Posted on: April 22, 2024 |

car wash marketing ideas for 2021

Whether you operate an in-bay automatic car wash, self-serve car wash, or some combination of the two, it’s important to keep your customers happy and keep their attention. As your neighborhood expands, competitors move in, and new challenges arise, fresh car wash marketing ideas will help bring in new business. Try these car wash marketing ideas in 2024 to stay current and get the upper hand on your competitors. We’ve updated and expanded this blog post to give you even more ideas.

8 Innovative Car Wash Marketing Ideas for 2024

1. Add Convenience with Ice Vending

Customers visit your car wash to keep their vehicle clean, but what if they could visit for another reason, and clean their vehicle at the same time? Adding multiple services and points of attraction to your lot can help customers tick off multiple boxes on their list of errands. Since most customers return to ice vending locations on their way to or from work, this is an easy way to incentivize returning customers. If you own the ice vending machine on your lot, this will also give you an additional income stream.

Adding ice vending to your car wash location is easy
Download the free Property Owners Guide to Ice and Water Vending to learn more

2. Add a Food Truck

Customers may visit your location on their way to work, during their lunch hour, or on their way home. All of these are perfect times to pick up breakfast, lunch or dinner at a popular food truck. This creates additional incentive to visit your location and can help customers take another item off their list of to-dos.

3. Work with a Pop-Up Store

Like food trucks, pop-up stores go up easily and appeal to many different customers. These stores also have incentive to do their own marketing, telling their customers and followers where they will be and how to visit. Using this car wash marketing idea for 2024, you can work with a fellow business owner and combine your marketing expertise to double your customers.

4. Add Services or Technology

Most car washes are in-bay automatics, while the next most popular option are self-service car washes. Whichever type you operate, it’s helpful to give customers options; some customers prefer to wash their cars themselves for a complete clean, while others prefer to trust the automated process. Others might prefer a more thorough, inside-and-out clean from a professional. In this case, auto detailing services might also be helpful.

5. Sponsor a Charity Wash

Most car wash customers live in the area, and they’re more likely to be involved in local school and community groups and events. When you connect with these groups, you’re also connecting with local customers. Sponsor a charity wash event to support a local school sports team or another community group. A portion of sales for a particular day might go towards the group, or you might invite participants to help wash or dry cars for a day for a portion of the proceeds.

6. Optimize Your Google Listing

Today, about 91% of adults use search engines to find information. About 46% of those searches relate to local questions, such as where to find a restaurant or whether or not a business is open. Google is the most popular search engine, and making your business easily searchable on Google is a great car wash marketing idea in 2024. You can claim your business on Google for free, and use Google My Business services to keep your hours up-to-date, list photos, show your services, make updates, and much more.

7. Make a Simple Social Media Strategy

Social media can help you advertise your business, showcase updates or changes you’ve made, interact with your customers, share coupons and special events, and more. You don’t have to spend hours on every platform to generate social buzz, either. Decide how you want to use social media, what goals you’d like to achieve, and what content your customers are interested in. Use signage and discounts to encourage customers to share pictures or reviews. Post updates about discounts, coupons, special events to your own page and community pages or groups to grow your network.

8. Make Your Lobby Memorable

If your customers are waiting in a lobby while their car is cleaned, make this space comfortable and memorable. You might add massage chairs, games for kids, or a coffee and tea station. This way, customers will appreciate their experience as well as their clean vehicle.

9. Hold an Event

An event is a great way to highlight your business and put your car wash back at the front of your customers’ mind. You might hold a special event to commemorate a holiday or celebrate a business milestone. Consider how you might make the event fun and colorful, such as holding a costume contest, giving away small trinkets, providing coloring sheets for kids, or inviting customers to bring their pets. Consider how you might share some memorable moments on your social media too.

10. Provide Discounts

Discounts are a great way to incentivize customers to return to your car wash if they’ve been away. You might share these discounts on your social media account, through flyers, emails, or give customers discounts on their next visit.

11. Hold a Giveaway

A giveaway or contest can help you generate excitement for your business. You might give customers one entry for every visit, or determine entries another way. You might giveaway a small prize, like a gift certificate, or a big prize, like a TV or video game console.

12. Make a Video

Video marketing is a great way to get your audience’s attention. For example, you might give your audience a behind-the-scenes look at how your car wash works, or show a before-and-after video of a clean vehicle. You might also show video testimonials from happy customers, or show educational content, like the best way to dry your car without streaks.

Adding points of interest to your lot, expanding your services, improving your online presence, making your location comfortable and memorable, and sharing discounts, giveaways, and videos will help you connect with new customers and keep the ones you have. Choose the ideas that work best for you, and make a plan to implement these car wash marketing ideas in 2024. Leveraging your creativity and the latest technology and trends will help you stay at the top of your customers’ minds.