A Marketing Calendar is used by successful businesses to identify and budget marketing events throughout the year to ensure there are no long lapses between events. This calendar is created to include new and existing customers. The strategy ensures consistency and effectiveness to bring in new prospects and hold on to existing clients. READ MORE on this first post, “Why You Need a Marketing Calendar for Your Cleaning Business.”
How to Create a Marketing Calendar
A good marketing calendar breaks down the weeks within the month for every month of the year. It lists each marketing event that will take place by day. The purpose of this calendar is to create results, not just create events. This means you expect to see results from each event you plan. For instance, if you are distributing flyers you might expect to see a 10% return on new calls and a 1% conversion from calls to a new customer. The return on this investment (ROI) would be the annual revenue of the new customer less the cost of the flyers and delivery. Your new customer may earn you an extra $2,210 a year on your flyer marketing that cost you $100. This one marketing event earned you a profit of $2,110. This is why it’s important to expect a return on every marketing event you define.
There are two parts to the marketing calendar; getting new customers and keeping your existing customers. Before you get started, decide how you will create your calendar: 1) digital, 2) hard-copy calendar, or 3) wall calendar. There is no right way to do this other than what will work best for you.
To get you started, I’ve included a free Marketing Calendar in this article.
Every week you should be knocking on doors or delivering door hangers in your scheduling area. Decide which day works best for you and stick to it so the area gets used to seeing your materials. Monday is usually a slow day so this may work best for you. On the other hand, people are home on Saturday so that may work better if you’re knocking on doors. Don’t forget to take into consideration your target market… this may define the best day for your business. Add this day to your calendar through the end of the year.
If you have a website (which I strongly recommend), you should be writing blog posts at least twice a week to attract the search engines – they like it when websites publish new content. When they see the activity on your website, you move up in the search results.
Social media is important today to keep your name in front of your target market. This also creates “social signals” for the search engines, letting them know people are buzzing about you. You can do this with a Facebook page and a Twitter account. These are easily managed when you publish scheduled posts using software like HootSuite. Setup one Facebook post a day and twelve Twitter posts a day. Both these platforms are included with detailed instructions in supplementary reports in my Business-in-a-Box system.
Once a month you should be sending out an offer to “new movers” in your territory. New renters and homeowners spend more money on home-related purchases in the first three months of living in their new community than most people do in five years. Take advantage of this opportunity by investing in a mailing every month with a top notch mailer. Find a good service or buy the list every month and add your mailing day to your calendar.
Identify a specific area in your territory and plan on postcard mailers that include a good testimonial from one of your customers. These are very effective when you target areas that can afford your service. Add your mailing day to the marketing calendar.
Setup a referral marketing system and hand out referral certificates once a month in the areas you clean. You’re already cleaning a house, so there is no extra travel expense to this effort. Add this to your calendar.
Be sure to spread out this activity throughout the month; you don’t have to have it all done at the same time. Once your calendar is setup, all you have to do is follow it each week of the month – the planning is already done.
Your existing customers look forward to their scheduled cleaning every month, but they should also be hearing from the owner of the company. You can easily do this with a monthly newsletter. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, in fact it can be as simple as an eMail you send out every month. Include something about your company that is news-worthy – hiring new workers, offering a new service, mentioning your business anniversary and special events along with tips for organizing and managing their home. The news stories you include should be tailored to your target market. You can set this up easily as a mailing group in your eMail agent or use an automated system with an autoresponder. Add the day your newsletter will go out to your marketing calendar.
One way to earn more from your existing customers is to create a Rate Sheet. This should include all the “extras” your customers can order. These can be season and holiday related, such as cleaning the front and back patio in the spring. Now create a list of all the special days in the year that includes all the holidays, Super Bowl Sunday, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. Once you have a list of extras and the list of special days, attach each item on your rate sheet to a special offer. For instance, you could offer an oven cleaning special during Thanksgiving or a special cleanup after Christmas. Get creative and try to match every item on your Rate Sheet to a special day. Never discount your regular service to your existing customers. Now add these to your calendar and don’t forget to match these up with your eMail programs, newsletter, flyers, reminder calls, and all other promotions you do.
Having all your promotions neatly packaged like this in a Marketing Calendar makes the year so much more manageable. With all the planning done all you have to do is follow through every month. Compare this with the process you’re using now to generate your marketing. Can you afford not to have a Marketing Calendar?
DownloadFree pdf Marketing Calendar
Do you currently use a Marketing Calendar for your business? Leave a comment and share your experience using it.