Word-of-mouth marketing for a Dry Cleaner

Word-of-mouth marketing for a Dry Cleaner

By Rajesh Setty on Sun 08 Mar 2009, 10:09 AM – 8 Comments

Photo courtesy: Dan Eriksson at Flickr

I have used the same dry cleaner for my clothes for more than five years. During my last visit, the person asked me whether I received a coupon by email. I told him I did but I just ignored it. In fact I asked him – “You take care of me anyway. If there are discounts, you would give it to me. Why should I bring a coupon?”

The person was insisted – “That is true. Sometimes I might forget to apply some special discounts and I don’t want you to miss it. You are one of my long-term customers and I DO want to take care of you very well.”

I was not convinced and probably he could see that. When I was leaving, he said – “Also I want to make it easy for you to refer me some of your friends. Now you can just forward this coupon and it will be like a gift.”

I smiled and left.

I really admire the person for going out of the way to use technology to DO something about his business. His persistence gets extra points. More important his creativity of “trying to make me feel that the actions I take (forwarding a coupon) will take care of my concerns (giving a gift to a friend) more than his concerns (getting new customers.)”

Have a great week ahead.


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8 Comments so far, Add Yours

Dimitar Nikolov  on March 8th, 2009

That’s a great example of word of mouth marketing, when used properly.

If you ask me, more offline businesses should start using the Internet to expand their services and find more clients.

Rajesh Setty  on March 8th, 2009

Thanks Dimitar. Except for a few businesses like the gas station in the corner (where location matters more than anything) others don’t have a choice but to join the revolution :)



Phil Gerbyshak  on March 8th, 2009

Interesting Raj. Just reading the words, I’m not believing your dry cleaner had your best interests at heart. Still, he gets points for persistence if nothing else.

Had he REALLY wanted to do something buzzworthy, he’d have created a separate email just for sharing with your friends that you could customize with why you love them and your name and maybe even picture. With the internet, it’s not that hard to make it personal and useful!

Rajesh Setty  on March 8th, 2009

Thanks Phil.

The person is good at what he does but probably is not sophisticated with his “brand new” marketing approach.

The simple way would have been a request to refer my friends if I were happy with his service. The discount coupon was a circuitous path in my opinion.

Have a great week ahead Phil.



Phil Gerbyshak  on March 8th, 2009

Fair enough Raj. The intention was a good one, and as long as that is clear to you, his customer, then the gesture rang true.

The week ahead is going to be AWESOME my friend! I just launched my new website, so I hope you’ll check it out and give me your feedback when you get time.

Rajesh Setty  on March 8th, 2009

Hi Phil,

LOVE the new website. Just like you, it is full of energy :)

Looking forward to catching up with you soon.



Arlin Pauler  on March 9th, 2009

Hello Raj:

I think there is another point here that is being missed; though you touched on it with you comment about his expertise being in dry cleaning.

Some of the comments here seem to imply he has to meet some standard of expertise in E-Marketing for his intent to be valid and worthy of our support? Don’t we want to help him to succeed just because he’s a fellow Human Being and is good at what he does?

Seems to me his coupon and comments have their own merit, however less expert he is than we are about how he did it. If we think we know how he can do it better; it’s our choice to offer that information or use it to invalidate his efforts.

I may have missed thing; just thought I would share my thoughts on the comments.

I’m curious; did his attempt work? Have you referred him to any of friends?

Have a fun and rewarding day, Elder-Dude

Rajesh Setty  on March 9th, 2009


Thank you.

Over the years I have referred a number of friends to use his service without him asking for it. I do that anyway if I like the value someone provides.

I don’t think any of my friends would think a dry cleaner coupon as a gift – so that’s where I disagree with his approach.

He is a good person and I just think that he got his marketing strategy wrong :(



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