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Soak, lather, rinse, repeat. It seems simple and effective enough, right? Those steps are sufficient for the three minutes your customer spends getting their vehicle washed and waxed at your car wash location. But your car wash marketing efforts demand more time and attention than a few minutes, once a week. Your company’s success is directly related to effective and intentional car wash marketing. The hours you spend discovering who your target audience is, how to reach them, and implementing strategic marketing moves will grow your company and boost sales.

Let’s address the car wash industry in America as a whole. Here are a few findings from the first primary research study commissioned by the International Carwash Association. The purpose of this study was to quantify the size of the car wash industry. Check out these astonishing statistics:

  • Over 2 billion cars are washed each year in North America, equaling over $15B in car wash retail sales.
  • The percentage of drivers that report washing their vehicle at a professional car wash location rose from 48% in 1994 to 77% in 2019.
  • There are 62,688 car wash locations in the United States.
  • Gross sales of chemicals into the car wash market are nearly $1B annually in North America.
  • Gross sales of car wash equipment and parts exceed $700M in North America.*

Those statistics say a couple things you can’t ignore:

  • Your car wash has competition.
  • Americans spend ample amounts of money each year at the car wash.
  • The popularity of using professional car washes continues to rise.
  • Sales related to car wash services drastically affect the economy.

Hopefully, now you have no doubt that you need to push a very well-made marketing strategy to boost the success of your car wash. We can confidently say these car wash marketing tips will help you meet your marketing goals:

1. Car Wash Marketing Tip: Display a Stunning Car Wash Website Design

A user-friendly car wash website design is the foundation for great marketing. When a potential client is searching “car wash near me” on the Internet, they will click on your website to find your location, hours, and services. If your website is not user-friendly or lacks in functionality, your potential customer will likely choose your competitor instead.

2. Car Wash Marketing Tip: Ensure Complete & Accurate Listings

Most car wash customers decide to get their car washed as a spur-of-the-moment decision. They’re getting in their car, see that it’s dirty, open Google, and search for a nearby car wash. Your essential information such as hours, directions, and website link, should be easily accessible and straightforward. Listings are an excellent marketing service to ensure this information falls directly into your potential customer’s lap.

When set up and managed correctly, search engine optimization (SEO) will push your listing to the top of the search results. The listings that show up first have complete information, plenty of reviews, a link to a complete website, and more. Google, Yelp, and Facebook are three of the top listing platforms, but there are 60+ listing platforms available. The more platforms you can manage, the better! M&R Marketing uses software to fill out the correct information and push it to the listing platforms.

3. Car Wash Marketing Tip: Implement a Geofencing Strategy

Gone are the days where advertisements only reached your potential customers if they physically stumbled upon them. Today, hyperlocal targeting allows for advertisements to reach your target audience and remain with them.

Geofencing is a highly effective form of advertising that places an ad before your potential customers instead of waiting for them to search for your product or company. Consider these statistics:

  • 78% of businesses are not using hyperlocal targeting accurately
  • 77% of consumers own and regularly use their mobile device
  • 51% of consumers have found a new company or product via a mobile search

Geofencing places a virtual fence around a physical location. After the fence is set, digital ads can appear to anyone who enters the virtual fence. The fence can be placed around any geographic location – from a small building to an entire zip code. When you choose to incorporate this newfound technology into your marketing strategy, you will see effective advertising results!

4. Car Wash Marketing Tip: Focus on Your Local Community

Your most loyal customers are the ones who work, play, and live a short distance from your car wash. These people drive by your car wash every day while running errands, heading to work, or dropping the kids off at school.

Meet them where they are!

Talk to local business owners and school administrators and ask if you can drop brochures and coupons off at their location. By leaving tangible ads, customers and students can pick them up and will be reminded that your car wash exists and is available for their car wash needs.

Sponsorships are another great way to get in front of athletes and their parents. You can sponsor club or school sports teams which helps your community thrive and puts your name and services in front of potential customers every time they hit the field!

M&R’s Portfolio for Car Wash Website Design

M&R Marketing creates stunning, professional, and user-friendly car wash website designs that serve customers well. Through a deep understanding of our client and their needs, we have brought their website vision to life. Our car wash clients requested elements on their website that would benefit both the business and customer, such as:

  • About Us
  • Blog
  • Contact
  • Employment
  • FAQ
  • Fleet Plan
  • Fundraising
  • Gift Cards
  • Locations
  • Map
  • Membership
  • Partners
  • Resources
  • Services

Take a look at two car wash clients we have helped find success by producing an excellent website:

Tidal Wave Auto Spa

As Tidal Wave Auto Spa expanded their locations, they asked M&R to improve their branding and take their website up a notch. We developed a custom website, wrote SEO content, added a location feature which allowed the website visitor to easily find their locations – all while ensuring their brand reflected their fun and playful personality. Customers can now easily find which location is closest to them. In Georgia alone, they have 27 locations (multiple locations in the same city).

Beyond a total website revamp, they partnered with us to produce print material that reflects their website branding. Now, both their website and print material – such as brochures and coupons – boast the same fresh and modern look.

We also improved the look and design of their Point of Sales (POS) system. (The POS is often the first physical connection the customer has with your car wash, so it’s important to impress them from the get-go.) We updated the branding on their car wash icons and everything a potential customer would see displayed on the POS screen.

Each Tidal Wave Auto Spa location has an independent owner. To help the under-performing markets have a boost in sales, we created a Google ads campaign to draw awareness to the car wash location and services.

Lastly, we designed several billboards for Tidal Wave Auto Spa to capture a potential customer’s attention as he’s driving down the road. Location advertising is especially important in car wash marketing because you normally reach your target audience during the decision part of their buyer journey.

Island Car Wash

Island Car Wash serves the South Carolina community with locations in Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Okatie. They approached M&R with the need of improving their website with fresh content and design. In addition to the new website Island Car Wash also wanted to improve digital advertising efforts to reach their target market more effectively.

Throughout the website process, we were able to work with Island Car Wash’s team to build a fun, engaging, and clean website. We showcased some unique videography and photography of the Island Car Wash locations that added a personalized feel to the site. In addition to the great look and feel, we designed several features that were built specifically with the customer experience in mind. The first was to build individual locations pages so that anyone looking for a wash while out and about can easily find the nearest location. The second was to make the memberships as prominent as possible. By building a page dedicated to the monthly memberships, customers can easily sign up online!

Upon completion of the website, M&R launched that drive traffic to the new website with the goal of generating new business. Due to Google’s highly targeted capabilities, we can run ads in Hilton Head, Bluffton, and Okatie that target individuals searching for car washes on Google. Once users click an Island Car Wash Google Ad they will be directed to the great new site and can make the move to becoming an Island Car Wash member!

Partner With M&R Marketing

Your car wash marketing strategy needs to be created and implemented with a success in mind. From creating your car wash web design to managing your car wash social media account, our team can do it all. (Did you know? M&R Marketing is the only full-service marketing agency between Atlanta, Savannah, and Columbus.) Give us a call today with your questions: 478-621-4491.


*Source: International Car Wash Association