As summer break comes to a close and students prepare to go back to school, college campuses across the country are filling up once again. While most dorms and even some apartment complexes are equipped with coin laundry rooms, they are notorious for their long wait times and out-of-order equipment. If your laundromat is located near a college or university, you probably already know how valuable the student population can be for your business. Back to school is the ideal time to step up your laundromat’s student-centered marketing strategies and establish your business as the student body’s go-to laundromat. Check out these simple ways to help start the school year off right and generate loyal customers for your laundromat.
1. Have a Move-In Day Presence
Whether you invest in providing free movers (wearing branded shirts) that can help weary parents and overwhelmed students haul their gear up to their dorm rooms or you simply offer free wash coupons and branded drink cozies, having a presence while students are becoming familiar with their new surroundings can help get your name out there. Just be sure to check with the school ahead of time to confirm what they’ll allow.
2. Sell a “School Year” Package
The average student spends about $10 per week in vended laundry fees. With 15–17 weeks in a traditional semester, this totals about $150–$170. Help college students budget accordingly or offer parents and relatives a convenient way to help care for their students from afar by doing the math for them and offering prepaid laundry cards or app packages for a “Semester’s Worth of Laundry.” By selling these packages at the start of the semester when parents are helping their children move in, you can offer a convenient service for new students while securing guaranteed customers for the next few months.
3. Host or Sponsor an Event
If you have enough space in your laundromat, host a student-focused event like a free laundry workshop or resume-writing course. You can also sponsor relevant on-campus activities, like mixers, intramural sports teams, and other club events, to help get your name out there.
4. Get Social
Studies show that Gen Z spends countless hours each day on social media, yet many small businesses are reluctant to develop their social media presence. Bridge the gap and get active on Facebook, Instagram, or even TikTok to meet your potential customers where they are and develop a relationship that will help draw them in. Show off your large-capacity, energy-efficient Dexter laundry equipment, highlight your study-friendly amenities, or promote student-centered discounts and loyalty programs that will set you apart from your competition. Help drive engagement by hosting a photo a social media contest, encouraging laundromat guests to share photos or videos in your laundromat on their social media pages and tag your business for the chance to win a prize.
5. Offer Part-Time Positions to Students
Many college students work part-time jobs to help pay for school and living expenses. By hiring college students to help with simple jobs around your laundromat, like tending the front desk, wiping down equipment, or even operating the fluff and fold service, not only will you be helping members of your local community but you may also help attract their friends and classmates as potential customers.
6. Provide a Referral Program
Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing tactics. Encourage your customers to bring their friends by offering a referral program where customers receive free or discounted services for each customer they refer. Consider using app-focused payment technology, like the DexterPay mobile application, which can make it easier to track and redeem coupons and referrals.
Start the School Year Off Right
As colleges and universities gear up for the fall semester, don’t miss out on this opportunity to attract new customers and promote your laundromat business. If you need to upgrade your laundromat equipment to modern models with the latest technology, contact the trusted experts at Worldwide Laundry.
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