A soft cloth car wash from Quick Quack. (Courtesy)

A soft cloth car wash from Quick Quack. (Courtesy)

Ten days is a long time to give away a product to anybody who drives through the door. But that kind of generosity buys goodwill and loyalty that few other promotions can. And for a startup — even one with the backing of a multi-state chain — establishing a large, stable customer base in the very first month is a key to longterm success.

Although they don’t say as much in the press release (below), such is likely the motivation for Quick Quack Car Wash, which is opening a new location in Spring, Texas, near Houston, on April 28. The free wash only applies to exterior car washes. Regular price for a membership there starts at $14.99 per month that gets you unlimited washes.

If you’re thinking about doing this at your startup car wash or at one of your new locations, here are some things to think about:

1. The cost of the giveaway could be considered just another cost of getting set up, like purchasing equipment, except it’s part of your marketing spend.

2. Be sure people know about the promotion. Large streetside signage should be simple and clear; don’t ask drivers to read very much as they’re passing by. Radio ad buys catch people while they’re driving and in a car wash mindset.

3. When customers do arrive, wash their cars for free, but don’t let them leave without getting something from them first: their email address. The first days of any startup are the best time to build your mailing list because the people signing up are excited to see a new business and support it. Early adopters are usually the most loyal customers.

Here’s the Quick Quack press release in full:

SPRING, Texas, April 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Quick Quack Car Wash is giving away free car washes for 10 days to celebrate opening the doors on a new exterior only, express car wash in the Houston area.  The new location in Spring, Texas is the second Houston location for the car wash chain and the nineteenth location overall.  The free car wash days begin on April 28, end on May 7, and are only available at the new location.

The newly renovated car wash is located at 3843 FM 2920 at Falvel Road, next to the Citgo gas station and around the corner from Klein Collins High School on Ella Road. Quick Quack Car Wash is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“This new location, and the three or four more we plan to open within the next year, help us to better realize our goal to provide more convenience to our existing customers in northwest Houston and allow new customers to discover the Quick Quack experience,” said Jason Johnson, President of Quick Quack Car Wash. “We are especially excited to provide a water-saving and environmentally friendly alternative to driveway washing to even more members of the community.”

“Car wash technology has advanced tremendously over the past few years, allowing us to eliminate wait times and wash as many as 100 cars per hour,” said Dave Edwards, Houston’s Regional Development Partner in charge of expansion.  “Our customers realize time is valuable and typically spend only a few minutes receiving a great wash and using the free vacuums.”

About Quick Quack Car Wash
Quick Quack Car Wash has 19 locations in Texas, California and Colorado. The Quick Quack Car Wash concept grew out of a desire to get cars clean using the best technology and to do it extremely fast. Quick Quack is best known for its speed and its industry leading, low starting price of $14.99 per month for “Wash All You Want” Unlimited Car Wash memberships. Fully automated and computerized, the high-quality and environmentally-friendly car washing system uses brushless cloths and filtered, recycled water. The customer stays in their vehicle while being automatically guided through the car wash tunnel, where the vehicle is soaked, soaped, washed, polished, rinsed with spot-free water, and blown dry all in a matter of minutes. Additional information is available online atwww.DontDriveDirty.com.