20 Guerrilla Marketing Tips for Window Covering Retailers
# 1 Email Marketing. It’s as simple as setting up a free account at mailchimp.com. Using their templates and sending emails to 2 groups of prospects.
- Other business owners who can refer you to their customers. Realtors, window replacement contractors, interior designers, etc.
- Past clients
Make sure the info is helpful. Teach the client something like, how to price out shutters or what’s in style and what’s out.
# 2 Awesome Business Cards. Using your business card as a marketing tool is a low-cost way to help prospects remember you. Folding business cards, full color, custom shapes are all good ideas that work. Make sure it’s relevant to your business.
# 3 Ask For Referrals. If you have ever watched Grant Cardon (Youtube Guy) on the phones, he’s calling to ask for a referral of someone who could use his services. He’s using “the ask” as the lead into the sales call. Very clever. Now for the rest of us, here’s a tip: When asking for a referral, use the phrase “Friend or Neighbor”. This allows the person to narrow it down very quickly and think more specifically about who they might recommend. Technically everyone is a friend or neighbor but it helps them focus on someone quickly.
#4 Ask for Reviews. Reviews matter. Personally, I do read reviews on products I’m purchasing on sites I respect. Use a service like Revenue Jump or Grade.us. These services make the process much easier.
#5 Offer Free Design Advice. This is a great way into the door. Before you offer this, you must set up the Terms and Conditions. You’ll need a formalized vetting process, and you’ll need limits on what you can and will do. I recommended you develop a system for this and stick to it.
#6 Do Something Newsworthy. Running a contest for the ugliest window covering is always good for a bit of publicity. How about a seminar on how to lower your energy costs using window coverings? How about a story that you’re hiring and you’re having trouble finding good applicants?
#7 Start a Local Blog. If done correctly this can become a money maker. Also, it will help with your online marketing. The links from a local authority site are valuable for your website ranking. For just a few dollars, you can hire an off-site writer or editor using Fiverr, Fiverr Pro, or ProBlogger to make you look like a pro.
#8 Email Signature. I’m constantly amazed at how many business owners forget to use this. It’s very simple to set up. If you’re unsure how to set it up, go to Youtube and look for a short video on the set up steps. I use several different signatures depending on the email I am sending and its recipient.
#9 Create Videos About How to Choose the Right Window Covering.
I have a customer who uses his cell phone to do weekly videos on everything from how to choose the right cell shade to how to cover a sliding glass door. He then sends me the link and I post on his blog. It’s a primary reason he dominates online in his local market.
#10 Learn to use Linkedin to connect with other like-minded entrepreneurs in your area. I’ve met several local business owners using LinkedIn. Not sure how to use LinkedIn? Youtube.
#11 Joining a lead exchange group or local Chamber of Commerce. A great place to find local business owners is a site called Meetup. Or try your LinkedIn group or call the local Chamber. The key is to become involved. Try and get yourself into a gatekeeper position. This way the new members need to come to you for introductions.
#12 Door To Door Selling. I know several window covering retailers who do this primarily in new homes and they have very good success. However, it’s very difficult to scale.
#13 Hold a “Don’t Embarrass Yourself With The Wrong Window Treatment” event at a local furniture, flooring, or window replacement store. This is where you would offer free in-home consultation to attendees.
#14 Strategic Partner Network. This one is so valuable I produced a video on how to do it a few years ago.
#15 Set up Google My Business page and get reviews on it.
This is a very simple thing to do. If you’re not sure what to do, use Youtube and you’ll find many videos on how to set up you GMB page.
#16 Pitch your stuff to realtors. In many states, realtors must attend weekly meetings. Many times this is to fulfill their mandatory continuing education for their license. Call the local real estate office and offer to “educate” their realtors on how to estimate the cost of window coverings or how to use window coverings and tint to lower energy cost. These talks usually last 12-15 minutes. They key is to teach the realtors something they can use to help close the deal.
#17 Set up and use Houzz and Pinterest. It’s free, simple and your page can show up in local search results if you post photos weekly and offer valuable content on your page.
#18 Street Signs. Sometimes the simplest things work. Check with your local ordinances to see if it’s legal. I have seen the local Budget Blinds franchises doing this for the past several years.
#19 Flyers on new homes/Pre-Priced products and sizes for each model. This works great if you have tract homes in your area. Pre-measure the models and build a matrix chart for each model. If they have 4 models then your chart would have the prices for shutters, cells, wood blinds and perhaps 2.5” faux wood blinds. Let them see how much they should expect to spend on new window coverings.
#20 Learn to Sell/Upsell. Set up an offer or service to add on.
Add tinting. draperies, exterior shutters, rugs, decorating services, or motorization. Become the expert and sell sell sell.
Obviously this list could be much larger, but I think you have enough here to get started. My advice is to test 2-4 at a time and measure the results. If you invested 10 hours into street posters and received not a single call in the last 30 days, then street posters are a dud. If you spend 10 hours collecting email addresses of potential partners and you get 4 leads in the next 30 days, stick with it. When your business starts to grow, then you’ll have to measure your hourly value to the time spent. If you determine your worth at $50 per hour, then spending 10 hours putting up street posters becomes very expensive. (A person who earns $100K per year, makes about $50 an hour.) You’d be better off buying Google adwords and guaranteeing new customers. Measure everything and your business will become simper to operate and more profitable.