
Or you can take it one step further – Customizing it so it appears more official to your customer.
Highlight everything after the “bit.ly/” and start typing something short, but custom. Your business name, for instance. If you plan on doing this for other sites like Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, or others, you may want to add some sort of letter or number code to the end so you can keep track of it.
In this case, I added “Goog” to the end to let me know this is the Google link.


Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Now that you have these incredibly useful links, you can use them to invite customers for reviews. It’s easy.
As you’re wrapping up your work and getting ready to reload your equipment, you approach your customer (who’s probably been on their phone a considerable amount of the time you were there) and say:
“Hey, Mr./Mrs. Brown, could I send you a quick text message with a link to leave us a review?”
Since you most likely already have their phone number from when you booked the appointment, I’d bet 8-9 times out of 10, they’ll agree. Simply type in the number, paste the link with a message like “Find us on Google here: ______________.”
I’ve seen a dozen or so cases where this has resulted in a 5-star review by the time you’re driving away. The biggest reason this works, is because you’re doing it NOW versus in a follow-up e-mail or phone call (not that you shouldn’t do those).


You can be strategic about which links you send to your customers. 
If you notice that Mrs. Brown is using an Android device, there’s a good chance that she has a Google account, so you may want to send her the Google link. There’s a lower chance of success for Google if she’s on an iPhone.
You can also ask if they have a preference. Say something like “Would Google, Facebook or Yelp work best for you?” A regular Yelp-er will opt for that because it helps their standings.

Big Takeaway:

 Your business needs reviews. It’s a key strategy to winning online business and gaining the trust of your customers before they ever pick up a phone.
  1. These vendors and methods are just tools. You only get value out as you use them.
  2. Near the end of every interaction you have with your customers, invite them to rate their experience by leaving a review.
  3. Whether you hire a vendor or do it yourself, the bottom line is to DO IT.
You can take control of your online reputation today and establish a better future for your business. You can register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.

Be There When It’s Relevant

  Image Source_ https___www.theguardian.com_careers_10-new-year-resolutions-for-managers


Now that it’s December, while most people are getting ready for all the parties, you’re preparing in a different way – to clean up after them.

Let’s make sure you time your marketing to reach your customers when they’re thinking about it. Here are a few suggestions:

Facebook & Instagram

Think about your core demographic. Where do they spend a lot of time – especially during/after the holidays – where they might see you? They’re checking out videos and pictures of their friends and family on Facebook and Instagram. That means it’s a perfect opportunity to plant the seed BEFORE they need it.

I recommend placing a few strategic ads during weeknight evenings targeted at your audience – especially if you can highlight some before & after shots of what you’re capable of as the best carpet cleaner around.

Use some catchy headlines like “We can cure at least ONE of your New Years’ headaches” or “In-Laws coming? We’ll let YOU take the credit.”

You can try to book the job right away, or you can just let the message marinate for a few days. Then, when the moment comes, BLAST THEM!

*****Expert Tip***** Make sure your website is using the Facebook Pixel, which tracks whenever a customer goes to your website and connects to their Facebook account. That way, if they visited your site, you can aim some ads specifically at them.


Yes, I’m going to talk about e-mail. Again.

Guess what? Christmas and New Years are on Sundays this year. Lots of people will have the 26th and 2nd off work, which they’ll likely spend trying to recover from the festivities and figure out how they’re going to clean up the mess and (in some cases) get rid of their hangover.

Why not time a friendly e-mail reminder to them that morning that YOU can solve the problem for them, AND help provide a healthier winter for their family?

Once again, you can utilize the before/after pictures. THANK THEM for being your customer, and give them an exclusive offer for a limited number of time slots over the next 2-3 days.

******Special Note****** You MUST include your phone number in this e-mail, and make sure it is front and center so it’s easy to call you quickly.


Talk to your PPC vendor about creating a series of ads specifically about party and holiday cleanup that will go live and have higher bids the day after. You can strike while the iron is hot.

*****Do This****
Create a list of keywords that are focused on that problem you’re going to solve (“getting vomit out of carpet”, “wine stain on sofa”, etc.). It may also help to come up with some fun/funny headlines and text like “party cleanup specialists” or “have too much fun last night?”

*****Bonus Tip*****
If you have a list of customer e-mail addresses, make sure your vendor uploads it to AdWords. When Google recognizes a search from an account with a registered e-mail address, your ads will get priority since they’re already in your customer database. (Bet you didn’t know that, did you?)

Big Takeaway:

You have lots of ways to connect with your customers this holiday season and help them by easing their burden.

Don’t miss out on them!
  1. Create Facebook and Instagram ads that will target and re-target your customers during the holidays.
  2. E-mail your database during key times when they’re likely to recognize the need to have you clean for them.
  3. When your customer Googles “carpet cleaning” in the morning, you want to be there.

Want some help getting all this going? Schedule a time for some help. Then register to receive updates about future webinars on digital marketing.